Are the Celtics leaning towards Damion James?

NBA Draft, News, Rumors — By on June 24, 2010 at 1:23 am


By Reds Army

Via Chad Ford’s mock draft on ESPN.com (Insider):

Analysis: I’ve had Alabi going to Boston for weeks. But after finding out Monday that the team hasn’t been able to get him in for a workout, I’m hedging.

I still believe the Celtics like Alabi a lot, however, the name I’m hearing more and more out of Boston is James. He makes a lot of sense for the Celtics. He’s a tough, physical player who can play both the 3 and the 4 for them. He’s one of the few guys left in the draft that can come in and play on a veteran team like the Celtics right away.

James (6-8, 225 lbs, Senior, Texas) was reportedly in Boston yesterday for a workout. Gary Washburn sent out a tweet saying the Celtics like his versatility.

Here’s some analysis of James’ skills via DraftExpress:

James also showed some nice flashes when attacking the basket, doing a good job of finishing through contact at the rim. He doesn’t have the greatest first step, but his size, length, and strength allow him to create good shot opportunities even when he can’t get past his man’s hip.

James’ jumper was going in at an outstanding rate the day we saw him, both in pull-up and catch-and-shoot situations. He showed very good release speed on spot-up opportunities, and clearly has a good understanding of floor spacing, constantly moving without the ball to places where his teammates can find him for an open look.

Defensively, James was similarly impressive, looking comfortable defending on the perimeter, especially in pick-and-roll situations, where he showed excellent awareness. James’ lateral foot speed isn’t elite and his hips are a bit high, but he does an excellent job of bodying up and using his physicality to make up for it, showing an excellent level of effort and focus here.

While it appears that James is quicker than Glen Davis, I am concerned about adding another undersized power forward to the roster.

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