The Boston Celtics are wasting little time with contacting potential prospects and determining what to do with their two first round draft picks. There are currently a lot of weaknesses the Celtics will need to address quickly before the 2014-15 season arrives. Center is an absolute must-have for the Celtics as well as a consistent wing scorer and a back up guard in case Avery Bradley, Jerryd Bayless or even Rajon Rondo aren’t dawning the green next season. The Celtics will begin a series of pre-draft workouts next week in Waltham to examine what’s available in the draft and what the best option will be.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, the Celtics have Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart scheduled for a workout. Smart is considered one of the top point guards in this years draft after Australia’s Dante Exum, but Exum will most likely be long gone before it’s the Celtics’ turn to pick. Smart is a very fiery competitive player and had a great sophomore season at Oklahoma State. Smart averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game for the Cowboys. Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens were both present at the NBA Combine a few weeks ago and Ainge is a real big fan of Smart because of how much fire he has. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the other guards on the Celtics if they select Marcus Smart with their top pick.
The Celtics have been playing undersized power forwards as centers all season last year and will be looking for a legit center no matter what it takes. Luckily, there is a 6’10” power forward that could pass as a center if he is selected. Indiana’s Noah Vonleh will be coming to Waltham as well for a workout with the Celtics. I’ve been a big fan of Vonleh since I first heard of him and not just because he is from a city 45 minutes north of Boston in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Vonleh had a great freshman season at Indiana averaging 17.0 points, 13.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game with the Hoosiers. His stature is just a complete freak of nature as his measurements at the combine were amongst the highest in this years draft class. His wingspan measured at 7’4″ and his hand size measured at 11.5 inches. It may seem like a revolving door with the Celtics trying to turn a power forward into a center, but Vonleh is fully capable of playing the center position with ease and should be highly considered as the 6th overall pick for the Celtics.
The Celtics will be scheduling more potential prospects in the near future with the NBA Draft fast approaching on June 26th. The Sports Authority Complex at Healthpoint will be a crowded gym this upcoming month with the Celtics currently holding the 6th and 17th overall picks in this years draft, but it’s good to keep all options open going forward.