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As we well know, players can look spectacular in Summer League and flop upon the arrival at training camp - very similar to summer romances.

It comes down to determining if what an analyst sees in the summer can translate to worthiness for a standard NBA contract. We saw Jayson Tatum prior to his rookie season play at a high level in 2017 Summer League, and he parlayed that performance into a stellar rookie season, including a playoff run all the way to the Eastern Finals.

Summer League-2018 ended recently for the Celtics, and there were some promising signs for the upcoming season. We will take a brief look at Guerschon Yabusele, Semi Ojeleye, Jabari Bird, Robert Williams, Hassan Martin and Trey Davis.

The Celtics are now up to 14 signed players for this season, and that excludes Marcus Smart who is a restricted free agent. Finding a way into the Boston roster for this season will be difficult for any new-comers.

Robert Williams
Robert only played briefly in Summer League before picking up a knee injury. The Celtics had shut him down for the rest of the summer, and my belief is that it is as much for the purpose of getting his head straight as it is for preventing further injury. If he works on his mental focus and the skills he lacks (not many), he may be just the player the team was seeking when they drafted him. He definitely has talent.

Guerschon Yabusele
We saw some good things from Yabu in Summer League. He is a skilled passer from the high post. He does not possess Kyrie Irving-like speed or handle, but he has shown he can drive to the hoop while maintaining control of the ball, and he can finish. His lack of length and jumping ability hampers him under the basket, both of offense and defense. He needs to drop weight and body fat, while working on his skills in order to remain with the team past this season.

Semi Ojeleye
During the regular season, Semi was stellar on defense but tentative on offense. That hesitation to shoot was gone in Summer League. Hopefully, it won't return. He shot and drove to the hoop often, and he made his shots. His minutes should increase this coming season, particularly if Marcus Smart does not return to the team.

Jabari Bird
Bird is the word among fans more so than among the Celtics hierarchy. That may be due to Danny Ainge wanting to keep outside offers at a minimum. But Jabari showed us that he is a skilled offensive player. He wants a standard contract, as opposed to the 2-way deal offered by Boston. He may very well get that offer, either from Boston or another team.


Hassan Martin
Fans don't know much about Martin, and I still see sports writers calling him Hassan Whiteside. He is 6'7" and 235 pounds. He is an excellent rebounder and foul shooter (91% in Summer League). Martin also shot 56% from the field, but all were inside the 3-point arc. Hassan is also a dedicated defender, so he has most of the qualities to perk real interest from Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens. Right now, the Celtics are still scanning the globe for possible additions, which would require waiving a present player or pulling off a 2-for-1 or 3-for-2 trade. I liked how this guy performed for Boston, and hopefully they can find a spot for him.

Trey Davis
The most Davis has going for him are his UMass ties and his friendship with Marcus Smart. What he has going against him is his size - 6'-even and 180 pounds. He is an accomplished scorer (19 points in last Summer League game), but it looks like he is back to the G-League. You can't teach height.

Danny's signing recently of two players (Brad Wanamaker and Walt Lemon, Jr.) in their mid-20's might be an indicator that he is looking for cheap, seasoned, mature players to achieve a superior regular-season and playoff record, although Lemon, as a 2-way player, can not participate in the playoffs. And expect at least a few more moves prior to training camp.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Bird photo via John Locher/Boston Herald
Martin photo via Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Tom Lane 7/17/2018 12:49:00 PM Edit
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