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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Vanderbilt SF Jeffery Taylor 06.19.12 at 7:44 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.

Jeffery Taylor, the son of a former NBA player, projects to be an elite defender in the pros. (AP)

JEFFERY TAYLOR

Position: Small forward

School: Vanderbilt

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 213 pounds

Achievements: 2011 All-SEC second team, 2010 All-SEC second team, 2009 SEC All-Freshman team

Key 2011-12 stats: 16.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5 assists, 49.3 FG%, 42.3 3P%, 60.5 FT%

What he brings: Taylor is one of the best athletes in the draft. He excels at getting to the rim with a quick first step and in four years at Vanderbilt, the 23-year-old also developed into an excellent jump shooter. Taylor also showcased an ability to defend four positions on the floor and projects to be an elite defender at the next level.

The knocks on Taylor are that his poor ball-handling skills limit his ability to create off the dribble. He also measured a negative 6-feet-6 wingspan, though his lateral quickness and excellent fundamentals should still allow him to stay in front of all but the quickest guards.

Taylor’s game is best suited to be paired with a pass-first point guard like Rajon Rondo, where his role could consist of spreading the floor and knocking down perimeter jumpers and making plays at the rim off of cuts to the basket and in transition.

Where the Celtics could get him: Taylor is projected to be drafted in the late first round so the Celtics would likely have a shot at taking him. Given Boston’s focus on defense and how well Taylor’s offensive game might fit with a guard like Rondo, he is certainly an option.

Notes: Taylor’s father, Jeff Taylor, played briefly in the NBA for the Rockets and Pistons before playing professionally in Sweden, where he lives today and where Jeffery spent the first seven years of his life. Jeffery moved to New Mexico in 2006 to live with his grandmother and play high school basketball at his father’s alma mater in Hobbs.

Recent articles:

NBA.com: Vanderbilt’s Taylor fills out game, climbs up draft charts

Huffington Post: Vanderbilt junior’s amazing dunk against Georgia

Video: Here’s a mix of Taylor highlights.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Iowa State PF Royce White at 4:49 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.

Iowa State product Royce White is a power forward with guard-like quickness. (AP)

ROYCE WHITE

Position: Power forward

School: Iowa State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 261 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America honorable mention (AP), 2012 All-Big 12 first team, 2012 Big 12 All-Rookie team

Key 2011-12 stats: 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5 assists, 53.4 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 49.8 FT%

What he brings: White is a unique talent in this year’s draft. At 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, his size and strength make him an excellent rebounder. But White also maintains the quickness and ball-handling ability of a much smaller player, making him a matchup nightmare for many power forwards. Perhaps White’s most impressive skills however, are his court vision and passing ability. Asked to dominate the ball as a point forward at Iowa State, White was able to showcase his tremendous versatility, becoming the only Division 1 player to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals.

However, his shooting consistency has been questioned, even though he shot a respectable 53.4 percent from the field last season. He hit just 49.8 percent from the line.

Defensively, White struggles to switch quickly on the pick and roll and has trouble defending taller players in the post but he has both the quickness and the strength to improve in each.

Where the Celtics could get him: White is projected to go in the mid-to-late first round. A player as talented as White would certainly be worth a look if still available, particularly given his rebounding ability and athleticism.

Notes: The biggest drag on White’s draft value is a history of off-court issues. White suffers from an anxiety disorder, to which he attributes numerous incidents during his freshman year at the University of Minnesota. Those issues — including a guilty plea to theft and disorderly conduct and separate charges of trespassing in connection to an alleged theft of a laptop computer from a university dorm — led White to transfer to Iowa State in February 2010, forcing him to sit out all of 2010-11. As a redshirt sophomore he still had two remaining years of eligibility when he declared for the draft in March. While concerns over his past remain, he has certainly helped his stock recently, earning tremendous praise from scouts and GMs for his openness and maturity in pre-draft interviews.

Recent articles:

AP: Timberwolves work out homegrown star Royce White

Sports Illustrated: White looks to overcome anxiety concerns before NBA draft

NBA.com: Fear of flying could ground player’s chances for first round

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of White.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: UNC SF Harrison Barnes at 1:24 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.

After two standout seasons at North Carolina, forward Harrison Barnes has a bright NBA future. (AP)

HARRISON BARNES

Position: Small forward

School: North Carolina

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 228 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-ACC first team, 2012 All-America second team, 2011 ACC Rookie of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 17.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 29.2 minutes

What he brings: Barnes is an athletic 6-foot-8 small forward who has the range and accuracy to be effective with mid-range and 3-point shots at the NBA level. While he used to be an interior player in high school, he is projected to play the wing at the next level, and he is still learning the position. Barnes has the potential to be a go-to player at the NBA. He has been compared to the Pacers’ Danny Granger.

While his shooting ability is unquestioned, the main flaw for Barnes is the lack of an explosive first step. Barnes has the ability to make tough shots, but struggles to create easy shots for himself off the dribble. If he can improve his ball-handling and ability to attack the basket, Barnes could be a star in the league.

Where the Celtics could get him: Barnes is projected to land somewhere between picks 4-9, so the Celtics would need to create a big trade package if they have interest in him.

Notes: Barnes was a highly recruited prospect coming out of high school before attending North Carolina, winning the Morgan Wootten player of the year award in 2010. In the 2010 Jordan Classic, Barnes was named co-MVP with Kyrie Irving. Barnes could end up playing alongside Irving next season should the Cavaliers take Barnes at No. 4.

Recent articles:

CBS Sports: Cavaliers will not let Harrison Barnes slip past them

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Lottery hopeful Harrison Barnes wisely following in Kyrie Irving’s footsteps

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

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kansas PG Tyshawn Taylor at 9:15 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.

Tyshawn Taylor helped Kansas reach the NCAA championship game in 2012. (AP)

TYSHAWN TAYLOR

Position: Point guard

School: Kansas

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 177 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America third team (AP), 2012 All-Big 12 first team (media), 2012 Bob Cousy Award finalist

Key 2011-12 stats: 16.6 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 turnovers, 47.7 FG%, 38.2 3P%, 68.8 FT%

What he brings: Taylor has the size and athleticism to be successful at the NBA level but struggles with decision-making, ball-handling and hitting his outside shot with consistency.

Over four years at Kansas, Taylor steadily improved his perimeter shooting, but questions about his ability to run an offense and take care of the ball will hurt his draft stock, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, who writes, “If Taylor showed any consistency as a decision-maker running the Jayhawks, he’d go 20 to 30 spots higher in the draft.”

However, his athleticism, scoring ability and willingness to play hard suggest he’ll likely find a taker in the first round and could end up becoming a valuable scoring threat off the bench.

Defensively, Taylor shows the both the tools and toughness to successfully defend the point guard position at the NBA level.

Where the Celtics could get him: Taylor is projected to be drafted late in the first round, but given the emergence of Avery Bradley, it’s unlikely the C’s will be interested.

Notes: Taylor, who attended St. Anthony High School in New Jersey, appeared in the 2009 film “The Street Stops Here,” a documentary about renowned coach Bob Hurley. That same year, Taylor lead USA Basketball in points and assists on the way to winning the 2009 FIBA U-19 World Championship.

Recent Articles:

Slam Onelin: Q&A: Tyshawn Taylor, Thomas Robinson

Sporting News: Final Four 2012: KU point guard Tyshawn Taylor a Shakespearean character

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Taylor.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Baylor SF Quincy Miller at 6:25 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.

Quincy Miller enters the draft after one season at Baylor, in which he was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year. (AP)

QUINCY MILLER

Position: Small forward

School: Baylor

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 219 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Big 12 Freshman of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 10.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 44.7 FG%, 24.4 minutes

What he brings: Miller’s size and wingspan make him a perfect fit at the next level for his small forward position. He has shown a high awareness of his defenders, using quality ball-handling skills and great footwork to be deadly in the mid-range game. The 19-year-old also is a strong finisher down low, and he has shown a great competitive nature.

On defense Miller is below average and needs to add bulk to his frame in order to survive at the next level. He also isn’t a great 3-point shooter and has a low release on his shot. Miller tore his ACL in high school and has lost some explosiveness since that time.

Miller’s offensive potential is there, as he has shown creative ability to score. His size gives him major upside and he could be morphed into a dynamic scorer with some NBA coaching. Whereas he spent only one year in college, he might need a little more time to develop.

Where the Celtics could get him: Miller has been projected as a late-first-rounder, so the Celtics likely could grab him with their 21st or 22nd pick.

Notes: The 19-year-old suffered a season ending ACL injury in his senior year in high school. He was selected to the Jordan All-American Game and was ranked the fourth overall high school prospect by Scout.com. … Miller won gold with the U-18 Team USA at the FIBA Americas Championship in 2010.

Recent articles:

NBA.com: The right Quincy, the wrong Quincy

SI.com: Baylor’s Miller changes mind, declares for draft

Video: Here are highlights from Miller’s only season at Baylor.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Michigan State SF/PF Draymond Green 06.18.12 at 7:21 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.

Draymond Green averaged a double-double in his final season at Michigan State. (AP)

DRAYMOND GREEN

Position: Small forward/power forward

School: Michigan State

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 235 pounds

Achievements: 2012 NABC Player of the Year, 2012 All-America first team (AP, USBWA, Sporting News, NABC), 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year (coaches, media), 2010 Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 16.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 44.9 FG%, 33.2 minutes

What he brings: Green is a strong, long forward who loves to bang bodies in the paint and plays with great intensity. He can contribute in all areas but is a phenomenal rebounder because of his soft hands and relentless motor. The 22-year-old can stretch a defense with NBA 3-point range and a solid mid-range jumper. One of his most dangerous aspects is his great ability to pass out of the post. He is a bona fide leader with a high basketball IQ.

The Michigan State product is undersized for the NBA 4 position and is not athletic enough for the wing position. He doesn’t have a great upside and he doesn’t really wow you in any department other than rebounding. He also could afford to lose some weight.

Green is a great teammate and has major leadership skills. He should be a solid energy guy off the bench.

Where the Celtics could get him: With Green projected as a late-first-round pick, the Celtics are well in range to get him.

Notes: The senior was the only other player to receive a major national player of the year award aside from Kentucky’s Anthony Davis. … He is the Michigan State career leader in rebounds and is second to Magic Johnson in career double-doubles as a Spartan.

Recent articles:

Detroit Free Press: Draymond Green named Michigan State male athlete of the year

MLive.com: Draymond Green leans on Detroit Pistons’ Joe Dumars for advice on more than basketball

Video: Here are highlights of Green’s 34 points against Gonzaga on Dec. 10.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Bosnian SG/SF Nihad Djedovic at 4:44 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.

Bosnian Nihad Djedovic is back in the NBA draft after withdrawing last year. (Beobasket.net)

NIHAD DJEDOVIC

Position: Shooting guard/small forward

Team: Galatasaray (Turkey)

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 211 pounds

Achievements: Was on the 2009 FC Barcelona club that won the Spanish national championship

Key 2011-12 stats: 10.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 50.9 FG% with Galatasaray (Turkey); 11.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 54.7 FG% with Lottomatica (Italy)

What he brings: Djedovic is an aggressive player who can create turnovers and score from the paint and outside. Even so, he isn’t the most athletic player and can be inconsistent. His 3-point shooting isn’t the best — he converted 33.3 percent of his attempts with Galatasaray — and he converted 63.9 percent of his free throws, leaving room for improvement.

Djedovic might be better suited for the European game. He will find it harder to get free for his shot against more athletic NBA opponents, and his individual defense is suspect.

Where the Celtics could get him: Djedovic is projected to get drafted late in the second round by a team willing to wait a couple of years for him to be ready to make the jump from Europe.

Notes: Barcelona owns Djedovic’s rights and has loaned him to multiple teams, including Italy’s Lottomatica Roma, with whom Djedovic started the season before moving over to Galatasaray. Barcelona retains his rights for two more years. … He had declared for the 2011 NBA draft prior to withdrawing in June 2011. … His teenage brother, Nedim Djedovic, is a highly regarded prospect also under Barcelona’s control.

Video: Here are some highlights of Djedovic’s play for Galatasaray.

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