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Boston Celtics 2014: Colton Iverson hopes to earn a roster spot

Colton Iverson #45 of the Colorado State Rams goes up for the ball against Gorgui Dieng #10 of the Louisville Cardinals in the second half during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena on March 23, 2013 in Lexington, Ke
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

As the Boston Celtics are preparing for the 2014 NBA draft, last year’s second-round draft pick is hoping to land a spot on the 2014-15 roster. Chris Forsberg of ESPN reports on Wednesday that 7-foot center Colton Iverson is hoping his overseas experience will help him obtain his ultimate goal of becoming a Celtic.

The Celtics selected Iverson with the 53rd pick in the 2013 draft. Although Iverson had the size the team needed, it would’ve been hard from him to make the team. Instead of spending time in the NBA Developmental League, Iverson decided to start his pro basketball career in Turkey where he averaged 7.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in 47 games. His growth as a basketball player has made an impression on the team, but Iverson still feels he has a lot to prove. He said this week, “I know I still have to prove myself. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m going to be preparing as much as I always do.”

Work ethic is one of the areas Iverson is hoping to make the biggest impression. According to Celtics director of player personal Austin Ainge, that will be the key to Iverson’s ability to make the team and become a consistent contributor. Ainge said, “My message to Colton has been, ‘Just come in and work so hard that everyone wants to find a way to make it work.’”

An advantage for Colton Iverson is that the Celtics do lack a true center. Unless they draft someone in the draft or somehow lure Kevin Love to Boston, the Celtics only have an undersized Jared Sulligner and Vitor Faverani at the position. If Iverson’s work ethic does earn hi a roster spot, the 25-year-old center can be a rotation player who comes in and does the dirty work. His size would make him a good rim protector, but how much he produces will always depend on his motivation and energy.