2011 NBA Draft: 5 Players Who Could Help the Boston Celtics
We all agree the Boston Celtics need to rebuild and regroup if they are to make another run at a title next year. They got the first big thing out of the way: they re-signed Doc Rivers to a long-term deal. Now, they have to turn their attention to their players.
They need a big man but there do not appear to be any outstanding players available to them, and certainly not where they are picking, at numbers 25 and 50. They could, of course, trade up but there they are faced with another problem. Namely, the lack of trading pieces.
Danny Ainge himself has said that there are few great players in this draft and was quoted in the Boston Globe as saying there were “players that can help.” Whichever way you look at it, it’s not a ringing endorsement of the 2011 class.
Harper has quick feet and a good ability from three-point range, shooting just under 45 percent from behind the arc this past season at Richmond. He is not dissimilar to Jeff Green, but Green plays a slightly more athletic game.
He was a big reason Richmond made it past Vanderbilt on their way to a Sweet 16 berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The biggest problem he faces is that he is not quite big enough to defend in the post but does not have the speed to stop quick threes.
It’s possible, if not probable, that Vucevic will go higher, possibly to the Thunder at No. 24, since Oklahoma City will need more than Kendrick Perkins as an inside presence.
Vucevic is more of an offensive-minded player than Perk ever was and while he is more than solid on that end of the court, as a result, he loses something on the defensive end.
With a 9’3" standing reach and 7’7" wingspan, Biyombo should be a lock to be taken with a lottery pick. However, there is serious concern about his age. He is officially listed as 18 but no matter where you look, there is speculation the Congolese could be as old as 22 or 23.
Rumour and speculation like that can be enough to put many teams off and with most mock drafts projecting his being taken between a late lottery pick and late first round, there is a chance he could slide to No. 25.
Very simply, the Celtics need a center more than anything else. With the trade of Kendrick Perkins and the retirement of Shaquille O'Neal, Boston has a gaping hole at the position. Oakland’s Benson might be the best pure, all-round center in this year’s draft.
Of course, that means he will be looked at closely by every team who has a need for a center and he might never fall to within the Celtics’ grasp. However, the Boston Herald did report he was at a Celtics pre-draft workout in Waltham, MA, and he is not a lock to go early.
Williams is a power forward at Maryland but his size and strength mean he would physically be capable of moving to a center.
His value lies in his large presence and his great rebounding ability: the two things the C’s missed most in the 2010 NBA Finals and the latter half of this season.
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