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Wednesday Workout Recap

The Celtics hosted former college stars Justin Harper, Jon Leuer, and Jamie Skeen (among others) for a workout on Wednesday.   While the Celtics will keep any meaningful analysis behind closed doors, we can speculate on not only who might end up being a serviceable NBA player, but also who might fit the Celtics best.

From Chad Ford at ESPN.com:

The Celtics have a really interesting workout Wednesday. Richmond’s Justin Harper, Wisconsin’s Jon Leuer, VCU’s Jamie Skeen and Butler’s Matt Howard are all in the same workout. All four of those power forwards can really stroke the basketball. You think the Celtics might be in the market for a stretch 4?

Unfortunately, Matt Howard decided to skip out on the workout.  Trust me, this is a bummer. If Celtics fans ever wanted to see Leon Powe return to Boston without the knee troubles and a reliable jump shot, Howard is your man.

The rest of these players each have certain elements to their game that could make any Celtics’ fan excited at the prospect of their addition.  But a word of caution: none of these guys are going to be game-changers.  In fact, it’s pretty obvious that anyone the Celtics’ draft is not going to be a panacea.  The Celtics have the 25th overall and the 55th overall picks.  Anyone drafted at these spots that ends up contributing anything meaningful next season would be slightly short of fluky.

As I said before, there will be stuff you love about these guys- the attitude, the shooting, the size- but there are also reasons why the Celtics think they have a shot at drafting them so late.  Let’s break them down:

Jamie Skeen
Height: 6’8” (6’6.5” w/o shoes)
Weight: 241.6
College: Virginia Commonwealth University

Skeen had a great tournament after being the best player on a mid-major team that made it to the Final Four.  VCU was a product of a combination of solid players, great coaching, and Skeen’s ability to play inside and out.  He has a reliable jumpshot from 18-22 feet (not sure if he has NBA Three range) and the necessary bulk to bang down low.  Think of Skeen as a more offensively polished Jeff Adrien while being a slightly worse rebounder.

The biggest reason why Skeen isn’t rated higher on anyone’s draft board is because he’s a classic tweener.  He measured really short without socks and there are questions regarding whether or not he’ll be able to defend quicker threes.  Ideally, he’d be the guy to defend a LeBron James or a Carmelo Anthony but he hasn’t had an opportunity to prove he has to foot speed or lateral quickness.

Justin Harper
Height: 6’8.75″  (6’8” w/o shoes)
Weight: 228.0
College: Richmond

Just like Skeen, Harper did himself a lot of favors by being one of the best players on a semi-Cinderella team in the NCAA tournament.  I didn’t get a chance to watch him a ton, but word on the street is that he lacks the necessary bulk to play back-to-the-basket but can shoot the lights out.

I’m not as enamoured with Harper has others and that may stem from not being able to watch him play as much as the others.  I wasn’t impressed with his measurements and if I wanted a guy that could do one thing well, I’d rather have the taller and better rebounder…which brings us to…

Jon Leuer
Height: 6’11.5” (6’10” w/o shoes)
Weight: 223.2

With Leuer, you may be looking at the second coming of Ryan Anderson.  He’s big and he can shoot.  I’ve also seen him have the ability to put the ball on the floor a little which is encouraging.  I am a little concerned that he is a finished product as is which raises doubts in my mind as to whether or not he can compete at the next level.

* * *

The bottom line is that the Celtics really cannot go wrong with selecting any of these guys with any of their picks.  Although, I’m not really in the mood to see another “picked him for his potential” situation like we saw with Avery Bradly last year.  Don’t get me wrong: I’m excited to Bradley actually play this year as much as anyone but I’m still hoping that the Celtics are going to go for a guy that has a more complete resume.  Someone who is more likely to contribute right away regardless of how much that actual contribution is.  Someone like Semih Erden….too soon?

We’ll continue to keep you updated on all the prospects coming in for workouts this offseason.  On Monday, the Celtics have another batch of prospects to semi-dissesct.

  • RamGrl

    Ummmm did you actually WATCH the NCAA tournament? How about ANY games from a Richmond team before that? Obviously not or you'd know a little more about the players.

    • jacksobd

      I did watch the tourney but even that is a ridiculously small sample size. What would like to know/add/discuss? I've also read plenty of posts/articles. I'm assuming you're a VCU fan or maybe you can be characterized as having a lot of random-access memory….

  • LACelticsFan

    Kinda disappointed that Harper only measured 6-8? Thought he was taller at about 6-10. He is more of a tweener forward, so dont think he could really help us. Leuer is long and could really help us with his shooting, think a Matt Bullard. We could use that talent off the bench. But when will we bring in Johnson or Williams to see their true heights? Could be interesting.

  • Diego

    At what spot was Rondo, drafted? It amuses me when somebody says that we shouldn't expect to pick anything but a contributor at this spot. Danny Ainge should go after the most talented, with the biggest upside, player, period. What if we have to wait 2-3 years to get a DeAndre Jordan type player (YES he was drafted at the end of the firts round).

    • jacksobd

      I think you and I have different definitions of "amuse" and "expect". In the past 20 drafts there have been 8 players chosen with the 25th pick that could be considered contributors (including one All Star in Gerald Wallace). You could get lucky and get a guy like Nicolas Batum, Gerald Wallace, or Carlos Delfino but you are more likely to draft a guy like Morris Almond, Shaun VanDiver, Martin Muusepp, or Tim James. Can you get a good and even great player at the 25th pick? Absolutely. Should you expect it? Absolutely not.

      • Diego

        Well it's simple math and a logical result of simple math. By the numbers alone, picking early in the draft gives a GM better chances on getting a star (everyone knew Lebron, Shaq, there was a debate about Dwight and Emeka). My point was not about whether picking 5 is better or worse that picking 30, but that as a GM it's better to take a chance on talent. Shot for the star. That's why I ended with the DeAndre Jordan example. Isn't it better to have picked Morris Almond, Shaun VanDiver(I honestly don't remember him) and Tim James and then "getting lucky" with a Gerald Wallace or Rajon Rondo, grabbing an All Star. Than picking 2-3 contributors? By the way I was glancing at some past draft boards. Year 2008 was an unbelievable year for the middle to late picking teams…… 15. Robin Lopez, 16. Marreese Speights, 17. Roy Hibbert, 18. Javale McGee, 19. JJ Hickson, 21. Ryan Anderson, 22. Courtney Lee, 24. Serge Ibaka, 25. Nicolas Batum, 26. George Hill, 27. Darrel Arthur and 30. JR Giddens 😉

        • Diego

          Just a correction, Deandre was picked 35th on that same year's draft, second round, not first round. My bad. Good talent on that draft indeed.

  • Morpheus

    Howard compared to Powe, that is a disgrace to Powe. And the idea that Leuer is a better rebounder than Harper is a myth.

    Harper hands down for me.

  • jeff

    i actually would prefer the C`s draft for potential and Doc actually play those guys so maybe they could contribute by playoff time10 veterans and 5 24 and under players i still think rondo might be moved for paul or williams and alot of teams are eyeing the celtics 2012 draft pick plus the dearth of cap space the C`s will have or atleast a lower cap number

  • LACelticFan

    Second Round picks, Scottie Hopson, Ben Hansbrough, DeAndre Liggins are all some good choices to be

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