Nikola Vucieic is projected to be picked in the middle of the first round in the 2011 NBA Draft on Thursday, meaning that the Boston Celtics would have to trade up from the No. 25 pick if they wanted to draft Vucevic, and they might.
The Boston Celtics are even interested in trading up in order to select Vucevic, according to sources. (via Los Angeles Daily News)
Vucevic, a 6'10", 260-pound center, averaged 17.1 points and 1.6 assists and 1.4 blocks last season with the Trojans. In addition, Vucevic averaged 10.3 boards and shot 34.9 percent from three-point range.
In three seasons with the Trojans, Vucevic scored 962 points and collected 694 rebounds in 87 games. Here's some analysis on the big man from WEEI.com's Ben Rohrbach.
Nikola Vucevic may be a European center, but unlike many before him he's not an unknown commodity. He played his senior year of high school at Stoneridge Prep (Simi Valley, Calif.) before earning a scholarship to USC.
The tallest player at the 2011 NBA combine, Vucevic possesses a lot of qualities generally associated with European bigs - touch around the rim, a reliable mid-range jump shot (as well as developing 20-foot-plus range) and a lack of athleticism. He's been criticized for his failure to play "above the rim" and his lack of success against athletic NBA-caliber big men. However, his high motor, particularly on the defensive glass, has separated him a bit from the stereotype. (via WEEI)