Post-game Reactions

The start of the NBA Finals and the beginning of the month to June are usually a couple good signs that NBA draft season is in full effect. With much work to be done this offseason to fill various voids on the roster, the Celtics front office has been hard at work scouting college prospects all over the country for months now.

Today however, the C’s get their first look at a variety of players on their home turf in Waltham. The names on the list shouldn’t get anyone too excited, as most of these bigs are potential 2nd round draftees, but it’s important to note just how much success Ainge has had in the past poaching useful big man out of the second round. Glen Davis, Leon Powe, Semih Erden, and Ryan Gomes are just a few of the guys who have been contributors at some point for Boston, despite being drafted late.

A couple other items of interest before we get to the full list. First,  Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald notes that the biggest name invited to the workouts, Butler’s Matt Howard, has pulled out. Murphy explains his absence, as well as the lack of potential first rounders at today’s workout.

The Celtics personnel staff saw him work out during a group session last week in Minnesota. That, plus Howard’s well-known body of work in college, will have to suffice.

“A lot of times the guys you are interested in don’t come in for a workout,” Celtics president Danny Ainge said yesterday. “When you pick at (No.) 25, sometimes the guys you like think they are going higher.”

In addition, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com, also passes along the news via the C’s, that Doc Rivers will not be in attendance for the workout, as he continues his recovery from offseason throat surgery. No real surprise there, as Rivers tends to leave the scouting heavy lifting to Ainge all year long.

Here’s the full list of today’s prospects, via the Herald. The good news about all these guys? They all hit the glass hard, a major area of need for the C’s this offseason.

VCU’s Jamie Skeen (6-9, 240)
Wisconsin’s John Leuer (6-10, 228, 18.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg),
Old Dominion’s Frank Hassell (6-8, 261, 15.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg),
Temple’s Lavoy Allen (6-9, 225, the Owls’ all-time rebounding leader with 1,147 over four years),
Richmond’s Justin Harper (6-10, 225, 17.9 ppg, 46.5 3-pt. percentage) Keith Benson (Oakland University, 17.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.6 bpg).

And here are the guys coming in for Monday’s workout:

Terrence Jennings (Louisville, 6-9, 220, 9.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
Vernon Macklin (Florida, 6-10, 240, 16.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg),
Kevin Anderson (Richmond, 6-foot, 175, 16.6 ppg, .408 3-pt.)
Demontez Stitt (Clemson, 6-2, 180, 14.5 ppg, 3.3 apg).

Have any CelticsHubbers seen any of these lesser known names up close? Whose skills could translate best to the NBA level? Let’s start the discussion now.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • Batman

    Keith Benson is my boy
    Would be great to draft him

    • I_Love_Green

      Yessir. I'd love to get him.

  • lakershater13

    Matt O'donnell? 6'11 330lb Offensive Tackled, I hear he is being worked out today. Now can a player like that be signed or would we have to pick him up in the draft?

    • Diego

      Good question. He can't be signed, that much I know. To secure his rights he should be drafted, otherwise both parts should wait until an agreement it's reached from the players and the owners. June first was the last day anyone could've signed under the old agreement.

      • Diego

        I'm sorry, May 31st was the last day…..

  • The Prayer

    I wish they work out Jeremy Tyler (big project pick). He's been one of the top HS prospects from two years ago, but he hurt his stock a lot by playing terribly in Israel and Japan. He's a legit 6'10 / 6'11 guy with great athleticism, a 7'5'' wingspan, 9'2'' standing reach and he's just about to turn 20 this June. He's been labeled a headcase, but a vet locker room can do wonders for that.

    Here's a nice piece on him: http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2011/5/31/2198189

    • lakershater13

      I think he would be the a great pick for the celtics. Think of what KG could do with this kid. They say you cannot teach someone to be big and he is big. There is rumors that if he falls into the second round then Miami might grab him early. Young 20 year old center with the big 3 in miami is not something I want to see.

      I think the absolute best thing for the C's to do is trade up into the top 10 to take Bismack Biyombo. He is a freak athlete and best defender in draft. I think he would be the perfect guy to defend lebron and he could be a lot of fun to watch with rondo on a fast break.

      • The Prayer

        However, I think our chances of trading up are slim. Having workouts with these guys mean that these are the kind of guys the FO is looking at, and aside from that, I don't think we have assets that teams in the lottery would want to give up for.

  • Avinash

    Ive seen Hassell play before dont go by his stats the CAA was weak in rebounding all year, defense was average.

  • CsFanInArkansas

    I just REALLY don't want to see us take another "tweener" forward.

    We need someone who can patrol the paint, be the last line of defense, not allow easy buckets and loves the taste of glass.
    Perk could do a few of those things really well – he just wasn't quick enough off the floor to defend the rim. If we could get someone with size/length that can move well (protect the paint/rim) then I think we would be able to really address a glaring weakness.

    I'm in Arkansas (SEC) and was able to see Macklin from Florida play quite a bit. The dude is big, strong and athletic. He's got a decent face-up jumper and a pretty basic low-post game. But he can bang with the big boys, for sure – and pound the glass. Donovan is an elite college coach and some of his bigs have transitioned very well into the NBA (Horford, Noah, Haslem).

  • SteveB

    I like the video I saw of Leuer. He could be a poor man's Nowitzki.

  • Tony

    I like Macklin as well. He is big, athletic and rebounds. Not much offense, but not much needed with our current lineup. Plus realisticly he would be there at our pick. Just remember he is a PF, not a center. There are not many true centers in this draft. Perhaps with Shaq retiring, and Kristic leaving we could use the money on a FA center.

    • CsFanInArkansas

      Horford played PF at Florida (Noah played the 5 spot) but has transitioned well into playing C in the NBA. Macklin is the same size but doesn't have the offensive polish that Horford has developed. I could see him playing the 5 in the NBA more than the 4.

      NBA scouts list Macklin as a PF/C.

  • Morpheus

    Keep an eye on Justin Harper, kids.

    • strips

      hmmm…another sheed in the making? would spread the floor real good then…hearing good things about that o'donnel kid as well

      • CsFanInArkansas

        according to blakely at csnne.com, the only thing impressive about o'donnel at the workout was the fact that he's enormous. he's a football player. a huge one. that's it.

  • Jeremy

    im thinking macklin, benson, howard and hassell and if possible get the guard out of hofstra!

  • Balagan

    Nobody likes Jamie Skeen? Kid's got heart. Only problem is he's undersized for what we really need…he has the range though.

  • Jason

    None of the bigs listed do much for me. Benson would probably be my favorite but he plays kind of soft and his motor is questionable. When those are a player's drawbacks and he's not considered a top 10 prospect, chances aren't good for him becoming an impact player. I like the athleticism and skill level though. He wouldn't be a horrible selection at 25 but he might go earlier.

    Harper had a good senior year but that was his only good year and he's an inadequate rebounder. Not in the first round.

    Jennings wouldn't be horrible in the second round. He might not ever average even 5 points a game but he's a very good shotblocker. The Celtics could use his shotblocking in the second unit. His basketball IQ didn't seem all that great and he didn't progress very much at Louisville.

    • Morpheus

      Remember these are some of the prospects that Danny could be looking at #25 not #5. Benson, Harper, Skeen would be good picks at 25.

      • Morpheus

        I can understand fans wanting the next Shaq or Dwight Howard, but that aint happening in this draft at 25.

  • W2.

    I would be shocked if the Celts drafted any of those guys. Danny has his list and I would guess has a pretty good idea about who is going to be there.

    Draftexpress has us taking Charles Jenkins from Hofstra. Dude is electric if you ask me. Obviously, everyone is thinking big, but my guess is Danny will not be box in by position or need.

  • re: "Matt O'Donnell? 6'11 330lb Offensive Tackle, I hear he is being worked out today."

    Can you please confirm whether, or not, Matt O'Donnell [i.e. football player from Queen's University, Kingston ON] actually participated in this scheduled Big Man workout with the Boston Celtics?

    Thanks, in advance.

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