While the Boston Celtics season doesn’t begin until late October, it’s never too early to start looking towards next season. What better way to predict the future of a team than by watching a bunch of kids who probably won’t make it into the NBA play their hearts out off for a few weeks. The NBA summer league just wrapped up and the Celtics were tearing up the Las Vegas strip with four wins in a row at one point. I can’t think of a better time than now to think about what the scrubs playing now show about the future of the team.
Disclaimer: not all summer league superstars really turn into NBA legends. Kelly Olynyk dropped 18 PPG while pulling in 8 RPG and everyone knows how that has turned out……. Anyways, here is the future of the Celtics.
He’s not a rookie anymore, but the Celtics sixth overall pick in 2014 Marcus Smart was tearing it up this summer, showing many signs of improvement. Well, pretty much, he’s stopped being an idiot. He’s learning how to actually pass the ball as well as take good shots, just being able to make them is the next step. While he did also just dislocate some of his fingers, he should be perfectly fine when the season tips off. His confidence seems to be at an all-time high, and it would suck to see it drop, just like DeMarcus Cousins dropping him.
After Smart, fans might look at this roster and just assume that they are terrible. Everybody is pissed off that Danny Ainge didn’t move up to grab a better pick in the draft (a.k.a. Justise Winslow), he just stayed put and grabbed guards Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter…..Yeah I know, I wasn’t too fond of the picks either. But these guys have been a nice surprise this summer along with the one of the team’s second round draft pick, Jordan Mickey out of LSU. While these guys won’t sell tickets by their names, they will sell with the energy and raw talent they bring to this already young Celtic’s roster, as the average age of the roster is a measly 25.8 years old.
Rozier might not be the best scorer or passer in the league, but man this guy is a hard worker. He will be a good role player and back up to Smart and Isaiah Thomas at the point guard position. Putting up respectable numbers in summer league so far, 12.2 PPG, 4.3 ASG, and 3.0 RPG, Rozier might not be as shitty as we all thought he would be when Ainge picked him at #16 in this year’s draft. This guy will lock some defenders down and he might have a long career ahead of him if he can improve more on the offensive side.
Jordan Mickey, the 6’ 8” 230 lbs wall of a center out of LSU is turning some heads. As the Celtics have just signed him to a four-year $5 million contract, this dude is blocking and affecting shots on the defensive side of the ball like he is expected to. But who knew this guy had some offense in him? Dropping 11 points per game and pulling in almost 8 rebounds per game, this guy is looking like he may be playing himself from the D-League roster to the NBA roster. Especially with the departure of Brandon Bass and lack of defense in the Celtics front court, he will be a key piece coming off the bench.
Now I’m down to R.J. Hunter. The kid who nobody knew about until he shot this insane shoot in the NCAA tournament this past spring…..
That single shot might have moved him from a late-second rounder to a “possible lottery pick”. This kid loves having the ball in his hands and he isn’t afraid to shoot, shown by his 31% 3PT shooting percentage. But who cares? The Celtics need a shooter desperately and he can shoot the lights out when he’s on. If he’s scoring, as he showed in the NCAA tournament, it’s fun to watch.
Lastly, keep an eye on Jonathan Holmes. This undrafted free agent out of the University of Texas has some potential. He is a two-way forward who loves to score and play defense. He probably won’t make the roster this year because it’s such a mess with how many forwards are currently on the roster. But in a few years, keep an eye out for this kid.
While ill be writing up a review of the summer league and preview of the regular season later, it’s always good to let the people know what we might be looking at for the future of the Boston Celtics. The immediate future may seem a little dim, as long as Danny Ainge doesnt do something insane, the future is bright for the Celtics and the chase for banner No. 18.
Oh and by the way, im still pissed the Celtics didn’t draft Arlington, Mass native and Notre Dame stud Pat Connaughton. But everyone I have ever talked to already knows that.