The summer league offers NBA fans a chance to see the stars of the future compete. Top draft picks develop hype, borderline roster players compete for playing time, and undrafted rookies showcase their skills to try and earn a contract.
The Celtics’ team is a combination of overseas players who excel at shooting three-pointers, former draft picks who rotated between Boston and Maine, G-League talent, and potential star Robert Williams. They will open play Friday night in Vegas against the 76ers.
Here’s the team.
The former University of Arizona standout was the 23rd pick of the second round in 2017. Allen played sparingly with the Celtics this past season, averaging 1.1 points in his 18 games. With the Celtics G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, he scored 17.7 points to accompany 5.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.2 steals. A potent scorer, Allen is limited by the Celtics stacked lineup. With improvement, Allen could see more minutes in Boston instead of Maine.
An undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech, Bibbs is a summer league roster invite. He shot 42 percent from beyond the arc in his college career. A deadeye from long range, Bibbs’ uncanny shooting ability allows the Celtics to stretch the floor.
Like Allen, Bird is a former late selection from the 2017 second round who played intermittently in his first year. In 13 games, he averaged three points per contest. For the Red Claws, he added 19.3 points per game on a .517 shooting field goal percentage. A tenacious scorer, Bird needs to improve on his three-point shot in order to see increased minutes with the Celtics.
A 2013 graduate of Saint Bonaventure, Conger is a summer roster addition for the Celtics. Playing with Divina Seguros Joventut of Liga ACB in Spain, Conger averaged 9.9 points while shooting .444 from three-point range. Conger’s strong shooting allows him to stretch out defenses.
Dixon averaged 13.3 points while shooting .389 percent from three for the Red Claws last year. A 24-year-old who played his college ball at William & Mary, Dixon’s 6-foot-6 frame allows him to rebound well for a guard. His 4.7 rebounds per game, combined with a strong shooting ability, makes him an intriguing prospect.
Eddie boasts three years of NBA experience, most notably playing 26 games in 2015-16 with the Wizards. In 28 games with the Windy City Bulls, the Bulls’ affiliate, Eddie scored 17.8 points on a .438 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. A tremendous shooter from distance for a forward, Eddie is looking for another chance in the NBA with a strong summer league showing.
A former University of Charlotte graduate, Henry played for Tofas and averaged 10.9 points and 4.6 assists per contest. Henry adds an intriguing combination of strong shooting and skilled passing.
Lloyd played this past season with Hapoel Eilat of the Isreali League. Prior to going overseas, Lloyd played for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers affiliate. He has joined the Pacers and Raptors summer league teams before. Lloyd will be participating in the summer league, yet has signed a two-year contract with the Turkish team Darüşşafaka that begins this coming season.
Martin played for the Ryukyu Golden Kings in Japan after his time at the University of Rhode Island. In his senior year at Rhode Island, Martin averaged 13.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks. Despite measuring at 6’7″, Martin has a knack for defending the paint and altering shots.
The 2017 second-round selection turned out to be an immediate contributor with the Celtics, making 73 appearances in the regular season and 17 during the playoffs. Ojeleye amassed 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest, shooting only .345 percent. The former SMU product is strong defensively and could use another summer league appearance to fine tune the offensive side of his game.
Uthoff, a former Iowa standout, recorded 16.5 points and 8.4 rebounds for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Uthoff rebounds the ball well and made almost two three-pointers a game, showing an ability to be a stretch forward.
Celtics fans will have their first chance to see the team’s 2018 first-round selection don a green jersey. Williams is a tremendous shot blocker and rebounder, evidenced by his 2.4 blocks and 9.6 rebounds a game in his sophomore season at Texas A&M. The Celtics desperately needed another big presence down low, and Williams should have the chance to take command of that role with a strong showing this summer.
The Celtics’ 2016 first-round choice played seldom this past season, only scoring 2.4 points in 33 games. He dominated with the Red Claws, having averaged 20.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks. Yabusele will have the chance to be a star on the summer league team, which could help him solidify more minutes in the coming season.
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Source: GreenStreet Blog