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ESPN’s Jeff Goodman: Buddy Hield can ‘help [Celtics] the most immediately’ 06.20.16 at 12:05 pm ET
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Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

ESPN basketball insider Jeff Goodman joined Rob Bradford and Mike Giardi Sunday morning to discuss the NBA draft and who he thinks the Celtics will take with the third overall pick in this week’s draft. To hear the full interview, go to the WEEI audio on demand page.

With the NBA draft only a few days away, there remains some uncertainty with who the Celtics will select with the No.3 pick, assuming LSU forward Ben Simmons and Duke big man Brandon Ingram are the first two players selected.

“I talked to Danny [Ainge] a week or so ago, and it was interesting because he said one of the fun things for him was to sit back and watch all the people on the Celtics organization talk about who they like [with the third pick],” Goodman said. “He just kind of sat back and listened and didn’t weigh in. He probably has by now, when they started some serious conversations about who they wanted, but he would just listen and each guy would kind of go for a different player. There really are five or six guys they’re going to look at.”

When asked who he thought the Celtics would take, Goodman gave the same answer he gave on the show a month ago: 22-year-old Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield. The shooting guard led the nation in scoring last season with 25 points per game and won the Wooden Award after leading the Sooners to an appearance in the Final Four.

“I hope that’s who they take, because I do think he can help them the most and certainly help them the most immediately,” Goodman said. “The one thing that you question with Buddy is he’s older, so some people use that against him. To me, it’s like ‘alright, but he’s proven it.’ He’s gotten better, he’s athletic, he can shoot it, he’s a high character kid. … I would say, gun to my head, I’ll go Buddy, because nobody else has them picking Buddy, and I know Danny well enough to know he spins everybody. So when I see that, I think to myself, alright, I’ll go Buddy or [Providence point guard] Kris Dunn.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

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Read More: 2016 NBA draft, Buddy Hield, Danny Ainge, Jaylen Brown
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman: ‘I would go with Buddy Hield’ with Celtics’ No. 3 pick 05.23.16 at 9:09 am ET
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Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

ESPN basketball insider Jeff Goodman checked in with WEEI’s Rob Bradford and Mike Giardi this past weekend to talk about the Celtics’ draft options and what president of basketball operations Danny Ainge should do going forward. To hear the interview, go to the WEEI audio on demand page.

During his time on the show, Goodman provided brief scouting reports on the top players available in this year’s NBA draft. The Celtics have a whopping eight picks this year, including the third overall pick. Goodman said he was unsure of whom Ainge will select with the No. 3 pick, but he offered his best guess.

“Gun to my head, if it stays the way it is, I think he goes with Buddy Hield or Jamal Murray, one of those two. I would go with Buddy Hield,” Goodman said. “I’m not overly objective about Buddy Hield, I’ve spent a ton of time with him, I went down to the Bahamas and spent some time with his family before the Final Four. I just love the kid’s work ethic, I love how he’s developed at Oklahoma in four years, I love how he can really shoot the basketball, and now he can score off the bounce, and those are two things the Celtics need desperately. I think his upside is high because of how much he’s gotten better. He can help the Celtics now because he is 22 years old. He is high character. Lon Kruger, the Oklahoma head coach, told me multiple times [that] he’s the hardest worker he’s ever had in his career, and Lon’s been doing this for 35 years.

Added Goodman: “So those are the two guys that fit the most. Jamal Murray, the freshman at Kentucky who’s very good but not a great athlete, a really good shooter, a combo guard from Canada, had a great year this year. The X factor in all of this is, can you trade the pick?”

When asked about possible trade scenarios for Boston, Goodman was not in favor of Ainge trading up for the presumptive No. 2 pick, Duke power forward Brandon Ingram.

“I wouldn’t do it,” Goodman said. “I love Brandon Ingram, but what you’d have to give up to go from three to two is not worth it, it’s not worth giving up a ton, and I’m not even sure the Lakers would do it. To me, Brandon Ingram fits what the Lakers need desperately. They can play small-ball with him, he played the four this year at Duke. It’s just not going to happen.”

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Read More: Buddy Hield, Jeff Goodman,
Jeff Goodman on MFB: Terry Rozier ‘the wrong pick’ 06.26.15 at 3:20 pm ET
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Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

ESPN basketball insider Jeff Goodman appeared on Middays with MFB on Friday to talk about the Celtics and the rest of the NBA draft. To listen to the interview, visit the MFB audio on demand page.
Goodman was highly critical of the Celtics‘ selection of Terry Rozier with the 16th pick of the draft. Goodman acknowledged that general manager Danny Ainge tried to move up to a higher pick, but Goodman was disappointed with the choice of Rozier when those efforts did not prove fruitful.

“I really like Terry Rozier at 16, but not for the Celtics. I think it was just the wrong pick,” Goodman said. “I’m usually a big fan of Ainge and how he drafts. Not a great shooter. My take is they’ve already got mediocre-shooting perimeter guys. Combo guards, they’ve got plenty of them. Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and now you add Terry Rozier to the mix.”

As a result of this apparent logjam at the guard position, it seems likely that more roster moves are on the horizon. According to Goodman, the Celtics are looking to trade guards but have found that the current Celtics may not have much value.

“I don’t know if they have enough value that you can move Avery Bradley or Marcus Smart right now. I think they’re trying,” he said. “From what teams have told me, Marcus Smart is on the block, but he doesn’t have quite enough value, so it’s going to be interesting to see if Ainge does make a move.”
Goodman said that, given the players still on the board at 16, the Celtics should have taken Wisconsin swingman Sam Dekker.

“I think Dekker was the best talent and he fit the best need at that point. He’s a 6-foot-9 3-man who’s pretty athletic and showed last year in the NCAA tournament, he might have been the best player up until the national title game. … just feel like Dekker was worth the risk, his upside is higher,” Goodman said.

On the whole, the Celtics didn’t do much to better themselves on draft night, according to Goodman.

“I just don’t know how much the Celtics helped themselves right now. I think Danny Ainge is probably frustrated because he felt like they had an opportunity to do so. … Terry Rozier, today, can’t beat out Avery Bradley or Marcus Smart,” he said.

The Celtics also owned the 28th pick in the draft. They used it to select Georgia State shooting guard R.J. Hunter, who hit one of the most memorable shots of this year’s NCAA tournament. Goodman was more impressed with the Celtics’ second selection, despite the fact that Hunter, scouted to be a great shooter, made only 30.5 percent of his 3-point attempts last season.

“I know the numbers don’t necessarily make him look like he’s a knockdown shooter, but he really is. He’s probably the third- or fourth-best shooter that came out of this draft, maybe even better. I like R.J. a lot. .. . I think he can help. He can help because he gives you something you really don’t have, which is a perimeter shooter,” Goodman said.

Despite the dissatisfaction with the front office’s draft performance, Goodman remains optimistic that the Celtics can improve later in the offseason, either via trade or free agency.

“I haven’t given up on this offseason,” he said. “Danny Ainge is still one of the better guys in terms of making deals out there. He’s active, he’s smart.”

Read More: Jeff Goodman, R.J. Hunter, Terry Rozier,
Jeff Goodman on D&C: ‘Dallas is the ideal fit for Rondo to succeed’ 12.19.14 at 11:34 am ET
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Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

ESPN basketball analyst Jeff Goodman joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to discuss the Rajon Rondo trade to the Mavericks and the state of the Celtics. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The C’s have faced some early criticism for the deal, with critics saying the return for Rondo was not all that great. Goodman said the Celtics got a decent value back in the trade.

“You got a first-round pick, you got a good, young player in Brandan Wright, who I think has a chance to be a 14 [points] and seven [rebounds] guy if he plays 20, 30 minutes a game,” Goodman said. “But people forget also, they’re saying, ‘Well, you should’ve traded him early, you should’ve traded him earlier.’ He did get hurt, it’s not like his trade value was so high. He was out, he didn’t play a full season. Last year when he came back he was playing every other game. You really didn’t have the chance to trade him until this year when you tried to boost his trade value as high as you possibly could.”

Rondo adds to a team that already has Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons. Goodman said the point guard is a much better fit for Dallas.

“I’m not a Rondo guy for this franchise, meaning the Celtics, once [Kevin Garnett], Ray Allen and Paul Pierce left,” Goodman said. “I think in Dallas, in a fairly strong locker room, Rick Carlise’s gotten a little bit easier to deal with than he was back in the day. But you’ve got Dirk. You’ve got some veterans there, Tyson Chandler, who I think can handle him. And all he’s got to be is that third, fourth, even fifth guy, option on the floor. He can’t be your first, second option. He can’t be your leader. And he was forced to kind of be both in Boston. And Dallas is the ideal fit for Rondo to succeed.”

The hosts wondered if Rondo had any issues with coach Brad Stevens or the front office that might have led to the trade. Goodman said it came down to wins and losses for Rondo.

Brad Stevens is the easiest guy to deal with you’ll ever meet in your life. If you can’t get along with Brad Stevens, you have so many issues,” Goodman said. “Did I hear that Brad loved him? No. But he dealt with him. Rondo bought in as much as Rondo could possibly buy in, partially because Rondo knew the endgame here. If he didn’t buy in, he was going to be here long term, and he wanted to go somewhere he could win because he was used to it. He didn’t want to be here. Yeah, $20 million would’ve been nice to stay here. But I think for Rondo, he’s a different dude, he just beats to a different tune. I think a lot guys say it, the money isn’t as important, I think Rondo would’ve been one of those guys that would’ve taken less money to go elsewhere to win than to stay in Boston and keep losing games.”

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Read More: Brad Stevens, Jeff Goodman, Jeff Green, Rajon Rondo
Jeff Goodman on MFB: ‘I don’t know if Boston takes [Joel Embiid] if he slips to No. 6’ 06.20.14 at 2:20 pm ET
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ESPN basketball reporter Jeff Goodman joined Middays with MFB to talk about the NBA draft. To hear the interview, go to the MFB udio on demand page.

Goodman reported Thursday that Kansas center Joel Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his foot, an injury that could drop him from the top three to anywhere in the top 10 in next Thursday’s draft. Embiid could be available to the Celtics at No. 6, but Goodman said he wouldn’t be surprised if the C’s passed him up.

“I don’t know if Boston takes him if he slips to No. 6,” Goodman said. “He’s got the back issues, which is a concern, and now he’s got the foot issue that could put him on the shelf for the entire season this year. It would be tough for teams to take a shot on him because frankly if you’re a GM and you do that you get crucified if this guy isn’t able to play and be healthy throughout the early part of his NBA career.”

Added Goodman: “This is a big guy who weighed in at 270 pounds last I was told at a workout. A foot injury is significant. Listen, Yao Ming‘s career ended with a foot injury, a similar injury, and big guys are troublesome. In conjunction with the back issues, which is something that’s going to need to be certainly watched throughout his career, I just think it’s too much in a draft that is pretty good at the top.”

Goodman said if he were Celtics general manager Danny Ainge he would not take his chances with Embiid given his injury risk and the strength of the draft.

“If No. 6 were last year I would probably do it,” Goodman said. “No. 6 this year is going to be a good player. Not a franchise player, but if you evaluate correctly, the No. 6 pick could be a good No. 2 guy on your team. I think you take that and run with it if you’re confident in that player.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Jeff Goodman, Joel Embiid, Middays with MFB,
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