Thursday, June 23, 2011

NBA Draft

Kentucky's Enes Kanter went to the Utah Jazz with the third pick while point guard Brandon Knight slipped to the eighth pick and heads to the Detroit Pistons. That's not all. Josh Harrellson become the 100th Kentucky player to ever be drafted by the NBA when the New Orleans Hornets selected him with the 45th pick, later to be traded to the New York Knicks for cash considerations. It didn't end there. DeAndre Liggins became the fourth Kentucky player drafted this evening when the Orlando Magic selected him with the 53rd pick during the second round.

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics selected MarShon Brooks, a guard, with the 25th pick. However, this was actually New Jersey's pick due to a trade that was announced tonight. The New Jersey Nets selected Jujuan Johnson, a forward from Purdue, who will be traded to the Boston Celtics along with a future second round pick. Johnson was the Big 10 player of the year, averaging 20.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. From outside the arc, he made 29.4 percent.

I think Johnson is a great pick for Boston. With KG aging, he's a big man that can play behind him. Nobody knows what is gonna happen with Glen Davis this off-season.

The Celtics took another player from the Purdue Boilermakers during the second round when they selected E'Twaun Moore, a guard, with the 55th pick of the draft. As a senior this past season, Moore averaged 18 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game.

Some tweets from the Celtics this evening now follow.

On Jujuan Johnson:
We didn't think he'd be there and he was. He's a terrific shooter for his size. We like his upside.
While stressing not to compare him to Garnett, Rivers notes that JuJuan Johnson has a similar body type to KG.
Celtics broadcaster Sean Grande did note the following about the C's picks tonight.
27 and 55 in a weak draft..not sexy. But C's drafted the most overlooked commodity there is..wins. Johnson and Moore won 107 games at Purdue
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweets:
Danny Ainge made sure not to put too much pressure on Johnson & Moore by declaring they would play right away but they will be given chance.
Via Celtics Blog:
Johnson is the athletic big man the Celtics have sought and is a natural center. He dropped in the draft because of his slight build and lack of true offensive skills. Johnson scored 20 points with 17 rebounds and 7 blocked shots in a 67-47 win over Michigan State on Feb. 27.

“Even though he’s a four-year player, we still like his upside,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “He slipped to us and I think you got to put him on the floor, I can’t tell you if he’s gonna help or not but I think he’ll be an NBA player and a good one. It may take him some time and it may not.”
Here's some comments from Danny Ainge on tonight's draft:
“No connection,” Ainge said when asked if the picks were related. “Just independently they were the best guys on the board for us when we were drafting. I didn’t even realize that we were picking two kids from Purdue until Doc was on the phone with JaJuan, and he had just heard that we drafted E’Twaun, and I think that made him more excited than the fact that he was drafted. That was just pure coincidence.”[...]

Ainge explained that Moore can make up for his lack of size with his length and a scoring ability evidenced by his 38-point performance in a win over No. 2 Ohio State. Moore drained seven three-pointers in the game.

“He’s played strictly a two, but he can handle the ball some,” Ainge said. “He’s a scorer. He’s only 6-3 but he’s extremely long, has long arms, terrific scorer.”

Ainge said both players will have a chance to compete for playing time next season.

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