This is the sixth in a daily look at the top prospects in the NBA Draft: Their strengths, their weaknesses, and whether or not they're a fit for the Celtics. Today's prospect: C.J. Wilcox of Washington.
C.J. WILCOX, Washington
6-foot-5, 201 pounds
HIS STORY: C.J. Wilcox completed a successful four-year career at Washington. He’s a terrific shooter who amassed 1,880 points over his four seasons, but the Huskies only made it to the NCAA Tournament in his freshman year. His inability to lead his team to the tournament when he was the man over the last two seasons doesn't reflect well on Wilcox. At 23, he’s one of the oldest players entering the draft. In today’s NBA Draft, that’s ancient. The draft has become all about potential; with older players, GMs tend to think they've just about hit their ceiling.
HIS STRENGTHS: Wilcox is the best 3-point shooter in the draft. He came to the combine with that reputation and backed it up big time, making 40 of 50 shots from the college and NBA 3-point lines. Wilcox is not just a catch-and-shoot guy; he’s very good coming off screens and has great footwork. The shooting display at the combine was impressive but his near 6-foot-10 wingspan shocked some GMs. His length will help him on both sides of the ball. He’s a decent on-ball defender, though he doesn't rebound well for a guard (only 3.7 rebounds per game last year).
HIS WEAKNESSES: His inability to create his own shot off the bounce is a problem. He’s a shoot-first guard and not just by choice, as he doesn’t have moves off the bounce to create. He doesn't attack the rim well and only got to the free-throw line 3.7 times per game last year. His vertical at the combine was strong at 37 1/2 inches, but overall he’s just an average athlete with average size. He doesn't have that explosiveness you want in a shooting guard at the NBA level.
IS HE A FIT FOR THE CELTICS? Wilcox could creep into the last few picks of the first round, but more likely will go early in the second. He’ll be available for the Celtics at No. 17, but taking Wilcox wouldn't make much sense, not with their current personnel. He would best fit a team that has a dominant wing scorer or big that requires unbalanced defenses, in which case Wilcox could be set up to shoot on the weakside of the floor. He's good on the stand-still jumper, and in close-out situations. His ability to then get by defenders and knock down pull ups will be showcased. In the right scenario, Wilcox could be an offensive weapon as a shooter. Beyond that, I don't see him impacting games in other areas.
COMING ON MONDAY: K.J. McDaniels of Clemson