We're minutes away from the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ (7:00 p.m. EDT; ESPN), and the final predictions are coming in.
Who will the Boston Celtics draft with the No. 25 and No. 55 picks? I offer my predictions.
With the 25th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select...
There's been plenty of talk that Reggie Jackson will be the pick here, but it just doesn't make sense based on their current needs. Boston needs bigs, and Vucevic provides size at the very least. Vucevic averaged 17.1 points and 10.3 rebounds last season with USC. His size and rebounding prowess is exactly what Boston needs, and if he's still available at No. 25, he would be a great fit.
Back to Jackson - the Celtics already have a player similar to Jackson in Avery Bradley, who Boston drafted No. 19 overall last year. Danny Ainge has spoken very highly of Bradford, saying he could have been a potential top five pick had he returned to school and entered the draft this season.
Runner Up Pick: Jimmy Butler (G - Marquette)
With the 31st overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Miami Heat select...
REGGIE JACKSON (PG/SG - Boston College)
Reggie Jackson has been about as silent as a player could be during the draft process, but that hasn't stopped teams from falling in love with him. Take the Miami Heat, for example. Pat Riley is a fan of Jackson's shooting touch and all around game. What's not to like? Jackson is a good shooter who makes smart passes and is a solid defender. If Jackson is still available at No. 31, I would be shocked if Miami didn't snatch him. However, there's a chance Jackson could go to the New Jersey Nets, who have the No. 27 overall pick.
With the 55th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select...
JOE TRAPANI - (F/C - Boston College)
This is a stretch, as it's very tough to predict who will still be available at this stage in the draft. However, Trapani has been on Boston's radar, as he worked out with the Celtics earlier this month. Trapani's case is an interesting one, because there is a good chance he could be relatively productive at the end of the bench (similar to Luke Harangody). Trapani isn't as big as Harangody, but has good range for a forward and wasn't afraid to take (and make) threes constantly during his time at BC. Trapani could have upside, but it's unlikely that he'll see much, if any, playing time with Boston if drafted here. He would most likely be sent to the Maine Red Claws in the NBA D-League.