With eye toward 17th pick, C's host draft prospects

With eye toward 17th pick, C's host draft prospects
June 3, 2014, 6:00 am
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WALTHAM, Mass. — The Boston Celtics are going to have more workouts leading up to the June 26 NBA draft, but few will be as highly anticipated as today's grouping which consists of small forwards.

All six players in town for today's workout will be given strong consideration for the the second of Boston's two first-round picks which is the No. 17 overall selection.

The latest Mock Draft by CSNNE.com has the Celtics drafting T.J. Warren with the No. 17 pick.

Here's a glimpse at the six players that are expected to work out for the Celtics today.

Kyle Anderson, 6-9, 230 lbs, UCLA

Summary: While his athleticism and overall foot speed have been questioned, Anderson is one of the most versatile players in this year's draft. He's 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-2 wing span and has a point guard's game in a small forward's body. Last season, he averaged 6.6 assists per game which ranked sixth in the NCAA. He was the only non-guard to rank in the top 20.

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DeAndre Daniels, 6-9, 196 lbs, UConn

Summary: The talent has never been an issue with Daniels. Consistency? That's another story. To his credit, he was an instrumental figure in UConn's unexpected run towards the national championship this past spring. He helped send Iowa State home with a 27-point, 10-rebound game in the Sweet 16 and lit up Florida for 20 points and 10 rebounds in the Final Four. But that's what makes Daniels such a wildcard. Do you roll the dice at No. 17 that you get those kind of dominant performances from him more often, or do you pass on Daniels and take a player who may not have as high a ceiling but is more consistent?

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Cleanthony Early, 6-7, 209 lbs, Wichita State

Early showed really good athleticism at the Chicago pre-draft combine, being one of just six players there with a vertical leap of 40 inches or more. He is among the few players who you may seem climb a few spots in the first round in the next couple of weeks. He's not expected to go as high as No. 17, but he has definitely worked his way into the conversation.

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P.J. Hairston, 6-5, 229 lbs, Texas Legends/UNC

Hairston is on the short list of players in this draft with NBA-ready bodies (6-5, 229) for their respective position. Getting dismissed from Carolina probably cost him a shot at being a top-10 pick, but his time in the D-League better prepared him for the NBA because in the D-League he had to defend small forwards consistently - something that probably would not have happened if he remained in Chapel Hill. He has his flaws, both on and off the court, obviously. But there's a lot to like about Hairston at No. 17, for sure.

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K.J. McDaniels, 6-6, 196 lbs, Clemson

McDaniels runs the floor extremely well, evident by him finishing the three-quarter sprint (running from the baseline to 3/4 the length of the court) in 3.10 seconds at the Chicago pre-draft combine - tops among all players there. But unlike most players at his size, McDaniels uses his exceptional length (he has a 6-11 wing span) to swat shots. Last season he averaged an ACC-best 2.8 blocked shots per game. He's a first-round pick talent-wise, but the jury's out on whether he's the best fit for Boston at No. 17.

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T.J. Warren, 6-8, 220 lbs, N.C. State

While so much of the talk in the ACC this past season centered around Duke's Jabari Parker, it was Warren who was named the ACC Player of the Year. And for good reason. He averaged an ACC-best 24.8 points per game last season which ranked third nationally. And he does it in a variety of ways which makes slowing him down extremely difficult. But having spent so much time in college defending post players, it's unclear if he has the lateral quickness to defend smaller players in the NBA. Warren's lane agility time (it tests a player's lateral quickness and agility) in Chicago was 11.10 seconds, second only to Syracuse's C.J. Fair among small forwards at the pre-draft combine. Warren is another player the Celtics will give serious thought to selecting at No. 17.