UCLA's Zach LaVine a possible target for C's

UCLA's Zach LaVine a possible target for C's
May 16, 2014, 9:00 am
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CHICAGO — As of today, the Boston Celtics have a first-round pick no worse than No. 8 overall, as well as a second, first-round selection that's No. 17 overall.

But between now and next month's draft, things could change dramatically.

That's why the Celtics are casting as wide a net as possible when it comes to evaluating players at this week's NBA pre-draft combine, which puts into better context why UCLA's Zach LaVine was among the players Boston has interviewed.

LaVine, projected by most as a late first-round pick, left the Bruins after his freshman year. While his playing time decreased in his lone season at UCLA, there was no denying his speed, quickness and jumping ability would eventually find their way to the NBA.

But there are so many facets of this 19-year-old's game that are in need of improvement; notably his shooting consistency.

One of the first orders of business is to figure out what position the 6-foot-6 guard will play.

LaVine has made no secret about wanting to play the point.

"I can play the point guard position," LaVine said. "It's fluid to me. I've played it my whole life."

The more you listen to LaVine, the clearer it becomes that he has a tremendous amount of confidence in his ability.

While his offensive skills can't be ignored, he's very confident that his defense will surprise folks.

"I have the tools to be a very good defensive player at the next level," LaVine said. "I definitely want to work on that as well."

Putting in work is something LaVine is comfortable with doing, whether it's working on his game in a gym or fine-tuning his interviewing skills which he traces back to his childhood.

"I've been taking interviews from my dad being in the car when I was young, preparing for this day," LaVine said. "I feel I'm fully prepared for interviews. I'm not camera-shy, anything like that. I feel like I'm very well prepared.

LaVine added, "my dad would give me a lot of different questions see how I would answer them and correct me on them. It was when I was younger, so I was saying anything that came in my hand. I was probably six, seven or eight; just getting me prepared. He prepared me for every aspect of it, and I thank him for that."