|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Cape Verde C Walter Tavares||06.19.14 at 9:00 am ET|
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.
Country: Cape Verde
Weight: 265 pounds
Key 2013-14 stats (ACB Spain): 6.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.6 blocks
Scouting report: Let’s not split hairs: Tavares is a monster. At 7-foot-3 with a gargantuan 92.5-inch wingspan, the Cape Verdean big man is quickly rising up draft boards because of his size. Yet, it’s not just his height that has teams excited, because he has abnormally quick feet, which gives him potential as a star pick-and-roll defender.
But he might be years away from ever making that type of impact since he picked up a basketball for the first time in 2010 and is still learning how to play the game and how to use his strength. Tavares is a bit of a gentle giant and occasionally gets overpowered in a David vs. Goliath fashion. Likewise, as you would expect from such an inexperienced player, his fundamentals are poor, as he allows deep post positioning and misses rotations on the defensive end.
Despite the flaws, Tavares has already shown enough potential to warrant consideration as a late first-round pick. With his size and rebounding ability, only his mindset stand in the way of him making an impact in the NBA. If teams believe he has the right attitude to learn, then it would be surprising if he weren’t playing consistent minutes in a few years.
How he fits: The Celtics would get the rim protector they so desperately desire, but they’d have to wait at least one year for him to really make an impact. Tavares works out with the team this week, and they’ll likely decide whether they really want to draft him or not.
NBA.com: Walter Tavares prospect analysis
Video: Walter Tavares video scouting report
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