We probably won’t bring anyone else in. We like our young guys. We like Kris Joseph and Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith, and they’ll be competing for that last spot.
The move shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise. Though the Celtics have subtracted Keyon Dooling, they have a promising point guard prospect in Dionte Christmas and all three of their shooting guards are capable of spelling some time at the point, when Rajon Rondo needs a breather.
If anything, Dooling was an inferior redundancy of what the C’s already have on the roster.
Jason Terry has consistently played backup point guard minutes over his career with the Dallas Mavericks. Avery Bradley can spot point. And Courtney Lee has a little experience handling the ball, but has yet to really try his hand at the point. His handle is good enough to suggest he could play some point.
The Celtics could go with Dionte Christmas a replacement for Dooing. There is also the option of Jamar Smith, a 6’3″ combo guard out of Illinois who played in the D-league last year with the Red Claws. Smith averaged 13.6 points per game and 5.0 assists per game.
Or, they can also opt to go with neither point guard, and keep their second round draft pick Kris Joseph.
The choice should come down to which of the three is the best player, irrespective of roster needs, because there aren’t really any roster needs.
The Celtics have enough quality ball handlers that they would be fine if Ainge and the coaching staff ultimately decided on Joseph, who could provide some hustle and midrange shooting off the bench. John Hollinger writes that “Joseph’s best shot at sticking (in the NBA) is to play the energizer role with his defense and leaping ability.”
Because Joseph is 23, he should be NBA ready, and if he’s not, he’ll be out of the league. He didn’t put up outstanding numbers at Syracuse, just 13.4 points per game on 42.1 percent shooting. His NBA comparison by Draft Express is a best case scenario of Gary Forbes, and a worst case of Carlos Powell. That doesn’t sound too promising.
It is Dionte Christmas who had the more celebrated career and offers real promise for the future.
Christmas entered his senior year with buzz of being an All-American and really took the stage on December 13, 2008, when he blew up for 35 points in a nationally televised upset of No. 8 Tennessee. He won ESPN National Player of the week and ended finishing the year as only the fourth Temple player to eclipse 2,000 points.
Christmas led the A-10 in scoring three consecutive years, but then went undrafted, and in October of 2009 after playing only summer leagues, he headed over to Israel to play ball, and has since are stops in the Czech Republic and Greece.
Could this be Christmas’ shot to break in on the NBA level?
No matter who the C’s choose, Ainge has made it clear they will not be bringing in a veteran guard.
They just added Darko Milicic, addressing what was a true need, so Ainge doesn’t feel it prudent to go address a need that truly isn’t there.
The Celtics have the luxury of having three talented shooting guards to use as backups for Rondo, and they also have three pretty talented options for that last roster spot.
Things are looking good. Let’s get camp underway.