Summer league games are well-attended by NBA executives, scouts, coaches and media members, and with all those people watching, the Boston Celtics handled themselves well. In the recently completed Las Vegas summer league playoffs, the Celtics were eliminated by the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs.
Still, not too many people are high on the Celtics’ two first-round picks from the 2015 NBA draft who took part in the summer league, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
“Our annual check on scouts’ opinions of Celtics drafts has generally been quite kind, but many of the league’s talent evaluators are not exactly sold on first-round picks Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter,” Bulpett wrote. “Told that the reviews for his work were not entirely kind, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge shot back, ‘You’re talking to the wrong people.’ ”
Ainge has done a pretty good job drafting in Round 1 during his Celtics tenure. He hasn’t had the luxury of a top-three pick, but he’s added good value in Al Jefferson (No. 15, 2004), Tony Allen (No. 25, 2004), Avery Bradley (No. 19, 2010) and Jared Sullinger (No. 21, 2012). Last year’s top pick Marcus Smart (No. 6 overall) appears to be a quality selection.
Rozier was selected higher than most expected, but the criticism of the Hunter pick seems premature. He appeared to be a quality selection at No. 28 given who was available, and his best attribute is his outside shooting, which was a real weakness for the Celtics last season.
Opinions on Boston’s first second-round pick (33rd overall), Jordan Mickey of LSU, are a bit different, though.
“He’s going to be so good, he’ll make people forget about the guys they took in the first round,” one personnel man told Bulpett. “We talked about taking Mickey in the first round, and then we tried to buy a pick early in the second round to get him. But I don’t know about Boston’s first-round guys.”
Mickey played well in summer league action and averaged 12.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. He signed a four-year contract worth a reported $5 million on Monday.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said on draft night he was surprised Mickey was available at No. 33.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@ZackCoxNESN