BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics have admitted they are not expected much with the 25th and 55th pick in the Thursday night’s NBA Draft, but they may be able to add a role player or two.
Both Ainge and head coach Doc Rivers said the Celtics need to add shooting and size, but were not sure if they could address those needs in the draft or if they would have to wait for free agency.
Here are some options for Danny Ainge when the Celtics number gets called Thursday night.
Nikola Vucevic, C, USC
Vucevic would add size to the Celtics, but there is no guarantee he will fall the 25. The seven-footer scored 17.1 points per game his junior year at USC, hauling in 10.3 rebounds. At 260 lbs, he would be the big man the Celtics need down low, but there are questions about his quickness and ball handling skills.
JaJuan Johnson, C/F, Purdue
Johnson was a beast for the Boilermakers his senior year, scoring 20.5 points per game and averaging 8.6 rebounds. He can jump right out of the building , and makes his presence felt on the defensive end averaging 2.3 blocks last year. He can run the floor and has a decent mid-range jumper, but will have to develop a low-post game.
Kenneth Fairied, F, Morehead State
Fairied was a monster on the boards in his four years at Morehead State, averaging over 12 a game during his career. He had 14.5 per game his senior year, and demolished Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals for 17 in Morehead’s 62-61 NCAA Tournament win. Fairied averaged 17.3 points per game his senior year, using his 6-8 frame in the Ohio Valley Conference. There is a good chance he is already off the boards when it comes time for the Celtics to pick.
Reggie Jackson, G, BC
Reggie Jackson would bring the Celtics the scoring and shooting they covet as a 6-3 guard who can create his own shot. He was named to the All-ACC first team after averaging 18.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 50-percent from the field for the Eagles. One cause for concern would be the minor knee surgery he underwent during the spring, but it might not be enough for other teams to select Jackson before the Celtics get a chance.
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Marshon Brooks, G, Providence
The 6-5 guard from Providence has seen his stock rise during NBA workouts, and his college numbers are just as impressive. He averaged 24.6 points per game, 7 rebounds and shot 48-percent from the field last year for the Friars. His 7-1 wingspan and good ball handling skills have been impressing scouts, but he has been seen as a player that needs to work on getting everyone else on the floor involved. Still, a player that can create his own shot and use his size is the kind of players the Celtics need.
Jimmy Butler, F, Marquette
Doc Rivers has never met a Marquette alum he did not like. And there is little not to like about Butler. The 6-8 forward averaged 15.7 points for the Golden Eagles, showing off a very impressive inside/outside game. He crashed the boards as well, pulling down 6.1 rebounds per contest. It looks like he could be available to the Celtics at 25.
The 22-year-old O’Donnell is a big wild card, not just for the Celtics but the NBA in general. He was the 15th overall pick in the Canadien Football League, sporting a 6-10, 340 lbs. The Celtics showed interesting in the tackle, working him out earlier this spring, despite the fact he has not played basketball since high school.
There is even the chance Ainge could pull a Bill Belichick move, opting to trade out of this year’s draft if there are no good players available. Ainge stated yesterday he would not trade any of their picks in the 2012 NBA draft to improve their pick this year. The Celtics have a few trade exceptions as well, andESPN’s Chad Ford is reporting Boston could trade the 25th pick for a player, although it is doubtful it would net them anyone great.