Yam Madar, the Boston Celtics’ 2020 second-round pick, will remain overseas in 2021-22 after signing a deal with the Serbian club Partizan Belgrade. The club announced the signing one day after Boston concluded NBA Summer League, where Madar played three games before missing the final two with a groin strain.
Partizan Belgrade announced a three-year contract with the guard, who reportedly turned down a two-way contract with the Celtics. The Dennis Schröder signing last week all but eliminated the possibility of minutes being available to a guard as deep as Madar in the organization.
According to @sport5il @OManhime, @Celtics summer league player Yam Madar will turn down a 2-way contract from the Celtics in favor of a multiyear deal in Partizan Belgrade, with Europe's most famous coach, Zeljko Obradovic. https://t.co/4ioIBmk72x— Eran Soroka (@sorokman) August 17, 2021
The Celtics retain Madar’s rights and could again bring him to Summer League next year. Madar shined in his debut against Atlanta with a nifty pocket pass, skip passes, a flashy floater that helped boost him to a 4-for-4 start inside the arc. His three-point shot looks like a necessary point of improvement and he’ll need to add more muscle to his frame.
Madar finished averaging 4.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.0 turnovers on 46.7% field goal with a 0% mark from three-point range — drawing no free throw attempts. Joe Mazzulla recalled him struggling with ball control early in the abbreviated training camp leading up to the week in Vegas. He improved and legitimately helped Boston with playmaking in the first win, before the injury and his lack of scoring game brought his production back to earth.
“I think it’s on all of us to help him find a role,” Mazzulla said last week. “What his role would be at this level, and how he can be better at it. It starts with ball pressure and it starts with making great decisions.”
Belgrade will give Madar the opportunity to compete in the EuroCup after playing exclusively in the Israeli League with Maccabi Tel Aviv from 2018-2021. Maccabi and Partizan reportedly came to an agreement, as Boston would have needed to, in order to release Madar from his Israeli contract.
Madar will now be coached by Željko Obradović, who is a record nine-time EuroLeague champion and considered one of the best coaches ever in Europe. Obradović signed with Partizan Belgrade after a seven-year stint coaching in Turkey.