WALTHAM, Mass. — The Boston Celtics went small with their pre-draft workout Thursday.
From scoring guards to interior forwards, just about all of the six players brought into the team’s practice facility were slightly undersized for their positions. The NBA is getting smaller and quicker as a league, but aside from UCLA’s Jordan Adams, none of the players in attendance is likely to crack the first round.
One of the most intriguing prospects, though, is Oklahoma State’s Markel Brown. Marcus Smart’s backcourt running mate out-jumped nearly everybody at the Chicago combine and should be fun to watch wherever he ends up playing, either in the U.S. or abroad.
Here is a look at the attendees:
Jordan Adams, UCLA (G, 6-5, 220) — Conditioning concerns have hurt Adams’ draft stock, and he will not wow anyone as an athlete. But a 6-foot-10 wingspan helps make up for his lack of lift and he led a UCLA team packed with pro prospects in scoring at 17.4 points per game, which counts for something.
Jabari Brown, Missouri (G, 6-5, 214) — A tremendous scorer, Brown poured in 3-pointers at a 41-percent rate en route to 19.9 points per game for the Tigers. Scouting reports also indicate he improved his ballhandling, which helped his offensive versatility. Still, he is undersized and his defense has typically been a major weakness.
Markel Brown, Oklahoma State (G, 6-3, 190) — Undersized for a shooting guard and lacking a great handle, Brown is still one of the most explosive pure athletes in the draft. He tied for the highest vertical leap at the draft combine at 43.5 inches. If nothing else, he can catch backdoor alley-oops all day.
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Khyle Marshall, Butler (F, 6-6, 216) — After three seasons spent under current Celtics coach Brad Stevens, Marshall knows how to play. He started all 31 games for the Bulldogs last season, averaging 14.9 points on 53 percent shooting from the field. The concerns about Marshall are fairly obvious: He shot 45.8 percent from the foul line and he is severely undersized for a power forward.
Xavier Munford, Rhode Island (G, 6-2, 180) — Continuing Thursday’s theme of shorter guards who can score, Munford was third in the Atlantic 10 Conference at 17.4 points per game. The Rams were actually his third college program, as he started his college career at Miami-Dade and gradually moved up the ranks.
Devin Oliver, Dayton (F, 6-7, 225) — The surprising Flyers would not have gotten as far as they did in the NCAA tournament without Oliver, who slashed his way to 11.9 points per game. He brought some intangibles to the table, too, as he rebounded well for a small forward at 7.4 boards per game and generated 3.5 free throw attempts per game.
Photo via Twitter/@KellyHinesTW