|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Missouri G Marcus Denmon||06.15.12 at 12:28 pm ET|
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.
Position: Shooting guard
Weight: 188 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-America second team (AP, Sporting News, USBWA, NABC), 2012 All-Big 12 first team, 2011 All-Big 12 first team, 2011 NABC All-District, 2011 USBWA All-District, 2010 Big 12 All-Reserve Team (media)
Key 2011-12 stats: 17.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 40.7 3P%, 89.6 FT%
What he brings: Denmon is not only a high-volume scorer — evident from leading Missouri in scoring last season and the team to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament — but he is extremely efficient in doing so. He made 40.7 percent of his 3-point attempts and was an efficient 89.6 at the free throw line, but also turned the ball over only 9 percent of his possessions, a mark further impressive due to the fact that he was Missouri’s No. 1 scoring option and had the ball in his hands most of the time.
There will be questions at the NBA level of his role in offenses. While he displays the ability to score at will from the perimeter, Denmon’s limited ball-handling skills and small size will deter him from taking his man off the dribble and creating his own shot. Still, Denmon showed that he has the will to change that and be more of an aggressive, two-dimensional player during his senior season, which should be pleasing to NBA scouts.
Denmon also has a bit of an identity crisis at the NBA level in figuring out what position he will play. He didn’t play point guard in college and is considered too small to play shooting guard in the NBA. He has enough quickness and athleticism to keep up with guards at the next level, but it’s questionable whether or not he has the size and strength to be able to guard NBA shooting guards.
With speculation of Ray Allen leaving the Celtics in free agency, Boston might be in drastic need of a knockdown 3-point shooter, which is a role that Denmon could fill.
Where the Celtics could get him: Draft experts are split on Denmon. Some predict he’ll go late in the first round, while others see him as a second-rounder or as someone who won’t get drafted at all.
Notes: Denmon participated in the 2012 State Farm College 3-point contest in March and fell in the semifinals of the competition. … Denmon’s uncle, Martinez Denmon, who helped teach Marcus the game, was a third-round draft pick (52nd overall) of the Celtics in 1973 out of Iowa State. He never played in the NBA.
Video: Here’s a clip of Denmon scoring nine points — including the game-winning 3-pointer — in a span of 70 seconds to spark a comeback win over Kansas on Feb. 12. Denmon finished the game with 29 points and hit 6-of-9 treys.
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