Trade up for Vucevic?
The Boston Celtics have reportedly set their eyes on a 6’10 power forward/center who played his college basketball at USC. Danny Ainge has investigated trading up to select Nikola Vucevic, a physically imposing big man with a respectable midrange jumper. Vucevic is expected to be selected at some point between the 9th and 17th picks.
The tallest player measured at the 2011 NBA combine, Vucevic is an intriguing prospect because of his inside/outside scoring talent, length that allows him to nearly touch the rim while standing on flat feet, the ability to defend two positions at the NBA level, and a knack for snatching rebounds. He will never jump up and take quarters off the top of the backboard, but Vucevic can move a little and his game possesses a versatility most young big men do not display. Obviously, since Boston has only one center right now (Jermaine O’Neal), the Celtics would like to (need to?) draft a big man. Vucevic would presumably enter the NBA more ready to contribute than most.
Stand pat and take Jimmy Butler or Jeremy Tyler?
ESPN listed Butler as one of four later picks most likely to make an impact next season. Tyler, meanwhile, would be a risk-reward project—he could become a more offensive-minded DeAndre Jordan, a young shot-blocker who impacts games with athleticism and improves every season, or he could become a less talented Eddy Curry, a big man who wastes considerable talent because he has the work ethic of a wooden table. Tyler probably would not help immediately as much as Vucevic would, but his frame, athletic traits and decent ball skills scream “upside”.