Why the Boston Celtics interviewed who they did at the NBA Draft Combine

Alonzo J. Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Which prospects did the Celtics interview at the NBA Combine? Why?

After an eventful NBA Combine, the Boston Celtics will now advance to the next stage of the draft scouting process. Individual and group workouts will start as early as next week for some teams, and the Celtics are expected to be one of them.

Before that step is taken, it's important to look back at this past week. Only 14 players have reportedly been interviewed by Boston, so here are each of those players with some explanations on why the Celtics may have interest in them:

Kyle Anderson, PG/F, UCLA

Try to slot him, you can't. Kyle Anderson is the size of a forward, at 6-foot-8.5, and has the skills of a point guard. The 20-year-old point forward would interest the Celtics because of his positional flexibility, which is something teams are valuing in this ever-changing game.

Markel Brown, SG, Oklahoma State

One of the standouts from the combine was Markel Brown, who stands at only a hair over 6-foot-5, but his 43.5-inch vertical was tied for the best at the combine. He is a freakish athlete, and is also a fantastic shooter. Since Brown spent so much time playing behind teammate Marcus Smart, he may have some untapped potential as a playmaker.

Dante Exum, G, Australia

It's a no-brainer for the Celtics to interview Dante Exum just to remove some of the mysterious aura surrounding him. The 6-foot-6 combo guard measured in with a massive 72.5-inch wingspan and was outstanding in all agility drills. He also claims to have completely taken his game to another level, and if that's the truth, he may be on top of Boston's board.

Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona

The best defensive player in this year's draft is Aaron Gordon. At only 18-years-old, he managed to display the potential of an elite defender, and he could very well defend all five positions once he reaches his prime. Because of this flexibility, and his complimentary offense, he could be fit with the Celtics. Perhaps, they interviewed him to confirm their belief that he will work as hard in the NBA as he did in college.

P.J. Hairston, G/F, D-League

If the Celtics drafted P.J. Hairston, they'd receive a player that could immediately fill it up from three-point range. He has excellent mechanics and shot 35.8 percent with the D-League's Texas Legends. Though that percentage leaves a lot to be desired, Hairston would only see it increase in the NBA, where his role would provide for more quality shots.

Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

No player would be better to replace Avery Bradley than Gary Harris. They are similar players in that they are both tenacious defenders and bring complimentary skills on the offensive end of the floor. Harris is a quality three-point shooter and is in the process of developing his pick-and-roll playmaking skills.

Rodney Hood, SF, Duke

Even though Rodney Hood has his warts as a prospect, the Celtics may look at him as a perfect fit for Brad Stevens' system. Hood already brings a slick three-point stroke, and will automatically stretch the floor with his deep range.

Zach LaVine, G, UCLA

Even though Zach LaVine is at least one year away from playing in an NBA game, the Celtics may view him as a perfect high risk/high reward selection towards the back of the first round. He is one of the most athletic players in the draft, as he proved at the combine, and is already an efficient three-point shooter, but his raw basketball skills keep him from being considered a safe pick.

Doug McDermott, F, Creighton

There is no reason for the Celtics not to interview Doug McDermott. He brings perfect skills for Brad Stevens' system considering his incredible floor-spacing shooting skills. McDermott will enjoy a long career in the NBA for his shooting prowess, and perhaps it'll be with Boston.

Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky

Despite the logjam at the power forward position, the Celtics may view Julius Randle as a talent too good to pass up. He arguably has a higher upside than any of the players currently on the roster, and his attitude would add a tough mentality to the team's frontcourt. Some of the concerns about Randle's athleticism and size have also been hushed after his relatively normal measurements at the combine.

Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State

Without a perimeter jumper, Marcus Smart might not seem like an ideal fit for the Celtics, but he's a player that can effectively switch and defend two, possibly three positions. His athleticism and defense is extraordinary, and when his potential guard skills are thrown on top of that, his upside is immense.

Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan

At 6-foot-6, Nik Stauskas has the size to play the wing position, and the shooting stroke to lead the league in three-point percentage. With Avery Bradley set to enter restricted free agency, drafting Stauskas would give the Celtics an immediate replacement at the two-guard.

Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana

Of course, the Celtics have a plethora of big men, but Noah Vonleh would be the first on the roster with actual rim protecting potential. Even though his niche in the league will no doubt be his perimeter scoring potential, his outstanding physical tools could translate into an inside game.

T.J. Warren, F, N.C. State

If T.J. Warren adds a reliable jumper he could turn into a scoring superstar. Unfortunately, his mechanics are ugly and he could be years away from adding a reliable jumper. The Celtics might've interviewed Warren to see if he has the mental drive to be the best that he can be, but he didn't show any improvement at the combine since he didn't take part in shooing drills.

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