Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Three big men stand out as players that could be available when the Celtics pick: Syracuse’s Fab Melo, Iowa State’s Royce White, and St. Bonaventure’s Andrew Nicholson.
Melo is a legitimate 7-footer, who took major strides in his sophomore season at Syracuse. He blocked 2.9 shots per game and was named the Big East defensive player of the year.
[...] White has a much more refined offensive game than Melo. The 6-foot-8, 260-pounder has the size to bang with power forwards, but possesses guard skills with the ball in his hands. He averaged 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists in his sophomore season.
[...] The 6-9, 234-pound Nicholson was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and dominated in the conference tournament to lead the Bonnies to their first NCAA tournament berth since 2000. He’s an efficient offensive player (18.5 ppg) with impressive range, and uses a combination of length and timing to block shots
Big men are so scarce, Ryan Hollins, a guy deemed expendable by the Cavs, a guy who did this, got meaningful minutes in a Game 7.
None of these guys in the draft is perfect either. Melo was the Big East defensive player of the year, but he’s not going to be much of a contributor on offense. White has size and ability, but has an anxiety disorder that could be a hindrance to his development. And Nicholson seems to have a lot of tools, but at 6’9″, 234 pounds, can be moved around by bigger players at his position.
Of those 3, I’d bet the Celtics lean more towards Nicholson. First and foremost, he’s a four-year player, and the Celtics value maturity and intelligence. He’s been a leader at St. Bonaventure, he’s succeeded under pressure, and he’s a generally efficient player. It’s easier to add some pounds onto someone than it is to create an offensive game for someone that doesn’t exist.
That’s just my bet now. Between now and the draft, we’ll hear the Celtics drafting probably two dozen different guys, so just keep the names in mind as we move forward.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Report card: Ray Allen | WEEI Potential Celtics draft previews: John Shurna | Michael Kidd-Gilchrist | Ricardo Ratliffe | Dion Waiters | Justin Hamilton | Mo Harkless | Herald: Unclear future for Celtics | Celtics avoid perfect storm