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Read & React: Rookie evaluations by John Hollinger

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He’s not a big fan.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Jay King and John Hollinger of The Athletic looked at a number of topics, including evaluating the Celtics rookie class. Hollinger in particular wasn’t exactly complimentary.

John Hollinger: I’m pretty down on all three of them actually. Of the three, Williams was the most effective in the regular season because he has a high basketball IQ and plays solid defense. Offensively, however, he’s a total zero, and his glaring weaknesses as a shooter and ballhandler are going to really hurt him in a playoff series.

Yeesh. A “total zero” on offense? Seems harsh, but I guess when you start off the season 0 for 5,000 on threes, that first impression tends to stick. Hollinger is very data driven as always and the results weren’t very pretty from a stats perspective. But as he says, Williams is more about the Marcus Smart school of added value. Considering the offensive weapons on the team around him, I’m very cool with Williams being a glue guy. Still, with all that said, if he can hit a few more catch and shoot 3’s, it will make him a lot more valuable.

John went on to describe Carsen Edwards’ obvious struggles before turning his attention to Romeo.

Langford lost much of the year due to injury and wasn’t very good when he played. A one-on-one player as a collegian, Langford couldn’t really play that game as a role player and his shot isn’t good enough to stretch defenses. He also had six assists the entire season. Six! Despite his 6-foot-6 stature and some leaping ability, he had a lower rebound rate than Kemba Walker. So, not a good year, in sum. Langford played seven G-League games and those didn’t go much better.

Again, a big focus on production (or lack thereof). Of course, as a fan I’m looking for any glimmer of hope and banking on glimpses of potential. Perhaps somewhere in between is his true value and we’ll see that play out in the coming years. I am still worried about his shooting but he surprised me with his defense. I’m kind of hoping that he develops into a Evan Turner type spark off the bench. Unless of course he’s packaged as part of a trade.

In fact, Hollinger suggests (not a rumor) a package of Romeo and all three first rounders for John Collins of the Hawks. He and I agree that the Hawks probably turn that deal down, but it is interesting enough to consider options like that come draft time.

There’s a lot more in the article from both Jay and John and it is part of a series that I encourage you to subscribe to and read.