Notebook: Draft prep enters final stretch

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics wrapped up group workouts on Saturday and have now auditioned at least 60 players since the start of the month in preparation for next week's draft.


A look at the nine group workouts the Boston Celtics held this month. These are only the workouts that media were invited to attend; individual players were auditioned as well without media present.

Saturday, June 21

Chane Behanan – Louisville

Niels Giffey – Connecticut

Glenn Robinson III – Michigan

JaKarr Sampson – St. John’s (NY)

Thursday, June 19

Jordan Adams – UCLA

Jabari Brown – Missouri

Markel Brown – Oklahoma State

Khyle Marshall – Butler

Xavier Munford – Rhode Island

Devin Oliver – Dayton

Monday, June 16

Keith Appling – Michigan State

Dave Dudzinski – Holy Cross

Jermaine Marshall – Arizona State

Shabazz Napier – Connecticut

Markel Starks – Georgetown

Tyler Stone – Southeast Missouri

Friday, June 13

Julius Randle* – Kentucky

Jordan Clarkson – Missouri

Gary Harris – Michigan State

Zach LaVine – UCLA

Elfrid Payton – Louisiana-Lafayette

Marcus Smart – Oklahoma State

Nik Stauskas – Michigan

Thursday, June 12

C.J. Fair – Syracuse

Aaron Gordon – Arizona

Jerami Grant – Syracuse

Luke Hancock – Louisville

Geron Johnson – Memphis

Doug McDermott – Creighton

Wednesday, June 11

Isaiah Austin – Baylor

Sam Dower - Gonzaga

Artem Klimenko – Avtodor (Russia)

Javon McCrea – Buffalo

Daniel Miller – Georgia Tech

Noah Vonleh - Indiana

Wednesday, June 4

Clint Capela – Chalon (France)

Michael Dixon – Memphis

Eric Moreland – Oregon State

Adreian Payne – Michigan State

Victor Rudd – South Florida

Akeem Williams – UMass-Lowell

Tuesday, June 3

Kyle Anderson - UCLA

DeAndre Daniels - UConn

Cleanthony Early - Wichita State

P.J. Hairston - North Carolina/Texas Legends (D-League)

K.J. McDaniels - Clemson

T.J. Warren - North Carolina State

Monday, June 2

Bryce Cotton – Providence College

Kadeem Batts – Providence College

Chaz Williams – UMass

Deonte Burton – Nevada

Nick Johnson – Arizona

Russ Smith – Louisville

Xavier Thames – San Diego State

Kendrick Perry – Youngstown State

Kyle Casey – Harvard

Reger Dowell – Texas-Arlington

Semaj Christon – Xavier

Tim Frazier – Penn State

(* Went through individual workout)

The Celtics will attempt to bring back a handful of players this week in hopes that one last glance cane help finalize their draft board. Who will those players be? "I can’t share those guys with you," said team director of player personnel Austin Ainge with a smile.

A team can bring a player in for private workouts a maximum of two times before the draft. Why bring a player back again?

"Sometimes it’s bringing in a head-to-head matchup and see who wins," said Ainge, who last week relayed how Rajon Rondo separated himself in that situation. "Sometimes it’s just the guy that we had in, we really liked and he played horrible in our workout. We want to just give him another chance because everyone has bad days and we want to feel a little more comfortable about it. There’s all sorts of scenarios for bringing a guy back."

Ainge did offer some insight about how the next six days will play out leading up to Thursday's draft.

"We’ll have a lot of meetings," said Ainge. "We’ll try to go through every trade, draft, and free-agency scenario, because free agency happens very quickly after the draft. So we’ll try to be prepared with all of our rankings and kinda ‘What if?’ scenarios."

Ainge was asked if the Celtics were able to bring through everyone they would have wanted to get a look at before the draft.

"We’d love to see everybody, but yeah, there’s a few guys that either felt they were going before our picks, or in between our two picks, that we weren’t able to get in. But we’ve seen everyone [during college or overseas game action]. Workouts aren’t everything. But it is always best to have them in."

The Celtics own picks Nos. 6 and 17 in this year's draft. The team did not expect to get a look at any of the draft's four top names, including Joel Embiid (whose recent foot surgery adds a layer of intrigue to this year's drat), Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and Dante Exum. Some foreign players expected to go in the lottery -- like Croatia's Dario Saric -- were unlikely to visit as well.

Asked if the team would consider purchasing a second-round pick after auditioning many prospects pegged to go in the second round or undrafted, Ainge said the team will explore all options.

"We’ll be active," said Ainge. "It’ll just depend on a million different scenarios -- if there’s a guy left that we still very much like, what positions we draft with the first couple picks, and whatever other trades throw monkey wrenches."

He added: "We have a lot of guys that we like. And we’ll only get to draft one, two, three -- depending on how it ends up. [The scouting process] is valuable information, even if they don’t end up on our roster at the very beginning. A lot of times you have to make decisions on trading for young players that haven’t had a chance to play at all on their teams and you rely heavily on your draft evaluation. Say a first-year player didn’t get a chance to play on a good team, you can still kinda rely back on that information you gathered at this point."

THREE'S NOT A CROWD: The Celtics were thin on numbers Saturday morning while auditioning bodies, including Michigan's Glenn Robinson III. "Guys came in and played hard. We had one guy kinda tweaked his hamstring, so it got down to only three guys and I think they wore them out pretty good," said Ainge. "It’s never ideal to have three guys."

SMILING SAMPSON: For a guy that's been criss-crossing the country as part of 11 team workouts, St. John's JaKarr Sampson maintained his trademark smile and has embraced the pre-draft process. He's got two more workouts before he finds out if his name will be called on draft night.

ROAMING ROBINSON: Robinson III believed that Boston was workout No. 15 or 16 as he attempts to re-establish himself as a late first-round pick. "I’m getting towards the finish line," he said. "I think only one or two more to go. But I’ve had fun and just wanted to go out and compete and show all my skills." A workout veteran, he did dub Boston one of the toughest to endure, pointing as many have to the team's grueling three-minute sprint drill to cap the workout.