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June 27, 2008

New Celtics' Biographies

J.R. Giddens, 6-5 guard, New Mexico — Taken with final pick of the first round (30th overall). ... Averaged 16.3 points, a league best 8.8 rebounds and shot .516 en route to sharing Mountain West Conference MVP honors this winter. ... 6-5, 215-pounder is obviously a great rebounder for his size. ... Big leaper. High jumped 6-10 in high school. ... Offcourt problems have dogged him. ... Left Kansas after being stabbed in the calf in May of 2005. As a junior at New Mexico was suspended "for not being a good teammate." .... The Albuquerque paper labeled him "malcontent and magician." ... Full name is Justin Ray Giddens. ... Turned 23 in February. Recruited by and/or played for four head coaches at Kansas and New Mexico. ... Attended John Marshall High in Oklahoma City. ... McDonald's All-American was edged in that slam dunk event by LeBron James.

Bill Walker, 6-6 forward, Kansas State — Drafted 47th overall (17th in second round) by Washington. C's acquired him for cash. Powerful 6-6, 230-pounder. ... Averaged 16.3 points and 6.1 rebounds last winter while shooting .465 from the floor. ... Made third-team All-Big 12. ... Former McDonald's All-American can be overly reliant on the 3-pointer for somebody who shot just 35 of 114 (.307) from deep last season. ... Played at North College Hill High in Cincinnati with O.J. Mayo, who was drafted No. 3 last night. Both moved from Huntington, West Va. ... They were both lured to K-State by Bob Huggins, but Mayo decided on USC when Huggins left. ... Walker left College Hill early for K-State when he was ruled ineligible for his senior year. ... Used to go by Billy, but now prefers Bill. ... Once a legendary leaper often compared to Dominique Wilkins, a serious knee injury in January 2007 robbed him of much of his vertical. ... Also has had character issues. ... Accustomed to playing second-fiddle: first to Mayo in high school then to Michael Beasley, the second overall pick last night, at K-State.

Semih Erden, 6-11, center, Turkey — Intriguing prospect. ... 240-pounder who can run the floor and isn't afraid to mix it up. Played for Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul of the Euroleague last season, averaging 6.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 0.9 blocks. Also played in the Turkish League 7.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.8 blocks). Will turn 22 on July 22. Sounds like 3-for-3 on new additions who have character concerns. ESPN.com calls him "a little wild on and off the court."

— MICHAEL MULDOON

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