NBA     |     WNBA             
FANTASY GAMES     |     STORE     |     TICKETS     |     HELP   

Chat transcript: June 25
Scouting for the Celtics

One of the foremost evaluators of basketball talent, Chris Wallace completed his fourth season as General Manager of the Boston Celtics.

Wallace was Director of Player Personnel for the Miami Heat before coming to Boston. Before joining the Heat, Wallace worked in various scouting capacities for the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks. He also worked as a draft consultant for the United States Basketball League.

Wallace has been instrumental in the formation of the young and talented Celtics roster with a number of trades, free-agent signings, and solid draft choices. His basketball expertise and savvy will continue to be critical to the future development of the franchise.

Wallace chatted live on June 25.
Rob Newton from at 4:47pm ET
What exactly is the draft philosophy? Draft for need, "best available", a little of both, etc.

Chris Wallace at 4:47pm ET
It's basically best available player. We don't want to get hamstrung by going on a need-based selection processed. We'd like the best of both worlds -- lining up the best available player at a need position.
Steve from at 4:47pm ET
What are the chances of moving up in the draft or are you happy with your three picks right where they are?

Chris Wallace at 4:48pm ET
I think it's unlikely that we'll move up in the draft. We feel comfortable with the possible pool of players at 10, 11 and 21. So I don't see us as a likely candidate to move up, but you never say never.
Kenny from at 4:48pm ET
Who do you think will be the best high school player to play in the NBA next season?

Chris Wallace at 4:49pm ET
It's hard to gauge which of the high schoolers will make the biggest impact, but in my estimation Kwame Brown has the best combination of offensive talent, athleticism, physical ability, and long-range upside. So I feel he's the number one prospect of the high school players, and I predict that he'll be the number one pick as well.
Brian Cirone from at 4:49pm ET
Is Pau Gasol for real? And why?

Chris Wallace at 4:50pm ET
He's definitely for real. He led his change to the championship in the Spanish league. He's 7-1, he can block shots, run the court and play facing the basket. And like Brown, he has considerable upside.
Mark from at 4:51pm ET
Chris, do you have an agreement in place to draft Kedrick Brown for Portland?

Chris Wallace at 4:52pm ET
He's a 6-6 small forward out of a Ascaloosa-Walton junior college in Florida. He's athletic and he's someone who two years ago was a high school center and is working his way to the small forward position. We're very open in this draft. We don't want to limit ourselves to any possibilities. So we don't have any agreements in place for any players, and if you look back to '98, we were extremely fortunate to have Paul Pierce fall into our lap. You understand why you don't limit your options.
Celtics5RM from at 4:52pm ET
What about DeSangana Diop? What are your views on him?

Chris Wallace at 4:53pm ET
Diop is probably the least polished of the high school players. He's only been playing the game for four years total, but I like to compare him to a lump of clay -- he can be molded for a team. He does not have bad habits, he has good work ethic, and he has not been spoiled.
Kenny from at 4:54pm ET
Chris, who do you think is the best guard in the draft?

Chris Wallace at 4:55pm ET
Depends on whether you mean a point guard or a two guard. The top rated point guard is Jamal Tinsley of Iowa State for a lot of teams. The two-guard is tougher to differentiate. Is Joe Johnson a two-guard or a small forward? If not Johnson, then probably Forte out of North Carolina is the top two-guard prospect.
Gus at 4:55pm ET
Can/should Walker play the three full time next year, allowing you all to focus on drafting a power forward?

Chris Wallace at 4:55pm ET
No, I don't think he should play the three, nor should you expect to see him there. He will be primarily a power forward, with some extra duties at point guard.
X Lewis at 4:55pm ET
Do you think that there are any players who can go to a team and help right away?

Chris Wallace at 4:57pm ET
Yes, I do. Shane Battier in particular because of his maturity, and his skills on the offensive and defensive end. I wouldn't be surprised to see Rodney White have an immediate impact from his scoring. Darius Miles is an example of a high school player who made an immediate impact this past season despite when many perceived as his limitations when he came out. And it might be a bit premature and hasty to say the vast majority of these players won't help any.
Kim from at 4:57pm ET
How did Troy Murphy look at the team workouts?

Chris Wallace at 4:58pm ET
Troy Murphy was very impressive in his workouts, as well as mass workouts out in California. He has reshaped his body somewhat. He's worked with a track coach in L.A., which has helped his stride and overall footwork. I think he's done very well since the end of last season, and he's a very worthwhile lottery-level selection in the draft.
Eric Rajaniemi from at 4:58pm ET
Will your emphasis be on a scorer to complement Walker & Pierce, or a defensive front court man in the draft?

Chris Wallace at 4:59pm ET
Again, we're not going to try and limit ourselves to a certain type of player or position, but it would be nice to come up with some scoring. Where I think we fell short last year, was that our team was so dependent on Pierce and Walker, that other teams focused on them. We've got to find some offensive help to augment Pierce and Walker.
stef from at 5:00pm ET
Who do you think is the best player out of Eddy Curry and Kwame Brown and why you think so?

Chris Wallace at 5:00pm ET
I like both of them, but if I had to rank those two players, I'd go with Brown. I just feel he's a higher caliber talent. As I mentioned earlier, he'd be a very justifiable number one pick overall.
Pat Heffernan from at 5:01pm ET
If you had to pick a sleeper that few people are talking about but that you feel could develop into a fine NBA player, who would it be?

Chris Wallace at 5:01pm ET
I'd say the public doesn't know much about Vladimir Radmanovic, but he's been on a meteoric rise over the past month, and in all probability, he'll end up as a lottery pick in the 9-13 range.
Scott from at 5:02pm ET
I heard Tony Parker was your top rated point guard, is that the truth? Can you tell me a little about him because I don't know anything about him? Thanks

Chris Wallace at 5:02pm ET
We haven't put up our final draft board yet, but Tony Parker is an outstanding young talent, who's probably the best point guard in Europe among the younger players, and he'll undoubtedly be a first-round selection on Wednesday.
ronnie from at 5:02pm ET
Who are the top centers in the draft in your eyes?

Chris Wallace at 5:03pm ET
Among the top centers are Eddy Curry, Diop, Brendan Haywood, Jason Collins, Alvin Jones to name a few.
matt g. from at 5:03pm ET
What are your thoughts on the progression of Milt Palacio and Jerome Moiso, and do you see them having a greater impact with the team next year?

Chris Wallace at 5:04pm ET
I think there's no question they'll have a greater impact. Milt in particular was key for us late in the season and showed more offensive talent than we expected when he first came to us. Jerome did not get a great deal of playing time, but things could open up at power forward because of Jim O'brien's desire to put Walker at point guard.
wayray from at 5:04pm ET
What would you say is the biggest weakness on the Celtics?

Chris Wallace at 5:05pm ET
I'd say it's that we often down the stretch last year did not have enough offensive firepower to support Pierce and Walker, who finished as two of the top 12 scorers in the league.
Adam from at 5:05pm ET
Are GM's concerned with Loren Wood's back or is that a moot point?

Chris Wallace at 5:05pm ET
Loren Woods came back after his back surgery and played very well in the NCAA tournament. He's also had some impressive workouts, and the surgery is more than a year behind him at this point.
ronnie from at 5:05pm ET
How close do you feel we are to being a contender?

Chris Wallace at 5:07pm ET
Contending for a title or the playoffs? We'll definitely contend for the playoffs, but we're a few years away from being a legitimate title contender. Another aspect that we need is more continuity from our core group of players. Pierce and Walker have been together for three seasons, and if you look at the teams with the most consistency, you see teams like Utah, who've had so much continuity from Stockton and Malone.
Nikki from at 5:07pm ET
I saw that you gave both Tinsley and Cook a tryout at the pointguard spot. Of the two which do you think would have the biggest impact on the Celtics team? And also what are your opinions about the record number of high school students entering this years draft?

Chris Wallace at 5:08pm ET
Tinsley is four years older than Omar Cook and played three more seasons of college basketball, so looking at that, you'd have to say he'll come a little more ready-made. As far as the high school influx, it doesn't matter as long as the players are what I would call prodigies. I think it's only for the truly special player, and the jump should be made with extreme caution, i.e., a player should not forsake his college eligibility unless he knows for certain that he'll go very high in the draft.
Jon from at 5:09pm ET
How many people do you have involved with draft preparations and do you receive input from Celtic Greats ?

Chris Wallace at 5:10pm ET
Some of the greats in the past have offered up a suggestion or two, but the basic group involved in the process are myself, the player personnel director, Coach Jim O'Brien, assistant coaches, and Red Auerbach has been consulted along the way, and he'll be coming into Boston tomorrow as well for the draft.
Mike Borghese from at 5:10pm ET
What do you think of Seton Hall's center Dalember? He might slip through the cracks of the draft, would you call him afterward?

Chris Wallace at 5:11pm ET
He can block shots, he's an explosive athlete, but he needs to improve his strength and offensive capabilities.
Miltpalaciofanclub from at 5:11pm ET
Would you consider Kenny Anderson to be used in a trade?

Chris Wallace at 5:12pm ET
We think Kenny Anderson is going to rebound next year for a number of reasons. One, he wasn't happy with his role last season. Two, he's 30 years old, and realizes he's in the twilight of his career. And three, Jim O'Brien believes the new rules changes will help Kenny.
Nancy at 5:12pm ET
Do you feel the current Celtics team is athletic enough or is that a priority in this draft?

Chris Wallace at 5:13pm ET
We'd like to get more athletic in the future, but we're not trying to win the Penn Relays. We're trying to win basketball games. We want someone with skill and a feel for the game as well.

Chris Wallace at 5:14pm ET
I'd like to thank the legions of Celtic fans throughout the world for their continuous support, and tune in to the draft on Wednesday -- it'll be interesting for basketball fans everywhere.
   NBA     |     WNBA             
FANTASY GAMES     |     STORE     |     TICKETS     |     HELP