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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky PF Julius Randle 06.04.14 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.

JULIUS RANDLE

Position: Power forward
School: Kentucky
Age: 19
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 250 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot-0

Key 2013-14 stats: 15 points, 10.4 rebounds, 24.5 PER

Scouting report: Randle is arguably the toughest player in this year’€™s draft because of his hard-nosed style on offense and his tenacity attacking the offensive and defensive boards.

He averaged 4.5 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes by constantly boxing out and overpowering his opponents, but also by hustling and racing to the spot of 50/50 balls. The 19-year-old constantly battles and will likely see this skill translate to the pros.

The Kentucky product also is an advanced ball-handler for his age, though he tends to only use his left hand. He’€™s a bull with the ball and utilizes spins and crossovers, which is unusual for a 250-pounder. In college, this allowed him to get to the rim at a high rate, though he’€™ll need to add a jumper to find that kind of success at the next level.

However, Randle is one of the poorest defenders in the draft. He constantly misses rotations off-ball and is unable to protect the rim because of his average wingspan and low basketball IQ. If Randle doesn’t develop offensively, it’€™s unlikely he’€™ll ever bring enough on the defensive end to carve out significant playing time.

Randle typically struggled in games with NBA-sized bigs, so his transition to the pros will take a little longer than most expect, but he probably does enough as a scorer and rebounder to find his niche.

How he fits: If the Celtics are looking to unload Jared Sullinger or Kelly Olynyk, then Randle could potentially be an upgrade at the big man position. However, the number of mock drafts sending him to Boston is a bit curious considering the team’s current logjam at the position.

Related articles:

CelticsBlog: The Randle Problem: Analyzing Julius Randle’s weaknesses on defense

Dean on Draft: Visibility bias and Julius Randle’€™s defense

Video: Here is a video explaining Randle’€™s lapses on defense.

(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, Julius Randle, NBA
Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo, Don Draper, Kevin Love sales pitches 06.03.14 at 11:58 am ET
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When asked about his conversation with Timberwolves star Kevin Love at Fenway Park over the weekend, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo responded in typical Rondo fashion during an impromptu session with the Boston media as the C’s worked out a number of potential draft prospects in Waltham on Monday.

“I talked to Kevin for about 39 seconds,” said Rondo. “It wasn’t too long. We didn’t talk a lot.”

A lot can be said in 39 seconds. For example, “I love it here, and if you come to Boston, we’d instantly be a playoff team in the East. Danny Ainge knows how to build a championship team around All-Stars, so let’s do this.” That took less than 10 seconds. They could’ve still chatted about the weather and some restaurant recommendations.

“A pitch?” Rondo told reporters. “No, I think the only pitches that were thrown were by Jon Lester. He threw out a couple pitches. I didn’t pitch anything. I just told him to enjoy his time here.”

Not exactly a page out of Jordan Belfort‘s book. Rondo’s going to need to watch “Wolf of Wall Street” again.

“€œI trust a lot in Danny,”€ Rondo added. “€œHe’€™s turned this thing around before, so I don’€™t not have any faith in Danny. I believe in Danny. I think we do need another big-time player, but that’€™s all his job. He’€™s working on that now.”

I don’t not have any faith in Danny. A ringing endorsement! A little more Gordon Gekko this time.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Kevin Love, NBA
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: France C Clint Capela 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.

CLINT CAPELA

Position: Center
Country: France
Age: 20
Height: 6-foot-11
Weight: 222 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot-4.5

Key 2013-14 stats (France Pro A League): 9.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks

Scouting report: Capela was considered a lottery pick before the Nike Hoop Summit in April, but he struggled and saw his stock drop to the back of the first round. There’€™s a chance he withdraws from the draft, since he could see his status increase next year, but if he stays, teams will start to think about him towards the middle of the first because of his potential as an elite rim protector and rebounder.

Only 20 years old, Capela led the French A League in PER (24.9), block percentage (7.9), and total rebound percentage (21.2) — remarkable numbers for his age, considering the he’s still immature physically. In a league full of men, he put up spectacular numbers because of his freakish athleticism and natural skills.

But Capela has a high chance of becoming a bust because of his incredibly low basketball IQ. Not every raw athletic international player develops as well as Serge Ibaka did, though he certainly has that type of upside.

In a deep draft full of talent, it’€™s easy to see Capela slipping, but the talent pool is also lacking defensive-oriented centers, which helps boost his stock despite the concerns.

How he fits: If the Celtics are looking at a slow rebuild, Capela would be a quality option with the 17th pick since they could draft-and-stash him before reaping the rewards in the future.

Related articles:

ESPN Insider: Nike Hoop Summit: Top prospects

Celtics.com: Clint Capela draft profile and interview

Video: Here is a video of Capela shining during a scrimmage.

(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, Clint Capela, NBA
Irish Coffee: Boston and The Kevin Love Freedom Tour 06.02.14 at 10:40 am ET
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Indulge me for a moment. If you were Kevin Love, the hottest NBA name not still playing basketball, and you were looking for a vacation, as Timberwolves president suggested over the weekend, would you come to Boston?

Don’t get me wrong. The Freedom Trail, Fenway Park and Newbury Street make for a nice little weekend and all, but if you’re looking to escape the never-ending trade rumor mill, wouldn’t you prefer an all-inclusive resort in, say, Hawaii over clam chowder and a Sam Adams? He’s got a nine-figure payday coming soon, after all.

Hey, maybe he’s a nerd at heart, trying to discover analytics at Harvard that can take his game to the next level.

Maybe the folks at Newbury Comics hooked him up with an early copy of the new 50 Cent album dropping Tuesday.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Love, NBA,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: N.C. State F T.J. Warren 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.

T.J. WARREN

Position: Forward
School: N.C. State
Age: 20
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 220 pounds
Wingspan: 6-foot-10

Key 2013-14 stats: 24.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 31.3 PER

Scouting report: It’€™s a shame that T.J. Warren has one of the most broken jump shots of all potential first-round picks, because he’€™d have superstar potential if he was reliable from the perimeter. Unfortunately, Warren is a 26.7 percent 3-point shooter and needs loads of work to fix his slow, clunky and inconsistent release.

However, Warren has excellent instincts and knows how to score from mid-range and near the rim like a classic scorer. The 20-year-old is able to create space off the ball by utilizing intelligent cuts, and he’€™s able to score with the ball because of his ability to ram his way to the rim with both strength and finesse.

Warren isn’€™t much of a defender, athlete or defensive rebounder, which regrettably lowers his stock. He’€™s a ‘tweener, but doesn’€™t appear to have the skills to defend either forward position at a high level, since he lacks the lateral quickness necessary to defend 3′s and the power and length to defend 4′s. His average vertical also hurts his rebounding, though it’€™s his unwillingness to box out that hurts him more than anything else.

How he fits: Warren is certainly worth a look with a mid-first-rounder because of his high upside on the offensive end. If he’€™s able to add a solid perimeter jumper to his arsenal, he could turn into a lethal scorer, and the Celtics won’€™t find many of those outside of the lottery.

Related articles:

ESPN: C’s schedule wing workout

WRAL: Why T.J. Warren should be ACC Player of the Year

Video: Here is a video of T.J. Warren’€™s pre-draft workout.

(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, NBA, T.J. Warren
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Syracuse F Jerami Grant 05.30.14 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.

JERAMI GRANT

Position: Forward
School: Syracuse
Age: 20
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 214 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot-3

Key 2013-14 stats: 12.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists

Scouting report: Grant has youth and athleticism on his side, but does he have the skills? That’€™s the question NBA teams have to ask themselves as they evaluate the 20-year-old. Grant’€™s long wingspan and explosive vertical make him one of the more impressive athletes in the draft, and that should at least translate into productivity on the defensive end.

Grant’€™s fantastic lateral quickness and long arms will make him a fine man-to-man defender, but some players lack “feel for the game,” and that might be the case with Grant. His low block and steal totals in Syracuse’€™s zone are alarming considering his athleticism, and he often made poor choices with his rotations and weak-side help. It’€™s a legitimate concern, because if he has a hard time in the zone, playing a complicated man-to-man defense might prove to be too difficult.

And it’€™s not like he will definitely make up for it with his scoring. Grant, the son of former NBA forward Harvey Grant, is a high-flier and can throw down alley-oop slams, and he’s also very good if it takes him only one dribble to get to the rim. This gives him the upside required to be a threat in the pick-and-roll and off of offensive rebound putbacks. But Grant rarely, if ever, uses his left hand when dribbling the ball, which hinders his shot creation skills.

More alarming, Grant’s perimeter jumper is quite broken. He spreads his feet too much, has a hitch and he seems to lack touch. If he doesn’t develop his shot, it will limit his ability to get to the basket, which will be his most valuable attribute on offense. Nevertheless, the skills Grant brings as a high-energy role player will undoubtedly put him in the conversation as a mid-to-late first-round pick.

How he fits: If the Celtics go with a slow rebuild, Grant could be a good fit for them with the 17th pick. He brings fantastic potential on the defensive end, and the team may believe it can progress his raw scoring talents.

Related articles:

Grantland: Don’t forget about Jerami Grant

Sports on Earth: Making a name for himself

Video: Here is a video scouting report of Jerami Grant.

(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, Jerami Grant, NBA
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Creighton F Doug McDermott 05.29.14 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.

DOUG MCDERMOTT

Position: Forward
School: Creighton
Age: 22
Height: 6-foot-7
Weight: 218 pounds
Wingspan: 6-foot-9

Key 2013-14 stats: 26.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 64.4 TS%, 60.2 eFG%

Scouting report: With 3-point shooting becoming more and more valuable in today’€™s NBA, McDermott is coming into the league at the perfect time. He is the NCAA‘€™s fifth all-time leading scorer with 3,150 points, and much of that came due to his success from 3. McDermott has exceptional fundamentals and gets his shot off like a machine, whether it’€™s off the catch or the dribble.

McDermott has improved as a ball handler, and could absolutely make some noise by attacking the mid-range game after defenders close out hard on his 3-pointers. This is what could take him from a basic shooting role player to the next level as a versatile scoring threat. McDermott won’€™t fill it up on the post like he did in college, but he has the skills, touch and intelligence to make plays inside the arc.

But he’€™s not perfect. McDermott underwhelms defensively and athletically. He plays below the rim, which limits his inside scoring ability as well as his defensive potential. If he plays the 4, he won’€™t be much of a rim protector and he is only an average rebounder. But his lateral quickness must improve if he wants to be able to defend 3′s effectively. However, he’€™s terrific defending off-ball and almost always makes correct rotations, which means he’€™ll at least be a reliable team defender.

How he fits: Brad Stevens values players who can space the floor and shoot the 3, and no player in this draft does that better than McDermott. Taking him at sixth might be a little early, but if the Celtics trade down (or up from No. 17), he could be their pick.

Related articles:

CelticsBlog: Six options at the sixth pick for Boston

Data Omaha: Doug McDermott by the numbers

Video: Here is a video tribute for McDermott’€™s perfect fundamentals.

(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, Doug McDermott, NBA
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