With three first-round picks and five more second-rounders, the Celtics have the option of taking a chance on a guy with high upside. They could and probably should look into options for draft-and-stash candidates as well. One such guy might be the extremely long Zhou Qi from China.
Zhou may draw plenty of intrigue. He stands just over 7-foot-2 in sneakers, has a wingspan just shy of 8 feet and can nearly touch the rim while standing flat-footed. He is a big man with shooting-guard skills, China's next NBA hope, a 20-year-old who's already a pro at home and now wants to get on the game's biggest stage.
The Celtics brought him in for a workout and seemed impressed.
That length, coupled with his soft touch and shot-blocking ability, is why he's been on Boston's radar for a while. "I went to China and saw him play," said Austin Ainge. "We’ve known about him for a couple of years. He’s probably the third- or fourth-most recognized name in Chinese basketball, so he’s a known commodity, but it was great to have him in today to workout."
While the basketball skills are the most important factor in this determination, I wouldn't discount the business impact of getting a foot into the demographic Chinese basketball fans.
Of course the kid isn't a slam-dunk prospect. He's got some growing to do. Not up (he's plenty tall enough), but filling out.
The major weakness is his physical fitness. He is now 7'2" bare foot with a 7'6" wingspan and weighs only about 210 pounds. That is probably why he is a much better defender in the weak-side post than one-on-one. Additionally, Zhou Qi seems to be a poker-faced player on the court, as he rarely shows any facial expression during the game. It sometimes confuses the audience that he might be a player lacking passion.
So he might be a good gamble later in the first round (Draft Express mock has him going 26, just a few spots after the Celtics at 23).