The NBA’s version of summer camp has officially begun today, and thanks to NBATV we can get our first look at the new rookies joining the Celtics for next season. Along with the draft picks from this year, JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore will also be making their first appearance in the NBA summer league.
Other players on this year’s roster are Sean Williams, Jamar Smith, Jonathan Gibson, Dionte Christmas, Craig Brackins, Larry Owens, and UMASS small forward Stephane Lasme.
Throughout today’s game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder summer league team, I’ll be keeping my eye on Sullinger. I can’t wait to see what he can bring, and I also want to see if his back problems will hinder him in any way.
Usually, summer league games don’t show the full picture on what we can expect from a certain player, but we will get some sort of an idea on how our rookies may perform for the Celtics next year. This is also an opportunity for guys who aren’t on the roster to at least have a shot at fighting for a position. Two years ago, Stephane Lasme almost made the cut, but instead was sent to the D-League to play for the Maine Red Claws.
A few players to keep your eye one are Stephane Lasme, E’Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson, and Kris Joseph. If the Celtics don’t sign Moore, at the end of the summer league in Las Vegas, he will become a free agent. Moore is a capable player, and I think he’ll make the roster. To be fair, he was never given the chance to show what he can do on the court, so I highly doubt Boston lets him walk.
JaJuan Johnson had somewhat of a rocky season, and hopefully playing in the summer league, he will gain the confidence he needs heading into training camp. Johnson had a few good moments, but like his Purdue teammate, he didn’t get much playing time. I think playing in games this summer could be very beneficial to both Moore and Johnson.
Lastly, Kris Joseph is one player that I’m very anxious to see play. Since draft night, we’ve all been focused on Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo, and forgot about Syracuse’s lead scorer last season. Joseph has the tools to be successful in this league and I think he could be one of the standouts during these summer league games.
The next few weeks should be good. The summer league was always the thing that would help quench the thirst for NBA Basketball during the summer. With the lockout last season, I have never looked forward to a summer league more than I have this year.