Here are the three biggest story lines of the Celtics’ Summer Leauge in my opinion
1.) Chance for young guns:
The Celtics’ roster is devoid of any player who has set foot on the floor during an NBA game besides the twentyish minutes played by Oliver Lafayette at the end of the past season. The roster features a couple of international big men including the former second round pick Semih Erden, some local flair in former Umass Minuteman Tony Gaffney and Northeastern Huskie Matt Janning, and a few former college stars in Deshawn Simms, Luke Harangody, Jaycee Carroll, and Ryan Wittman. With a plethora of open spots on the Celtics’ roster some of these players will make the team without a question and without veterans or first round picks dominating the ball it will be interesting to see who stands out from the crowd.
2.) Finding a serviceable big man:
With Perk starting next season hurt, Rasheed Wallace fatting his way off into the sunset, and Shelden Williams playing the Washington Generals to the Lakers’ Harlem Globetrotters during the Finals, Big Baby is the only big man the Celtics will have to start the season. This leaves a gigantic door open for the likes of Semih Erden, Luke Harangody, Tony Gaffney, and even Deshawn Simms. Gaffney has a big of a leg up having finished the season with the team and having become familiar with management and the coaching staff. Erden is a legitimate seven-footer who has competed against solid competition for years in Turkey and in Eurobasket. Harangody and Simms are more similar to Davis in that they are bigger players who can shoot from the outside a little and stretch the defense more but are undersized. While the Celtics will almost certainly be finding a big man in free agency it never hurts to have extra big men and one player can’t fill the Celtics dearth at the position. I would put my money on Erden and Gaffney right now but that being said anything could happen.
3.) Underrated College Stars:
The Celtics’ summer league roster boasts what would have made for a college All-Star team a few years ago with Jaycee Carroll, Ryan, Wittman, Luke Harangody, and Deshawn Simms. All four players proved themselves to be excellent college players in their time but none, besides Harangody late in the second round, were drafted when they came out of college. One of the most interesting things this summer league will be to see if any of these former college stars can find the form that made them so successful in college and transition that to the NBA. Each of the four players have skills that made them so successful in college but also have deficiencies that make them question marks in the NBA, mainly their size and speed. If any of those players can find a way to utilize their skills without letting size or speed be a deficiency for them, similar to how someone like Glen Davis or Matt Carroll has then those players will be able to find a spot for themselves in the league be it with the Celtics or not.
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