The Celtics wrapped up their summer league just a few short days ago with their fourth loss in five games. While the Celtics 1-4 record doesn’t matter at all really there were some interesting things shown in the summer league. Luke Harangody was impressive. He started all five games, averaged almost 17 points a game, and rebounded effectively pulling down about 7 boards a game. Harangody displayed some of the most effective parts of his game during the summer league with his accurate jump shot and solid inside game. Harangody was able to stretch the defense while still being effective down low. While Harangody is always going to have problems covering bigger and more athletic players he could turn out to be a steal from the draft for the Celtics if he is able to effectively shoot fifteen to twenty foot jumpers and provide energy and intensity on the glass and the defensive end.
Another bright spot in the summer league was Jaycee Carroll. The former Utah State sharpshooter was the Celtics leading scorer, averaging fifteen points a game, and second on the team in minutes per game, playing 27 per game. Carroll did not shoot three pointers as well as he has in college and Europe but he was effective from the field shooting 46% from the field. Carroll also pulled down 4 rebounds a game which is good for a small guard like himself. Considering Carroll’s performance throughout the four games he played in I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get an invitation to training camp. Carroll provides something the Celtics clearly lack, a three point and jump shooting threat off the bench. As free agent market starts to dry out on serious three point threats with Kyle Korver heading to the Bulls, JJ Reddick also signing the Bulls offer sheet, Anthony Morrow heading to the Nets, and Mike Miller most likely heading to Miami it is imperative for the Celtics to find a jump shooting threat off the bench. Carroll could help fill that role for the Celtics along with whatever bargain free agent they can find, like Eddie House or another player of his ilk.
Oliver Lafayette was a third bright spot for the Celtics this past week. Lafayette provided energy and quickness on the defensive end as while as athleticism on the offensive end. While he is nowhere near the shooter Carroll is Lafayette is a point guard more of the Rajon Rondo mold. He put in 8 and a half points a game by slashing to the basket and finishing at the rim. While Lafayette isn’t a great jump shooter and struggled from the field he did a good job of getting other players involved, averaging almost six assists a game.
The rest of the roster showed bright spots throughout the week. Deshawn Sims showed flashes of brilliance scoring 18 points in one game and 19 in another. He also coupled those two performances with two weak performances. Matt Janning was excellent in one game scoring 20 points but only scored 3 in the other game he played in. Tony Gaffney and Semih Erden were the two big men I was most interested in seeing get extended action but neither was all that impressive. Gaffney looked to be still trying to get comfortable out there and the same can be said from Erden. While the both of them are long, neither rebounded extremely effectively or blocked that many shots. Gaffney did show some good floor awareness picking up four or five assists in a couple games. It will be interesting when training camp comes around to see if either of these two are able to find their comfort zone and show the skills that made the Celtics go after them.
When training camp does roll around it will be interesting to see what players garner invites from the Celtics and who if any can actually make the roster. With so many roster spots still open and free agents flying off the market at a fairly quick pace it is a safe bet that a few of these players have a legitimate chance to make the team. Besides Harangody and Erden my best bet to make the team would be Carroll. He gives the Celtics something they are missing in an effective jump shooter off the bench and provides a different look at point guard from Rondo and Bradley.