Celtics select Purdue’s Moore in second round
By John O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent June 23, 2011 11:47PM
Purdue guard E'Twaun Moore, left, and center JaJuan Johnson wave to the fans as they leave the court following Purdue's 75-67 win over Illinois in the seniors' final home NCAA college basketball game, in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, March 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
E’Twaun Moore has been chasing his NBA dream since he was a kid.
With only six picks remaining in the 2011 NBA Draft on Thursday night, Moore’s dream came true.
The Boston Celtics made the former EC Central and Purdue University star the No. 55 pick in the second round.
There’s no question many NBA scouts were hoping Moore would slip from his early to mid-second round projection and fall into their hands.
The Celtics, who earlier in the night secured the rights to Moore’s Purdue teammate, JaJuan Johnson, when they traded the No. 25 pick, Providence’s Marshon Brooks, to the New Jersey Nets for the rights to Johnson.
The Celtics ended up with a pair of players who were on the court for a Purdue school-record 107 wins during their careers.
For a while, it appeared as if Moore might not even be drafted.
“We’re excited about it,’’ Moore’s Chicago-based agent Mark Bartelstein said. “It’s a great spot for him. They coveted him. They were considering him with their first round pick.’’
Moore could not be reached for comment.
Bartelstein said Moore will travel to Boston some time today, or Saturday, for a press conference.
From high school through college, there have always been people who doubted Moore was really as good as advertised.
Moore, however, has always answered the challenge and proved the naysayers wrong with his consistent productivity at each level.
The 6-foot-3 Moore might be one of the more under-valued players selected in Thursday night’s draft.
He averaged 18.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for the Boilers this season.
His versatility, along with his ability to do almost everything well, makes him a steal for the Celtics.
“He can pass it, he can handle it, he initiated a lot of offense for Matt Painter at Purdue,’’ ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said. “He’s a good defender and just a very, very good all-around player and a great kid.’’
Moore finished his career as the third-leading scorer in Purdue history with 2,136 points. Only Joe Barry Carroll (2,175) and Rick Mount (2,323) scored more points.
Moore and Johnson became only the fourth and fifth Purdue players to be drafted since the Milwaukee Bucks selected former Gary Roosevelt Mr. Basketball star and Boilermakers’ All-American Glenn Robinson with the first pick in 1994.
A year ago, the Celtics picked former Andrean High School and University of Notre Dame star Luke Harangody with the 52nd pick in the second round.