Dionte Christmas continues to make an impression at Summer League. And before you accuse me of just being a guy that falls in love with summer players, just know that I’m not alone.
“A lot of overseas teams contacting me and throwing out some crazy numbers,” Christmas said after yesterday’s game. “They’re making it hard for me and my agent. So we’ll see.”
Christmas has a chance here in Vegas to make some lasting impressions. Teams are taking notes for not only right now, but for the future. Still, Christmas has to think about his own future.
“Coming from where I came from, grinding, playing for lower teams for a little bit of money to getting, like, half a million dollar offers… it’s tough to ignore that”
Christmas continues to hint that he’s at the very least waiting before really considering those half-million dollar offers. He’s got a single goal in mind: The NBA. And after a talk with is father, that’s where his focus is right now.
“I had a long talk with my dad last night, he’s like my brother,” said Christmas. ”I have a great family, [and] money-wise I’m ok, so he said ‘chase your dream… why stop here?” So all I really needed was for him to say that. I’m just waiting for the right offer from an NBA team and I’m going to go for it.”
He reiterated last night that he’s not just playing for the Celtics in Las Vegas. There are 29 other teams who might have spot for him. He won’t be picky, but after Rajon Rondo’s visit last night that helped him quickly elevate his game, he does have a preference.
“Hopefully the Celtics throw something at me that I like… I love the situation, I love the staff, I love the players they have. I was talking to Rondo today, he’s a good guy, so I would love to play here.”
And he’s making an impression on his coach.
“He’s showing you every night he can do more and more things,” said Summer League head coach Tyronn Lue. ”He guards the best player every night, he can pass the ball and make the right play assist-wise, he rebounds the ball, he can score, he can do everything. I think he’d be a good guy to pick up.
Every year, one of these un-known guys has a few break-out games and gets us all excited. And we’re still waiting to see how Christmas does when he takes on the higher-caliber players that exist at the next level. If he earns a training camp invite, he’ll be playing against players who will actually make NBA rosters. After Summer League, Christmas’ next game might be on a team where Kevin Garnett is warming up next to him… even if it is just a pre-season exhibition.
That changes things. That adds another level of intensity. It ups the difficulty level a couple of notches. But Christmas has earned the attention this week. He’s earned “crazy numbers” to play overseas if he wants it. Chances are, he’s also earned a spot on someone’s roster come September.