As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

DEYONTA DAVIS

Position: Power forward

School: Michigan State

Age: 19 (turns 20 on Dec. 2)

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 237 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-2

Key 2015-16 stats: 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 59.8 field goal percentage

Scouting report: Having played only an average of 18.6 minutes in 35 games with the Spartans, Davis is only a promising prospect for the time being, as there are many parts of his game that need to be built on. At the moment, Davis is very mobile for a big man and is adept as a rim protector. He did most of scoring around the rim, soaring high for alley-oops or collecting missed shots and slamming the ball home with ease. For a player his size, his athleticism and physical tools are likely the most impressive thing about him. He can guard perimeter players and would fit right in as a small-ball center in the NBA.

The plan wasn’t always for Davis to stay under Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for just a year, but as the year progressed, the more Davis realized the time to head for the NBA draft was now.

“I always kept in my mind that I could be a one-and-done,” David said at the NBA combine. “It was something I set for myself, me and Tom Izzo.”

Davis, who is projected to be drafted in the middle of the first round, was a key cog in Michigan State’s success last season, but the fact remains that there is plenty of work to be done by the big man. Besides scoring down low, Davis does not bring much else offensively. On the defensive end, he was often too aggressive, getting in foul trouble when biting on pump fakes. Davis also must remain focused more in games and work on both is offensive and defensive awareness.

Notes: Davis finished the season third in the Big Ten in blocks (64) and seventh in offensive rebounds (72). He also ended the year ranked second in field goal percentage and third in total rebounds.

Related articles:

Bleacher report: Breaking down NBA future of MSU’s Deyonta Davis

Lansing State Journal: MSU’s Valentine, Davis in stark contrast as NBA prospects

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier

The Celtics continue to struggle to find a willing trade partner to take the No. 3 pick in Thursday’s draft and the culprit is the lack of talent on their roster to sweeten a deal.

According to ESPN’s Ryen Russillo, the Celtics are striking out in their efforts to move the pick.

The Celtics continue to struggle to find a willing trade partner to take the No. 3 pick in Thursday’s draft and the culprit is the lack of talent on their roster to sweeten a deal.

According to ESPN’s Ryen Russillo, the Celtics are striking out in their efforts to move the pick.

Russillo goes on to note that while some teams might like defensive stopper Avery Bradley, there’s little interest in Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, the 16th pick, etc. . . .

Blog Author: 
WEEI

According to ProBasketballDraft.com, the Celtics continue to prioritize finding a scorer. And one of the players they are discussing is Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton.

According to ProBasketballDraft.com, the Celtics continue to prioritize finding a scorer. And one of the players they are discussing is Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton.

Middleton, who just signed a five-year extension, averaged 18 points per game last season. The 6-foot-8 swingman was a second-round pick of the Detroit Pistons in 2012, having starred at Texas A&M.

He has shot 39 percent or better from beyond the 3-point stripe in each of his last three seasons, while managing a career-high 88 percent clip from the foul line last season.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

SKAL LABISSIERE

Position: Power forward

School: Kentucky

Age: 20

Height: 7-foot-0

Weight: 216 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-3

Key 2015-16 stats: 6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks

Scouting report: Projected to be a top-two pick at the beginning of the season, Labissiere saw his stock fall a bit after he averaged only 15.8 minutes last season. Physically, Labissiere has all the tools, and he can move up and down the court very well for a big man. He specializes above the rim, often scoring on putback dunks or off of lob passes from teammates. Other than his down-low game, NBAdraft.net writes that Labissiere is “a natural, high level shooter with excellent form.” He often flashed his mid-range game in college, but it’s believed that he can develop that jump shot to become a valuable stretch four at the next level. Defensively, Labissiere has a knack for blocking shots with his wingspan and quickness.

What hurts Labissiere is that he never fully lived up to hype about him before his freshman season. He lacks discipline on both ends of the court, and will be a long-term project for an NBA team. He is a bit thin for a 7-footer, and gets bullied in the paint a bit too often. This hurt his rebounding game, and was part of the reason he didn’t get as much playing time as he was expected at the beginning of the year. He’ll need to be a little meaner for the NBA in order to fully utilize his talent and potential.

Notes: Labissiere lived in Haiti until an earthquake in 2010 forced him to move to the United States. … While at Kentucky, he won SEC Freshman of the Week twice, and led the team in blocks in 12 games. … Labissiere was a 2015 Jordan Brand Classic member and was a part of the Nike Hoop Summit World Team that same year.

Related articles:

USA Today: Skal Labissiere: ‘In two or three years, I think I can be the best player in this draft’

247 sports: John Calipari a big believer in Skal Labissiere’s talent

Yahoo Sports: Combine buzz: Skal Labissiere impresses

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier

As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

GUERSCHON YABUSELE

Position: Power forward

Country: France (Rouen)

Age: 20 (turns 21 on Dec. 17)

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 240 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-2

Key 2015-16 stats: 11.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 42.6 3-point field goal percentage

Scouting report: Yabusele is known for his incredible strength on the block. He tends to bully his defenders and use his explosiveness to get easy looks under the basket. Despite his strength and impressive frame, Yabusele is both nimble and quick on his feet. Also, Yabusele can hit 3-pointers from deep, something NBA teams would love to have. Yabusele believes that he can use his range to find success overseas.

“I am watching a lot of NBA games and I really think I can play over there,” Yabusele said in an interview with NBAdraft.net. “I really like the way they play and I really like the NBA and think I can be good.”

At only 6-foot-8, Yabusele is somewhat undersized as an NBA big man, and his thick frame makes it difficult to guard more athletic, faster big men. He is sometimes too aggressive, which leads to foul trouble, and shot only 53.9 percent from the floor last season. He will need to shoot more efficiently to survive in the NBA.

Yabusele is projected to go early in the second round, and multiple national mock drafts have the Celtics using one of their many picks on him.

Notes: Yabusele started for Rouen last season, leading his team in rebounds and 2-point field goal percentage (57.2 percent).

Related articles:

Hardwood paroxysm: 2016 NBA draft scouting report: Guerschon Yabusele

NBADraft.net: Guerschon Yabusele interview

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier

Of all the trade rumors involving the Celtics’ first-round pick — No. 3 overall — the idea of a deal with the Sixers has always seemed the most plausible.

The Celtics reportedly had strong interest in Jahlil Okafor earlier this year, and he remains a logical fit for what Danny Ainge might need.

Of all the trade rumors involving the Celtics’ first-round pick — No. 3 overall — the idea of a deal with the Sixers has always seemed the most plausible.

The Celtics reportedly had strong interest in Jahlil Okafor earlier this year, and he remains a logical fit for what Danny Ainge might need.

Monday night, the scenario seemed to gain some momentum thanks to a report on CSNNE by NBA analyst Tim Welsh.

While Okafor would appear to be the logical target for the Celtics, center Nerlens Noel might also be in the mix if any deal was completed.

The Sixers have the No. 1 overall pick and are expected to pick LSU forward Ben Simmons, potentially leaving them with more of a need for a guard. That’s where their desire to secure Dunn would come in.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

PRINCE IBEH

Position: Center

School: Texas

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 261 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-5

Key 2015-16 stats: 4.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks

Scouting report: Ibeh has been followed closely by NBA scouts for a while now given his supreme physical aspects. His wingspan is ridiculous, and his weight makes him impossible to push around down low. Couple that with his above-average athleticism and lateral quickness, and Ibeh has everything physically to protect the rim in the NBA. He also uses that athleticism to defend guards on pick-and-rolls, as well as throw down putback slams. Ibeh has a knack for pulling down offensive boards, but he is best at blocking shots and keeping those blocks in play, which often led to transition points for the Longhorns.

Yet it’s obvious there is a long way to go before Ibeh can truly excel at the professional level. A projected late second-round pick, he is nothing more than an alley-oop option on offense, and cannot be relied on at all on that end of the floor. He is an abysmal free throw shooter, indicating that Ibeh likely never will be a valuable scoring option for a team. He is not a great defensive rebounder, often failing to box out opponents. He will need to improve his awareness on both ends of the floor if he wishes to stick with an NBA team. It’s no secret that Ibeh will be a lengthy project for whichever team takes him.

Notes: Ibeh won Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was an unanimous selection to the conference’s All-Defensive Team. … He was born in London before moving to Texas at age 5. He didn’t start playing basketball until the ninth grade.

Related articles:

247sports: Prince Ibeh’s mental hurdles, how he’s realizing NBA potential

SportsDay: Senior Prince Ibeh helped Texas move past major injury but wants to show what he’s really capable of

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier