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Three Draft Day prospects for the Celtics

by Brandon Simes
Managing Editor
Tuesday Jun 23, 2009
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Here are three names the Celtics should consider dealing for in Thursday’s NBA Draft (they don’t have a first-round pick thanks to the KG trade), or taking with their only pick of the day as of now, the 58th selection, third from last in the entire thing.

Stephen Curry:

In the right deal, one that doesn’t cost a considerable piece, which would probably only be possible if he somehow falls into the teens, Curry would be a perfect Eddie House replacement and solid complement to Rondo at the point. Essentially, he could be what Gabe Pruitt isn’t, a taller point that can shoot, but with much more upside.

B.J. Mullens:

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ESPN.com’s Chad Ford said Mullens had to leave school because of economic hardship and that’s why he left after only coming off the bench as a freshman at Ohio State last year: "Mullens was projected as a Top 5 pick at the start of the season, but spent the year coming off the bench, limiting his production. While no one in the league feels Mullens is ready for the NBA, he was a hardship case and needs the money. On upside, he’s still a potential lottery pick. He’s got a lethal combination of size and athleticism. But he’s got a long way to go before he’ll be a productive NBA player. That could cause him to fall into the mid-to-late first round."

Pedigrees are great, but desire’s better. B.J. Mullens apparently needs the money, and as Kanye West so concisely put it, "Having money’s not everything, not having it is." I like talented big men reported to be good athletes who need the money. When you need it, you get it, and that means playing hard, well, and with focus. Mullens could be a steal in the right deal for a pick in the teens, especially if the Celtics can capitalize on a team looking to basically sell off its pick for economic reasons. ...Speaking of a team that likes to sell of its picks (see: Rondo, Rajon), Ford also has the Phoenix Suns (via Orlando) taking an intriguing big man out of UMass-Amherst.

Tony Gaffney:

"Gaffney isn’t getting any love, but he’s a Chris Andersen clone," wrote Ford. "He runs the floor and is an off-the-charts shot-blocker. He would be fun to watch in the Suns’ system."

This pick is a bit biased since I know Gaffney from his early years at BU, where he played before heading west to exit the stifling system departed coach Dennis Wolff ran for years, but since the Celtics would love to have Chris Andersen, if the comparisons are true you know Gaffney would give his all and be a defensive presence at the very least. If Gaffney doesn’t hear his name called on Draft Day, which is certainly an option because not only did he take a while to develop/get a chance to play significant minutes in college but he’s already 24, don’t be surprised if the Celtics invite him to camp given his local connections-I’m sure he’d love to play for the Green. This is the type of guy who blooms late and ends up playing a pivotal role on a contender, here’s hoping that turns out to be the case, because the local kid is a good guy.

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