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Heading into this offseason the Celtics roster for next year is pretty tough to nail down. We broke down the likely holdovers and potential additions on the latest CelticsLife podcast as best we could, but there's so many moving parts and different roads Danny Ainge can take to contructing both next year's squad and setting the building blocks for future teams that it's really tough to get an accurate gauge. After the draft and the start of free agency the picture will become more and more clear, but in the meantime we can bank on one thing - this years Celtics Summer League team is going to be really, really good. Likely the best they've ever had.

With the Celtics holding the 1st-overall pick in the draft and the likely (damn well better be) addition of Markelle Fultz the centerpiece of that squad will be the most talented player heading to the pros this year. Couple that with news from last week that Jaylen Brown stormed into Ainge's office and told him he's playing this summer along with Celtics overseas stash Ante Zizic being primed to be heading stateside July 1st and you've got yourself three of the most talented guys in the whole summer league all on one team.

As for the rest of the squad, NBA D-League Rookie of the year Abdel Nader will be looking to build off his momentous season, and both Demetrious Jackson and Jordan Mickey are looking to solidify themselves spots with the big club again next year. That's one helluva starting five. It's a shame the C's other overseas stash and former 1st-round pick Gershaun Yabusele won't be able to play, but the lineup is pretty daunting even without him.

After looking at this current/likely roster I had to take a look back at Celtics summer league rosters of the past to see if there was any that might be able to give this squad a run, and this is the best one I could find - s/o to Marc D'Amico of Celtics.com.

Back in 2005 the C's marched out a squad that consisted of 5 1st-round picks, albeit none of them were drafted higher than 15th, but all of these guys went on to have successful NBA careers. Tony Allen, Gerald Green, Kendrick Perkins, Al Jefferson, and Delonte West.

While none of these guys had the upside of Fultz or Brown they all hung around in the league long enough to prove they could play (with three of them still playing today). No all-star appearances among them although Big Al came close on a few occasions throughout his career, and in Tony Allen's case this was before he blew out his knee and looked a bit more explosive offensively. The biggest problem with this bunch was they were raw, with three guys coming straight from High School to the pros.

Danny gets a lot of flack for his drafting but he drafted 4 of those 5 particular guys over a two-year span, '04-05, outside of the lottery. Not too shabby.

The Verdict: That '05 summer league squad would certainly have a size advantage, but I think the athleticism and scoring prowess from this years squad wins out.


Photo Credit - Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images


Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401

Mark Allison 6/09/2017 12:51:00 PM Edit
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