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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Bosnian C Ognjen Kuzmic 06.23.12 at 6:47 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Ognjen Kuzmic is an improving center who has promise but will need patience as he continues to develop.

OGNJEN KUZMIC

Position: Center

Team: Clinicas Rincon (Spain)

Age: 22

Height: 7-foot-1

Weight: 231 pounds

Key 2011-12 stats: 10.4 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game, 2.1 blocks per game

What he brings: Kumic is surprisingly athletic for a player that’s over 7 feet tall, and he uses that athleticism to crash the boards and create opportunities for himself around the basket. He lacks polish and consistency in his offensive game, but can be very productive at times. He has solid footwork with a soft touch and has shown potential with his jump shot.

The most glaring weakness with Kumic is his lack of strength. Despite his large frame, he gets pushed around under the block and is easily backed down by opposing big men. Still, he’s an imposing shot-blocker — swatting over two shots per game last year — and has excellent timing and jumping ability. If he can get his shot-blocking ability on par with his ability to defend and be more physical down low, Kuzmic can develop into a solid, role-playing big man at the NBA level.

Where the Celtics could get him: Kuzmic is expected to be a mid-to-late-second-round pick.

Notes: A native Bosnian, Kuzmic began his playing career in his home country before going on to play in the first and second divisions of Finland, where his family lived after the war in Bosnia.

Video: Here are highlights of Kuzmic’s 21-point, 15-rebound, seven-block game against Tarragona last season.

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