Draft night doesn’t end once the 60th selection is made. For many front offices, the real chaos begins shortly thereafter.
In a mad dash to fill Two-Way contracts and Summer League rosters with quality undrafted free agents, the Boston Celtics pried one player away from an Eastern Conference rival and reportedly signed him to a Two-Way deal: Sam Hauser from the Virginia Cavaliers. Brad Stevens and company essentially deferred to the future on draft night, proceeding without a first-round pick and drafting international stash candidate Juhann Begarin at 45.
Hauser joins the Celtics as a 23-year-old rookie coming off an excellent season at Virginia. Hauser played three collegiate years at Marquette with his twin brother Joey before the pair transferred their separate ways (Joey went to Michigan State). At Virginia, Sam added to his reputation as a stretch-forward candidate, posting his fourth consecutive collegiate season of over 40 percent shooting from 3.
At about 6’8”, Hauser has the size to be a smaller 4-man in some lineups, a spot he’s likely best-served defensively. His on-ball defensive metrics from his time in college indicate he won’t be a liability on that end, though there are some improvement areas if he’s going to guard 3s and 4s of the highest caliber in the NBA.
What is appealing about Hauser is just how and where he gets all his shots. He’s really good off screens, is automatic in spot-up situations and even has a nice back-to-the-basket game when he has a size advantage. Hauser was one made free throw away from achieving a 50-40-90 season, a rarity on his volume: he took 22.4 shots per 100 possessions.
From my measure, Hauser’s consistency in college is exactly what you look for out of a bench shooter. He has to be able to come in cold and hit shots, do so whenever he’s vaulted into the rotation and understand what’s asked of him defensively. If you want a ‘break glass in case of emergency’ sniper, you better know they can shoot. The four-year sample in college from Hauser is certainly proof enough.
Playing at Virginia, one of the most meticulous college programs at playing elite defense, should prepare him to understand how hard he has to play on that end. While I have my worries about his mobility and true position to guard, Hauser has shown the competitiveness to offset some of those concerns.
We’ll get our first look at Hauser in Celtics green during the Summer League in Las Vegas. He’s a solid Two-Way signee and has his fans among the NBA Draft Twitter community. For a team looking for more instant impact role players than high-risk swings with their Exhibit 10 deals, the Celtics got exactly what they needed here in Hauser.