Eye on the draft: Zach LaVine

As the June 26 NBA draft approaches we'll be taking a closer look at some potential Celtics selections.  Today it's Zach LaVine of UCLA, who'll likely be available when Boston picks at #17.

A quick look at LaVine's college stats makes you wonder why he would declare for the draft after just one season.  As a freshman for the Bruins the 6'6" shooting guard averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 24.4 minutes per game.

The answer is he's an athletic super-freak.  At the combine LaVine was measured with a 41.5-inch vertical leap, which tied him for third best among all participants.  However, during a workout with the Lakers last week he registered a ridiculous 46-inch jump:

There's talk that he could play point guard in the pros, drawing comparisons to another former Bruin, Russell Westbrook (in particular for his ability to excel on the break and in the open floor).  LaVine is also a decent shooter, connecting on 37.5% of his three-point shots in college.  DraftExpress currently predicts him to go to the Celtics at #17.  Here's their official scouting report video:

His DX profile page also features a new video released today, breaking down how LaVine played without fellow draft prospect teammates Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson on the floor:

Could LaVine be the next Westbrook?  I suppose it's possible, but there's a very small sample size to look at of him actually playing quality basketball against good competition.  Drafting players for their athleticism has rarely gone well for Boston.  What if he's the next Kedrick Brown?

Follow Mark Vandeusen on twitter @LucidSportsFan