|NBA draft: What they’re saying about C’s pick||06.22.10 at 1:53 pm ET|
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.
|NBA draft: What they’re saying about the C’s pick||05.20.10 at 12:20 pm ET|
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 »
|Celtics first-round draft prospects||05.19.10 at 8:16 pm ET|
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 »
|Blogging the draft: DeJuan Blair (finally)||06.25.09 at 11:01 pm ET|
Leave it to the Spurs to take the most productive college player this side of top pick Blake Griffin (and in the second round, no less). With the 37th pick, San Antonio selected Pitt’s DeJuan Blair who was merely the best player in the Big East and who dominated No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet in their matchups.
Blair’s knees gave teams cause for concern, but he never should have fallen this far.
Two other Big East players–DaJuan Summers from Georgetown (Detroit) and Sam Young from Pitt (Memphis)–went just ahead of Blair. Summers also seems like a steal, while Young is one of the oldest players in the draft.
The Celtics pick is No. 58 and we’ll have more when they make their selection.
|Blogging the draft: Rest of the first round||at 10:24 pm ET|
— Jrue Holiday was the highest-rated player left in the Green Room, but the UCLA product may have found a perfect fit with Philly, who took him at No. 17. Holiday isn’t ready to step in and start, but Andre Miller is an unrestricted free agent and Holliday may get a chance to be in the rotation and eventually take over if he develops.
— Austin Daye, son of ex-Celtic Darren Daye, could have been a top five pick if he had gone back to Gonzaga and developed his game. The Pistons did well to get him at 15.
— DeJuan Blair will make a lot of teams look silly for passing on him. The kid was a dominant force at Pitt. Yes, he’s undersized from a height standpoint, but he’s incredibly strong and his production was off the charts. The Bulls went with two bigs–James Johnson and Taj Gibson and I’d be surprised if either wind up as good as Blair.
— Wayne Ellington at No. 28? Sorry, Jay Bilas. Too high. (By the way, is there any pick the ESPN panel doesn’t like?)
— Free Darko? Mr. Millic might have actually found a home in New York.
— Did Stu Scott really call Shaq the best passing big man in the league? Oy.
|Blogging the Draft||at 7:43 pm ET|
— And we’re underway. The Clippers kicked off the 2009 NBA Draft by taking Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin, who is the only sure thing in the draft. Griffin should be an immediate impact player provided the Clips can trade away at least one of the following veteran big men: Marcus Camby, Chris Kaman or Zach Randolph.
— Jay Bilas just added “Beasted” to the lexicon, as in: DeJuan Blair beasted Hasheem Thabeet. Let’s hope he retires that one post-haste. Thabeet is the easy winner for 2009’s awesomest suit award, however. Blinding. So far the draft is unfolding in an orderly manner. This makes me nervous.
— OKC takes James Harden No. 3. Harden is the Blake Griffin of 2-guards in this draft in that he is very likely to be good and in a perfect world could be excellent. Now we begin the Ricky Rubio watch.
— So the Kings are sitting there with both Rubio (whom my girl friend said looked scruffy in a Zac Efron way. I have no idea what that means) and Tyreke Evans from Memphis by way of the Philly suburbs. What to do? The pick is in and it’s Evans. Stu Scott keeps insisting that Evans is a point guard. I’m not so sure about that, but he is a player.
— Ru-bio! Ru-bio! Boy he did NOT look happy to go to Minnesota. Does this mean the Bassy Telfair era is over? Did it ever begin? “I’m Ricky Rubio. I’m not like anybody else.” Quote of the draft so far.
— Ooooh shocker! There’s no way Minnesota is taking Jonny Flynn too. This has to be for somebody else, right? Right? Interestingly, Ric Bucher just said they’re keeping both players. This provides some protection in case Rubio’s buyout gets complicated.
— Booooooooo! Golden State takes Stephen Curry, which leads to a forced Stu Scott joke and lets the New York fans do what they do best on draft night. I know New York fans fixated on Curry, but I’m not so sure he’ll be much more than a 3-point specialist. So who do the Knicks take here? We’ve hit the nobody knows portion of the draft.
— Jordan Hill is it. Safe pick. Boooooo!
— Here come the freshmen. The Raptors took DeMar DeRozen who could be really, really good or really, really meh. Bilas is trying to equate DeRozen with Amare Stoudemire because they both went No. 9, which is a huge reach. It’s a good fit for DeRozen though because the Raps have no one on the wing.
— Milwaukee takes Brandon Jennings, who I wrote about the other day. Right now Jennings is interesting because of his circumstances, i.e. skipping college and playing in Europe. Jeff Van Gundy just made a good point that Jennings is fortunate to play for Scott Skiles, who is not the easiest coach to play for but that’s probably what he needs right now. Wonder what this means for Ramon Sessions?
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