The Tribune's NBA mock draft: Picks 21-30
No. 21 Boston
6-foot-9, 234 pounds, PF/C, St. Bonaventure, 22
Strengths • Strong scorer with big body. Can sink 3-pointers but still bang inside. Proven big-game player who's value has only risen during last month.
History • Carried Bonnies during 2012 NCAA tournament and only improved as games became bigger. Improved every year in college and has four years of experience.
No. 22 Boston
6-foot-11, 233 pounds, C/PF, Mississippi State, 21
Strengths • Similar to Nicholson but more of an NBA-type center. Could team with Nicholson to give Celtics a front line for the future.
History •Spent first two years at UTEP, sat out a season, then finished career in SEC. Soft touch; comfortable at free throw line and from the perimeter.
No. 23 Atlanta
6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Point guard, Kentucky, 19
Strengths • Average numbers during lone season with Wildcats but played on best team in country. Has potential, but could take a few years to grow into position.
History • One of six Kentucky players expected to be drafted who led Wildcats to 2012 NCAA title. Another in a long line of young, talented point guards coached by John Calipari.
No. 24 Cleveland
7-feet, 255 pounds, Center, Syracuse, 22
Strengths • In a draft loaded with big men, he's one of the biggest. True NBA center size and big-game experience. Raw and untested after just two years with Orange, though.
History • A solid sophomore year came to a crashing halt when Melo was unable to play in NCAA tournament. Everything about his game says NBA project.
No. 25 Memphis
6-foot-7, 213 pounds, Small forward, Vanderbilt, 23
Strengths • One of two Vandy products that could be drafted in first round. Strong scorer with solid all-around game. More of an outside shooter than a slasher.
History • Steadily improved with Commodores and teamed with John Jenkins to carry Vanderbilt to the 2012 NCAA tournament quarterfinals.
No. 26 Indiana
6-foot-10, 219 pounds, Small forward, Baylor, 19
Strengths • Spent one year with Bears and his numbers don't overly impress. Classic one-and-done draft pick who should spend several years growing into his game.
History • Teamed with Perry Jones III to lift Baylor to the 2012 Elite Eight. Athletic mid-range shooter who will likely fill into his frame.
No. 27 Miami
6-foot-6, 174 pounds, Shooting guard, Memphis, 21
Strengths • Barton is what makes the draft great. Two years with the Tigers; mid-major conference; impressive all-around numbers; huge upside. But fighting for a first-round spot.
History • Anyone who averages 18 points and eight rebounds while shooting 50.9 percent from the field as a sophomore has all-around NBA talent. Could be viewed as a steal in a few years.
No. 28 Oklahoma City
6-foot-7, 236 pounds, Small forward, Michigan State, 22
Strengths • Four years with Spartans and improved in almost every key statistical category each season. Classic 'tweener with solid offensive game.
History • Part of a Michigan State team that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen last season. Has the talent to be a consistent rotation player.
No. 29 Chicago
6-foot-5, 199 pounds, Shooting guard, Kentucky, 20
Strengths • True shooter who can attack basket. Has the size to hold his own at the 2 and finish at rim. Shot 46.6 percent behind 3-point line and 82.6 percent at free throw line last season.
History • Spent only two years with the Wildcats, but teamed with Anthony Davis to bring an NCAA championship to Kentucky. Low-risk late first-round pick.
No. 30 Golden State
6-foot-4, 212 pounds, Shooting guard, Vanderbilt, 21
Strengths • Lights-out shooter from all areas of court. Has best stroke in draft and size to stay in the league.
History • Shot at least 40.8 percent behind the 3-point line during all three seasons with the Commodores. Fearless shooter who could have a long NBA career.
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