Several prospects are working out for the Celtics Tuesday ahead of the NBA Draft later this month. They are:
Kyle Anderson – UCLA
DeAndre Daniels – Connecticut
Cleanthony Early – Wichita State
P.J. Hairston – North Carolina/Texas Legends (NBA Development League)
K.J. McDaniels – Clemson
T.J. Warren – North Carolina State
Most of you should be familiar with Daniels, who averaged 13.1 points for national champion UConn this past season. The players appearing in Waltham today represent potential selections for the Celtics with the No. 17 pick in the draft.
The six prospects took part in a number of basketball drills, 3-on-3 action, and conditioning tests during the workout which lasted about 90 minutes. Head coach Brad Stevens ran the workouts.
Each player spoke individually with the media after the workout was completed and Austin Ainge took questions as well. Here are a few of the highlights from those interviews:
P.J. Hairston on whether he has an advantage over other prospects from playing in the D-League: “Sort of, but not really. I’m only three months ahead of everyone else since I went to the D-League in January for three months before I went to work on the NBA Draft stuff. I kind of have a feel for the professional game a little more than the others, but at the same time, we are all at the same level right now trying to get there.”
T.J. Warren on what he tried to show the Celtics in the workout: “Just my all-around [play]. Doing the little things around the floor. Rebounding, being productive when I’m on the floor, not just the scoring.”
Austin Ainge on T.J. Warren: “I think you just put him on the court and he’s going to find a way to score. I don’t even think you need to run plays for him, he’ll find a way to score. He’s talented that way.”
Cleanthony Early on his age (23) potentially damaging his draft stock: “I just live life. I’m 23, I’ve been there. I’ve done a couple of things. So many things these guys have to go through, I’ve been through. It’s all a part of the process. It’s just a learning curve I’ll take advantage of on my end. Everyone can say whatever they want about me being older than them, but it doesn’t really matter.”
DeAndre Daniels on how he tries to separate himself from other players: “At UConn, coach [Kevin] Ollie and [Jim] Calhoun told me to focus on the little things. Everyone at this level is good. Everybody can score and dunk. So they told me to always focus on the little things like talking on defense, cheering guys on and giving it your all.
Ainge said the team plans on working out some potential lottery picks on June 12th and 13rd. The Celtics will release the full list of players invited to those workouts next week.