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.