Originally written on Celtics Town  |  Last updated 9/11/14
Several hat tips on this story (Sheridan Hoops, Red’s Army and Draft Express), but according to reports, Danny Ainge has been taking a look in person at a relatively unknown prospect: 18-year-old Giannis Atenkunbo from Nigeria, currently playing for a Greek team.Atenkunbo has a fascinating amount of potential. According to Draft Express, Atenkunbo is 6’9 with a 7’3 wingspan and enormous hands (seriously, look at these things):Photo via DraftExpress.comFor those of you who don’t have 12:46 to watch an international prospect throw down blurry dunks on hapless opponents, here’s Draft Express’ breakdown of Atenkunbo’s game.StrengthsPhysical tools: We covered this a bit already, but he’s enormous, he’s young and he might be still growing, as he’s added three inches in the past 10 months.Defensive potential: The video emphasizes Atenkunbo’s (quote) “HUGE potential on D due to physical tools.” He can defend both shots at the rim and jumpers, he’s instinctively good at defense (since he hasn’t been doing this for that long) and his length can close up passing lanes.Offensive versatility: This is where things get interesting. According Draft Express’s website, Atenkunbo’s potential position is small forward, all around. But according to the video, he can play any position from point guard to power forward. That kind of versatility is obviously uncommon. The video also emphasizes his passing instincts and his smooth ball-handling, both of which would indicate Atenkunbo’s point guard (or at least point forward) potential. He can go both directions and get to the rim. Also worth noting from the Celtics’ perspective: Atenkunbo is described as a “solid rebounder who can go coast to coast.” That sound you hear is me drooling.Upside and potential: Well, duh.Capable shooter: Apparently, he can hit 3′s, but he needs to improve. Fortunately, shooting is one of the things that can often see massive strides throughout a player’s career. See Rondo, Rajon. WeaknessesStrength and explosiveness: Despite his fluid, smooth game, he doesn’t have much of a first step. Like most 18-year-old athletes, he will need to fill out his frame and improve his lower body strength in particular (something that, incidentally, might add to his explosiveness).Perimeter shooting: Addressed above. Most of his problems sound mechanical, such as low-release and lack of follow-through.Defensive consistency: Once again, most of his problems are mechanical and could probably be fixed by solid coaching. For example: he is often too upright when defending an opponent, and he often takes poor close-out angles. If I might add something without making excuses for him: He’s 18.Lack of experience: See: “He’s 18″ directly above. He doesn’t have a truly defined position.Obviously, with (hopefully) tons of season left, it’s too early to be really thinking about draft prospects, but the fact that Danny went to Greece to see this kid in person seems significant. Several draft experts project Atenkunbo in the mid-to-late 20s at the moment, but several also see him moving up the draft boards as people become more and more aware of him. He certainly is the kind of player that, in a weak draft, seems worth a shot, especially in the mid-teens range where Boston will be drafting (if the draft started tomorrow, Boston would have the 16th pick). Assuming Atenkunbo doesn’t shoot up into the lottery, which honestly isn’t out of the question this year, he would be an interesting gamble.The concern, of course, would be that Boston has been experimenting with quasi-point guards for quite some time, and they just signed Terrence Williams to a multi-year deal. On the other hand, Atenkunbo’s potential is beyond intriguing, and if the Celtics wanted to take a shot, I would be all for it.Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Browns OC wants Johnny Manziel 'obsessed' with football

ESPN officially announces 2016 World Cup of Hockey deal

Who won the LeSean McCoy trade?

50 Cent bets $1.6M on Mayweather beating Pacquiao

Wizards apologize for odd Black History Month tribute

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: McCoy may want more money from Bills

Andre Johnson laughed upon hearing he wouldn't start

Brad Stevens: LeBron 'looks like the MVP to me'

Le'Veon Bell tees off on Mel Kiper Jr. over Twitter

Eagles ship LeSean McCoy to Bills for Kiko Alonso

Murray would reportedly give Cowboys hometown discount

Murray State pitcher’s leg kick is entirely out of hand

Panthers sign emergency goalie during game due to injuries

Tim Lincecum’s last best chance

Ten most underrated players in the NBA

Columbus Zoo names newborn penguin after Ezekiel Elliott

Matt Barnes blasts NBA over James Harden suspension

Joe Rogan: Ronda Rousey could beat half the men

Bills tell C.J. Spiller he won't be re-signed

Ohio State self-reported funny NCAA violation

Lupul, Phaneuf, Cuthbert threaten lawsuit against TSN

Report: Adrian Peterson has trade list of five preferred teams

Murphy disagrees with Billy Bean’s homosexual 'lifestyle'

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tim Lincecum’s last best chance

Ten most underrated players in the NBA

Stevens: LeBron looks like the MVP

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.