Three Players I Am Excited To See This Summer League

Summer League is little over a month away, we have not yet crowned a champion and for teams like the Celtics who are sitting home they’re focuses have to shift to the mundane day-to-day of running a basketball team. Numbers crunching and talent scouting, be it on the collegiate level, overseas or reviewing G-League footage is what dominates NBA Front Offices in the off-season. For Summer League the Celtics roster was one of the most intriguing collection of players from all over the globe, despite none of them playing a useful role for the team in the regular season and just three players making it to the professional roster (Semi Ojeleye, Robert Williams and Guerschon Yabusele).

There are some solid players who, if they return, have a chance to make it to the final roster since the Celtics have four players ready to hit free agency. Impending free agent Daniel Theis likely will be priced out of Boston’s range. A possible replacement could be in-house.

Hassan Martin, 24

Standing tall at 6 foot, 7 inches and 240 pounds Martin utilizes his body supremely well to absorb contact and draw fouls. In the six-games in Summer League last year Martin averaged 3.67 attempts at the charity stripe, making 90 percent of his attempts proving he is not a liability at the line despite the stigma surrounding centers. Ultimately Martin missed the cut and signed a one-year contract in Germany with the Medi Bayreuth, the same league which fostered P.J Tucker before he finally found success in the NBA.

Martin drew favorable comparisons to Lamar Odom pre-draft, his game in Rhode Island teasing he can expand his range only to get cozier on the inside more similar to Kyle O’Quinn or a smaller Jahlil Okafor, minus the masterful post-moves. Specializing on the block, sporting a 38 inch vertical he is a fantastic defender, earning Defensive Player of the Year honors of the Atlantic 10 conference. Averaging 1.7 blocks last season in Germany, while just accumulating 1.03 fouls per game.

Like most journeymen you’d fine during Summer League Martin is well traveled, playing a year in Japan and in aforementioned Germany. His lone season in Japan’s B-1 League he helped transform his team to a top-tier defensive squad with his ability to defend all five positions supremely well. In Germany his statistical offensive output remains a steady 12 points, adding 5 rebounds.

If Martin returns to Boston for Summer League I am confident they’ll give him a greater look with the holes they’ll have in the front court if Theis is to depart.

Pierriá Henry, 26

If only Henry were a couple of years younger. No one on the Celtics Summer League roster deserved more minutes than Pierriá Henry. An incredibly gifted passer, averaging 7.3 assist per 36 minutes in the Russian league for UNICS Kazan, and an extremely scrappy defenseman despite being a shade under 200 pounds. Totally 32 steals in the EuroCup league in just 21 games. He isn’t afraid to take a charge and knows how to position himself to do it.

I rarely think about Summer League in the middle of the regular season, I did dwell on Henry when I saw Terry Rozier floundering with the ball in his hands. Henry was more primed for the professional ranks than Kadeem Allen, who’s actually seen the court in the NBA.

Henry’s played the country of Georgia, Germany, Israel, Turkey and aforementioned Russia, but never played for a professional NBA team. A solid shooting split of 43/40/71 wasn’t enough to entice the Celtics to earning a two-way contract, and neither was averaging 10 points, 4 assists and rebounds during his brief stint.

Henry is incredible inside the arc. The available stats show us during his year in Turkey, Henry’s made 64.6 percent of his shots and 42.9 percent from downtown. Perhaps this summer will bare more fruit for Henry.

Jarrod Uthoff, 26

Uthoff is your classic case of a colligate star that never stood a chance to cut the mustard in the professionals. Uthoff is just too small, too skinny for professional basketball despite having the smoothest stroke on last year’s Summer League team shooting a respectable 38.1% from three on 4.8 attempts (46/44/88 splits in Russia last year), and he’s a pretty strong rebounder (8.4 rpg). I just can’t see Uthoff surviving in the pros. He is simply too slow and it be a tie between him and Guerschon Yabusele who is the most perplexing player to be on a pro team.

Despite all of that, I like Uthoff. Yes, he lacks lateral quickness and is not strong enough to go to rack against NBA level defenders. He’s already a finished product, yet I love his stroke. It’ll be fun to see him come back this July.

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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