Since the Boston Celtics are left without a second round draft pick in the absolutely stacked 2014 NBA Draft, player agents believe they will acquire one, according to the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn.
Washburn wrote, "With the players they are inviting for workouts and from what agents are hearing, fully expect the Celtics to trade to get back into the second round."
Boston has worked out a handful of projected second round picks and Washburn named some possibilities in Xavier Thames, Semaj Christon, Nick Johnson, and Russ Smith. In addition, guards Bryce Cotton, Jordan Clarkson, Deonte Burton, and Kendrick Perry have all worked out for the team.
If the Celtics do look to draft a guard in the second round, the majority of these names fit the "sparkplug" role, which suggests that the team may be looking for cheaper alternatives than resigning free agent Jerryd Bayless. Boston has historically employed "sparkplug" guards going back to the days of Marcus Banks, so it is no surprise that Danny Ainge and the front office would reportedly like to add one of the many talented names listed above.
Here are brief scouting reports on each of the eight aforementioned guards projected to get selected in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft:
Semaj Christon, Xavier
Christon would probably be a first round draft pick if he had a reliable jump shot since he is otherwise quite talented. His most appealing attribute is his defense, since he's a bulldog defender and could easily defend both guard positions with his style of play. Offensively, he's very good with the ball in his hands, but he certainly doesn't like to pass; his selfish style of play leads to inefficient shots and some of these guys never change unless they're in the perfect situation.
Jordan Clarkson, Missouri
Clarkson is a versatile guard that can get anywhere he wants with the ball because of his advanced repertoire of dribble moves. Even though his jump shot needs work, he can spot up shoot, which would allow him to play off-ball, a huge bonus in Brad Stevens' motion offense. On the defensive end, Clarkson leaves a lot to be desired and he played zone at Missouri, leaving one to wonder how he'll perform on that end in the NBA.
Deonte Burton, Nevada
If there's a clone of Will Bynum in this year's draft class, it's Deonte Burton. He's short, stocky, and a total bully with the ball. Burton gets where he wants using advanced dribble moves to break ankles and get to the rim; by all definitions of the word, he is a "baller." Burton might've been a bit of a ball hog at Nevada, but judging from the effort he employed on the defensive end by hustling on nearly every position, he may have the mindset that can be molded into a more balanced guard.
Kendrick Perry, Youngstown State
Perry is one of my favorite "unknown" players in the draft, so I was ecstatic when the Celtics worked him out. To preview my 2014 NBA Draft Guide, here is the full profile of Perry.
If you'd like to name your price and purchase the guide: click here or click the image to the right to find out more details. If the scouting report is difficult to read, then click the scouting report itself to bring it into full screen mode.
Nick Johnson, Arizona
One of the best athletes in the entire draft is Nick Johnson, who frequently makes his way onto the SportsCenter Top 10 because of his high-flying dunks and weakside blocks. Johnson is a spectacular defender and uses his top-notch lateral quickness to stay in front of ball handlers, though it's his lightning quick closing speed that allows him to contest shots on the perimeter and pick up blocks in the paint. Offensively, Johnson has improved as a facilitator over the years, but he arguably has better upside off-ball considering his amazing instincts to find "open space" on the court.
Russ Smith, Louisville
Arguably the most well known name on this list is Russ Smith, the 2013 national champion point guard for Louisville. He's fierce and plays with reckless abandon on both ends of the floor, for better or for worse. Smith is one of the better defenders at his position; despite being quite undersized, he's a pest on-ball defender and will get in the opponent's grill to rack up steals. Offensively, Smith can and will give coaches a heart attack, but if the role he's given is to create energy, then he will absolutely accomplish that from day one in the league.
Bryce Cotton, Providence
Cotton is a dynamic scorer that can get it in from anywhere on the court. He has improved over the years as a pure point guard, though he still projects as a score-first guard. Unfortunately, he struggled to defend in college, which does not bode well for his ability to improve to a passable level in the NBA.
Xavier Thames, San Diego State
One of the late risers of this list is Xavier Thames, who really didn't pop onto many NBA Draft radars until the tournament when he showed that he could be a pro guard because of his fantastic defensive abilities. He can defend both guard positions at a high level and certainly takes pride in doing so. Offensively, Thames does a lot of the "little things" that coaches like, but his shot range is extremely limited, and at 23-years-old, he still lacks the pure point skills to run an offense.
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