Breaking down the NBA draft: Shooters

Breaking down the NBA draft: Shooters
May 30, 2014, 4:45 pm
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BOSTON — Even the most diehard Celtics fan will tell you that the team has a few - OK, quite a few - holes to fill this offseason.

Of course, Avery Bradley's impending restricted free agent status is a priority for them to address sooner rather than later.

Even if Bradley re-signs as expected, that still leaves a huge void for the team when it comes to shooters.

The only players under contract for next season whose strength is shooting are Chris Johnson and Keith Bogans.

However, their status to a large degree next year is uncertain due to their respective contracts not being fully guaranteed.

Boston will certainly scour the free-agent pool this summer looking for shot-makers, but the Celtics' best chance at adding shooters at a nominal cost appears to be through next month's NBA draft.

Here at CSNNE.com, we take a look at four of the best pure shooters in the draft and examine their availability for the Celtics who hold the No. 6 and No. 17 pick in next month's draft.

DOUG MCDERMOTT, F, CREIGHTON

McDermott's draft status has been all over the map since he played his final game for Creighton, although lately the consensus is that he'll be selected somewhere along the back-end of the lottery (top 14).

It's easy to obsess over his gaudy scoring numbers, which include 3,150 points, fifth all-time and averaging a whopping 26.7 points per game as a senior.

What truly separates McDermott from most of his shooting contemporaries is the consistency in which he has shot the 3-ball.

As a senior, he shot 44.9 percent on 3s which would be a career-type season for most prospects.

For McDermott?

He shot better than that on 3s in all but his freshman season. And as a rookie, he still connected on an impressive 40.5 percent of his 3s.

The biggest question marks surrounding McDermott have to do with his defense and ball-handling. But if you really look around the NBA, players who shoot the ball as well as he does don't spend a lot of time dribbling and are certainly not called upon to be their team's defensive stopper.

McDermott will be an adequate defender with an above-average range on his shot. Because of that, he has the potential to be in the league for a long, long time.

MCDERMOTT'S AVAILABILITY: This is where it gets kind of tricky for the Celtics who have the No. 6 and No. 17 pick.

Taking McDermott at No. 6 is a bit of a reach, especially with players who can contribute more immediately still on the board. The CSNNE.com Mock Draft has him being selected by Charlotte with the No. 9 pick.

And at No. 17, it's highly unlikely he'll last that long.

The Celtics' best shot at McDermott, if they think he's the guy for them, is to trade down a few spots and select him.

NIK STAUSKAS, G, MICHIGAN

There are few players who made more strides in their game than Stauskas from his freshman year to this past season's sophomore campaign. He showed early on the ability to shoot the ball effectively.

Making the jump from 11 points per game as a freshman to 17.5 this past season is nice, but certainly not unprecedented.

More telling was the leap he made in assists, from 1.3 to 3.3 per game. Just as important, he showcased the ability to put the ball on the floor and make plays both for himself and for his teammates.

He is a lottery-pick talent because he can shoot the ball arguably as well as McDermott. In his freshman and sophomore seasons in Ann Arbor, he shot 44 and 44.2 percent on 3s.

Still, it's Stauskas' all-around game that has teams interested in him as a shooting guard who can handle the ball in a pinch.

STAUSKAS' AVAILABILITY: Similar to McDermott, taking Stauskas at No. 6 seems highly unlikely. While most agree Stauskas will be among the first shooting guards drafted, it would not be all that surprising if he slipped down a few spots and the Celtics found themselves in position to take him or move up a spot or two from No. 17 with the intent being to select him. The most recent CSNNE.com Mock Draft has the Chicago Bulls selecting him at No. 16. Do not be shocked if Boston makes a draft-night deal akin to what they did with Kelly Olynyk last year. Boston had the No. 16 pick, but swapped that pick and a couple future second-rounders, for Dallas' No. 13 selection which was Olynyk.

RODNEY HOOD, SF, DUKE

Jabari Parker dominated the attention given to the Blue Devils this past season, but opponents who had to prepare for Duke were just as concerned about Hood.

Because Duke played a decent amount of small ball, Hood often had to play power forward - something he probably won't be called upon to do at the next level.

Teams love that he has the look of an NBA wing at 6-8 and a respectable wing span, with the touch of an elite shooting guard. Not only does he make shots, but his decision-making is also impressive.

His biggest areas of concern lie in his defense and his intensity, which tends to fluctuate more than most teams like.

While having established himself as one of the top players in the draft, he was among the more highly-regarded prospects at the pre-draft combine in Chicago earlier this month.

Hood made no secret about his desire to prove to NBA executives in Chicago that he had more fight in him than he was being given credit for having.

"A lot of guys in my position would sit out [the combine]," Hood told reporters. "I want to compete. This is the spotlight. This is where you want to be."

HOOD'S AVAILABILITY: You can add Hood to the likely list of good shooters off the board by the time the Celtics are looking to use the No. 17 pick.  In the CSNNE.com Mock Draft, Hood is projected to go No. 12 to Orlando. There's a chance that Hood could sneak into being a top-10 pick. To take him at No. 6 is much too soon.

JAMES YOUNG, SG, KENTUCKY

Young's numbers aren't quite as impressive as the others on this list, but they didn't have to find their niche with as much talent as Young played with last season for the national champion runner-up Wildcats. He still managed to score 14.3 points per game to go with 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Young's numbers aren't quite as impressive as the others on this list, but they didn't have to find their niche with as much talent as Young played with last season for the national champion runner-up Wildcats. He still managed to score 14.3 points per game to go with 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

NBA executives believe he has the potential to be a solid two-way player because of his shot-making skills and a 7-foot wing span that allows him to play bigger defensively than one might expect.

Young is only 18 years old, but already knows that because of his size and length and leaping ability, he can shoot over the top of most defenders.

However, his youth is a double-edge sword in the eyes of many. Because he's so young, the promise of him improving is great. Still, because of that youth, it may take more time for him to develop in the NBA than other players at his position.

YOUNG'S AVAILABILITY: There's a good chance that Young will be on the board at or around the time the Celtics will be picking at No. 17. The CSNNE.com Mock Draft has Young being selected by Phoenix at No. 18. He presents the perfect dilemma facing Boston and, to a certain degree, every other team with a pick outside of the lottery. Do you take the young guy who can help you now, or do you go with the younger guy who might be great later? If Young is still on the board at No. 17, you can bet the Celtics will give some serious thought to taking him.