With the Celtics on their way home from Las Vegas it’s a good time to look back at what happened in and around summer league as attention begins to turn toward the start of training camp in just two months.
Kadeem Allen’s short time with the Celtics has come to an end as last year’s second-round pick was let go. But Jabari Bird – the team’s other second-rounder last year – may be sticking around after he was arguably the team’s MVP of summer league. Boston re-signed Bird to a second two-way contract. As a restricted free agent, he is eligible to sign an offer sheet with another NBA team – which would force the Celtics to likely match and guarantee a full roster spot in training camp.
One player fans have not seen much of is this year’s first-round pick. Robert Williams has had an eventful few weeks as he slept through a conference call, missed a flight to his first summer league practice, and lost his wallet. But he did give a glimpse of his impeccable potential in the few short minutes he played before sitting out the rest of summer league with a knee injury.
Guerschon Yabusele had a strong showing as he heads toward an October deadline for the Celtics to guarantee his rookie contract option. If the Celtics turn down the $3-million option, he will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Although he still struggles defensively, he has shown signs of improvement, and could have shown enough for the Celtics to lock him up one more year.
Hassan Martin was another player who flashed in Vegas as he makes a bid for a training camp invitation.
Off the court, all eyes remained on Marcus Smart. The Celtics have the qualifying offer at $6.1 million extended, but Smart was shopping himself around to see if he could get a better deal that the Celtics would then have to decide whether to match.
Kyrie Irving made an appearance on the Vegas sideline, alongside Jaylen Brown, reassuring some worried that he is already looking at a possible departure as a free agent at season’s end. While rumors of him possibly considering a move to New York will persist, he fits in very well with these young Celtics, and appears to have the path cleared for him to be the face of the dominant team in the East for the next few years with LeBron James now with the Lakers.
With Irving leading the way, most consider Boston to have the best shot of any team in the NBA at knocking off the Golden State Warriors for the title.
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