2011 NBA Mock Draft: Jimmy Butler To Celtics, BC's Reggie Jackson To Heat

Jimmy Butler, a guard/forward from Marquette, is the projected pick of the Boston Celtics at No. 25 overall according to Tom Ziller's final mock draft at SB Nation. BC's Reggie Jackson is projected to the Miami Heat at No. 30 overall.

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2011 NBA Mock Draft: Celts Could Go Big, Or Stay Small With BC's Jackson

Well, the Finals are finally over and since we don't have LeBron James to kick around anymore, why not take another look at who our local pro basketball entry might be leaning toward in next Wednesday's 2011 NBA Draft?

We'll start at the mothership where our own Tom Ziller did some more mocking on Tuesday and came up with the Celtics going big at No. 25 and taking Southern Cal center Nikola Vucevic, a 7'0, 260-pound behemoth whom Ziller has had linked to the Green before. Ziller, also mentions raw, 6'11, 263-pounder Jeremy Tyler, who skipped both college and his senior year in high school and played a year in Israel before moving on to Japan and a team called Tokyo Apache, as a possibility, but says that Tyler would "be Danny Ainge's home run swing while Vucevic could help next year."

Over on ESPN.com, draft guru Chad Ford's mock version 5.0 from Wednesday morning has the C's taking the leap of faith with Tyler, 19, noting that the Celts "need to hit a home run the same way they did with Rajon Rondo." Hard to see how that could happen with a guy whom the ESPN scouting reports say, "lacks emotional maturity," and "made a terrible decision to skip high school and college," but hey, how much worse than Nenad Krstic can he be? Tyler averaged 9.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in just over 15 minutes per game this past season in Japan.

Finally, conventional wisdom rules at SI.com, where Sam Amick has the C's still ready to ride the Reggie Jackson train, noting that Boston "apparently isn't concerned" about the BC product's May knee surgery while also pointing out that "a source" doesn't have Jackson getting past the C's at No. 25. "He would need some grooming," writes Amick, "but the lengthy, two-way player could eventually be a dynamic option behind Rajon Rondo."

In other Jackson news, Ford has him slipping two spots past the Celts to the Nets at No. 27 (guess he and Amick have different sources), while Ziller has the 6'3, 208-pound point guard out of the first round entirely.


2011 NBA Mock Draft: Duke's Smith, Providence's Brooks Seen As Potential Celts

It's the start of a new week which means we're even closer to this month's NBA Draft. And while the majority of current pro basketball focus naturally trends toward the NBA Finals matchup between the Miami Heat and the Dalas Mavericks, there's still some speculation going on as to who will go where and when on June 23, at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The good folks over at Draft Express did their latest mocking of draft possibilities last Thursday and threw a bit of a curveball at those following the Celtics potential plans. They have the C's choosing Providence senior shooting guard Marshon Brooks at No. 25. Brooks, a 6'5, 195-pounder, averaged 24.6 points and seven rebounds per game for the Friars this past season, and could be seen as an offensive bridge to the future with Father Time creeping up on Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.

Elsewhere, NBADraft.net signals the C's going a bit bigger, naming 6'10, junior power forward Trey Thompkins out of Georgia as the likeliest candidate to be wearing green next season. And Bleacher Report, sensing both Brooks and Thompkins will be gone by the time the 25th pick rolls around, takes things in a completely different direction, surmising that Duke guard Nolan Smith will be the C's choice.

"Nolan Smith was a great player for Duke this season and a leader there for four years," writes the Report's Nicholas Goss. "He would be an exceptional backup to All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo in Boston."


2011 NBA Mock Draft: Pundits Have BC's Jackson To Either C's Or Rockets In Round 1

With 23 days remaining until the 2011 NBA Draft, we Celtics fans who are beyond tired of all LeBron, all the time, best concern ourselves with something less unsavory, like who the C's are looking at when the 25th selection comes up.

SB Nation's own Tom Ziller did some draft mockery on Tuesday and matched up a local product with the local team. Ziller has the Celts selecting Boston College point guard Reggie Jackson at 25, simply saying, "The Masshole Singularity." A move to grab Jackson would seem to make sense after backing up Rajon Rondo proved to be a problem for the C's throughout the season, even into the playoffs.

Over on ESPN.com, draft guru Chad Ford checked in with his mock draft, version 3.0, last week and saw the Celts going in a far different direction. Ford projected USC center Nikola Vucevic, a 7'0, 260-pounder, to be coming to Boston.

"The Celtics need size and Vucevic was one of the players who helped his draft stock the most the past week in Chicago," Ford surmised. "His measurements were off the charts and gave teams hope he could be a legit NBA center. Given his skill in the post, he could be a steal at this point in the draft."

Ford had the 6'3 Jackson going 23rd to the Houston Rockets and their new coach Kevin McHale. But on Tuesday, in his Draft Blog, he wrote:

"One guy you won't be reading about for the next week or two is Boston College's Reggie Jackson. Jackson didn't show to the Chicago pre-draft combine citing an injury. He hasn't worked out for anyone since, prompting speculation that he might have a promise from a team to be drafted.

In recent weeks, speculation on the internet has swirled around the Celtics and Nets as the teams that gave him promises. Not true according to both the teams and a source close to Jackson.

Jackson has a legit injury. He had a minor procedure on his knee on May 17th (the day after school ended), a source close to Jackson tells me. Jackson is currently rehabbing and should be ready for workouts on the second week of June. Once he's cleared to workout, he'll have a pretty full schedule. A number of teams, starting with the Pacers at No. 15, the Knicks at No. 17 and the Bobcats at No. 19 are fans of Jackson. And it's hard to see him slipping past the Miami Heat at No. 31."

Ford also pointed out on Tuesday that the C's were scheduled to have Richmond's Justin Harper, Wisconsin's Jon Leuer, VCU's Jamie Skeen and Butler's Matt Howard in for a Wednesday workout. All four players are power forwards with good outside shooting range. 

"You think the Celtics might be in the market for a stretch 4?" he asked. Perhaps they will be.


2011 NBA Mock Draft: Boston Celtics Projected To Take Purdue's JaJuan Johnson

The order for the 2011 NBA Draft is set, with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the No. 1 overall pick in Tuesday night's NBA Draft Lottery. They also the No. 4 pick, with the Timberwolves and Jazz sandwiched in between, with the second and third picks, respectively. 

Now that we know which teams are are picking when -- the Boston Celtics have the No. 25 and No. 55 overall selections, by the way -- the focus immediately shifts to who the teams will pick with SB Nation's first 2011 NBA mock draft

Tom Ziller has Duke's Kyrie Irving going No. 1 overall to the Cavs, calling the decision a "no-brainer." Arizona's Derrick Williams is projected to Minnesota while Connecticut's Kemba Walker "drops" to the fifth overall pick, where the Toronto Raptors will gladly scoop him up: 

Walker is the second- or third-best perimeter player in the draft behind Irving and possibly Brandon Knight; while Toronto needs a true point guard to get that offense going, it's hard to pass up NBA-ready leadership that a player like Walker offers. The Raptors love shooting seemingly above all else, but Walker's dribble-creation will help boost the team in the short term while the rest of the roster is sorted out.

As for the Celtics and the No. 25 pick, Ziller has them eyeing some interior help in the form of Purdue's PF/C JaJuan Johnson.

The Celtics obviously need help in the middle; Nenad Krstic is not the answer, Jermaine O'Neal and Shaq may both retire, and Glen Davis was shown up in the playoffs. Johnson is more a blue chip handyman than a heralded prospect, but he could be a nice fit.

The 2011 NBA Draft is on June 23. 

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