Juhann Begarin isn’t short of confidence, something Brad Stevens can attest to, after his first-ever draft selection as President of Basketball Operations requested to participate in the Celtics Summer League season. Begarin was initially intended to be a draft-and-stash prospect, with the Celtics focusing on adding veterans to their young core during the 2021 off-season.
“I asked Brad Stevens to play in the Summer League, to show them If I can play in the NBA, and after the Summer League I will see what happens,” Begarin told the media after arriving in America to participate in Summer League.
Begarin went on to play five games for the Celtics Summer League roster in Las Vegas, averaging 6.2 points, 3 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game while averaging 24 minutes of game time per contest, per Real GM. However, after shooting just 21.4% from three on 2.8 attempts per game, Begarin struggled to show his full range of skills during his first foray into the American game.
Despite Begarin’s poor shooting, the rookie guard impressed with his energy levels, versatility, and NBA-ready athleticism. “He was able to play the five for us defensively, and we were able to switch. I thought he did a great job showing his hand and making people score through him. And he had a great drive and kick at the end of the game to Aaron (Nesmith),” Summer League head coach Joe Mazulla told the media, “He played very well. He just needs to continue to be aggressive in his shot selection. He’s such a good driver, a physical driver, but we also want him to work on his shots; it’s just a balance.”
Mazzulla’s comments came after the Celtics defeated the Atlanta Hawks on August 8th, in the team’s first game of Summer League.
Begarin Impresses for Paris Basketball
According to Real GM, Begarin has participated in seven games for Paris Basketball thus far, starting six of them. Averaging 23.3 minutes of play per game, Begarin provided 11.7 points, 1.4 steals, and 3.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 35.7% from three and 52.4% from the field.
Impressively, Begarin is producing these numbers against a higher-caliber of opponent than he’s accustomed to facing, after Paris Basketball gained promotion to the Jeep Elite following their second-place finish in LNB Pro B last season. Begarin helped Paris Basketball achieve its promotion, participating in 33 games for the team.
USA Today’s Celtics Wire initially reported that Begarin recently had a highly productive game against LDLC Asvel. The 45th picks in last year’s NBA Draft dropped 15 points during the contest, pulled down six rebounds, and added an assist in 24 minutes of playing time. Highlights of this game can be found on Tomasz Kordylewski‘s YouTube Page.
Celtics Have Two Stash Prospects
Besides Begarin, the Celtics also hold the rights to another draft-and-stash prospect in Yam Madar. We saw both of these young international talents take to the court during the summer before they went abroad to continue their development in competitive European leagues.
This season, Madar also took a step up in competition level after leaving Hapoel Tel Aviv to play for legendary European coach Željko Obradović at Partizan NIS in the Adriatic – Liga ABA. Madar has participated in seven games thus far, with his best outcoming coming against Krka Novo Mesto, where he scored 23 points, four assists, and two rebounds.
Both Madar and Begarin will likely feature for the Celtics Summer League team in 2022 when fans will get their first look at their individual improvements.