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Report: Josh Smith eyes Celtics as trade destination 06.21.11 at 9:00 am ET
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It’s splitsville for the Hawks and forward Josh Smith, or so Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski suggested on Tuesday, but could the 2010 NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection find happiness in Boston?

According to Wojnarowski, both Smith and his hometown Hawks may actually prefer the Celtics as a potential suitor for the 2005 slam dunk champ’s services …

Smith hasn’€™t requested a trade, but has privately told league friends that the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic are his preferred destinations should the Hawks decide to move him. …

Hawks GM Rick Sund has long coveted Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen — two aging Celtics entering the final years of contracts — but Celtics GM Danny Ainge has yet to show an inclination to break up his core for next season.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: San Diego State F Malcolm Thomas at 7:53 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Malcolm Thomas

Position: Forward

School: San Diego State

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 220 pounds

Stats: 11.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2 bpg

What he brings: At 220 pounds, Thomas is a little scrawny to be a pure power forward. Glen Davis is as tall as Thomas but outweighs him by nearly 80 pounds. Even the taller Kevin Garnett has a 40-pound advantage. But Thomas uses his lighter body and long arms to block shots with incredible effectiveness. His mobility makes him a very active presence in the paint, as he’s able to shoot and pass from the post, maneuver around defenders to the basket and rebound. He has the shooting form to develop a complementary jump shot, and on defense he can box out and move laterally.

Where the Celtics could get him: Second round

What they’€™re saying: “He’s long enough to play the 4. He can play in the high-post area, too. He can really pass it up there. He can put it on the floor from up there.” ‘€” Former San Diego State (now UNLV) assistant coach Justin Hutson

Notes: Thomas finished his senior year ranked second in rebounding, second in blocked shots, second in offensive rebounding, fourth in defensive rebounding and 16th in scoring in the Mountain West Conference.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Maryland F Jordan Williams 06.18.11 at 10:30 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Jordan Williams

Position: Forward

School: Maryland

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 247 pounds

Stats: 16.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg

What he brings: Williams is a hustle player with a wide frame. The Torrington, Conn., native is an exceptional rebounder, finishes well in transition, and always is the first on the floor for a loose ball.

His jumper needs work, but he has a good hands and a soft touch down low. If he can improve his conditioning, as well as his stroke, Williams could become an immediate contributor next season, especially if Glen Davis takes his talents elsewhere.

Where the Celtics could get him: First round

What they’re saying: ‘€œIn Jordan’€™s situation, I believe he needs another year. … There’€™s still things to do in terms of a jump shot, in terms of getting better athletically before you hit that next level. Because we all watch the NBA, and you see who’€™s playing out there. I mean, those guys are just some of the greatest athletes in the world.’€  ‘€” Recently retired Maryland coach Gary Williams

Notes: Williams adjusted his diet after his sophomore year. He used to eat a McDonald’s McGriddle every day before class, according to The Washington Post.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Providence SG Marshon Brooks 06.14.11 at 9:54 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Marshon Brooks

Position: Shooting Guard

Team: Providence

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 195 pounds

Stats: 24.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.5 apg

What he brings: Any comparison to Kobe Bryant — good or bad — will grab the attention of scouts from every NBA team. And the wiry Brooks has been linked to both sides of Bryant.

An elite scorer who can create his own shot, as evidenced by his 24.6 points per game (second only to BYU’s Jimmer Fredette in the country), the Atlanta native also attempted 17.8 shots a game. Not only has Brooks’ shot selection been questioned, but he’s also been equated to a black hole for the basketball (98 turnovers vs. 80 assists).

Still, his production and efficiency (48.3 FG%, 34.0 3PT FG%, 77.2 FT%) as a senior are undeniable, and the struggling Friars (15-17) required Brooks to shoot in order to contend in the Big East. Just take a look at the box score from Providence’s 94-93 loss to Notre Dame. He scored 52 points on 20-of-28 shooting.

Defensively, Brooks hasn’t played much man-to-man in the Providence system, but his ridiculous 7-foot-1 wingspan along with his per-game rebounding (7.0), steals (1.5) and blocks (1.2) numbers from the two-guard position offer evidence of his potential on that end.

Brooks prefers comparisons to Jamal Crawford over Bryant, and that’s probably a better best-case scenario for him. Considering the Celtics are expected to be among the rumored destinations for the Hawks free agent and 2010 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Brooks offers a cheaper alternative if the Celtics decide to go that route.

Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round.

What they’re saying: ‘€œI was very, very surprised. He’€™s an untamed talent. His size and ability to make shots will get him drafted. He’€™s crafty in his ability to create space for his game and with the right team he can help somebody in the league.’€ Attack Athletics (Chicago) trainer Mike Procopio, a transplanted Boston native whose current and former clients included Kobe BryantDwyane WadePaul Pierce and Kevin Durant among others

Notes: I’m always skeptical of guys in any sport whose stock rises — nay, soars — at draft combines, and Brooks certainly falls into that category, climbing all the way to No. 19 on ESPN’s latest Top 100 Draft Prospects chart. … I’m also wary of 22-year-old guys who blossomed late in college (14.2 points per game as a junior), and then never returned to school after Spring Break of his senior year despite needing only two classes to graduate. … Just think of the nickname possibility if the Celtics do draft Brooks: The Green Marshon!

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Wisconsin F Jon Leuer 06.13.11 at 11:56 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Jon Leuer

Position: Forward

School: Wisconsin

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 228 pounds

Stats: 18.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg

What he brings: Leuer possesses a potent inside-outside game. With a growing arsenal of post moves and a high basketball IQ, he rarely forces bad shots. He lacks the size and strength to get good position on the block at the NBA level but has developed a respectable perimeter shot.

Leuer also is a capable ball-handler. He may not be able to beat his defender to the rim on a consistent basis, but he’s more than capable of getting his man going backward and taking the pull-up jumper. Leuer also has range that extends beyond the 3-point line.

His slender build and mediocre athleticism also presents a defensive liability. Leuer needs to become more explosive to hold his own against the elite forwards in the league and has shown improvement in his pro workouts, according to scouts.

Where the Celtics could get him: Second round

What they’re saying: “He is an extraordinarily skilled guy for a guy his size, particularly on the perimeter. He handles it, goes to the basket strong and certainly shoots it with range. … This is a guy who has shown time and time again he knows how to score. And he knows also how to be able to play some defense on the perimeter despite being 6-10. … I think he’s got some skill and I think he is worth a strong look in the first round.”  ‘€” College analyst Len Elmore

Notes: Leuer started playing basketball in high school as a point guard, according to the Wisconsin athletics website. He has a workout scheduled with the Celtics on June 1.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Notre Dame G Ben Hansbrough at 11:04 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Ben Hansbrough

Position: Guard

School: Notre Dame

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 203 pounds

Stats: 18.4 ppg, 4.3 apg, 3.9 rpg

What he brings: The Celtics lacked a true scoring threat off their bench this year, with both Delonte West and Glen Davis (and Nate Robinson, before the trade) flashing brilliance but never achieving consistency. Hansbrough has the potential to give the Celtics that threat. He’€™s a quick guard who can spin and slash his way through the lane, and he also can catch and shoot the jumper. He’€™s unafraid to shoot 3-pointers, which makes him very hard to guard on offense. His defense is nothing special, but he works incredibly hard, something that will help him get along with players like Ray Allen, who he would most likely back up. He’€™s a confident shooter who’€™s been forged in the crucible of Big East basketball.

Where the Celtics could get him: Second round

What they’€™re saying: “He’s obviously a good shooter, scorer and passer, but it’s his will to win that sets him apart. Some guys have great stats and put up a lot of points; Ben has great stats, but his impact goes far beyond that. He’s a flat-out winner. When you’re being led by someone who has a will like that, it’s very contagious.’€ ‘€” Notre Dame teammate Joey Brooks

Notes: Hansbrough’s brother Tyler was a three-time All-American at North Carolina and now is with the Pacers. His mother, Tami Wheat, was named Miss Missouri 1978. His uncle Sean Fister won the world long drive championship in golf three times.

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Impromptu Irish Coffee: Celtics awesome at high-fiving 06.10.11 at 9:59 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

With only Northeastern product J.J. Barea‘s role in the demise of the Heat left for Boston NBA fans to root for, I’m not sure the news that the Celtics were the best team in the league at touching each other is any consolation.

But a recent study by researchers at the University of California indicated that the C’s are not only among the league’s elite in skill but also in chemistry, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The study analyzed the number of times NBA teammates touched each other, and the Celtics are some of the best high-fivers in the league.

After reviewing broadcasts of games from the 2008-09 season, they concluded that good teams tend to be much more hands-on than bad ones. Teams whose players touched the most often were more cooperative, played better and won more games, they said.

While there’s no evidence that an NBA team can touch its way to victory, the two touchiest teams in the study, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, finished the season with two of the NBA’s top three records.

So, where do they hang the banner: 2008-09 NBA Touchy-Feely Champions? Or is it a trophy of two players in a James Posey-Paul Pierce-like embrace? Does this make Brian Scalabrine Hall of Fame eligible as one of the great high-fivers in league history? So many questions.

And obviously Danny Ainge cost the Celtics another high-five title by trading Kendrick Perkins.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Jeff Green, nenad krstic
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