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The NBA Summer League starts for the Celtics on July 6th against the Philadelphia 76'ers. The potential starting front court is intriguing.

Newly-drafted Robert Williams III should be there , hopefully displaying why the Celtics rated him highly - and hopefully dispelling any negative thoughts that allowed him to slip from a probable lottery pick to #27. He has the size, length, physique and talent to be a star in the League, but he needs to, according to NBATV's David Aldridge, develop a "consistent motor".

Robert is an elite rebounder and rim-protector but shoots poorly from the free throw line and his shot past the 3-point arc is non-existent. The former issue needs to be corrected quickly or Williams won't be seen at the end of close games, while the latter problem can be fixed over time.


Semi Ojeleye should be another Summer League guy for the Celtics, and can can use the time on the floor to work on his offense and rebounding. He came to Boston as a potential 3-and-D player. The "D" is stellar, but the "3", particularly when contested, needs work. Ojeleye earned almost 16 minutes per game in the regular season virtually on his defense alone. In Game Five of the Milwaukee playoff series, he started the game and held Giannis Antetokounmpo to 16 points. Improving his offense will increase his minutes significantly.

Guerschon Yabusele just needs more experience - period. He does fine down in the G-League but sees few minutes in the Big League. I would assume that Brad Stevens would like to see some improvement in Yabu this season to determine if he truly has an NBA talent in Guersch.


Kadeem Allen will be back in action this summer. He is in the second year of his two-way contract and will again be sharing time between the Maine Red Claws and the Celtics.

Jabari Bird played out his one-year, two-way contract but has a shot at playing his way into a bench role with this year's Celtics team. An occasional star is plucked from the NBA G-League affiliates, but generally the best G-Leaguers end up being end-of-the-bench guys at the NBA level. Both Allen and Bird have a shot at that.

The level of play in the NBA G-League is good enough to yield at least a bit of information about a players potential in the Big League. Don't look for Danny Ainge to fill out that roster too quickly. He has assembled a definite Title contender, and he may go the 2007-08 route of picking up a couple of tested free-agent vets, a la James Posey and P. J. Brown. Ring chasers need to go to a legitimate Title contender. The Boston Celtics, now healthy, are certainly that.


Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Gary Broome/AP Photo

Tom Lane 6/25/2018 12:37:00 PM Edit
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