There are ten teams competing in Orlando Summer League this season with a variety of different kinds of players. As teams are filled with veterans, young prospects, and out-and-out rookies, Summer League is a time of year filled with wonder, promise, and ugly basketball.
We’ll be previewing the rosters of all ten teams that will be involved in the Orlando Summer League by giving about 30-50 words on each player and letting you know how legitimate their NBA chances are.
The next team on our list?
Boston Celtics Summer League roster
The Celtics will be bringing with them a large array of first-rounders the past two seasons and solid players that have a chance to make a real impact over the next few seasons. They’ll probably perform well as a team in Orlando, but won’t be one of the fun teams to watch outside of Marcus Smart.
Marcus Smart, G: Smart is one of the better athletes in Orlando, and will probably be looking to work on his long-range shot while here. That’s basically the only question that remains about whether or not Smart can star in the NBA. If the shot comes along over the next couple of seasons, there will be nothing that Smart can’t do on the basketball court.
James Young, G/F: Young is a perfect compliment to Smart in the future as an excellent jump-shooting wing. My guess is that while he probably should spend some time in Maine with the Red Claws this year, he’ll play a little bit for the wing-starved Celtics. He needs to improve his handle a little bit though to reach his full potential.
Players under contract
Kelly Olynyk, F: Olynyk dominated Orlando last year en route to being hyped as a potential rookie of the year candidate. Unfortunately, the lack of athleticism crept up and stopped that from happening. He did put up solid per-36 averages though of 15.6 and 9.4, which means the skill level is legitimate. The real question now is whether or not he will ever be able to defend anyone. If he can become passable on that end, he has a solid shot at being a good stretch-5.
Phil Pressey, PG: Pressey was one of the best undrafted stories of last season, playing in 75 games and averaging 7.7 assists and only 2.8 turnovers per-36 minutes. However, with the drafting of Smart and with Rajon Rondo still on the roster, he’s in a bit of a precarious position. His shooting needs work still, but he’s definitely someone you can trust to handle the ball in the backcourt. My guess is that he’s on the Celtics as their third point guard next year, but he needs to have a good offseason to show the team that he’s worth it.
Chris Johnson, G/F: Johnson is on a non-guaranteed deal, but played in 40 games for the Celtics last season while playing solid defense. The offense still is a ways away, and he needs to become a better perimeter shooter, but if he can do that he has a good shot to stick in Boston next season depending on how the rest of their offseason goes.
Chris Babb, G: Babb played in 14 ineffectual games for the Celtics last season and is also on a non-guaranteed deal like Johnson. He has less of a chance to stick than Johnson because he’s a bit shorter and has less of a defensive game. As a volume scorer though on a team that is deprived of wing offense, Babb definitely has some value if he can have a strong offseason and prove himself deserving of the NBA.
Colton Iverson, C: Iverson isn’t technically under contract, but the Celtics own his draft rights after picking him 53rd overall in 2013. He played in Turkey last season and has a player option to return to the NBA this season if the Celtics want to bring him back. My guess is that they keep him over there for another season, as the front court is pretty crowded with Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Vitor Faverani, and Brandon Bass (as well as Joel Anthony, who recently picked up his player option for $3.8 million). There’s a chance he could play himself into a roster spot, but their front court does clear up next season as the Bass, Anthony, and possibly Faverani — who has a non-guarantee — contracts expire.
Random International Dude
Dairis Bertans, G: Bertans’ brother, Davis, is the much more touted family member and his draft rights are held by the Spurs. He has short arms and is somewhat limited athletically, but he performed well after transitioning from the Latvian powerhouse Riga to the ACB league. Unfortunately, he’s not consistent enough of a shooter to make the transition to the NBA considering his other limitations, but he should continue to be a solid European role player throughout his career.
Mike Moser, F: Moser is one of my favorite undrafted prospects this season, and I think he has a real shot to stick somewhere as a stretch-4. It’s probably not with the Celtics given that they already have Olynyk, Bass, Sullinger, and Faverani who can shoot a little from the outside. He’s also a tough rebounder with long arms despite his slight athletic limitations, which means that as long as his shot is falling he can make a real impact.
Non-rookie, non-NBA players
Edwin Jackson, G: Jackson is a French guard that put up a ton of points in the French Ligue 1 this season with high efficiency statistics. He’s slightly undersized with a good near-6’7 wingspan, plus he’s a good shooter that knocked in about 37% of his six three-point attempts per game. He might be able to get hot from 3 in a game this week and really impress some people, but he’s probably one of those guys that is worth more in the French league than he is in the NBA.
O.D. Anosike, F: Anosike is a strong rebounder who spent last season largely in the Italian league after being undrafted in 2013. He put up huge numbers there, scoring 14 points per game and averaging nearly 14 rebounds per. At only 6’8 he’s slightly undersized for the 4 position in the NBA, but massive 7’3 wingspan helps to make up for that. His rebounding numbers will probably always be gaudy no matter where he goes, but it doesn’t seem like he has enough actual ball-skills to make it in the NBA at this point in time. However, his rebounding does make him an enticing prospect for the future at 23 if he can ever learn to shoot from outside of 10 feet.