A make-or-break season for Guerschon Yabusele - weight management the key

This is the season when Guerschon Yabusele needs to solidify his status as a legitimate NBA player. He won't do that unless he controls his weight.

Marcus Smart came into the League with a body fat of 10.55%, one of the highest in the Combine. He has corrected that issue, and it has shown in his speed, quickness, leaping ability and overall play.

Former Celtic Jared Sullinger arrived in Celtics camp at a 10.7% body fat level, and his excess weight and injuries were most likely linked, and they plagued him throughout his NBA career.

Yabu was able to get down to roughly 6% body fat, and that very frankly may be where he needs to be to have a productive NBA career. Guersch apparently gained weight in the latter part of last season and got close to 300 pounds.

As a graphic demo, when a client of mine loses 25 pounds, I have them hold a 25-pound steel Olympic plate and tell them this is what they used to carry around every day. For Yabu, I suspect that iron plate would be of the 45-pound variety. That is the point. Professional basketball players can't carry a double-digit body fat percentage and 45 extra pounds and keep up with the speed demons of the NBA. Here is the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett on Yabu's weight issue:

“I know that we have the people in place to help him with that (weight management),” said assistant Jay Larranaga, who’s leading the Celtics entry here. “I thought he was pretty good (Friday night), but I think everybody can always improve their conditioning. I think taking ownership of your career is important.

“Basketball’s a game of speed, so he needs to be as fast as he can possibly be, and that’s true for every guy on our team. There’s a lot of fast guards that he’s going to have to be able to guard on switches.”

Guersch is signed for this season at 2.7 million. The following two seasons have a team option, thus this season is critical. Yabu moves extremely well for a player with his bulky frame, but excess body fat in the 40-45 pound range may be a killer for any hope of a productive NBA career. He definitely has the necessary skills, but in Brad Stevens' ever-switching defensive schemes, he will be matched up against some real road runners. He needs to stay in shape or he won't make it long-term.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Christopher Evans/Boston Herald