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|Former USC point guard Gabe Pruitt will look to compete for minutes this season in the Celtics backcourt. (Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com)|
The only normal thing for the Celtics on draft night occurred during the second round. The C’s made the pick they were assigned, and did not trade it. With the pick, the team filled a hole left by guard Delonte West in the Ray Allen trade, selecting USC junior point guard Gabe Pruitt.
Pruitt is a 6’4″, 170-lb point guard who started for most of his three-year college career at USC. The former Trojan grew up Los Angeles, CA, and attended Westchester High School in LA. During his 3-year college career, Pruitt averaged 13.8 points, 3.5 assists, and 1.9 steals in 80 games (70 starts).
NBADraft.net projected Pruitt to be a late-first round selection, but when he slipped to the early second round the C’s snagged the big point guard with the 32nd overall draft choice. Scouts rave about Pruitt’s size and quickness when compared to others at his position. NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith described him as “very athletic” and a guard who “plays above the rim.”
Pruitt’s role on the team lost importance when the C’s inked free agent guard Eddie House on Aug. 9. House has played some point during his time with Phoenix and New Jersey, so he brings some needed veteran experience. The Celts are also in the market for another veteran point guard like Gary Payton or Troy Hudson. So, if the Celtics add another veteran guard, Pruitt will be moved down the depth chart accordingly. Currently, he is penciled in as the backup to Eddie House and Rajon Rondo at the point guard position.
NBADraft.net projects Pruitt to become a player like the Mavs’ Devin Harris, who is a pretty quick point guard and a good passer. Last season with the Mavs, the 6’3″ guard averaged 10.2 points and 3.2 assists on the 67-win team. Pruitt’s career numbers could be similar to Harris’s when it’s all said and done, but this season, don’t expect too much from the rookie point guard. If the C’s sign another guard, it will affect his projected stats, limiting his minutes even more.
Projected stats for Gabe Pruitt for the 2007-2008 season:
(Key: MIN = minutes per game, PPG = points per game, RPG = rebounds per game, APG = assists per game, SPG = steals per game)