Abdel Nader’s summer league success is no surprise
The No. 58 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft by the Celtics, Abdel Nader, has been putting up impressive numbers and holding his own during summer league competition after spending a season in the D-League.
While in Utah, the Celtics finished with one win and two losses, but the 6-foot 6-inch forward with a 7-foot 1-inch wingspan averaged 14.7 points and three rebounds in 26.3 minutes in the three games. He shot 48.3 percent from the field, and was second to Jayson Tatum in field goal attempts and makes.
Nader has struggled to find that same success in Las Vegas despite the Celtics winning the first two games. He has played in just one of two games, and in that one game he shot 28.6 percent from the field. Nader and No. 37 overall 2017 NBA draft pick Semi Ojeleye have put up similar numbers throughout their summer campaign. Ojeleye is averaging 14 points and four rebounds in 29 minutes per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field.
Nader was named the 2016-17 Development League Rookie of the Year. While on the Maine Red Claws, he averaged 21.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists. He shot the 44.7 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from three-point range. He played alongside Demetrius Jackson, who is averaging seven points, four assists and three rebounds in summer league competition.
“We think that this year has been great for Abdel,” Celtics director of scouting Dave Lewin told the Portland Press Herald. “Everybody’s seen that he has a lot of potential. If he can build on it, he’s got a great chance to be an NBA player and contribute to the Celtics in the near future.”
The former Iowa State player was a key part to the powerful Big 12 program. He played alongside No. 50 overall 2016 draft pick Georges Niang, who is currently with the Pacers’ organization. Nader received All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors and was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team when he was was at Northern Illinois. During his redshirt senior season, the Cyclone averaged 12.9 points and five rebounds. He appeared in the NCAA tournament both years, was a part of the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen team and won back-to-back Big 12 conference tournaments.
Nader possess similar skills to other current Celtics like Tatum, Ojeleye, Jaylen Brown and Jabari Bird. He is the type of the player that seems to fit the recent needs and wants of the organization. He is a long, athletic forward with a score-first mentality that also goes to the glass and rebounds. Therefore, he has the chance to make it onto the regular season roster.
While he will have to fend for himself during training camp to make the roster, he has a history of success and knack for scoring that is hard to pass up.
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Source: GreenStreet Blog