Boston Celtics: Dionte Christmas Makes His Desire to Play in the NBA Apparent

Chance CookContributor IIIJuly 9, 2012

Christmas averaged 20 points and 6 rebounds during his senior season at Temple
Christmas averaged 20 points and 6 rebounds during his senior season at TempleDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

Every Celtic fan knows of a few names on the 2012 Summer League roster. We already know the expectations of draft picks Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo and Kris Joseph.

We know that second year Purdue products E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson are fighting for bench roles for the 2012-2013 season.

We even remember the signing of Sean Williams late last season in a desperate attempt to add depth at the center position.

What we don't know—or at least not yet—is that 25-year-old Dionte Christmas is intent on earning a spot on the Celtics' roster. Christmas is a former Temple Owl who, during his college career, was a multiple time Atlantic 10 All-Conference player and led his team in scoring from his sophomore year on.

Despite going undrafted, Christmas has had opportunities to make an NBA squad in the past, including stints with the 76ers, Clippers, Kings and Rockets organizations. After failing to hold down a spot on any of the aforementioned teams, he played professionally overseas for teams in both the Czech Republic and Greece.

With all of the questions surrounding the Boston Celtics frontcourt options this offseason, Danny Ainge invited Christmas to the C's summer league roster. Christmas is slated to only play for the Orlando tournament for one reason or another. However, after today's performance, the Boston front office may want to reconsider how long his stay in green will be.

Christmas played the most of any player on the roster, totaling nearly 30 minutes of on-court action. During his play, Christmas showed the ability to play a quality combo-guard role, getting open on the wing, crashing the boards and even distributing the ball to open players. He was the only Celtic to achieve a double-double.

He totaled 10 points, 10 boards and even produced 4 assists.

I'm not suggesting that Christmas is the answer to Boston's bench woes, but he was able to produce in the summer league opener and is clearly hungry for a chance to contribute to an NBA team.

He is someone that Celtic fans should keep an eye on because, if he continues to produce the way he did today, he could be having a longer tenure in a green jersey than just the five games of the Orlando summer league tournament.