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.