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Getting to Know Lester Hudson

As you probably know by now, the Celtics selected Lester Hudson of Tennessee-Martin with the 58th pick in the draft a few minutes ago. 

Luckily for me on this late Thurdsay/early Friday, Hudson was one of four guys I profiled in detail a few days ago, so you can read that post here and his DraftExpress profile here. (And here’s Chad Ford’s profile to boot).

To recap: Hudson is the oldest player drafted (he’s about to turn 25 in August), and the second-highest scorer (27.6ppg) behind Stephen Curry. He used a higher percentage of his team’s possessions than any player in the draft, as he had to do pretty much everything offensively to keep Tennessee-Martin afloat. His shooting percentages are commendable when you consider the offensive burden he had to carry. (He shot 51 percent from two-point range and 35 percent on 284 three-point attempts–the fourth-highest number of attempts among 21 NCAA shooting guards Bret LaGree of Hoopinion tracked in his invaluable spreadsheet). That burden also makes his high turnover rate forgivable. The guy was forced to do crazy stuff in college he’ll never do in the NBA–unless he wants Doc to yell at him during garbage time.

LaGree’s numbers also indicate that Hudson is a decent to very good athlete. He ranked first among those 21 shooting guards in defensive rebounding rate, sixth in offensive rebounding rate and fourth in steals per 100 possessions. All of those are signs of a good athlete, even if he wasn’t always playing against the best competition in the Ohio Valley Conference. Those who know better say Hudson has a reputation as a strong man-to-man defender.

His pre-draft measurements on DX were all taken in 2008, when Hudson entered the draft and backed out after getting a luke warm response. Perhaps those measurements have improved since last year, but most likely they have stayed at about the same level. He is almost 25, after all. 

If so, his vertical leap (30.5 inches standing still, 36.0 max) ranked right in the middle of 15 guards DX classified as shooting guards before this draft. (Cautionary note: Some of those guys are combo guards who lean to PG, including Jrue Holiday, Rodrique Beaubois and Tyreke Evans). 

Not to go all Bilas on you, but he’s got a long wingspan (nearly 6’9”) for his height (6’1”). (I have no idea if he has what Bilas actually referred to as SecondJumpAbility). Of course, it’s his height that likely disappointed a bunch of teams last season. He was listed as 6’3” at one point but measured 6’1” in shoes and just under 6’0” without shoes by the time the ’08 pre-draft camps rolled around. 

Look, we all know Hudson is not going to play a lot next season, if at all. The C’s have 10 guys under contract right now, and that  number will be up over a dozen once they decide what to do with Baby and Powe and scoop up some free agents via the cap exceptions. So Hudson is going to spend his time in the D-League or holding down the 12th man spot.

That said, J.R. Giddens and Gabe Pruitt (on whom the C’s have a team option for next season) may notice the C’s just drafted another guard (albeit one who’s older than both of them), which may make them feel even more insecure about their spots with the big club. Perhaps they’ll work even harder than they already are.

Or maybe the C’s just drafted Hudson hoping the maturity he has derived from his nigh 25 years on this planet might rub off on Rajon Rondo? He’s older than Rondo, Perkins, Pruitt, Giddens, Davis, Bill Walker, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and many, many others around the league. 

Not a team-changer, but maybe a fun guy to root for. Welcome to Boston, Lester.

  • http://na allen morris

    He is going to score alot of points and will start in

    Boston soon. He can out shoot anyone on your team now. I am serious. Lester is going to be a great assist

    to the Celtics. I said it first. Go Lester !

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