Hidden in the back of Gary Washburn's article in today's Globe is this little tidbit:
With Shaq retired, the Celtics are in the market for inexpensive centers, and there are two possibilities who could be intriguing but come with baggage. Former lottery pick Eddy Curry will be looking for work. He could have played for the Knicks this season but was so deep on coach Mike D’Antoni’s disregarded list that he never saw the court. The Celtics did inquire about Curry when he was released by the Timberwolves after being traded to them by the Knicks in a salary dump. He could be a low-post presence if he is in shape. Greg Oden, the former No. 1 overall pick, will create more demand because he is relatively young (23) and has more potential than Curry.
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Such is the state of the Celtics that we are discussing the possibility of signing Eddy Curry. Even the thought of Eddy Curry as a Celtic makes me a bit nauseous. I can see Greg Oden, to a point. If he can be signed for cheap, he'd be worth a chance since he is young and does have a big upside if he can stay healthy. But Eddy Curry has been a disappointment for years and can't seem to stay in shape. We don't need another center that will sit on the inactive list down the stretch when we need him. I'll pass, thanks.
There is also a little tidbit in that article about the possibility of the Celtics participating in a Summer League in Orlando. There have been rumors that the league plans to cancel both the Orlando and Vegas Summer Leagues and that is understandable considering that the current CBA expires on July 1 and everything is pretty much up in the air after that. I always enjoy the Celtics Summer League games as they give us a first look at our new rookies and possible free agents. I hope they can work something out.
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Speaking of our new rookies. It seems like everybody and their brother has a mock draft out. Let's take a look at some of the mock drafts and who they see the Celtics taking at #25 and even at #55. First up is the RotoWorld mock draft who have the Celtics taking Reggie Jackson out of Boston College. You can check out my profile of Reggie here. There have been rumors that Danny has already made a promise to Jackson to take him with the 25th pick. Here is what RotoWorld has to say about this pick:
Jackson showed an improved jumper last season and would make for a nice-sized point guard at 6-3. He has shown playmaking skills and is unselfish, while also able to play off the ball. The Celtics have many needs as one of the oldest teams in the league, but getting another guard who could play both spots makes sense.
Along with RotoWorld, HoopsAddict also has the Celtics taking Reggie Jackson.
The NBADraft.net mock draft has the Celtics taking Trey Thompkins, a 6'10" power forward out of Gorgia with the 25th pick and Scotty Hopson, a 6'7" SG/SF out of Tennessee with the 55th pick. The Sporting News mock draft also has the Celtics taking Thompkins.
The Hoopsworld mock draft has the Celtics taking Josh Selby, an early entry 6'3" shooting guard out of Kansas. They seem to be obsessed with the Celtics getting a shooting guard because they have the Celtics taking another SG in round 2. With the 55th pick, they project that the Celtics will take E'Twaun Moore, a 6'4" senior SG out of Purdue.
Hoopshype, like NBADraft.net, have the Celtics taking Trey Thompkins, the Junior PF out of Georgia, with the 25th pick. Here is what they have to say about this pick:
A player who entered the season as a projected lottery pick has not gotten great reviews and finds himself fighting to stay in the first round. Thompkins is a highly skilled offensive player with a pretty jump shot and range out to college three. He doesn't wow you with athleticism, but his skill level is that of an NBA vet. He never seems to be in a rush, very patient and level headed. He has struggled some this year without a playmaker setting him up, but remains a refined big man with solid potential. Questionable motor and toughness, work ethic (15 percent body fat) have him sliding.
Draft Express, one of the more respected mock drafts, has the Celtics taking Marshon Brooks, a 6'5" Senior SG out of Providence with the 25th pick. In the second round at #55, they see the Celtics taking Justin Holiday, a 6'6" Senior SG/SF out of Washington. Hoop Doctors agree with Draft Express's pick and put Brooks at #25 for the Celtics also. Here is their explanation for the pick,
Despite playing on a bad team in the nation’s best conference(Big East), the wiry thin Brooks has quietly become one of the country’s most prolific scorers. He and Jimmer Fredette are the only players to top the 50 point mark in a game this season and finished 2nd in the nation behind the BYU star with a gaudy 24.6 ppg average. He scored 20 or more in an NCAA best 26 games this season and had contests of 52, 43, and twice notched 33 point efforts during the regular season. Brooks is one of the more intruiging players in the draft as he can score from anywhere on the floor, has impressive handles, and has the physical tools to play against bigger defenders because of his outstanding length. Brooks is truly one of the premier players in the nation because of his play on offense, and his undervalued defensive play but gets seemingly little respect or attention around the nation. Concerns over rail thin frame, at times questionable shot selection, and average athleticism.
Sports Illustrated, like many of the early mocks, have the Celtics going with 6'9" Jordan Williams, a center out of Maryland, at #25. You can see my profile of Williams here. Here is their explanation for making the pick.
The Kendrick Perkins trade with Oklahoma City left the Celtics relying on the likes of an aging and injured Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal. Williams would provide a sliver of youthful hope up front. He's a big body who hits the boards and won't break nearly as easily.
The Huffington Post mock draft agrees with Sports Illustrated, projecting Jordan Williams at the 25th pick. Here is their blurb on why they make the pick,
With Williams, GM Danny Ainge may just be able to amend the colossal mistake he made in trading Kendrick Perkins. The former Terrapin is a fierce rebounder with a nice set of offensive skills on the low block. He's not the bulky or physically imposing defender Perk is, but the wide-bodied 6'9" Williams can help offset the former Celtic's departure. Williams however, has lost a ton of weight and has gotten much more athletic, a positive sign that displays an improved commitment to his body.
The CBS Sports mock draft has a peculiar pick for the Celtics, Davis Bertans, a 6'10" small forward out of Slovenia. Personally I don't see this pick at all. Here's what they have to say about the pick:
Replacing Kendrick Perkins is the club’s top priority. The slender European isn’t exactly the guy, but at least he’s tall.
Finally, we look at 3 mocks that predict that the Celtics will pick 7' Nikola Vucevic, a center out of USC. NBA Draft.com, Chad Ford's ESPN mock and Dimemag all have the Celtics picking Vucevic with the 25th pick. You can find my profile of Vucevic here. Here is Ford's analysis of their selection,
The Celtics need size and Vucevic was one of the players who helped his draft stock the most the past week in Chicago. His measurements were off the charts and gave teams hope he could be a legit NBA center. Given his skill in the post, he could be a steal at this point in the draft.
And Dimemag has this to say about their pick,
While Vucevic measured as the biggest player at the draft combine, size isn’t necessarily limiting on his skill set. At 260 pounds, the 7-footer averaged a double-double during his junior season at USC, and his agility and 15-foot jumper make him capable of stretching the floor. For a Celtics team in need of a future down low, Vucevic is their guy.
This is just a very small cross section of the mocks out there. As you can see, predicting draft picks is a fairly inexact science. Not even the first pick in this draft is a consensus so it's not a surprise that no one really has a clue as to who the Celtics will pick at #25. There are players out there who can help the Celtics, even as a rookie, and hopefully Danny will be wise enough to find him.