Celtics host potential draft selections

Celtics host potential draft selections
May 25, 2013, 6:30 pm
Share This Post

WALTHAM, Mass. — There's no consensus on what the Boston Celtics will do with the No. 16 pick in next month's NBA draft.

And in keeping with their all-options-are-on-the-table mantra, the Celtics brought in several draft prospects this weekend with the bulk of them slated to be drafted well after the C's first-round pick.

On Friday, the Celtics had workouts for guard Vander Blue (Marquette); guard/forward Ricky Ledo (Providence College); guard Peyton Siva (Louisville); forward/center Jeff Withey (Kansas); guard Erick Green (Virginia Tech); and center Colton Iverson (Colorado State).

Saturday's draft hopefuls included guard Pierre Jackson (Baylor), guard Myck Kabongo (Texas); guard Phil Pressey (Missouri); center Steven Adams (Pittsburgh), forward/center Gregory Echenique (Creighton) and guard Shane Larkin (Miami).

Of Saturday's contingent, only Adams and Larkin are considered - for now at least - players the C's are likely to consider with the No. 16 pick.

Adams, a 7-footer from New Zealand who played one season in Pittsburgh, has won over many with his steadily improving play.

Among them is former Celtic and Comcast SportsNet analyst Brian Scalabrine, who spent time working out with Adams in Los Angeles recently.

"He's been showing me ... like not tricks, but the basic fundamentals of NBA play," said Adams. "Like you can get away with a lot more stuff, physicality and throwing your 'bows around."

Although Adams' numbers as a freshman didn't exactly stand out (he averaged 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.03 blocks per game), he started to show improvement as the season progressed.

In the NCAA Tournament, he had 13 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Wichita State.

Adams credits his college coach Jamie Dixon as well as his coach in New Zealand Kenny McFadden for helping his game continue to improve.

"I just want to show what they have taught me and stuff, pretty much," Adams said. "Just my full game, I guess."

The addition of Adams would seem yet another reach on the Celtics part to add a big man who while talented, may not necessarily be ready to help them immediately.

When Boston drafted former Syracuse center Fab Melo in the first round of last year's draft, they did so with the knowledge that they would have to be patient with his development.

Adams would present a similar challenge.

The other possible mid-first round pick in town on Saturday was Larkin, who played at the University of Miami after playing high school basketball against Doc Rivers' son, Austin.

Larkin's high school team finished as state runner-up two years in a row, losing both games to Austin Rivers' squad.

Throughout high school, Larkin spent most of his time playing off the ball despite being 5-foot-11.

However, his last two seasons with the Hurricanes put him more at the point guard position where he thrived both as a scorer and in leading Miami to the Sweet 16 and an ACC championship - a first for the football-crazy school.

Last season, Larkin averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. He was even better in the ACC tournament, averaging 23.7 points, five rebounds and five assists along with 2.3 steals.

Regardless of where he's drafted, Larkin knows he will have to work to get playing time.

That challenge becomes even greater in Boston, well aware that Rajon Rondo will garner the bulk of the minutes even as he returns this season following a torn right ACL injury.

"As a rookie, you have to come in and you have to earn everything," Larkin said. "Coming in and having an opportunity to play behind Rajon Rondo, that can't be a bad thing. The minutes aren't going to be there immediately. But learning everything you can from Rondo and knowing he's one of the better point guards in the NBA, all-star every year, is going to help you be a better player. Going up against him everyday in practice is going to help you, so to play with somebody like that would be a great experience especially as a rookie."