With the NBA Draft and Summer League just around the corner, it’s “pump up your prospects” season in Boston. Earlier today, Celtics Director of Player Personnel Austin Ainge spoke glowingly of last year’s second round draft pick, Yam Madar.
Boston Celtics front office executive Austin Ainge said that 2019 second round pick Yam Madar has "improved on everything we wanted him to" in the past year. Ainge said "We'll see what the future holds (for Madar)."— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 28, 2021
Madar will reportedly play in Summer League for the Celtics.
Madar spent last year competing in his home country of Israel, where he posted numbers similar to what lead fellow Israeli Deni Avdija getting drafted 9th overall by the Washington Wizards.
For reference, here’s Avdija’s season averages from the 2019-20 season in the Israeli Super League.
And here’s Yam Madar’s stats from this past season in the same league.
Granted, looking at just a one season sample size doesn’t paint the fullest of pictures. We’re not privy to the level of team strength each player was surrounded by, or their usage rate within the offense. But what we can see is that against a similar level of competition, Madar equalled a similar level of production to that of Avdija, who coped admirably during his rookie NBA season.
With numbers like the ones above, it’s no wonder the Celtics have brought Madar stateside to compete in this year’s Summer League, where the team will no doubt be assessing his performance against higher level talent.
Celtics summer league schedule:— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) July 28, 2021
8/8 vs ATL, 4 pm EST
8/10 vs DEN, 7 pm
8/12 vs ORL, 7 pm
8/14 vs PHI, 5 pm
Playoffs on 8/16-17.
Unlike most draft-and-stash prospects, Madar could find himself with a clear path to a roster spot this season. A 6-foot-2 guard who can shoot from anywhere on the floor, facilitate an offense, and chip in with the occasional rebound, the Tel-Aviv product could slide straight into the third guard spot on the roster - assuming Pritchard steps up to the primary back-up guard role.
Since arriving in the United States, Madar has been working out with Semi Ojeleye’s strength trainer, as he prepares his body for the physicality of the NBA.
Should Madar live up to his billing as the “European Steph Curry” and light up the Summer League, we could be seeing a lot more of him this season, either in Maine or as part of the 15-man rotation. However, as Austin Ainge noted during today’s press conference, ”it remains to be seen (If the Celtics will stash Madar for another season, or stash this year’s pick,). It’s always an option.”
With Summer League less than two weeks away, we won’t have to wait long to see Madar in action. But until then, here’s some of his recent highlights.