When it comes to the Boston Celtics‘ recent draft selections, a lot is left to be desired.
Sure, Grant Williams and Robert Williams have both developed into integral members of the Celtics rotation. The likes of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart form the backbone of Boston’s current team. But then there is Romeo Langford and Aaron Nesmith, who have both struggled to live up to their billing as potential difference makers off the bench. And that’s before we look at the R.J. Hunter’s or James Young’s of years gone by.
The Celtics struggles of developing talent reach further afield, too, as Yam Madar and Juhann Begarin continue to strive for opportunities in Europe. Whenever a player is draft-and-stashed, it’s hard to tell who is responsible for their developmental plans and training sessions, but it would be fair to assume Boston has some level of input there.
But, it would seem that neither Madar nor Begarin are currently at the required level to be considered NBA players. And while Madar is learning under one of Europe’s greatest ever coaches in Željko Obradović, Begarin is trying to figure things out in the French league, and that’s still a work in progress.
Scout Believes Begarin Needs ‘At Least Two More Years’
When you watch Begarin play, it quickly becomes apparent that he has all the physical tools required to make it as an NBA-level talent. Atheltic, good size, significant changes of pace, and fantastic leaping ability. But that’s only part of the battle.
To make it in the best basketball league in the world, you also need elite basketball skills. Sure, athleticism plays an enormous role in your chances of success, but if you’re not truly special at specific areas of the game, you’re going to struggle against the best of the best. And for Begarin, it’s the basketball side of things that still needs vast improvements.
“At some point, you have to become a basketball player. I think we are seeing that with some other French guards, guys like Killian Hayes and (Theo) Maledon. Great athletes, can go 100 mph, but can you shoot? Can you do the things to make your team better? He has been a starter on a team that has some decent enough players, but it’s a bad team.
He has a lot of strides to make just in terms of, playing within himself, slowing down, using athleticism when you need it, not all the time. And shooting. I mean, he is a shooting guard who can’t shoot. He is going to have to learn these things. He is 19, there is time, but you’re not going to see him in Boston for two years at least,” A scout recently told Heavy.com.
Begarin May Need To Move Elsewhere in Europe
The French league is a formidable one, but it’s far from one of the select options around Europe. Spain, Turkey, Germany, and even Italy have stronger competitions that consistently produce NBA-level talent.
Sure, France has some former NBA players operating within its ranks, but nowhere near some of the other leagues surrounding them. So, if Begarin is serious about making the step-up to the NBA, he may be better served by spending a year or two in one of Europe’s premier systems before making the jump.
Most of the high-level European talent has come out of Spain in recent years, with the Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic being the most notable name. But, look a little bit closer, and you can see a league that has countless former NBA talents and many more who will likely make the trip across the Atlantic in the near future. From Nikola Mirotic to Marc Gasol, the Spanish league is undoubtedly where a budding talent will want to cut their teeth.
If Begarin can prove himself on a bigger stage, such as the Spanish or Turkish league, then the chances of him making a career for himself in the NBA are far more significant. But as things stand, the Celtics overseas rookie remains an athletic talent with apparent flaws in his basketball DNA. Until those flaws are improved, we’re unlikely to see him donning a Celtics jersey in a regular-season game any time soon.