As they have the past two years, the Boston Celtics will play in both the Utah and Las Vegas Summer Leagues from July 3rd through as late as July 17th. The Celtics have announced the following roster for both leagues:
Several of the names should be familiar to Celtics fans. Jaylen Brown and Demetrius Jackson were both rookies with the club during the 2016-17 season. Brown may only make a cameo appearance, as rising second year players generally don’t play the full slate of games. He had a successful rookie season, including several impressive performances in the postseason.
Jackson developed mostly with the Maine Red Claws, as the Boston backcourt afforded him little opportunity for playing time.
In addition, Boston has six other draftees on their Summer League roster.
Ante Zizic and Abdel Nader were drafted in 2016 and spent the year overseas and in the NBA Development League respectively. Zizic played for KK Cibona in his native Croatia before finishing the year with Darussafaka Dogus in Turkey. He averaged over 12 points per game in the two stops combined, while flashing an impressive offensive game and good rebounding ability.
Nader spent the year with the Celtics NBADL affiliate the Maine Red Claws. He won several end of the season awards, as he averaged over 21 points per game, grabbed 6.2 rebounds per game and handed out 3.9 assists per game.
The Celtics will also have four 2017 draftees on the roster: Jayson Tatum, Semi Ojeleye, Kadeem Allen and Jabari Bird. Tatum was the team’s first pick at third overall. Fans will get a glimpse of his scoring ability on the professional level for the first time. Ojeleye will look to flash his all-around game. Allen will show off his defensive prowess and Bird his long range shooting ability.
Beyond those players, the Celtics are bringing in several intriguing prospects. The best of the bunch might be the two big men: Landen Lucas and Trevor Thompson. Both went undrafted, but had strong seasons at Kansas and Ohio State respectively. Lucas scored 7.9 points per game and snagged 8.3 rebounds per game. Thompson averaged 10.6 points per game and grabbed 9.2 rebounds per game as a junior. For a Celtics team that could be short on size, both of these players bear watching.
The Celtics will play first in Utah and their schedule there is:
7/3 – 7:00 PM EST vs 76ers NBATV
7/5 – 7:00 PM EST vs Spurs NBATV
7/6 – 9:00 PM EST vs Jazz NBATV
Boston will then head to Las Vegas for a schedule of:
7/8 – 8:30 PM EST vs Lakers ESPN
7/9 – 8:30 PM EST vs Trail Blazers ESPN2
7/11 – 6:30 PM EST vs 76ers ESPN2
Boston is then guaranteed at least one more game as the league progresses to tournament play.
With so much young talent on the roster and several players making their NBA debuts, there will be a lot to watch out for this summer for the Celtics. Several of these players will camp with Boston in the fall and others will have a chance to play in the newly-branded NBA Gatorade League with Maine.