Draft Profile: Justin Harper

The next group of profiles will go to players that the Celtics have scheduled workouts with. While in many cases, Danny will draft a player that he has scouted before hand, as he did with Avery Bradley, we can't discount the importance of the players who are brought in for workouts. First up is Justin Harper who is expected to work out with a group of bigs on June 1. Harper is listed at 6'10" but measured out at 6' 8.75" at the draft combine. He has a wingspan of 6' 11.75" and a standing reach of 8' 10". He tied Derrick Williams for the most 185 lb bench press reps with 19. With the draft combine and the workouts so far, Harper's stock is rising.

Listed as a power forward, Harper could easily play either forward spot. As a senior for the Richmond Spiders, Harper developed into one of the most efficient scorers in the nation. He ranked in the 98th percentile in the NCAA in scoring efficiency according to Synergy Sports. Harper shot 59% from 2-point range and 47% from beyond the arc. Draft Express reports that Harper most closely resembles Kevin Durant's skill set and size of any player since Durant left college 4 years ago.

Harper is not just a spot up shooter, but also has a good post game. He is a good ball handler and also very fluid on the floor. He has excellent foot speed that he uses very well to beat defenders. He is very good at getting defenders off balance with a pump fake or a jab step a la Paul Pierce, and then blowing by them and getting to the rim by using his excellent dribbling skills. He is a very good free throw shooter at over 80% from the line. He also has an effective right jump hook he uses when he spins to the right.

Harper is a tweener of the type that Danny loves to draft. He lacks the bulk to defend stronger power forwards. Playing at Richmond has led scouts to question whether he can compete against top tier talent at the same high level consistently. He is a decent rebounder but his rebounding skills would benefit from more strength in his legs and upper body. He is listed to have just 4% body fat, but could definitely use a little muscle.

Originally thought to be a mid second round pick, Harper's stock has risen and he is now projected to go late in the 1st round. None of the mock drafts have the Celtics picking him. The comparisons to Kevin Durant are intriguing and Harper should be available when the Celtics pick 25th although several mocks have him going to the Thunder at 24. Several mocks have him going to New Jersey at 27. If Danny's looking for a knock down shooter with size, Harper might be his man.

Draft Combine interview:

Some game highlights:

You can check out all of Celtics Life draft coverage here.