Results of Mock Draft
Boston Sports Link - Shabazz Muhammad
NBADraft.net - Dennis Schroeder
DraftExpress.com- Shane Larkin
ESPN.com - Shabazz Muhammad
SBNation.com- Gorgui Dieng
SI.com - Gorgui Dieng
SlamOnline - Mason Plumlee
bleacherreport.com - Mason Plumlee
After watching the Celtics last year, one of the key pieces missing on their team is a true scorer. Despite signing Jason Terry and trading for Jordan Crawford, the Celtics offense at times still looked anemic. In the first 3 games against the Knicks in the playoffs, the Celtics averaged an abysmal 75 points per game.
With Paul Pierce possibly on the way out, drafting Shabazz Muhammad makes perfect sense. He is a gifted scorer, who can score on the post against a smaller guard, solid mid range, can shoot the three ball, and he also developed a floater that became part of his repertoire.
Honorable Mention: Gorgui Dieng
A really good defensive center that can impact a game without scoring. He is a solid rebounder both offensively and defensively. Huge knock on Dieng is his limited offensive ability as he lacks any threat on the post and scores most of his points on dunks and open mid range shots.
Boston Sports Link - Joseph Nazareno
Strengths: Point guard with effortless blow by speed to get by opponents virtually at will ... At 6'1-6'2, he has a huge wingspan at 6'7 1/4 ... Shows good form on his shot and his stats back that up, hitting 40% from 3 (on 3.3 attempts per game) and 84% from the line, averaging 11.9 ppg in 24 mpg during his season in the German Bundesliga ... Solid passer. Vision and playmaking skills seem to be developing nicely ... In the Hoop Summit he displayed a reliable handle and the ability to play under control at a high rate of speed, setting up teammates for buckets as well as an emerging pull up jumper. Granted that was against a talented but inexperienced group of high school prospects ... A solid defender, showing a good understanding of spacing and staying in defensive position with his hands active without reaching. Displays a lot of potential to be an on ball pest with his quick feet and huge wingspan ... Shows a developing tear drop and would be well served by perfecting it ... Also has a deft spin dribble move ... Schroeder's elite level speed is his biggest weapon and gives him a lot of intrigue as an NBA prospect ...
Weaknesses: Still raw, efficiency numbers this season could have been better ... His 3.3 to 2.9 a/to ratio display his need to become a more efficient ball protector and distributor. Though it is important to keep in mind that he's still just 19 ... Despite his 40% 3 point shooting numbers, his shot appears to lack the ability to extend out to NBA 3 at this point, as he shoots a bit of a set shot ... Just 168 lbs. Frame is slight so getting stronger will be important. At this point he can be easily muscled and knocked off balance by bigger and stronger guards. Narrow shoulders mean he'll likely never be a physical player ... Added strength would allow him to finish after contact and better utilize his ability to get into the paint. It would also benefit him defensively if opponents attempt to post him ... Needs to develop the ability to go left. He is too right hand dominant making it easier to defend him by overplaying his right ... Much more effective shooting from spot up than off isolation. Gaining the ability to go left would help in this area ... Lacks experience playing against a high level of competition, having played this season with a low level German team (New Yorker Phantoms) with lower level Americans and Germans, and the team struggled (13-19) ... Will need to develop into a vocal leader as a lead guard ... Must become more adept running the pick and roll as a ball handler ... Solid athlete but not a dynamic, above the rim type of finisher ...
Notes: Breakout star of the Portland Hoop Summit where he impressed numerous GMs and scouts ... Benefited from a tremendous week of practices followed by an excellent game in which he outperformed Kasey Hill and Demetrius Jackson. putting up 18 points, 6 assists and just 3 turnovers ... Game appears tailor made for the NBA as opposed to Europe due to his potential to break down opponents with his speed ... Named most improved player in the BBL ... There aren't a ton of big names on his German BBL team, former Duke Blue Devil and Arizona State Sun Devil, Eric Boateng, being one ...
- NBADRAFT.NET - Aran Smith 4/25/13
Larkin prefers to operate in the half-court out of pick and roll sets, where his ability to shoot off the dribble or find the open man is a huge weapon. He was one of the most prolific pick and roll players in all of college basketball, being tagged for over 500 possessions of this nature according to Synergy Sports Technology, second only to Matthew Dellavedova in terms of sheer quantity.
Larkin's prowess on the pick and roll begins with his ability to make shots off the dribble with incredible accuracy. He is equally comfortable going to his left or his right, and has range out to (and beyond) NBA three point range. He has excellent balance when pulling up off the dribble, with excellent form, elevation, and follow through, not needing much more than a split second to get his shot off. He also has an excellent step-back jump shot in his repertoire, allowing him further ability to get his shot off with little space despite his short stature. He converted 40.3% on his pull-up jump shots this season, with his 1.081 points per possession ranking in the top 5% in college basketball, according to Synergy Sports Technology.
Larkin's proficiency off the pick and roll doesn't just end with shooting, however. Larkin is incredibly quick and shifty with the ball in his hands, maintaining a low dribble that he has complete control over at all times. The combination of being a lethal shooter, having terrific quickness, possessing the ability to change direction sharply on the fly and his excellent ability to change speeds makes him a very tough cover on the perimeter, especially in pick and roll situations, where he has an ability to get into the paint with relative ease.
Analysis: Muhammad might be the most difficult player in the draft to place right now. After coming in with enormous hype, scouts are obsessed right now with the weaknesses in his game. Can he shoot off the bounce? Can he go right? Does he have the athleticism to defend? Is he a selfish player?
Muhammad is working hard to answer his critics and these workouts will go a long way to determining where he ultimately lands. But with Paul Pierce's run with the Celtics nearing an end, Muhammad might be worth the risk here if the Celtics' preferred target, Schroeder, already is off the board.
-ESPN.com- Chad Ford
After weighing several offers to trade down or out of the draft, we felt that the best value was sitting right there at pick 16. Dieng is a favorite of staff because he offers a lot of growth without being too raw from the start. He joins Fab Melo as another defensive minded project big man that will have time to develop (hopefully under the watchful eye of Kevin Garnett). Dieng adds depth at a need position and could win time from Doc by standing out on defense. If he continues to develop his elbow jumper, he could be an excellent addition to the rotation.
With or without the core of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce -- two players who may not be in Boston when training camp opens -- the Celtics need size. Dieng, 23, has a defensive reputation (he was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year last season after averaging 2.5 blocks and 9.4 rebounds), but his offensive game is better than most think. Dieng is a strong passer with a decent mid-range jump shot. Scouts also say he is one of the best screen men in the draft, a skill that Rajon Rondo will appreciate.
-SI.com, Chris Mannix
The Celtics are known for adding rugged, hard-nosed players to the mix to help supply the toughness that the City of Boston exudes, and Mason Plumlee is a player at No. 16 who can do that right away.
The guard selection also looks thin here, so the best available collegiate big man wouldn't be a bad choice.
Plumlee won't do much with the ball in his hands or posting up with his back to the basket, but he will provide energy, defense, and a Coach K mentality that all Duke players can carry with them to the pros. Boston can get some insurance for Kevin Garnett and the rest of the young players on the roster with this pick.
So do I seriously think that Plumlee will fix all of Boston’s problems in the paint? Definitely not. But it’s a start. At 6-10, 245 pounds, his build and size, along with his impressive athletic abilities for someone his size, will provide the team with a much needed boost in the paint. Having averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds last season as a senior, and even considered a National POY candidate, the Warsaw, IN, native demonstrated his prowess around the glass. He possesses a great basketball IQ and managed to average a double-double in the ACC despite not having a highly developed skill set yet.
Although he’s drawn some comparisons to Tyler Hansbrough (yes, I know saying something like this is blasphemy to many Duke fans out there), that might not be a bad thing at all. Well, yes, Hansbrough did make a few guest appearances in Shaqtin’ A Fool throughout the season, but aside from being caught slipping every now and then, he’s provided the Pacers with the intensity and effort that the team has become known for—the same immeasurable intangibles that Plumlee provides. It is his hustle and energy that made Plumlee a fan-favorite at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Plumlee is very good rebounder who can also be a pest on the defensive end for many opponents. He runs the floor well in transition and forces opposing bigs to race up the floor to defend. He’s also very efficient on the offensive side with his shot selection, having made just about 60 percent of his attempted field goals during his senior year.
If the Celtics are looking to find a player whose immediate impact will reflect in the standings or in the aforementioned team rebounding categories, they most likely won’t find it in this Draft, not with the 16th pick at least. The front office will have to get creative and put together some compelling trade offers in order for any of those to happen. At the very least, this mid-first round pick could give them some aid in the paint, which they’ve been in desperate need of for the last couple of years. At this point, any help in the interior should be welcomed.