CHICAGO -- Denzel Valentine didn't interview with the Celtics at the NBA Combine, but he does have plenty of connections with the team. Please click here to read my full feature on Valentine for CSNNE.com.
Here's an excerpt:
Valentine operates pick-and-rolls with the precision of a brain surgeon. At 6-foot-6 with a 6-11 wingspan, he has the size to see and pass over the defense. In that sense, he’s similar to Celtics guard Evan Turner, who Valentine compared himself to at the NBA combine.
While Stevens was the coach at Butler he recruited Valentine, then a four-star high school recruit. But by the time Butler entered the picture, he was prepared to commit to Michigan State, Valentine told CSN. Butler did express a ton of interest though, so it wouldn't be stunning if Stevens still fancied Valentine after watching him blossom from a pure passer into a star shooter.
When asked about the possibility of playing for the Celtics, here's what Valentine had to say: "I would love to play over in Boston. It's a lot of history over there. Coach Stevens is a young coach. He recruited me at Butler. He knows me and I know him well. I know R.J. Hunter over there, so it'd be cool playing over there."
Every player at the combine tends to say all the right things, but it's Valentine's Celtics connections that make him even more intriguing than he already was. He was recruited by Stevens in 2010, when Butler was fresh off a National Championship loss to Duke; he knows R.J. Hunter, who Stevens also recruited; and he compares himself to Turner, which is a pretty solid comparison.
Valentine is a tall ball handler, which could make him a mismatch in the same ways Turner is. He's not as shifty with the ball, but he has a similarly effective mid-range game, both with the use of floaters and post ups. He also could develop into a versatile defender, though he must make major strides like Turner had to in the NBA.
What separates Valentine is his shooting ability. He has a flamethrower from downtown, at 44.4 percent from three as a senior.
The Celtics won't draft for need, but considering Valentine's versatility on the offensive end and his projectable versatility on defense, they should at least have interest in bringing him for a workout. It only helps that he could help cure their shooting woes.
Head over to CSNNE to read my full article on Valentine and then please comment below with your thoughts on Valentine's fit with the Celtics.