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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: France C Clint Capela 06.03.14 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.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Michigan C Mitch McGary 05.28.14 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.

MITCH McGARY

Position: Center
School: Michigan
Age: 21
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 265 pounds
Wingspan: 6-foot-11

Key 2013-14 stats: 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals

Scouting report: Back surgery ended  McGary’€™s sophomore season and a failed marijuana test finished his collegiate career. His time in Ann Arbor didn’€™t end the way he wanted, but he still did enough to warrant consideration as a late first-round draft pick.

McGary’€™s calling card in the NBA will be his energy and intelligence. He plays without abandon on both ends of the floor, diving for loose balls and hustling for rebounds outside of his area. The 6-foot-10 big man also does a good job of making the right play, whether it’€™s an accurate swing pass, a well-set screen or a perfect defensive rotation.

These tools scream “glue guy,” considering his team tends to play better when he’€™s on the floor. But his elementary post game, average athleticism and shaky jumper certainly limit his upside. McGary won’€™t be a go-to scorer in the pros, but he could be a go-to role player for a coach looking to raise the energy on the floor.

A medical examination will be extremely important to determine the extent of McGary’€™s back injury, especially since he plays the style that he does. He may be more of a risk to re-injure the back than the average athlete, and considering he only has high-end role player upside, some teams might not be willing to take the risk on him.

How he fits: McGary would provide the Celtics with a gritty backup center who would go full throttle whenever he received playing time.

Related articles:

Yahoo! Sports: Mitch McGary heading to NBA after marijuana test nets him yearlong NCAA ban

Detroit Free Press: Ex-Michigan Wolverines shooting up pro scouts’ charts

Video: Here is a video scouting report of McGary.

(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, Mitch McGary, NBA
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Arizona F Aaron Gordon 05.27.14 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.

AARON GORDON

Position: Forward
School: Arizona
Age: 18
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 220 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot

Key 2013-14 stats: 12.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 35.6 3P%, 42.2 FT%

Scouting report: While 18-year-olds usually don’€™t come to the NBA ready to defend at a high level, Aaron Gordon could be the exception. He is one of the best athletes in the draft, possessing outstanding lateral quickness and length, which will allow him to defend at least three positions. But it’€™s his off-ball awareness that puts him in proper positioning when it comes to rotations and weakside help. This versatility and reliability gives him the defensive potential of a Shawn Marion, Gerald Wallace or even Andrei Kirilenko.

Gordon’€™s abominable free throw percentage will get a lot of press, as it should; he was terrible from the line, shooting only 42.2 percent. But his form isn’t that bad, and a player with his work ethic should be able to fix it by the time his rookie contract is over.

Other than that, the 6-foot-9 forward brings fantastic offensive tools to the pros. He’€™s exceptional at moving off-ball, often finding his way to the rim as a result of dive cuts, transition and screens. Gordon appears to have a great sense of spacing, which also helps him with the ball in his hands; he’€™s a very good ball handler and passer, which gives him potential as a pick-and-roll playmaker. Of course, Gordon must develop his shot, but his 35.6 3-point percentage, solid mechanics and youth give him great upside.

How he fits: Gordon could very well be the steal of the draft if he develops a reliable shot. The C’s could really use a “do-it-all” player at the wing, and Gordon may be the best option for them at the sixth pick.

Related articles:

CelticsBlog: Six options at the sixth pick for Boston

CBS Sports: Aaron Gordon’s stellar upside

Video: Here is a video of  Gordon’€™s top 10 plays this season.

(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, Aaron Gordon, Boston Celtics, NBA
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