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Report: Nets to take Favors at No. 3 06.24.10 at 10:29 am ET
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According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, the Nets plan to select Georgia Tech freshman power forward Derrick Favors over Syracuse small forward Wesley Johnson with the third pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft. The story indicated the Nets want to make sure they have a frontcourt presence and consider Favors a more tradeable asset.

The top two picks are expected to be Kentucky’s John Wall (Wizards) and Ohio State’s Evan Turner (76ers).

Read More: Derrick Favors, NBA Draft, Wesley Johnson,
Report: C’s offer Perkins for pick at 7:05 am ET
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According to a report at AOL FanHouse, the Celtics have offered center Kendrick Perkins and their No. 19 draft pick to teams with high lottery picks leading up to Thursday night’s NBA draft. Perkins, who has an expiring contract worth $4.4 million next season, is preparing for surgery after tearing his medial collateral ligament and partially tearing his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Game 6 of the NBA finals vs. the Lakers.

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, NBA Draft,
The 19th pick in the NBA draft 06.23.10 at 8:11 am ET
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On Thursday, the Celtics will put the past behind them and look to the future with the NBA draft in New York City. The C’€™s are going to have plenty of gaps to fill, with the possibility of Rasheed Wallace retiring, the future of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in question, and other players, namely Nate Robinson and Tony Allen, becoming free agents.

The Celtics have one pick in the first round of this year’€™s draft, just beyond the halfway point, at 19. A pick at that number typically is not somebody a team can build around, but a pick that can be a role player or a deal-maker in trades. A role player would be just what the Celtics would need.

Looking over the past picks at No. 19, a few names stick out. There’€™s Hakim Warrick from 2005, Zach Randolph from 2001, Jamaal Magloire from 2000, Scot Pollard from 1997, Rod Strickland from 1988 and John Paxson in 1983. Boston has had the 19th pick twice in the past 15 years: 1993 (Acie Earl) and 1990 (Dee Brown). The Celtics also got 1996′€™s No. 19, Walter McCarty, a year after his rookie season. Back before the NBA-ABA merger, the 19th pick was in the second round, but there were significant picks, like Jerry Sloan in 1964 and the list’€™s lone Hall of Fame No. 19, Nate Archibald in 1970.

Here’€™s a list of the No. 19 picks in the past 25 NBA drafts.

2009 ‘€“ Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
2009-present: 71 games, 228 points, 122 assists, 67 rebounds, 39.6% FG

2008 ‘€“ Cleveland Cavaliers: J.J. Hickson, NC State
2008-present: 143 games, 934 points, 49 assists, 565 rebounds, 54.3% FG

2007 ‘€“ Los Angeles Lakers: Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech
2007-2009: 113 games, 595 points, 201 assists, 276 rebounds, 44.2% FG Read the rest of this entry »

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Celtics draft prospects 06.22.10 at 3:51 pm ET
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The revamping, or possibly the rebuilding, of the Celtics begins Thursday night with the NBA Draft. The C’s still have a number of unanswered questions heading into the offseason, but they do stand to select a player who can contribute next year.

This year’s draft is top-heavy with two sure things: John Wall and Evan Turner. After that the next five picks figure to be (in some order): Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins, Wesley Johnson, Greg Monroe and Al-Farouq Aminu.

That’s where the draft begins to take on an unexpected flavor. There doesn’t appear to be much separation among the next 20 or so prospects, which could lead to a wild night of trades if teams have zeroed in on a specific player.

If the Celtics stay at 19 they are likely to be looking at either NBA-ready wing players or developing big men. While not perfect, Danny Ainge has a strong track record of drafting both types of players. He hit on numerous second-round picks such as Ryan Gomes, Leon Powe and Glen Davis and he also drafted solid role players late in the first round in Delonte West and Tony Allen.

Ainge also tabbed Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson out of high school. The misses tended to be on projection players like Gerald Green.

His biggest hit was acquiring a first round pick from Phoenix to draft Rajon Rondo and there may also be the chance to draft a another point guard if either Avery Bradley or Eric Bledose falls to them.

This is an important draft for the Celtics. If they bring their core back for another run the draft can add some needed youth. If circumstances force them to adapt their plan, getting a player to grow with Rondo would be an important step.The 19th pick is no sure thing, see below, but based on the scouting reports and mock drafts they should be able to get someone who can be useful in whatever direction they wind up taking.

LAST FIVE PICKS AT 19

2009: Jeff Teague, Atlanta

2008: JJ Hickson, Cleveland

2007: Javaris Crittenton, Lakers

2006: Quincy Douby, Sacramento

2005: Hakim Warrick, Memphis

Here’s a look at some of the players that may be available: Read the rest of this entry »

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NBA draft: What they’re saying about C’s pick at 1:53 pm ET
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If we didn’€™t know what needs the Celtics had to fill in the NBA draft before the playoffs, we sure do now. A disappointing loss in Game 7 of the NBA finals gave us more than heartbreak, it also gave us an idea of what Boston could target on Thursday night when the nation gets introduced to the next wave of young talent.

Two needs seem to stand out. One is a big man who can provide rebounding and toughness in the paint. With an aging Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace, this is something the Celtics had to address in the offseason regardless. However, after the news of Wallace considering retirement and Kendrick Perkins suffering a severe knee injury, it’€™s even more necessary.

The second need, in some part due to the possibility of Ray Allen not returning, is a scoring shooting guard or small forward. Even with all the weapons Boston had this season, it struggled at times on offense, especially with the second unit. Retooling the bench with another scorer or replacing Allen, whether he leaves or not, is at the top of the list.

Looking around the web, there is a wide variety of opinions on whom the Celtics could select at No. 19 in the first round. The general theme though, is that Boston is going to pick either a big man or scorer. Florida State center Solomon Alabi is a player many prognosticators have pegged to be taken by Boston.

My NBA Draft and Hoops World predict Alabi will be slotted at No. 19 to give the Celtics the length they’€™re looking for. Alabi has excellent size and potential but is very raw on the offensive end of the floor. Defensively, he’€™ll be a presence in the post as witnessed by his 2.3 blocks per game as a sophomore. In terms of rebounding, which Boston will look for, Alabi pulled down a lackluster 6.2 boards and needs to improve in that area. Hoops Hype also has the Celtics selecting Alabi, whom they compare to the Grizzlies‘€™ Hasheem Thabeet.

NBADraft.net and Drafttek both have Boston grabbing Oklahoma State star James Anderson. The shooting guard has good size and a strong frame, making him an offensive threat from nearly every area on the court. Anderson’€™s shooting range translates well to the next level and he’€™s incredibly effective in catch-and-fire situations. NBADraft.net compares him to former Magic player Nick Anderson and current Heat sniper Daequan Cook.

Another shooting guard that could be taken by Boston is South Florida product Dominique Jones, whom Yahoo! Sports and Draftology predict at No. 19. Jones was a big-time scorer as a junior when he averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 free throw attempts per game. He’€™ll bring instant offense and has the ability to go on big scoring runs, making him an intriguing pick for the Celtics.

At Sports Illustrated, Ian Thomsen’€™s version 2.0 mock draft has Boston going after Washington senior Quincy Pondexter. The 6-6 small forward is projected by most other sites as going late in the first round or early in the second.

The Hoop Doctors have Butler standout Gordon Hayward going to the Celtics. The 6-8 small forward led his team to the national championship and made a name for himself with strong performances throughout the tournament.

Fanhouse expects Boston to select the second Georgia Tech big man in the draft in Gani Lawal. Playing alongside start freshman Derrick Favors, the 6-9 power forward naturally saw his numbers decrease but still exhibited good defense and effective rebounding.

Read More: James Anderson, NBA Draft, Solomon Alabi,
NBA draft: What they’re saying about the C’s pick 05.20.10 at 12:20 pm ET
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The playoffs are in full swing, but after the ping pong balls were dropped Tuesday night in the NBA draft lottery, many teams now turn their focus to prospective players who can help them get to the next level. This year’s draft does not have a prototypical superstar, but there are more than a few potential stars to pick from.

The Celtics, although battling with Orlando right now for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals, pick 19th overall in the June 24 draft. With an aging roster, the Celtics hope to land a player who can be productive for years to come.

On Wednesday, we gave you 10 candidates for selection by the Celtics. We’ve also bounced around the web to find out what other sites are predicting for the C’s. What we found is a variety of predictions, with Butler standout Gordon Hayward the only one to be budgeted to Boston by a few prognosticators.

NBADraft.net has the C’s grabbing Luke Babbit, a 6-foot-8 small forward/power forward hybrid from Nevada. Touted as a highly skilled big man, Babbit possesses a strong 3-point touch as well as an impressive mid-range game. He averaged 21.9 points per game last season as a sophomore while shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc. He is described as a tweener, however, and will have a difficult time defending small forwards in the NBA.

The same site is predicting the C’s will draft Sherron Collins, a 5-11 point guard from Kansas, with their second selection, 52nd overall. Collins, who had a very successful career at Kansas ‘€” winning a title his sophomore year ‘€” will come into the league a bit raw. He is quick and elusive and has proven he can handle the ball when the game is on the line. Ultimately, he could be a good backup for Rondo, but cannot play any other positions. His size does not allow him to play 2 guard, so he would serve as a spark off the bench.

Yahoo!Sports has the Celtics taking Elliot Williams, a 6-5 shooting guard from Memphis who transferred from Duke. Even if they re-sign free agent Ray Allen, the C’s could stand to shore up their depth at guard. Although Yahoo! explains that Williams’ outside game needs some work, he could be a good addition to an already impressive backcourt.

MyNBADraft.com and TheHoopDoctors.com have the Celtics taking Hayward, the NCAA tournament standout from underdog Butler. Hayward averaged 15 points and eight rebounds a game last season while shooting 46 percent from the floor. HoopsWorld.com also has the C’s taking Hayward in the first round, then 6-5 SF/PF Marquis Blakely from Vermont in the second round. Read the rest of this entry »

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Celtics first-round draft prospects 05.19.10 at 8:16 pm ET
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Prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night, 14 teams watched the ping pong balls determine their draft location in the NBA draft lottery, with the Wizards, 76ers and Nets grabbing the top three spots, respectively. Though the Celtics weren’€™t one of those teams, they will have their own pivotal decisions to make on June 24, regardless of the outcome of their playoff run.

Celtics president Danny Ainge has done fairly well in past drafts. When Ainge has had high picks to work with, he’€™s turned Al Jefferson and Jeff Green into Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and helped bring Boston a 17th banner. The Celtics also have had success with later picks such as Glen Davis (35th in 2007), Rajon Rondo (21st in 2006), Leon Powe (49th in 2006) and Tony Allen (25th in 2004). All of those picks (the first three of which technically were chosen by other teams but were part of draft-day trades) have been of some service to Boston and have worked out well compared to other late fliers.

Picking at No. 19 this year, Boston will need to rejuvenate its veteran roster and continue to find late steals. Here’€™s a list of 10 players the Celtics potentially could draft in the first round. Read the rest of this entry »

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