C's get a close look at Russian center Klimenko

C's get a close look at Russian center Klimenko
June 11, 2014, 10:45 pm
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WALTHAM, Mass. — Artem Klimenko is not a household name even among NBA circles.

But the 7-foot-1 Russian is doing his part to change that with the kind of all-around game that has caught the eye of many - including the Boston Celtics. 

Klimenko was among the six big men the Celtics brought in for workouts on Wednesday, making him the second (Clint Capela of Switzerland) international prospect to work out for the Celtics this month.

"Very skilled" was how Celtics head coach Brad Stevens described Klimenko.

"He knows the game, and he's a big long kid," Stevens said. "I thought he did a good job."

Austin Ainge, Boston's director of player personnel, had a similar assessment of Klimenko's performance on Wednesday.

"He's long; he has a pretty good mid-range game," Ainge said. "He needs to get stronger but has a decent frame to add weight. He had a good year in the second division in Russia. This was our first chance to see him in person and I thought he played pretty well."

Maybe so, but it's unlikely the Celtics are targeting him with either of their first round picks (No. 6 and No. 17). The 20-year-old is expected to be drafted in the latter stages of the first round, or early in the second.

Getting Klimenko in Boston for a workout was a victory of sorts in itself.

In the past, Ainge has talked about how challenging it can be to arrange workouts for international players.

"A lot of them have just finished their playoffs in the last few days," Ainge said. "That's all up to their agents. It's a very limited window. They have to come over and pick some teams to work out for and give it their best because they don't have time to work out for all of us."

However Ainge did say that 7-3 Cape Verdean center Walter Tavares has been confirmed for a workout with the Celtics this week. Tavares is projected as a late-first round, early-second round draft pick.