Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via CSNNE) reports the Celtics are interested in undrafted free agent swingman Gilbert Brown:
Shortly after the draft ended, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge called Brown and expressed his interest in signing him to a free-agent deal. Brown said Ainge told him the Celtics had to make a decision between Brown and Purdue guard E’Twaun Moore with their second-round selection, the 55th overall in the draft. They chose Moore, but he wanted Brown to know that he was still interested.
“I’m definitely encouraged that the Celtics were interested,” Brown said Friday afternoon. “I was talking to them all day. They said it was the flip of a coin when it came time to make the pick.”
“He really encouraged me,” Brown said. “He told me I could be the Wesley Matthews of this draft. Of all the teams I worked out for, Danny was the most excited to have me in. He really feels like I can make their team and contribute the first year. He was really confident in my ability. He felt like I stood out in my workout.”
“Hands down, I was the best player at every workout I had,” Brown said. “The one workout in Phoenix had Jordan Hamilton (selected 26th by the Mavericks) and Klay Thompson (selected 11th by the Warriors). I hit all of my shots, and no one could score on me. It was one of the best displays of my ability. A lot of people only had me as a defender and an athlete coming into the draft, but at these workouts I was able to show that I could do a lot more than what I did at Pitt. I showed I was able to score the basketball, and I was able to show them that I was an even better defender than what I showed in college.”
Count Brown amongst the many Danny Ainge will be looking at to fill holes on the 2011-12 Celtics team, without sacrificing cap flexibility next summer.
Like most of them, Brown is a longshot to make the roster and a longer shot to get any rotation time if he does, but there are some pluses here. ESPN’s Chad Ford scouted him thusly pre-draft:
If his game translates to the pros, you can see why Ainge is interested. He can knock down threes in the halfcourt, run with Rajon Rondo and seems to have plus potential as a defender. And his negatives — a lack of long term upside given his age and limited offensive ability — aren’t major concerns for a guy whose best case is probably 10 minutes a game off the bench with a low usage rate.
Any Pitt fans/followers care to weigh in on Mr. Brown?