Celtics Summer League Roster 2013: Biggest Names to Watch for Boston

Mike WalshCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2013

Celtics Summer League Roster 2013: Biggest Names to Watch for Boston

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    The Boston Celtics currently own a 2-2 record in the NBA's Orlando Summer League.

    However, more so than the overall team performance, this yearly event is viewed as a way to somewhat gauge individual players on where they are in their development.

    The Celtics roster contains some of the team's own recent draft picks, a few undrafted rookies and a handful of D-Leaguers. All players are searching for a roster spot either in Boston or elsewhere come training camp.

    The Celtics in particular are a team that players will be looking to show off for. Boston's roster is currently fluctuating, with major pieces heading to the Brooklyn Nets and others potentially hitting the open market soon. If Danny Ainge isn't done moving players, more spots could open up for some summer league standouts.

    Over four games, a chunk of that roster has started to emerge as possible Celtics down the line.

Kelly Olynyk

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    Gonzaga University
    2013 First-Round Draft Pick (13)

    In case your 9-to-5 has caused you to miss most of the Orlando Summer League, many of the headlines coming out of Florida are centered on Kelly Olynyk.

    The Celtics' first-round pick last month has been lighting up the competition through four games. He is averaging 19.5 points and eight rebounds over 26.5 minutes. Olynyk is shooting 57.4 percent from the field and posted a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double against Terrence Jones and the Houston Rockets.

    This is a pleasant surprise for both Boston and the Gonzaga product. The Celtics are searching for any bright spots they can find before heading into a questionable season. In a frontcourt that features very little star talent, Olynyk will have an opportunity.

    While Danny Ainge may not be done with his roster editing, the Celtics currently have Kris Humphries, Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass and Fab Melo guaranteed in that unit contract-wise.

    Olynyk will still face plenty of questions on how he can compete against real NBA competition. Coming out of the West Coast Conference, that was the major detractor of his draft stock.

    He has answered the questions so far and done everything in his power to prove himself. This is still just an intermediary step, however. The summer league isn't the NBA, so questions still exist.

    However, we now know that Olynyk is prepared and willing to tackle those challenges as they arise.

Phil Pressey

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    University of Missouri
    2013 Undrafted Free Agent

    There is still an opening behind Rajon Rondo for backup point guard of the Boston Celtics. 

    The organization placed a handful of unknown floor generals on its summer league roster, hoping to fill that role on the cheap. Through four games, the one standing out is Phil Pressey.

    Pressey was disappointed on draft day. After forgoing his final year of eligibility at Missouri, the point guard declared for the draft. He wasn't selected after 60 picks, but could have found a spot on the Celtics.

    According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Pressey has already secured a spot in training camp.

    His ability to run a Jay Larranaga (Celtics assistant) offense has been on full display. Pressey has averaged 10 points and 5.8 assists over 23.3 minutes per game. He has been able to get to the line, hitting 9-of-10 freebies through four games and picked up nine steals defensively.

    Pressey measured under six feet at the draft combine, causing many to worry if he could produce at the NBA level. His lack of height will severely limit court vision and perimeter defense at the next level. However, through the summer league, Pressey has put a dent in his doubters. 

    If Rondo isn't ready to start the season, the Celtics will be in desperate need of a distributing and ball-handling guard off the bench. Pressey may have found the perfect fit in Boston.

Colton Iverson

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    Colorado State University
    2013 Second-Round Draft Pick (53)

    Joining Kelley Olynyk in the Boston Celtics' 2013 draft class is Colton Iverson.

    Another seven-footer, Iverson brings a different game than the Celtics' first-rounder. Iverson is a bigger body and utilizes that size well in the paint. He picked up 9.8 rebounds per game last season at Colorado State.

    Over four games this summer, he was averaging 5.3 boards in 17 minutes. While one shouldn't read too much into this, he was moved into the starting lineup for the last two games, taking Fab Melo's spot. In those starts, Iverson started showing a bit of offense, shooting 2-of-3 in each outing.

    Being drafted by the NBA's second-worst rebounding team a year ago had to be a boon to Iverson's confidence. While the second-rounder doesn't yet have a roster spot, if he keeps showing good rebounding form and intensity, the Celtics will find a spot for him in training camp.

    Something to watch will be Iverson's ability to out-hustle fellow center Fab Melo. Since Melo has a guaranteed $1.3 million contract next season, the Celtics don't need to pay Iverson anything if they believe Melo fills his role sufficiently. 

    Iverson has impressed some with that work ethic and constant effort, though. He got into a physical match with the Houston Rockets' Terrence Jones in the fourth game. He could turn out to be a Kendrick Perkins-style enforcer.

Fab Melo

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    Maine Red Claws/Boston Celtics
    2012 First-Round Draft Pick (22)

    Going into the Orlando Summer League as one of only two players with guaranteed contracts, Fab Melo should have been relaxed and ready to play his best. 

    Unfortunately, Melo has appeared tentative at times. This is especially discouraging as he is one of few players in the league with professional experience.

    In four games, Melo is averaging five points and 3.3 rebounds in 18.5 minutes. His production has decreased with every game, as he appeared to lose interest throughout. He lost his starting spot to Colton Iverson and played only 10 minutes in the fourth game.

    Melo was drafted No. 22 overall last summer as a project. However, throughout a year in the D-League, he didn't appear to improve much, nor stay in good shape. Right now Boston doesn't need him to be this mythical skilled big man. It does need him to be willing and able to bang bodies in the paint, though.

    At some point, massive potential and being a good-natured teammate is going to run out. However, given his guaranteed $1.3 million next season, Melo has another non-basketball thing going for him.

    Melo is still a player to keep an eye on. There are five-to-10-second splits on the court where he is outstanding and totally dominant. He had those moments in Maine last season too, but for the most part, he was a disappointment.

    He can't afford to be a disappointment again. 

Tony Mitchell

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    Fort Wayne Mad Ants
    2012 Undrafted Free Agent

    The Boston Celtics put a truly intriguing prospect on their roster in Tony Mitchell.

    After starring at Alabama, Mitchell was not chosen in the 2012 NBA draft. He joined up with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, where he earned numerous accolades. 

    Mitchell was named the D-League Rookie of the Year, while also being placed on the All-D-League First Team. He also won the D-League’s dunk contest. In 48 games for Fort Wayne, Mitchell averaged 21.9 points and 6.4 rebounds.

    Earning a spot on the Celtics' summer league roster was a foot in the NBA door. Mitchell has been working to open that door a little wider. In four games with Boston, he averaged 10.5 points and 3.8 rebounds. Weighing those stats down was a 1-of-9, two-point performance against the Houston Rockets in his lone non-start.

    Unfortunately for Mitchell, the Celtics hold Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace at small forward right now. The two make a combined $19 million and will soak up nearly all the wing minutes. Kris Joseph, Courtney Lee and MarShon Brooks may also see bench time on the wing.

    Mitchell is still an exciting player to watch and could attract interest from another NBA squad. The Celtics would also love to have him in Maine next season in case of injuries.

The Rest

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    Darius Johnson-Odom

    While he was definitely one of the better players on the Boston Celtics' summer league roster, the team obviously holds no claim to him.

    After three games with Boston, Odom left to join the Denver Nuggets' entrant in the Las Vegas Summer League.


    Jayson Granger

    Phil Pressey's competition for a training camp invite as a backup point guard was Jayson Granger. While he played in all four games for the Celtics, Granger did not impress.

    The Euroleague guard has averaged 6.3 points and three assists over 18.5 minutes per game, but shot a miserable 26.3 percent from the field.


    Courtney Fells and Tim Abromaitis

    The only other players to see action in all four summer league games, Courtney Fells and Tim Abromaitis are similar wings who struggled to put up any special numbers.

    Given the Celtics' NBA power at their position already, and the play of Tony Mitchell, these two guys aren't worth much of a look for Boston.

    However, both could have played themselves onto a D-League roster for the coming season.