|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Tennessee G/F Scotty Hopson||06.17.11 at 3:52 pm ET|
WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).
Weight: 205 pounds
Stats: 17.0 ppg, 1.3 apg, 3.3 rpg, .376 3-pt%
What he brings: Hopson, who enters the draft following his junior year at Tennessee, has the perfect size and length to be a solid wingman at the next level, and the scoring potential is certainly there as well. He was named to the All-SEC team by conference coaches after finishing fifth in the conference with 17.0 points per game. He is considered to be extremely athletic and finally showed a better ability to get to the charity stripe last season after he increased his free throws per game from 2.30 in 2009-10 to 4.84 a year later. He is also not considered to be extremely strong off the dribble.
That being said, his biggest knock is his inability to play consistently on a game-by-game ‘ and sometimes even possession-by-possession basis ‘ especially on the defensive end. There’s no better example of this than in early December, when he went from a 27-point game in a win over Pittsburgh to a seven-point performance against Oakland in a loss when he went 1-for-7 from the floor. Any NBA team, Celtics included, that takes Hopson in the draft will have to coax a more consistent effort out of him.
Where the Celtics could get him: Second round
What they’re saying: ‘That guy is not from the same planet as the rest of us.’ ‘ NBA general manager to Draft Express after Hopson gave an unflattering interview. (Decide for yourself by watching this interview.)
Notes: Hopson said that the postseason firing of Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl ‘played a lot into my decision’ and that new coach Cuonzo Martin tried to get him to stay. During that process of attempting to convince Hopson to stay, Martin told the press, ‘It’s always tough because you want to give these guys honest information, but you also understand that a part of their success is about ego, so it’s the way you go about saying what you’re saying without really saying it.”