The Sophomores

Introduction

There have been plenty of recent articles about the #Celtics rookies, Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard to include my “Peek at The Rookies” last week, but let’s not forget about the other youngsters on the squad. The Celtics have six 2nd year NBA players, which is an insane number of guys from one draft class. In my assessment many of them will only be a footnote in Celtics history, but a couple of them have a chance to make their mark.


Six Potential Contributors

Carsen Edwards is a 22-year-old 5’11” ball handler. I hesitate to call him a point guard, because he is pretty much a shooting guard. I really don’t think he will have a big impact on the Celtics. His size suggests that he is a point guard, but his game is a shooter that is known to be streaky. He came up huge in the NCAA tournament a couple years ago, but he is a high usage guard that needs a lot of touches. He needs to see consistent playing time to get rolling, and I just don’t think he is going to see much time given his position on the depth chart.

Tremont Waters is a 22-year-old 5’10” ball handler. I give Tremont the edge over Carsen on skillset, because he has shown that he is a very good distributor and an accurate shooter. He was named the g-league player of the year last season on his two-way contract with Maine. I really like his game, however, he is limited to being used as a change of pace guy that can push the ball. He is only 5’10” and I think that might be generous. To get on the floor for coach Stevens you must be able to play defense and although he gives the effort, he can be exploited on defense.

Romeo Langford is a 21-year-old 6’4” wing. As a Celtics fan I had high expectations for our first pick last year. He has shown flashes of a decent shot and pretty good going to the rim. More importantly he has shown he can play NBA defense. He just needs a little good luck after getting side-tracked by injuries. Once again, he is going to get a late start this year as he rehabs from an injury suffered in the bubble. I haven’t given up on this guy yet. I look forward to seeing a healthy version of this prospect.

Grant Williams is a 22-year-old 6’6 “big”. I put big in quotes because he is undersized but plays a bigs game. Coach Stevens has used Grant at center and at power forward. I was really excited about this pick a year ago. He is one of those high IQ guys, that just plays the right way. He plays hard, is a willing passer, and his shot is coming around. He is also one of the best interviews on the roster, with plenty to say. Grant is an exception in this class in that Coach Brad Stevens has put trust in him in some pressure situations.

Javonte Green is a 27-year-old 6’4 wing. Yes, he is only a second-year player at age 27. Javonte had his bumps and bruises trying to break into the NBA. He spent 3 years overseas and was invited to the Celtics summer league a year ago, and he stuck. He is a super-athletic wing that is fun to watch finishing at the rim. I think we are going to see a bit more of him this year since we will need some wings to eat up some minutes that Gordon left behind.

Tacko Fall is a 25-year-old 7’5” BIG. He is about what you would expect from any guy that is 7’5”. Oh, wait there aren’t many guys that big. He is still a project for the Celtics, and if there was a g-league this year, I think he would still be there working on his game. He has a dedicated following in Boston, and he is a super nice guy by all reports. The minutes we see him in the game we get glimpses of what he could bring to the team. He can totally change the oppositions offense, all their game-planning can be blown up with the simple insertion of the giant. I know many of the Celtics faithful will disagree with me, and I hope I’m wrong, but I see little more than blow-out appearances and occasional inbound plays from this specialist.

Six guys from one draft class, that sounds like an expansion team. The way the Celtics are built it might be this way for a while. When you have the mega-contracts at the top, you need to fill out the roster with rookie contracts in order to comply with the salary cap issues. Don’t be to hard on these guys, they are giving their best effort. It is unusual to get more than one or two prospects to stick in the NBA per year, and it is very unusual for a contending team to have so many.

With injuries to some of our rotation guys, a few of these prospects are going to get a chance to shine. Who will they be?

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