Best and Worst of Boston Celtics Summer League 2023

The record was not what the Boston Celtics were hoping for. They finished the NBA Summer League 2-3.

But wins and losses aren’t the only way to measure success in these televised scrimmages. In each game, players write an active resume. They are proving to the Celtics’ front office, coaches and scouts what they can offer the team. The timeline varies, but they give Boston an idea of ​​what they can contribute to the organization.

Players on the Boston Celtics Summer League team teased the coaches and scouts with their potential

Only two players had their spot in the Celtics organization secured entering Summer League. They were joined by a third. Hopefully they will be joined by a few others.

Boston Celtics (Photo by Louis Grasse/Getty Images)

Best story: Jay Scrubb

Yes, the Celtics want this Scrubb. Jay Scrubb is a former JUCO player who was drafted in the second round in 2020, then waived by two NBA teams before Boston added him to their Summer League roster. He was the Celtics’ most consistent offensive player.

Through the first four games, Scrubb averaged 16.5 points and four rebounds, making more than half of his shots, including better than 47% from deep.

Scrubb was awarded a two-way contract, so the next chapter of his career may start with the Maine Celtics. But the 22-year-old may not stay there. The six-foot-five, 220-pound guard is physically mature and has two years of professional experience. He may prove to be ready for Boston soon.

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

Biggest Disappointment: JD Davison

With a chance to show he’s ready to make the jump from the minors to the majors, JD Davison flopped. We were reminded how he led the Summer League in assists at times last year, but overall he wasn’t dramatically better than last year.

Out of the first four games, Davison shot below 40% three times. He shot 33.3 or worse on three-pointers in four of the five games and had a pedestrian 2.13 assist-to-turnover ratio (34/16).

If Davison plays well, he could be on Payton Pritchard’s heels and challenge for minutes as the third point guard. Instead, he’ll spend most of the year in Maine again, with Dalano Banton (who looked better despite playing only two games) leapfrogging him.

Another year of development awaits Davison. And if he doesn’t make a dramatic improvement after a second year in Maine, Davison’s time with the Boston Celtics could end within a year.

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Best Potential: Jordan Walsh

After making a handful of trades on NBA Draft night, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens actually made a choice. It’s early, but Jordan Walsh looks like a good choice.

In an NBA Draft preview, four prospects were selected to be fits the Celtics well. Walsh was one of them. And night after night he showed why he is.

Obviously, Walsh was inconsistent, but he showed he could be a good shooter, a fierce defender, a 3-and-D wing, a reliable finisher, and occasionally dish out a few assists here and there. Walsh isn’t a finished product right now, so he could split his time between Maine/Boston. There is no need to rush him.

Because he played so well after leaving Arkansas after one year, it’s worth fantasizing about how high Walsh’s ceiling is. He is younger than Kobe Brown and Trayce Jackson-Davis. So, in time, Walsh could become better than any of the players projected to suit up for the Boston Celtics.

Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Best Perfect Match: Justin Bean

Sometimes people share the name with the city they live in. But what about one’s name being within a state’s nickname? On that note, it looks like Justin Bean was meant to play in Beantown.

The former Utah State forward spent last season with the NBA G League’s Memphis Hustle, where he averaged 10.2 points on 47.8% shooting, 36.7 from distance. Bean looked like a sharpshooter with the Celtics as he shot 53% from the floor, including 46% from deep. In a league where teams can’t have enough shooting, Bean is worth developing.

Back in 2019, the Celtics had Max Strus in the organization, but waived him before the season started. In June, Strus helped the Miami Heat eliminate Boston in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals. If the Celtics don’t keep Bean, the worst case scenario at some point is history repeating itself. Hopefully that won’t happen because the Beantown Celtics let Bean get away.

Best cameos: Reggie Kissoonlal and Vincent Valerio-Bodon

After Walsh, Reggie Kissoonlal and Vincent Valerio-Bodon were the players I was looking forward to seeing as Yam Madar and Juhaan Begarin would not play in the Summer League.

Kissoonlal and Valerio-Bodon only played in the final, but they certainly caught the eye. From the bench, they filled the box: Kissoonlal had 12 points, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Valerio-Bodon chipped in 13 points, six boards and three dimes, though he also had six turnovers.

It’s unlikely that either will be ready for prime time, but hopefully Kissoonlal will return to the Maine Celtics with Valerio-Bodon in tow.

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