Celtics Could Offer Summer League Stand Out NBA Lifeline: Report

Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics

Getty Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics

While the Boston Celtics have undoubtedly improved their roster this summer, they still have multiple open roster spots left to fill.

Brad Stevens has begun making moves to add some end-of-bench talent, giving both Bruno Caboclo and Noah Vonleh an opportunity to impress during training camp, and potentially earn a roster spot heading into the new season.

And according to The Athletic’s Jay King, Stevens could potentially add another two players to the mix, as he looks to find some cost-effective talent with potential upside for the future.

“As of Tuesday, the Celtics mostly were expected to fill out the rest of the training camp roster with young veterans willing to vie for those spots. Recent additions Noah Vonleh and Bruno Caboclo will be in that group, while last year’s two-way player Brodric Thomas and former Kings draft pick Justin Jackson are viewed as strong candidates to join them, league sources told The Athletic.” King wrote in his August 3 column.

Assuming Boston does bring Thomas and Jackson into their training camp roster, it’s feasible that the duo will be pitted against each other in their bid to make the final squad, just like what we can expect to happen with Vonleh and Caboclo.

Justin Jackson Impressed in Summer League

Despite joining the Celtics roster late, Justin Jackson was one of Boston’s stand-out performers throughout his time in Summer League, impressing with his shooting, shot selection, and athletic ability.

Of course, Jackson wasn’t totally new to Boston’s system, having spent some time with the squad last season, when he signed with the team via the hardship exemption as COVID run rampant throughout the league.

Drafted in 2017 with the 15th overall pick, Jackson has struggled to nail down a consistent role within the league and has bounced around multiple teams during his five years in the league. Those teams are the Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Milwaukee Bucks, Celtics, and Phoenix Suns.

Jackson played three games for the Celtics in Summer League, averaging 19.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and three assists per game while shooting 43.2% from the field and 32.1% from deep.

Training Camp Roster Battle

The Celtics might have multiple roster spots available, but there’s no guarantee they’re looking to fill all of them before heading into the new season. Boston holds multiple trade exceptions, which can also be used to claim players off waivers – meaning Stevens might keep a spot open to see what shakes loose closer to the trade deadline.

If a player of significance fails to materialize as we approach the final days where a team has to make a trade, we could see Stevens convert one of the team’s two-way talents into a full-time contract – similar to what we saw with both Sam Hauser and Luke Kornet last season.

Either way, the Celtics still have multiple options available to them, but if they can bring in numerous talents that are willing to fight for the opportunity to play limited minutes while continuing to develop their game, we could be about to witness some highly intriguing roster battles.


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