Celtics player spotlight: How Sam Hauser can develop into a rotation player

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Celtics player spotlight: Can Hauser develop into a rotation player? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It's shaping up to be an important year for Sam Hauser.

The Virginia product, who went undrafted in 2021, recently earned a three-year deal with the Boston Celtics after serving as a two-way player last season. The new contract shows Brad Stevens and the C's front office believe in Hauser's ability to make an impact off the bench for Boston this season and beyond.

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Hauser will look to do so with his 3-point shooting. The 24-year-old averaged 20 points on 46 percent shooting (41 percent from 3) in 13 games with the G-League Celtics. He is 19-for-44 from beyond the arc in 26 NBA games.

So, can Hauser become a consistent contributor for the Celtics in 2022-23? Here's everything you need to know about him heading into the new campaign, plus how he can develop into a rotation player at the NBA level.

Hauser's 2021-22 stats

  • Regular season: 2.5 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.4 apg, 46 percent FG, 43.2 percent 3PT (26 games)

  • Postseason: 0.7 ppg, 0.1 rpg, 0.3 apg, 25 percent FG, 33.3 percent 3PT

Hauser's contract situation

Hauser signed a three-year contract worth roughly $6 million with the Celtics this offseason. He played on a two-way deal in 2021-22.

What role will Hauser play on the 2022-23 Celtics?

A 3-point shooting threat off the bench.

Hauser should see an increased workload in 2022-23, though it's unclear just how many more minutes he'll get. Malcolm Brogdon, Danilo Gallinari, Payton Pritchard and Grant Williams all are ahead of Hauser in the second-unit pecking order. That said, Hauser should at least have a chance to work his way into Boston's rotation after being on the end of the bench a season ago.

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Hauser's season will be a success if ...

... The 3-point shot is falling.

Hauser will live and die by the three as he looks to carve out a role with the C's next season. His shooting ability is the reason Stevens and Co. confidently inked him to a three-year contract. He'll need to consistently provide scoring off the bench in order to see a significant boost in minutes over last year.

Biggest obstacle to Hauser's success

Competition for minutes.

Gallinari and Grant Williams -- both rock-solid 3-point shooters -- will get most of the minutes off the bench for the Celtics' frontcourt. Hauser likely will be left with the scraps, thus limiting his ability to take a significant step forward in his development next season. A hot start to the 2022-23 campaign would go a long way toward Hauser earning real minutes.

Projected stats and prediction for Hauser's 2022-23 season

Projected stats: 4.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 44.5 percent FG, 41 percent 3PT

It's difficult to predict Hauser's final stat line as it's unclear whether he'll receive consistent playing time off the bench. It's fair to assume his numbers will increase from a season ago as the Celtics committed to him with the three-year contract. He should be given more opportunities to make an impact as a 3-point shooting threat for the second unit.