The seventh in a series of profiles of players that might be of interest to the Boston Celtics during Thursday's NBA Draft:
Ranked by ESPN as the third-best shooting guard in this year's draft, Avery Bradley projected to be a lottery pick, but Chad Ford's latest mock has him slipping down to No. 17. Having worked out for the Celtics, Bradley is on the Green's radar and might be an option the longer he hangs around in the draft.
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From ESPN's Player Evaluation:
Projection: Late lottery to mid first round
Positives: Explosive scorer ... Very quick ... Long arms ... Wiry strong ... Big-time vertical leap ... Terrific first step ... Good midrange shooter ... Lockdown defender
Negative: Undersized for his position ... Lacks NBA 3-point range on his jumper
Ford's analysis: It's that time of year, when players doing multiple workouts a week start getting injured. Bradley sprained his left ankle in a workout in Oklahoma City [earlier this month], according to his agent, Mitch Butler. Bradley was doing a 3-on-3 drill when he was going up for an offensive rebound and stepped on a player's foot coming down. X-rays and an MRI given by the Thunder were negative. While the sprain is considered mild to a soft medium, the injury was bad enough that Bradley has ended his workouts. Butler said he believes the ankle will be healed in time for the NBA's summer league.
Forsberg's take: His numbers as a freshman at Texas don't wow you and he's seemingly undersized for a 2-guard, but there's a lot to like about Bradley's game. You can't help but wonder if tweaking an ankle last month might scare off some teams, particularly those that didn't get him in for a private workout, which would give the Celtics a shot at him on Thursday night. The concern here is a lack of a 3-point shot -- something Boston would presumably covet in the event that Ray Allen does not return. But Bradley also has the ability to play the 1, something that might solve Boston's lack of a backup point guard, making him an intriguing option as a utility guard off the bench.
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