Y.M.C.A. - Young Men Celtics Auditions - Draft Prospects

Feelin' Fab?

OK, that might be my worst post title ever. 1,000 apologies but I'm still recovering from the season and posting from vacation, so please forgive me.

I have to admit, I've poured all my heart and soul into the NBA and have long ago lost track of the NCAA. So I know next to nothing about the college draft anymore, except from reading what smart people write about it. So instead of cramming and attempting to sound smart, I'm just going to link and quote to draftniks like Sam Amick and Chad Ford.

From what I've seen so far, there are a common group of guys being pegged for the Celtics picks at 21 and 22. Here are 4 of the guys that seem to keep showing up: Fab Melo of Syracuse, Royce White of Iowa St., and to a lesser extent Andrew Nicholson of St. Bonaventure and Moe Harkless of St. Johns. The common thread here? All are 6'8" or taller.

Here's some detail from some recent mocks.

Sam Amick of SI.com

Fab Melo: At different points in the Celtics' inspired season, they publicly lamented the losses of reserve big men Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Wilcox to injury while also reportedly exploring the possibility of re-signing retired big man Rasheed Wallace. More depth down low, in other words, would be welcome. O'Neal, Wilcox and reserve center Ryan Hollins will be unrestricted free agents (not to mention Kevin Garnett), and reserve center Greg Stiemsma will be a restricted free agent. Melo is an enormous defensive presence who could find a significant reserve role.

Moe Harkless: With Mickael Pietrus heading into free agency, the athletic, versatile Harkless could slide into the backup small forward spot behind Paul Pierce. The Big East Rookie of the Year averaged 15.3 points last season, but he shot just 44.5 percent overall and 20.2 percent from three-point range. His impact elsewhere entices front-office types who watched him average 8.6 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.6 steals. Numerous executives told me he helped his cause at the combine.

Chad Ford of ESPN

Andrew Nicholson: Nicholson is another draft sleeper who may really rise with workouts. He's a big stretch 4 who has drawn some comparisons to David West. He would be another welcome addition to the Celtics' summer makeover.

Royce White: White may have helped himself as much as anyone in the draft last week. His play on the court was solid, but his interviews were stellar. Most of the NBA executives I spoke with felt that they would be comfortable drafting White somewhere outside the lottery. If the C's can add Nicholson and White -- two value picks this late in the draft -- the rebuild will be well on its way.

Bonus Link: If the Celtics decide to go with wing players, they've got some interesting options there as well. See this Dan Duggan article for details.

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