Celtics Draft Central - presented by Sentient.

UConn's Williams Featured in Day 3 of Draft Workouts

By Peter F. Stringer
May 25, 2006

Several NBA scouts seem to think Marcus Williams is the best NBA-ready, pure point guard available in the upcoming draft, and Thursday he was on hand for draft workouts in Waltham.

The lefty guard was said to have impressed NBA personnel around the league a few weeks back during private workouts in Southern California, and he looked good again in his Celtics workout against Northeastern's Jose Juan Berea, Rutgers' Quincy Douby, and Michigan State's Shannon Brown.

Coach Doc Rivers said that today's workout was the best he's seen this week based on how all four players performed. Williams was the highest profile player on hand, and he drew most of the media attention after the workout concluded.

"Marcus plays the game at his speed. He doesn't allow anyone to speed him up or slow hin down," said Celtics Coach Doc Rivers. "That's what you see veterans do more than young guys."

Williams felt his workout went well, having already worked out for Toronto and Minnesota against guys like Dee Brown and Mardy Collins. He did say that the four-man format doesn't allow him to show all of his skills.

"I might have done better in a five-on-five game, where guys are moving around and cutting. But you've got to make the best of every situation, so you show your one-on-one abilities," said Williams.

While four-man workouts also don't necessarily allow teams to evaluate some of the skills they're looking for in a point guard, such as decision making on the break or running a pick and roll, Danny Ainge likes what he's seen of Williams, both in person and on tape.

"He's got good vision. I think he's a terrific 94-foot passer, all the way into the 15-foot pass range. He's a passer all over the court, and he's a threat to make passes as soon as he gets the ball in his hands in the backcourt," said Ainge.

Ainge did caution that Williams needs to get himself in better shape and play better defense, but both Ainge and Rivers praised him for his "feel for the game."

In evaluating the available talent in the draft, Rivers says that talk of weak drafts happens every year, but he doesn't see any "team-changers" available this season. He mentioned Chris Paul as being the one exception from last year's draft.

"Obviously, we're extremely young, and if we draft we'll be younger. If we make a trade to get a veteran player, that's great. We just have to improve our talent pool," Rivers said.

Perkins and Green in the House

While Kendrick Perkins was seen on the stair-stepper during the pre-draft workouts, Gerald Green emerged after the workouts concluded to run through some offensive sets with Armond Hill, Dave Wohl and Clifford Ray along with Al Jefferson. Dan Dickau, sporting his new, longer hairdo, was also spotted running the treadmill.

Stay tuned to Celtics.com this summer as we continue to check in with the guys as they workout this summer in preparation for training camp.

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