Predicting five Celtics headlines from NBA Summer League action

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Forsberg: Predicting five post-Summer League headlines for Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics tip off their five-game summer slate in Las Vegas on Saturday night. But what will we be talking about when it’s all over?

Earlier this week we power-ranked the Celtics summer leaguers by intrigue level. Now, it’s time to gaze into our crystal ball and offer a prediction on five headlines we’ll be talking about at the end of this summer run.

1. Juhann Begarin deserves a roster spot

We’re eager to see how much progress 2022 draft-and-stash Juhann Begarin made since last year’s debut. But even if the 19-year-old remains incredibly raw, there’s a good chance we’ll be talking about the possibility that the Celtics should carry him on the NBA roster for the 2022-23 season.

The Celtics enter summer league with 12 players under contract. That means there’s up to three roster spots to fill. We suspect the Celtics will fill two with the goal likely being to add a backup big man (more on that in headline No. 2) and another wing.

Celtics Talk: Who to watch on Celtics summer squad | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

While we’re slightly reluctant to start the clock on Begarin if the team is high on his potential to develop, he’s one of the few draftees whom Boston can carry and limit the luxury tax sting. That matters for a team that’s already $20-plus million over the tax line and paying at least $3.75 for every $1 spent moving forward.

Begarin has an NBA-ready body and being around the likes of Jaylen Brown every day might offer a better acceleration path than playing in France.

Ultimately, we shouldn’t spend too much time obsessing about the 13th player on a team where the coach was reluctant to go beyond eight players for most of the year. But that’s what summer league is all about.

The Celtics could get the same tax savings by carrying either Begarin, 2020 draft-and-stash Yam Madar, or 2022 second-round pick JD Davison. With a loaded point guard depth chart after the addition of Malcolm Brogdon, we’re hard-pressed to find where minutes come from for either of the other two draftees.

So it might be better to keep Madar stashed and ponder Davison for a two-way slot, if he earns such consideration with his play at summer league.

2. The Celtics should sign Aron Baynes for center depth

Look, there’s nothing we love more than getting the band back together. And this would be a really cool story.

Baynes, who worked out in front of scouts on Friday in Vegas, is trying to get back into the league after sitting out last season due to a freak spinal cord injury.

We’ve been saying for three years now that the Celtics need a backup bruiser like Aron Baynes. Well, how about they just get the real thing? Certainly, the team would have to be comfortable with his medicals and his ability to still joust after an extended absence. Baynes will turn 36 before the end of the calendar year.

But he is familiar with this core and even crossed paths with Ime Udoka in San Antonio. This Celtics squad screams for All of Australia.

3. The Celtics need to find minutes for Sam Hauser

The Celtics don’t have a lot of scoring talent on their summer roster, so there is going to be ample opportunity for Hauser to fire away from the perimeter. He’s also got motivation to show what he’s capable of beyond catch-and-shoot sequences.

Hauser said before the team took off that he’s eager to show he deserves a rotation role. He already distinguished himself a year ago and earned the promotion from a two-way player after Boston’s midseason roster overhaul. Only a late-season shoulder injury provided a speed bump.

Even if he’s a little streaky with the 3-point shot in Vegas, his blend of size and shooting will have Celtics fans eager for Udoka to carve out a small chunk of minutes to allow him to develop.

4. What happened to the Summer Celtics!?

Swimming in draft picks during the late 2010s, the Celtics were a summer league buzzsaw that quickly won fans over after we all slogged through the real season headaches of the Kyrie Era.

Alas, with Brad Stevens trading away first-round picks to craft a championship-caliber roster, the Celtics summer squad has been left thin on talent.

Boston heads west without a lot of pure size and a 30-year-old backup point guard. We suspect the results won’t be as glossy as they have been in recent years when the Celtics were making runs at a summer league championship.

5. The Celtics should make Trevion Williams a two-way player

All aboard the Trev Train! We’re gonna geek out with every bounce pass and over-the-head feed he delivers to cutters. And we’ll blissfully ignore his defensive limitations while imploring the Celtics to carry the Purdue big man on a two-way deal.

Williams and Davison, along with two-way holdovers Brodric Thomas and Matt Ryan, all should get a chance to prove in Vegas that they deserve a spot with Boston (and/or Maine).