The 2013 NBA draft is tomorrow night, and as of right now DraftExpress.com projects the Celtics to take University of Miami point guard Shane Larkin with the #16 pick.
Full Name: Shane Larkin
Hometown: Orlando, FL
College: Miami (2 years)
Date of Birth: October 2, 1992 (20 years old)
Weight: 171 pounds
College Career: Larkin played point guard for the Hurricanes the past two years, taking over the starting position halfway through his freshman season. He exploded onto the national scene as a sophomore; averaging 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 2 steals over 36.4 minutes per game while capturing ACC player of the year honors and leading Miami to its best campaign in school history (a regular season and conference championship, as well as a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament). In the second round of the tournament, with the Hurricanes trailing 7th seeded Illinois by 1 point with a minute to go, Larkin buried this incredibly clutch 3 pointer to avoid the upset:
Strengths: As you can see from the above clip, he's not lacking in confidence, and many scouting reports use the word "winner" to describe him. Larkin made 41% of his three pointers last season, and is considered a great shooter off both the dribble and pick and role. He also has a quick first step, excellent crossover dribble, and a very pretty step-back jumper. Larkin is an exceptional passer off the pick and roll as well, and scouts praise him for his "low dribble;" as a ball handler he is both quick and under control. He rebounds well for a player less than 6 feet tall, primarily due to his 44 inch vertical leap, an NBA draft combine record. Larkin is also the son of MLB Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin; having pro-athlete DNA is always a plus.
Weaknesses: At 5'11" Larkin will be undersized for any position in the NBA, although his insane leaping ability does help to contradict that. He has a reputation for being better in the half court game than in transition, and has troubling guarding longer and larger opponents. Larkin's small size also leads to him often having trouble finishing at the rim in traffic.
Video Breakdown (courtesy of DraftExpress):
How he fits the Celtics:
It's unlikely the C's are going to find their starting center of the future (or Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett replacements) with the 16th pick in this draft, so they may well try to address other needs. Boston hasn't had a true backup point guard in years, and Larkin could definitely be that guy. But with an already small starting backcourt of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley, they might look for somebody bigger as well. Larkin could also add some much needed scoring punch and three point shooting off the bench, something Jason Terry and Courtney Lee haven't been as successful at as we hoped. While it has previously been noted that he's from the same hometown as Doc Rivers, Larkin actually has a close connection to the only remaining coach under contract with Boston. Jay Larranaga (who will instruct the summer league team and has been rumored to be getting consideration as Doc's replacement) is the son of Jim Larranaga, Larkin's coach at Miami.
Other "Future is Now" profiles: Steven Adams, Jeff Withey, Kelly Olynyk, Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng
Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan Mark Vandeusen 6/26/2013 03:03:00 PM Tweet