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Yesterday, Bleacher Report NBA Lead Writer Jonathan Wasserman released a list of Top Returning (collegiate) 2015 NBA Draft Prospects which is headlined by Kentucky's Willie Cauley Stein.
Willie Cauley-Stein will be coming off ankle surgery, but he'll also be coming off a sophomore year having averaged 2.9 blocks in just 23.8 minutes a game.

Scouts love that blend of 7'0" size and wide-receiver-like athleticism. He's the type of big man who can make things happen without needing the ball in his hands.

And that's why the minimal progress he's made with his ball skills really isn't all that important.

Cauley-Stein's appeal stems from his physical tools and the impact he's capable of having around the rim, whether it's as a finisher, rebounder or shot-blocker.

Cauley-Stein is listed as the number nine overall prospect on Draft Express and could be the rim protector Danny Ainge and Celtic fans have been looking for.

Having said that, looking ahead to next season the Celtics are probably going to keep Captain Rajon Rondo for between 30-40 games before trying to move him.

I'm not enamored about this considering what a fan I am of Rondo's but organizationally it's the right thing to do. As a result, Boston will probably be once again on a collision course for the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery.

C's fans can take some solace, however, because this draft should also have incoming Kentucky freshman seven footer Karl Towns as well as Duke's Jahlil Okafor who stands at 6'11.

Both players will serve as rim protectors in the NBA and have the added bonus of being VERY skilled offensively.



Resultingly, the 2015 draft will have more depth of quality traditional centers than the draft has seen in some time and maybe Boston will be just lucky enough to land one.

Unfortunately, the Celtics may once again have to have a truly awful season if they are to have a legitimate shot at Towns or Okafor through the lottery.



Follow Clint on Twitter @ClintCorey

Clint Corey 8/12/2014 06:47:00 AM Edit
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