NBA Rumors: Celtics to work out EuroLeague star Goga Bitadze before draft

Darren Hartwell

NBA Rumors: Celtics to work out EuroLeague star Goga Bitadze before draft originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

If the Boston Celtics want to target a big man in the 2019 NBA Draft, Goga Bitadze is an intriguing candidate.

The Georgia (the country, not the U.S. state) native will work out with the Celtics next week prior to Thursday's NBA Draft, The Athletic's Chris Kirschner reported Thursday.

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Bitadze had a breakout campaign in 2018-19, averaging 12.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game in the competitive EuroLeague to earn the league's Rising Star honors at age 19. At 6-foot-11, 251 pounds, he's projected as a first-round pick with a similar skill set to Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic.

 

Boston's frontcourt has a bit more clarity after Aron Baynes exercised his player option to remain with the C's. The Celtics also took a center in the first round last year in Texas A&M's Robert Williams.

But if Al Horford, who also has a player option, departs in free agency, Danny Ainge and Co. will need to add another big man. The C's aren't afraid of going across the pond for talent, either, acquiring two international big men in Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic in the 2016 draft.

Boston has three picks in the first round at No. 14, No. 20 and No. 22, and Bitadze -- who's been tied to the Celtics in a few mock drafts -- likely will be there if Ainge is interested.

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