The Boston Celtics have one of the most championship-ready rosters in the NBA. After making it all the way to the NBA Finals this past season, they signed power forward Danilo Gallinari in free agency and made a trade for combo guard Malcolm Brogdon, bolstering their rotation.
However, they still have their fair share of younger players on the roster. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have still yet to enter the primes of their careers, and guys like Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard are still growing, too. But past that, they have some even younger guys.
Boston selected Juhann Begarin with the 15th pick in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft. He’s played for the Celtics’ Summer League team two years in a row but has yet to make the jump to the main roster. And after a week or so of rumors, he’s finally made his official decision on where he will play basketball next season.
“Celtics draft-and-stash prospect Juhann Begarin has officially re-signed with Paris Basketball.
“Begarin will play with Nuggets draft-and-stash prospect Ismael Kamagate with Paris this upcoming season,” tweeted Keith Smith of CelticsBlog and Spotrac.
Despite showing flashes of promise during Summer League, Begarin will head back to France for the upcoming season. That being said, from the way Celtics assistant coach Ben Sullivan talked about him, they have been impressed with his development.
Sullivan: ‘I’ve Liked What He’s Brought’
After the team’s initial Summer League scrimmage, Sullivan, who was the head coach of the team’s Summer League squad, spoke highly of Begarin. He said that he’s progressed nicely since last year’s Summer League showing.
“I’ve liked what he’s brought to the table,” said Sullivan. “Good athlete, good size, can pass, can find his teammates, get downhill, finish at the rim, can really defend, competitive. So, really just getting to know him a little bit and seeing his progression from last year in summer league to this year and seeing where he’s at. I’ve really liked what he’s done so far.”
Begarin appeared in five Summer League games for the Celtics this offseason, playing 31.1 minutes per game. In those games, he averaged 18.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.8 steals on 42.7% shooting from the field and 33.3% shooting from behind the three-point line.
And after Begarin completed his showing in Summer League, Jared Weiss of The Athletic noted that, while he may need more time to develop, he has shown all the right signs.
Weiss: ‘There’s Clearly Something There’
Begarin has already made two appearances for Boston’s Summer League team in two consecutive years, but he’s still only 19 years old. His physical tools are very impressive, and he’s made some very necessary improvements.
“He improved as a cutter and finisher over the past year and showed that in Vegas, but the pull-up jumper that looked like it was coming around in his film from France didn’t show up much until the final game against Brooklyn,” Weiss wrote. “His shot off the catch is just all right, and his half-court creation isn’t really there yet, though he has some decent moments coming over screens to make rim reads. The upside is in transition, where his pace and finishing moves are looking decent on offense, and his speed and positioning on defense show some promise. But he still looks like he needs another year in Europe.”
So, while Celtics fans may not get to see Begarin in a Boston uniform next season, that may not be the case for too much longer, if he continues to develop well.