How Celtics players fared in Summer League

How Celtics players fared in Summer League
July 12, 2013, 4:30 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. – The Boston Celtics (3-2) closed out their seventh-place finish in Orlando's Pro Summer League with a 102-83 win over the host team.

As much as players say they want to win, summer league is about showing some signs of having the ability to play at the next level.

The C's had a handful of players they drafted either last month or last year, participate while the rest of the team consisted of players trying to perform well enough to get a training camp invitation.

Here we take a look at how the drafted Celtics fared, as well as the top performers among those not drafted by the C's.


Player: Kelly Olynyk

Draft: 2013 First round pick (No. 13 overall).

Summary: The Boston Celtics traded up on draft night to draft Olynyk, and it didn't take long to see why. The 7-foot rookie out of Gonzaga was easily the C's best player all week.

He displayed a versatile inside-out game resulting in him averaging team-highs in points (18) and rebounds (7.8) per game.

Despite the numbers, Olynyk needs to get stronger if he is to play both power forward and at times, the center position.

Still, the C's have to feel good that Olynyk's game will translate against better competition, which he will surely face in his first NBA season.

Player: Fab Melo

Draft status: 2012 First round pick (No. 22 overall)

Summary: Melo continues to show the inconsistency that makes the Celtics leery of whether he will ever develop into the kind of big man that can help them.

He showed flashes of solid play, but far too often he simply didn't provide the kind of inside presence that the C's would like to see.

It looks like this season will be another one in which he spends a considerable amount of time with the C's D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Player: Colton Iverson

Draft status: 2013 second round pick (No. 53 overall)

Summary:  The general belief was that he would be heading overseas this season, but he has been pleasantly solid for the Celtics throughout the summer. Despite limited minutes, Iverson trails only Olynyk in rebounds per game (5.4).

More than anything, Iverson seems to excel at the little things like setting good screens, boxing out and playing solid, all-around defense.

He won't wow you with blocked shots or anything like that. But he has proven himself a solid NBA prospect who may have done enough to get an invite to training camp this fall.


Phil Pressey, PG

Summary: The numbers (9.4 points, 6.6 assists per game) don't do justice to kind of week Pressey had for the Celtics. In addition to doing a good job of running the team, he was a surprisingly solid defender considering his generously listed 5-foot-11 frame.

Danny Ainge told earlier this week that Pressey, signed by the Celtics shortly after he went undrafted last month, had an invitation to be part of the Celtics' training camp this fall.

It's too soon to gauge whether he can be Rajon Rondo's backup, but he has done enough in summer league to at least have an opportunity at the job.

Tony Mitchell, SG/SF

Summary: The D-League's rookie of the Year this past season, Mitchell has big-time scoring potential.

But his problem, like many of the players in summer league, has been consistency.

He still relies too much on his athleticism which is good, but doesn't necessarily set him apart from others.

Still, he has shown enough to where a camp invite should be extended. But considering how crowded Boston's roster is already, Mitchell may choose to take his talents elsewhere, either overseas or potentially back to the D-League.

Nolan Smith, PG

A grade-2 calf injury kept him sidelined for all but five minutes this week, so the Celtics have no true sense of what he can and cannot do.

He told that his injury will keep him out 6-8 weeks, which means he should recover in time to participate in training camp, if invited.

Having the former first-round pick in camp would be a low-risk, high-reward proposition for the Celtics as they begin their search for a backup to Rajon Rondo.