Watching summer league games is a little bit like watching a bunch of your cousins play in an under 10 soccer game or something. You're watching mainly to see the players you came for, hope they crush it, and the players you don't know are just noise. Putting up a W is nice, though it has basically no impact in the grand scheme of things. But every once in a while, someone you don't know or have any vested interest in will come out of the woodwork, quietly throw up a hat trick, and make you pay attention to them even though you had no intention of doing so.
For diehards watching Celtics summer league action, that unexpected player diving into their consciousness is Jonathan Holmes. He's a 6'9", 242 lbs forward out of Texas who found himself undrafted despite being ranked 24th on the DraftExpress top 100. Oddly enough he's ranked higher than of all Celtics draftees including RJ Hunter (26), Jordan Mickey (31), and Terry "Ghetti and Ranch" Rozier (47). Maybe this shouldn't be unexpected at all.
By any metric, Holmes is having himself a summer, but let's use PER for a sec.
Summer League PER (rookies): Jonathan Holmes: 33.8 Alan Williams: 32.9 Norman Powell: 32.7 Bryce Dejean-Jones: 31.9 http://t.co/oJPTXjtwdm— RealGM (@RealGM) July 16, 2015
And that doesn't include last night's +24 performance against the Blazers. So far in Vegas, Holmes has put up 13 points and 6 rebounds a game. Solid. But what really jumps off the page is he's 53% from three (8-15) and draining all his free throws (12-12) for good measure. Yes, that's a small sample. And I get it, what happens in Vegas could very well stay in Vegas. But there's something about Holmes that just looks like an NBA player. Defensively it seems like he can bang with 4's and can switch on pick and rolls. And did I mention he's on fire from the three point line?
Don't know if it will be with the Celtics, but Jonathan Holmes should be on an NBA roster.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) July 17, 2015
Impressed with Texas big man Jonathan Holmes, he will make an NBA roster #celtics— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) July 12, 2015
Obviously there's a roster crunch in Boston, particularly with bigs. But for a rebuilding team, depth is your friend, even if depth has to spend sometime in Vacationland with Red Claws. Apparently spreading the floor and defending multiple positions is a thing, and something that Jonathan Holmes might just be able to do at an NBA level. He's shown enough so far this summer that some team is going to give him a chance to prove himself. Here's hoping that team ends up being the Celtics.
Photo Credit: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images Paul Colahan 7/17/2015 09:12:00 AM Tweet Edit