It seems the Boston Celtics have a lot of interest in players projected to fall mid-way through the second round of the 2021 NBA draft to undrafted with a strong slate of fringe candidates reportedly slated to work out with the team by Forbes Sports’ Chris Grenham.
While it is still unclear if this reflects an over-arching draft strategy for the Celtics given the event is slated to take place on July 29 — over a month in the future — it’s clear Boston believes it will have some potential reasons to be interviewing these players once that day finally arrives. In addition to a number of such prospects we have already written about, five more prospects are reported to be hosted for pre-draft workouts with Boston today.
Let’s take a quick look at the field.
Derrick Alston Jr. - Boise State - guard
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Son of former NBA big man Derrick Alston Sr., Alston the younger went from rail-thin walk-on to Boise State's leading scorer by the time he was a senior. Playing as a 6-foot-9 wing who recorded 17 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, he has sufficient size and speed to play multiple positions despite not being especially athletic.
Julian Champagnie - St. John’s - wing
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Brother of Pitt wing Justin mocked to the Celtics earlier this season, Julian is also a capable forward fast enough to play down, but big enough at 6-foot-8 to hold his own against most swingmen. Logging 19.8 points, 7.4 boards, 1.3 assists, 1.4 steals and 1 block per game with the Red Storm this season, Champagnie's versatile game makes sense for a Celtics roster that could use depth across several positions.
A.J. Lawson - South Carolina - guard
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The South Carolina product has a predilection for picking pockets, and rarely fouled or turned the ball over while playing heavy minutes for the Gamecocks in 2020-21. He put up 16.6 points, 4.1 boards, 1.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game, and while his offensive repertoire is limited, he has size at 6-foot-6 and his defense to build off of.
L.J. Figueroa - Oregon - wing
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Boston's snooping about Payton Pritchard's alma mater for Lawrence native Figuera's on-court abilities, the 6-foot-6 senior wing averaged 12.3 points a game while making nearly 38% of his treys. A solid rebounder at 6.1 per game in 2020-21, Figueroa could use some work at the charity stripe in terms of both accuracy and getting himself to it, but is a solid defender with decent passing ability.
Stanley Umude - Arkansas - wing
Erin Bormett / Argus Leader
It seems unlikely the 6-foot-6 guard will remain in the draft given his lack of agent and that he just transferred to Arkansas from South Dakota, where Umude averaged 21.5 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists per game. The San Antonio native is an intriguing wing with size and a solid 3-point shot at 35.5% on 4.4 attempts per game, and gets to the line often, converting a hair under 80% of his attempts from the stripe. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=52056,52055,52039,52043] [listicle id=52061]