The Celtics are trying to reload for another run at a title. But as with each of the past 3 summers… this offseason is filled with questions about who can fill slots on the bench and around the Big 3.
We've got Jermaine O'Neal… and we're looking at who knows how many possibilities with Rasheed Wallace's contract. But just like every other mid-July… we're wondering if the rookies can be any help.
Avery Bradley is recovering from ankle surgery, but Doc has already raved about his defensive abilities. But Luke Harangody has thrust himself into the discussion by having a pretty good summer league. He dropped 16.6 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 47% (50% from 3)… all in just under 28 minutes a game.
In a piece on NBA.com today, Luke says.. flat out… his success pretty much just comes from effort
"I don't have the kind of individual talents that just jump out and
grab your attention," Harangody said. "What I rely on is my
determination to stay with the task and find a way to get the job done.
"I came to the
summer league to show that I can play at this level and that I can be
successful at this level. All I wanted to do was go on the floor for
every game and compete the way I always have throughout my career."
Luke's a big kid: 6'8", 240… and he's learning to play more of a face-up game. So the question is… can he be another Danny Ainge 2nd round special? Can he step up and make a bigger impact than expected?
We've seen guys have great summer league performances and then fall on their faces during the season. That's because the summer league competition is about D-League level stuff. Some teams are bringing guys with NBA experience (like James Harden, surprisingly, for OKC)… but we're looking mostly at rookies learning systems and guys on the fringes trying like hell to hook on with a team. The most a good percentage of these guys will leave the summer league with is a cool practice jersey to hang in whatever office they will eventually work in.
But Harangody has a good history. He's the only player in Big East history to average 20 and 10 for his career. That's insane. He's got an ugly jumper than makes me cringe but it's been going in. He busts his ass… which is more than some guys can say.
But he's also got Glen Davis ahead of him. Can Luke step in and make a contribution this year? Will he get the time to try? What we saw from him last week was impressive… but what will we see when the real NBA players show up?