Boston Celtics: Is Yam Madar the answer at point guard?

Boston Celtics (Photo by PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images) /

In the Post-Kemba Walker-era, what is next for the Boston Celtics hole at point?

In a shockingly early development, the Boston Celtics’ new President of Basketball Operations–dare I christen him “Trader”, Brad Stevens–has already made his first move, and it was something ex-GM Danny Ainge would never do.

Stevens fixed Ainge’s misstep and traded Kemba Walker for the guy they didn’t wanna pay two offseasons ago. Trading Walker for Al Horford just made sense, salary relief, health, consistency…it just worked.

The former coach’s first move was a big one, but a smart one. Stevens was there on the front lines. He knew what worked and what didn’t, and clearly, Walker, a former All-Star Starter in his own right, didn’t.

Stevens typically complained of lack of size, and it was no surprise he traded for the most sturdy, trustworthy big he has ever coached. But the Horford trade does leave one fairly large (or small) hole…

The point guard position.

Was Stevens’ master plan really to trade for Horford, and have Marcus Smart be the full-time point? I don’t think so, or at least I hope not.

Some—including myself—have proposed a Lonzo Ball sign-and-trade, however that would trigger the hard cap, leaving virtually no room to improve the roster. I have seen others say guys like Ricky Rubio, Dejounte Murray, and even Ben Simmons to name a few.

But what if I told you the answer could be a guy we already have the rights to?

Could Yam Madar be the Boston Celtics short and long-term answer at PG?

If you haven’t heard of Yam Madar, I suggest you go ahead and watch this video.

Yam was selected by Boston with the 47th pick in the 2020 NBA draft, out of the Israeli Super League — ISL for short — and really put his name on the map. Although they host a mere 30-game season, Madar did not miss a single game and has never had injury concern.

He led the ISL in games played, he was fourth in points, fourth in assists, and 15th in 3-pointers made. He is an all-around solid player, not having many holes in his game.

He is a pest on defense, never backing down from a challenge. And just like most solid playmakers, Madar has a pretty high defensive IQ. He has the ability to cut passing lanes, pick up on switches, and being a six-foot-three guard with a plus wingspan helps big time.

Offensively he can do it all. He can shoot the three-ball, knocking down 40.9 percent of his 132 three-pointers-attempted. He hit 82.8 percent of his 122 attempted free throws. And he ended up averaging 17.1 points per game on 46.9 percent from the field.

But his real bread-and-butter is his playmaking, which is very highly touted. This excerpt from Carl Berman on perfectly describes Madar’s impact:

"Madar possesses good size for his position at 6-foot-3 to go along with an electrifying quickness and developing frame. He is a quick decision maker who has great court vision and ball-handling skills, playing lower and wider with his feet. He makes his teammates better with his excellent play-making ability. He’s a great passer who often surprises the fans with his quick and sharp dimes."

It’s as if this was exactly what the Boston Celtics were missing last season. It felt like no one was making anyone better, no one was elevating another’s game, just a lack of movement and chemistry.

Yam Madar seems like he can fix that. He would not be your average rookie and would be turning 21 in his first season, however, it would be his 4th pro-season. He signed a professional contract at 17 years old in 2018 with Hapoel Tel Aviv and started to blossom.

He has the tools to be a real impact player in this league. Here is another excerpt from the same scouting report:

"Able to create shots easily thanks to a good combination of speed and handle, Madar has a repertoire from mid-range, using floaters, runners, pull-up jumpers and spin and turn around shots. Driving down the lane, he can finish nicely off the glass, using either hand and is not afraid of taking hard contact. He has room to get more consistent from the three-point line with experience and time."

Does this not sound like exactly what Boston is craving? He can create his own shot, create for others, high-energy, high-skill, three-level-scorer with room to improve shooting. He is the type of player Boston Celtics fans would love.

Yam finished the season on an insane hot streak, posting absurd averages. Over his final 12 games, he led Hapoel Tel Aviv to a 7-5 record, going 5-13 before that. During this stretch he averaged 19.3 points and 5.5 assists per game, on 50 percent from the field, and 46 percent from deep.

It is possible Yam Madar never wears a Celtics jersey and could stay in the ISL for his career. The Celtics are under no obligation to sign him, but in my opinion, they should. I don’t see the downside. At worst he’s probably still better than Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters, and at best he could be our answer at the starting point spot.

In reality, it will most likely be somewhere in the upper-middle, he is too skilled, and too experienced to be a benchwarmer.

Don’t be too suspicious of the late draft pick. Most foreign players don’t get the recognition they deserve. And very few players come from the ISL.

I mean hey, the Most Valuable Player in the NBA this season was a guy that saw 40 names taken before him.

As Kevin Garnett once said, anything is possible.

Next. C&C squashes Zion Williamson-Celtics rumors. dark