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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Arizona F Aaron Gordon 05.27.14 at 9:00 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.

AARON GORDON

Position: Forward
School: Arizona
Age: 18
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 220 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot

Key 2013-14 stats: 12.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 35.6 3P%, 42.2 FT%

Scouting report: While 18-year-olds usually don’€™t come to the NBA ready to defend at a high level, Aaron Gordon could be the exception. He is one of the best athletes in the draft, possessing outstanding lateral quickness and length, which will allow him to defend at least three positions. But it’€™s his off-ball awareness that puts him in proper positioning when it comes to rotations and weakside help. This versatility and reliability gives him the defensive potential of a Shawn Marion, Gerald Wallace or even Andrei Kirilenko.

Gordon’€™s abominable free throw percentage will get a lot of press, as it should; he was terrible from the line, shooting only 42.2 percent. But his form isn’t that bad, and a player with his work ethic should be able to fix it by the time his rookie contract is over.

Other than that, the 6-foot-9 forward brings fantastic offensive tools to the pros. He’€™s exceptional at moving off-ball, often finding his way to the rim as a result of dive cuts, transition and screens. Gordon appears to have a great sense of spacing, which also helps him with the ball in his hands; he’€™s a very good ball handler and passer, which gives him potential as a pick-and-roll playmaker. Of course, Gordon must develop his shot, but his 35.6 3-point percentage, solid mechanics and youth give him great upside.

How he fits: Gordon could very well be the steal of the draft if he develops a reliable shot. The C’s could really use a “do-it-all” player at the wing, and Gordon may be the best option for them at the sixth pick.

Related articles:

CelticsBlog: Six options at the sixth pick for Boston

CBS Sports: Aaron Gordon’s stellar upside

Video: Here is a video of  Gordon’€™s top 10 plays this season.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.)

Read More: 2014 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Aaron Gordon, Boston Celtics, NBA
NBA draft’s Potential Celtics: Serbia G Bogdan Bogdanovic 05.26.14 at 9:00 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.

BOGDAN BOGDANOVIC

Position: Guard
Country: Serbia
Age: 21
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 200 pounds
Wingspan: 6-foot-11

Key 2013-14 stats (Euroleague): 14.8 points, 3.7 assists, 37.0 3P%

Scouting report: Don’€™t be fooled by his redundant name, because Bogdan Bogdanovic brings a unique set of skills that make him attractive to NBA teams. Most notable of all is his deep 3-point range. The 6-foot-6 Serbian is able to shoot well as a spot-up threat, and he’€™s even more of a threat off the dribble. He has fantastic footwork and gets his shots off cleanly due to his long 83-inch wingspan.

Bogdanovic played point guard for Partizan Belgrade, so he has years of experience making plays for others. Though he projects as a 2-guard in the NBA, his proficiency will likely translate to success as a secondary pick-and-roll ball handler. When you factor in his shooting stroke, Bogdanovic projects as a true half-court threat whether he has the ball in his hands or not.

However, Bogdanovic can be a bit sloppy with the ball and has made some bad passing and shooting decisions. Some of the poor shot choices may have been by design, since he was arguably Partizan’€™s best player, but it will be important for teams to assess his psychological profile in order to find out if these decisions were as a result of his team environment or his own personality.

Because Bogdanovic has a long wingspan, he will be able to effectively defend many NBA wings. But he must improve his lateral quickness and his defensive intensity if he wants to take his two-way game to the next level. Overall, Bogdanovic is a quality player who will likely find success in the NBA as a contributing scorer with occasional high-output performances.

How he fits: Knockdown 3-point shooting comes at a premium in the NBA, and Bogdanovic’s shooting stroke would give the Celtics a valuable scorer that can play both guard positions. Bogdanovic could likely be selected if Boston decided to trade for an additional late first-round draft pick.

Related articles:

CelticsBlog: Adriatic League final four analysis

EP: Bogdan Bogdanovic on the way to being a PG

Video: Here is a highlight reel of Bogdanovic scoring 27 points against CSKA Moscow.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.)

Read More: 2014 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Boston Celtics, NBA
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Michigan St. PF Adreian Payne 05.23.14 at 9:00 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.

ADREIAN PAYNE

Position: Power forward
School: Michigan State
Age: 23
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 239 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot-4

Key 2013-14 stats: 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 42.3 3P%

Scouting report: Almost every NBA team can use a near 7-footer that hustles, plays with grit, and can shoot 3-pointers at an efficient rate.  Payne brings all of these traits and then some. The fourth-year big man from Michigan State has outstanding shooting mechanics, as he frequently utilizes “the hop” to get his perimeter attempts off quickly.

Because of his athleticism, Payne is also a terrific finisher at the basket (68 percent, according to Hoop-Math). He plays above the rim and is able to get there either via dive cuts, post-ups or alley-oops. This explosiveness will certainly translate to the pros, since more open-court opportunities will be available.

On the other hand, there are some alarming warts that likely will prevent Payne from reaching his true potential. He has smaller than average-sized lungs, which means he can’€™t play for extended periods of time. At Michigan State, Tom Izzo had to manipulate Payne’€™s minutes to allow him to be the most effective he could be, but there are legitimate questions about his ability to sustain productivity over an 82-game season.

Payne also suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Even though Payne is a high-character individual, his on-court decisions make coaches (and fans) shake their heads at times. He misses defensive rotations and had a poor 0.65 assist-to-turnover ratio, illustrating his decision-making difficulty.

Still, Payne brings enough transferable skills to the NBA and deserves consideration as a mid- to late-first-round pick. Even if he’€™s a guy who can only play 20 minutes per game, it’€™s close to a guarantee that he’ll be productive during his time on the court.

How he fits: Brad Stevens likes to stretch the floor with all of his big men, and Payne fits that mold to perfection. He brings exceptional mechanics from both mid- and 3-point range, and could immediately slide into the rotation considering his experience.

Related articles:

ESPN Insider: Payne dealing with mono

Sporting News: Payne sharing Senior Night with Lacey Holsworth beyond special

Video: Here is a video of all 41 of Payne’€™s points against Delaware.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.)

Read More: 2014 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Adrian Autry, Boston Celtics, NBA
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: UCLA SG Jordan Adams 05.22.14 at 9:11 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.

JORDAN ADAMS

Position: Shooting guard
School: UCLA
Age: 19
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 209
Wingspan: 6-foot-10

Key 2013-14 stats: 17.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 54.5 eFG%

Scouting report: Advanced analytics draft models love Adams because he efficiently (28.3 PER, 60.3 TS%, 54.5% eFG%) fills up the box score with points (17.4), rebounds (5.3), steals (2.6) and assists (2.3). Adams just always seems to be around the ball, as he has exceptional instincts and, of course, actual basketball skills.

Adams might not be a star in the pros like he was at UCLA, but he’€™s a sure bet to at least be a contributing player. He’€™s a terrific shooter (35.6 3P%), but it’€™s how he gets his shots that counts most. He is incredible at hugging close to off-ball screens and creating space before he receives the pass, which is likely something he will do at some point in the NBA. But he also has fantastic mechanics when spotting up or off the dribble., which are two necessary attributes for any great shooter.

Adams also brings great man-to-man and team defense. Though his lateral quickness and athleticism won’€™t wow anyone, he knows how to stay in position and use his long 82-inch wingspan to disturb ball-handlers and get in the way of the passing lanes.

For a player with very few warts, it’€™s surprising that Adams isn’t a consensus lottery pick, but he lacks the elite upside of many prospects, which certainly stifles his ceiling as a pro. Not every star player in the league has freakish measurables, but it’€™s difficult for a 6-foot-5 guard with only average speed and athleticism to be any more than a “plus role player.” But there’€™s nothing wrong with that, because every championship team needs players like that.

How he fits: At the 17th pick, the Celtics may prefer to choose the best player available, and Adams certainly could be the one. With versatile scoring skills and quality defense, Adams filled up the box score at UCLA and could do the same in the NBA.

Related articles:

Los Angeles Times: UCLA guard Jordan Adams’ family goes the extra mile

Sports Illustrated: Jordan Adams changes mind and enters NBA draft

Video: Here is a video of Jordan Adams scoring 21 points against Nevada.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.)

Read More: 2014 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Boston Celtics, Jordan Adams, NBA
NBA draft lottery: Celtics receive 6th pick 05.20.14 at 8:40 pm ET
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Even Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca‘s lucky Rooster of Barcelos couldn’t help the team’s string of tough lottery luck, as the C’s landed the pick they were most likely to receive — sixth overall. As a result, any hope of selecting Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid flew the coop.

After losing the coin flip to the Jazz, the Celtics had a 34.2 percent chance at the sixth pick — by far the most likely scenario — and a 33.4 percent shot at the top three. The odds seem to be forever not in their favor.

“We were all disappointed, but at the same time, we were prepared for this,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “We knew that this was a strong possibility. It’€™s a momentary disappointment. You hope to get the lucky ball, but now we have some clarity and some marching orders.”

Meanwhile, in the biggest surprise of the evening, the Cavaliers received the No. 1 overall pick for the third time in the past four years. Cleveland had a 1.7 percent chance of picking first again.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Milwaukee Bucks
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Orlando Magic
5. Utah Jazz
6. Boston Celtics
7. Los Angeles Lakers
8. Sacramento Kings
9. Charlotte Hornets
10. Philadelphia 76ers
11. Denver Nuggets
12. Orlando Magic
13. Minnesota Timberwolves
14. Phoenix Suns

Read More: Boston Celtics, NBA,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Duke SF Jabari Parker at 9:00 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.

JABARI PARKER

Position: Small forward
School: Duke
Age: 19
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 240 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot-0

Key 2013-14 stats: 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.1 steals

Scouting report: Parker brings one of the most complete and NBA-ready skill sets to the draft. With close, mid and deep scoring proficiencies, Parker’€™s versatility will help him during his adjustment to the pro game.

If anything, Parker’€™s skills are better suited for the NBA than they were the college game. In college, the clogged lane didn’t allow for him to utilize his fantastic ball-handling abilities to drive from the wing to the basket. Instead, most of Parker’€™s at-basket opportunities came as a result of his ferociousness when attacking the offensive boards.

Like most 19-year-olds, the 6-foot-8 forward experienced his inconsistencies shooting the ball. But Parker’€™s ability to hit shots both off the dribble and spotting up will be valuable. Additionally, it’€™s his ability to hit off-balance shots that separate him from many of the other forwards, not just in the draft but also in the entire NBA.

Parker will have his issues as a man-to-man defender due to his average lateral quickness, but he is a solid team defender and has a knack for blocking shots from the weak side. There’s also a chance that Parker’s individual defense will improve once he shreds his baby fat and turns it into pure muscle, which could happen if he is drafted into the proper environment.

Parker arguably has the highest upside of any player in this draft because of his scoring prowess. He also seems like a high character individual and a potential leader. This added personality bonus is only the cherry on top for a player who has all the physical tools to be an All-Star caliber player.

How he fits: Go-to scorers are hard to come by, and Parker could possibly fill that void. He has inside and outside scoring potential, and the perfect attitude for the job. If the Celtics are fortunate enough to have their choice, Parker might be their man.

Related articles:

Dean On Draft: Is he the next Melo fellow?

Sports Illustrated: Jabari Parker writes about decision to leave Duke

Video: Here is a video of Parker’€™s amazing life story.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.)

Read More: 2014 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Boston Celtics, Jabari Parker, NBA
Irish Coffee: Valuing Celtics lottery trade potential at 2:40 am ET
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As the Celtics await their NBA lottery fate Tuesday, when Danny Ainge learns his reward for watching this past abysmal season, let’€™s keep in mind the potential trade value of a pick that could range anywhere from 1-8.

If Ainge hopes to land Kevin Love or make another draft-day trade, using this lottery bait, he must™ weigh the relative merits of keeping or trading the pick. A look back at deals involving top-eight selections over the last decade offers some insight into a) the level of talent each pick fetches in return, and b) who actually wins these trades.

2013

6. Nerlens Noel, 76ers

On draft day, Philadelphia surprisingly sent All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday and the No. 42 pick (Pierre Jackson) to the Pelicans for the right to draft Noel and a protected 2014 first-round selection. The winner of this trade remains to be seen. Still, if Holiday landed a top-six pick, what’€™s Rajon Rondo worth? A top-three pick?

2012

6. Damian Lillard, Blazers

In possibly the decade’€™s worst trade, the Nets exchanged this lottery pick, Mehmet Okur and Shawne Williams for Portland’€™s Gerald Wallace at the trade deadline. Just a hunch, but I’m guessing the Celtics would have no such luck dealing Wallace for Julius Randle come draft night.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love
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