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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Long Beach State PG Casper Ware 06.21.12 at 9:50 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Point guard Casper Ware is Long Beach State's career leader in assists and steals. (AP)

CASPER WARE

Position: Point guard

School: Long Beach State

Age: 22

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 177 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Big West Player of the Year, 2012 All-America honorable mention (AP), 2011 Big West Player of the Year, 2011 All-America honorable mention (AP), 2011 Big West Defensive Player of the Year, 2010 All-Big West second team, 2009 Big West All-Freshman team

Key 2011-12 stats: 17.4 points, 40.1 FG%, 2.4 rebounds

What he brings: Ware may be small, but he’s a good point guard who excels in scoring. He has speed to get past defenders and has the ability to shoot from the perimeter. He converted 40.1 percent of his field goal attempts and 35.6 percent of his 3-point shots in his senior year.

Where the Celtics could get him: Ware is projected to be a late-second-round pick or go undrafted.

Notes: After recording 46 steals and 114 assists in his senior year, Ware is the all-time leader in both those categories at Long Beach State. … Ware spent multiple summers in the highly regarded Drew League, including 2011.

Recent articles:

ESPN: Casper Ware rises to the occasion

Los Angeles Times: Casper Ware leads Long Beach State back to Big Dance

Video: Here’s a closer look at Ware.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Casper Ware,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky SF Darius Miller at 6:27 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Darius Miller was one of two seniors who helped a freshman-laden Kentucky squad capture the 2012 NCAA championship. (AP)

DARIUS MILLER

Position: Small forward

School: Kentucky

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 233 pounds

Achievements: 2011 SEC tournament MVP, 2011 SEC Sixth Man of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 9.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 47.4 FG%, 26.1 minutes

What he brings: Miller is a strong, physical forward who uses his size and athleticism to put himself in good position on offense with improved ball-handling skills. He’s a great spot-up shooter with NBA 3-point range. The 22-year-old receives great praise for his team-first attitude that allowed him fit into a lot of different Kentucky lineups.

Defensively, Miller has a tough time keeping opponents in front of him and often allows quick penetration too easily. He also lacks defensive consistency and sometimes doesn’t exert full effort on that side of the ball.

His build is attractive for NBA teams, but there is a still a lot of improvement here for Miller to have a true impact in the NBA game.

Where the Celtics could get him: Miller is projected as a late second-round pick should the Celtics desire some depth behind Paul Pierce (and Jeff Green, if he re-signs).

Notes: The 22-year-old was one of only two seniors on the 2012 national champion Wildcats squad. … He played for Team USA in the 2011 World University Games in China and also won gold as a member of the U-19 USA team at the 2009 World Championships.

Recent articles:

WDRB.com: A day with Darius Miller

Washington Post: Kentucky’s Darisus Miller wouldn’t mind playing with friends John Wall, Shelvin Mack

Video: Here’s a highlight mix from Miller’s senior year.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Darius Miller,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Washington SG/SF Terrence Ross 06.20.12 at 7:53 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Terrence Ross has the size and athleticism but needs to develop his game after leaving Washington following his sophomore season. (AP)

TERRENCE ROSS

Position: Shooting guard/small forward

School: Washington

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 197 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Pac-12 first team

Key 2011-12 stats: 16.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 45.7 FG%, 31.1 minutes

What he brings: Ross, who enters the draft after his sophomore season, is a long, athletic guard who possess the ability to run the transition with great court vision and solid ball-handling abilities. He has great footwork in one-on-one situations and can hit the mid-range jumper and the 3-pointer. He uses his athleticism and extreme leaping ability to finish off monster dunks and his length makes him an exceptional rebounder for a guard. Ross also is a solid defender.

The 21-year-old needs to add weight to fill out his lanky frame. He also needs to work on a faster first step to create on offense. At times, Ross’ shot selection can be terrible. The Washington product needs to get better at finishing when he’s not dunking the ball.

Ross will be an exciting NBA player immediately because of his high-flying abilities. However, he needs to shore up the rest of his game if he wants to have an extended NBA career.

Where the Celtics could get him: Ross has top-15 potential, so it would most likely take a trade for the Celtics to move up and draft him.

Notes: In his sophomore year, Ross had the ninth-highest-scoring season in Washington history. … The Portland, Ore., native was voted the Oregon 5A High School Player of the Year as a sophomore before he transferred to Montrose Christian in Rockville, Md., for his junior year. He returned to Oregon but did not play basketball in his senior year.

Recent articles:

Seattle Times: Terrence Ross makes sound decision to enter NBA draft

Seattle Times: Ross, Wroten NBA draft stocks are soaring

Video: Here’s a compilation of highlights from Ross’ 2011-12 season.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Terrence Ross,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Oregon State SG Jared Cunningham at 4:25 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Oregon State guard Jared Cunningham led the Pac-12 in steals the past two seasons. (AP)

JARED CUNNINGHAM

Position: Shooting guard

School: Oregon State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 188 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Pac-12 first team, 2012 All-Pac-12 defensive team, 2011 All-Pac-12 second team, 2011 All-Pac-12 defensive team

Key 2011-12 stats; 17.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.5 steals, 45.0 FG%, 34.6 minutes

What he brings: Cunningham, who declared for the draft after his junior season, is a phenomenal athlete with a smooth, impressive game. He’s a decent slasher with solid ball-handling skills and uses his leaping ability to finish off highlight-reel plays. There’s potential for him to become a solid spot-up shooter and he also has the tendency to score off tip-ins on offensive rebounds. Cunningham’s defense is impressive. He can shut down both the guard positions and he uses his extremely active hands to jump passes.

He isn’t the strongest guard and will need to put on weight in order to battle with the stronger guards in the NBA. The 21-year-old isn’t the greatest shooter and has an inconsistent shot selection. Cunningham often doesn’t attack the rim with tenacity and settles with wild finishes instead.

Overall Cunningham has a lot of upside because of his athleticism. If he can add muscle, his defensive presence should be immediate in the NBA.

Where the Celtics could get him: Cunningham is projected as a late-first-round pick, but because most of his skills are already present in Avery Bradley, it is unlikely the Celtics spend one of their first-round picks on him.

Notes: Cunningham led the Pac-12 in steals in both his sophomore and junior years and finished second all-time on the Oregon career steals list. He holds 11 Oregon State records.

Recent articles:

OSUBeavers.com: Preparing for the NBA draft

Los Angeles Times: Jared Cunningham follows path of an another Oregon State star

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Cunningham’s junior season.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Jared Cunningham,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Duke SG Austin Rivers at 12:50 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Austin Rivers, son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, enters the NBA draft after one stellar season at Duke. (AP)

AUSTIN RIVERS

Position: Shooting guard

School: Duke

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 203 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America third team (NABC), 2012 All-ACC first team, 2012 ACC Freshman of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 15.5 points, 2.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 43.3 FG%, 33.2 minutes

What he brings: Rivers is a good-sized, athletic guard who plays smoothly and is almost always under control. He has a phenomenal first step and can create for himself extremely well. The 19-year-old has a great jumper, has NBA range and can finish around the rim really well. He has shown solid ball-handling skills that help him attack the rim with both creativity and strength. On defense he has quick, active hands that allow him to get steals.

The biggest knock on Rivers is his tendency to overshoot and hog the ball. His last offensive resort is passing, and his shot selection can be poor. He also can get lackadaisical if things don’t go his way and his defensive intensity has been questioned.

Despite some maturity issues, Rivers is a big-time scorer. He will be able to make an immediate impact in the NBA on the offensive end and should only grow with NBA coaching.

Where the Celtics could get him: It seems that the only way Doc Rivers will get the chance to coach his son is if the Celtics swing a big deal to move up. Rivers reportedly has been given a guarantee that he’ll be selected by a late lottery team.

Notes: Rivers helped the USA U-18 team win gold in the FIBA U18 Americas Championship in 2010. … He was named the Naismith Prep Player of the Year and Morgan Wootten Player of the Year at Winter Park High School in suburban Orlando, Fla.

Recent articles:

Philly.com: Duke guard Austin Rivers a potential 76ers draft pick

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Doc Rivers: Austin’s competitive fire a good thing

Video: Here is Rivers’ game-winning shot against North Carolina in February.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Austin Rivers,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Florida State C Bernard James at 9:39 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Bernard James enters the draft as a 27-year-old with six years of military service on his resume. (AP)

BERNARD JAMES

Position: Center

School: Florida State

Age: 27

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 230 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-ACC honorable mention, 2012 All-ACC Tournament second team, 2012 ACC All-Defensive team (coaches, media), 2012 NBWA Most Courageous Award, 2012 ACC Bob Bradley Spirit and Courage Award, 2010 NJCAA Leader for Life Award

Key 2011-12 stats: 10.8 points, 60.6 FG%, 8.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocked shots

What he brings: James may be one of the oldest players in the 2012 draft, but he would bring six years of military experience and two very successful years at Florida State to any team that drafts him. He’s a strong, athletic defender who can shoot as well — he shot 62.7 percent from the field over his two years at FSU. He excels defensively, recording 2.4 blocks and 7.0 rebounds — 4.4 defensive and 3.9 offensive – per game over his FSU career.

At 27 years old, James’ biggest negative is his age. He also shot just 52.7 percent from the free throw line, but teams would draft James for his defense.

Where the Celtics could get him: James is expected to be drafted in the second round or go undrafted.

Notes: Before going to college, James spent six years in the military with tours in Qatar, Afghanistan and Iraq. He served as a staff sergeant in the Air Force and played basketball while in the military. James, who didn’t play basketball in high school, attended Tallahassee Community College for two years before transferring to FSU. … On March 3 of his senior season James was involved in a scrum during a game against Virginia when he kicked sophomore Joe Harris and was ejected. James later issued a letter of apology. … His career 62.7 shooting percentage ranks second in school history while his 2.4 blocks per game puts him first.

Recent articles:

New York Times: For Florida State center, military was a steadying influence

New York Daily News: FSU’s James an (Air) force for Seminoles

Video:

Here is a video of James talking about the influence of his military service along with a few highlights of his game.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Bernard James,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: UNC PF John Henson at 6:31 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

John Henson made a name for himself with his shot-blocking ability at North Carolina. (AP)

JOHN HENSON

Position: Power forward

School: North Carolina

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 220 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-ACC first team, 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, 2011 All-ACC second team, 2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 13.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 50 FG%, 29.1 minutes

What he brings: Henson, who enters the draft after three college seasons, has a freakish 7-foot-4 wingspan which combines with his height to make him a monster defensive player. He is a pure shot-blocker who can cover the court extremely well. His size and length also allow him to be a great rebounder. The 21-year-old runs the floor well and uses his size to make him an easy target for his teammates as he scores most of his baskets thanks to his teammates’ playmaking abilities.

The UNC product needs to put on weight to be successful at the next level. He too often avoids contact, using only his size and length on offense, and his lateral movement can be awkward at times. His jump shot still needs work, and his low-post play isn’t polished. There also seems to be focus issues with Henson and as he seems only under control on defense.

The most ready aspect of Henson’s game is his defense, as he should be a shot-blocking presence in the NBA immediately. However, offensively he is still a project. He is projected as a top-10 pick with a major upside.

Where the Celtics could get him: Henson is considered to be a top-10 pick, so it would require a major trade for the C’s to get in range to draft him.

Notes: Henson is fourth on the all-time blocks list in North Carolina history and had more blocks than any sophomore in UNC history. His father, Matt Henson, played basketball at Norfolk State.

Recent articles:

Detroit Free Press: North Carolina’s John Henson fits Pistons’ need as athletic interior defender

FoxSportsOhio.com: NBA Draft: Henson a study in steady

Video: Here are highlights of Henson’s 2011-12 season.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, John Henson,
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