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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: UCLA PF Kyle Anderson 06.09.14 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.

KYLE ANDERSON

Position: Power forward
School: UCLA
Age: 20
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 230 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot-3

Key 2013-14 stats: 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists

Scouting report: Anderson is naturally a point guard, but it’s hard to see him playing that position in the NBA. Even though he is an outstanding passer, he is not athletic enough to defend guards and he lacks the elite ball-handling ability to create offense like he did in college.

On the upside, Anderson could make the shift to power forward and retain his incredible guard skills. Doing this would also minimize his lack of athletic ability, since he’d be playing with players of a similar speed. Anderson would need to add about 20 pounds of muscle to defend, but he has the frame to support the weight.

Playing power forward, the UCLA product could showcase his true role player attributes in the form of spot-up shooting and playmaking. He could, in a sense, be a player in the mold of a Boris Diaw or Lamar Odom. Those players had long careers as glue guys, and their teams always seemed to play smoothly when they were in the game.

How he fits: Brad Stevens likes his offense to move the ball and shoot the 3, and Anderson could come right in and do both of those things at a high level.

Related articles:

CelticsLife: Kyle Anderson stands out in Celtics workout

Bleacher Report: NBA comparisons for UCLA’s Kyle Anderson

Video: Here is a video scouting report of Anderson.

(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, Kyle Anderson, NBA
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Syracuse PG Tyler Ennis 06.06.14 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.

TYLER ENNIS

Position: Point guard
School: Syracuse
Age: 19
Height: 6-foot-2.5
Weight: 181 pounds
Wingspan: 6-foot-7

Key 2013-14 stats: 12.9 points, 5.5 assists, 2.1 steals

Scouting report: Pure point guards are an endangered species in the NBA, but Ennis is one of them. He’€™s a pass-first pure point guard that utilizes excellent ball-handling skills to create space, which usually leads to open looks for teammates.

Ennis had a highly efficient 3.22 assist-to-turnover ratio, but his statistics probably would’€™ve been even more impressive had better perimeter shooters surrounded him. Of course, he probably will have that in the NBA, which bodes well for his potential as a distributor.

That increased spacing will also create opportunities for him as a scorer, since he is quite a solid shooter, at 35.3 percent from 3 last year. The Syracuse product is impressive off the dribble, which is normal for point guards, but he can also shoot off the catch, allowing him to play off-ball in a number of different situations.

Ennis is only an average defender and lacks a spectacular first step, so he probably won’€™t ever become one of the NBA’s top point guards, but he’€™s going to be a good backup, at worst, with the ceiling of a high-end starter.

How he fits: Ennis would give the Celtics an immediate upgrade at the backup point guard position, and a potential heir apparent to Rajon Rondo, if he’€™s traded.

Related articles:

Toronto Sun: Dream come true for Tyler Ennis working for the Raptors

ZagsBlog: Boeheim discusses Ennis’ decision to go pro

Video: Here is a highlight reel of Ennis’€™ game versus Duke.

(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, Tyler Ennis
Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo wakes up America 06.05.14 at 12:57 pm ET
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Promoting the NBA Finals, Rajon Rondo appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday wearing a jean vest of some sort and addressed a few fan questions for the show’s Instagram account.

The biggest thing we learned — other than the fact Channing Tatum may be a better Pop-A-Shot player than the Celtics point guard — is that Rondo finally made his desire for “big changes” this summer public. He’s skirted similar questions about this offseason’s supposed “fireworks” in recent interviews, so there’s that.

“Hopefully this summer we’re going to make some big changes, get the ball rolling and get back in the finals pretty soon,” said Rondo. “I know [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny Ainge is doing his job, and I’m going to go out every summer, do my job and get better.” (Might want to work on that Pop-A-Shot game, too.)

Here are Rondo’s responses to some more questions submitted by fans on Twitter.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, NBA, Rajon Rondo,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Croatia F Dario Saric 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.

DARIO SARIC

Position: Forward
Country: Croatia
Age: 20
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 223 pounds
Wingspan: 6-foot-10

Key 2013-14 stats (Adriatic League): 16.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 58.9 TS%

Scouting report: Fans of the NBA are scarred forever over the growing number of international busts during the last decade, but they should feel confident knowing Saric is a relatively safe pick. He does so many of the “little things” well, even though he lacks the elite upside of some others.

Only 20 years old, Saric led Cibona to the Adriatic League championship, capturing league and finals MVP honors in the process. This success is unheard of, and he likely would be considered one of the consensus top picks had he done that in March Madness.

Saric’€™s greatest attribute is his playmaking potential. He’€™s arguably the most versatile player in the draft because of his ability to score from inside, mid-range and the perimeter. His 3-pointer is still improving, but he added the “hop”€ (a technique allowing shooters to get shots off more quickly) to his arsenal, which improving his productivity.

Already an efficient scorer inside, he has the ability to get to the hole with either hand. Most impressive is Saric’€™s ability to pass off the dribble, a trait that could translate well in the pick-and-roll heavy NBA.

Even though Saric’€™s average athleticism and short wingspan will hold him back from ever becoming a true superstar, he has all the physical and mental tools necessary to be on a tier right below that. Of course, he must first stay in the draft for that to happen, as there is a chance he withdraws before the June 16 deadline.

How he fits: Saric has go-to scoring potential and is a proven winner. If the Celtics decide to go international with one of their draft picks, he could be the best player available.

Related articles:

CelticsBlog: Adriatic League final four analysis: Dario Saric leads Cibona to championship victory

ProBasketballTalk: Dario Saric will join NBA next season if Celtics or Lakers draft him

Video: Here is a video scouting report of Dario Saric.

(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, Dario Saric, NBA
Irish Coffee: The Celtics’ Carmelo Anthony conundrum 06.04.14 at 12:55 pm ET
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As a disclaimer, “an insider at RealGM.com” isn’t a source worth lending any credence, so let’s take Bert A. Ramirez’s bizarre rumor bringing both Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony to Boston with enough salt to warrant Seabass spitting in your burger, but we might as well examine whether it’s even possible under the NBA salary cap.

Using the Bill Simmons trade proposal as a jumping off point (both 2014 picks, both 2015 picks, Jared Sullinger, Keith Bogans and Brandon Bass for Love), here is the imaginary Celtics salary structure for 2014-15.

Kevin Love: $15.7M
Rajon Rondo: $12.9M
Gerald Wallace: $10.1M
Jeff Green: $9.2M
Avery Bradley: $6.3M (RFA hold)
Joel Anthony: $3.8M
Vitor Faverani: $2.0M
Kelly Olynyk: $2.0M
Chris Johnson: $0.9M
Phil Pressey: $0.8M
Chris Babb: $0.8M
TOTAL: $64.5M

That number exceeds the projected salary cap of $63.2 million, so the Celtics could not sign Anthony, even if he opts out, relinquishing an additional $33.2 million in potential guaranteed money from the Knicks. In this scenario, the Celtics would have to clear $23.8 million off the books in order to give Melo the maximum contract of four years and $95.9 million (2014-15: $22.5M; 2015-16: $23.5M; 2016-17: $24.5M; 2017-18: $25.5M). Here goes.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, NBA
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky PF Julius Randle 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
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