Another day closer to training camp, another addition to the Boston Celtics‘ roster.
The Athletic’s Sham Charania has reported that swingman Garrison Mathews is signing with the Cs on a one-year, non-guaranteed deal. Mathews, 24, has appeared in 82 games with the Washington Wizards over the past two seasons, flashing impressive range from deep.
As NBC Sports Washington’s Mike DePrisco put it, the Lipscomb product is a “legit shooter.” A career 38.9% 3-point shooter, Mathews started 24 games for the Wizards in 2020-21, knocking down 38.4% of his 3-point attempts and ranking within the 96th percentile as a spot-up shooter (h/t Barstool Sports’ Dan Greenberg).
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Mathews Has a ‘Real Shot’ to Make Roster
Mathews joins Ryan Arcidiacono as one of the two latest additions for Boston, putting their training camp roster at the 20-player maximum.
Both players are believed to have a “real shot” at making the Celtics’ final 15-man roster, according to Keith Smith of Celtics Blog. Having said that, more moves could be on the horizon. One source close to Smith noted that “It’s not a lock that the roster is done either. Brad [Stevens] is still doing some tinkering.”
Mathews remains eligible for a two-way slot and will be a legitimate candidate to stake claim to a bottom of the roster spot with a solid training camp showing.
Aaron Nesmith Primed for Breakout?
If you are looking for Boston’s next breakout player, chances are you’re juggling two names, Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith — with an honorable mention to Romeo Langford. Pritchard is clearly the most established of the bunch, and his summer performance has Celtics fans champing at the bit to see Fast PP take the next step in his development in what will be year two for the Oregon product.
With that said, the arrival of Josh Richardson and Dennis Schroder likely blocks Pritchard from breaking into the starting lineup this season. As for Nesmith, his path to starting minutes could come much easier, and with a solid training camp, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley believes he’ll strongly factor into Boston’s wing rotation.
The sharpshooting sophomore-to-be could have a path that takes him all the way to the starting lineup. It’d be a massive jump for someone who didn’t even log 700 minutes as a rookie, but it’s easy to see why the Celtics might want his lethal long-range shot alongside the Tatum-Brown-Smart trio.
But Nesmith needs to check at least two boxes at training camp to grab anything near a starting role. First, he must be elite as an outside shooter. Last season, he was good—but not great (37.0 percent). Second, he needs to show he can contribute in other areas. Growing as an off-the-bounce scorer or showing better consistency on defense could do wonders for his workload.
The 14th overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, Nesmith appeared in 46 games (one start) for the Celtics as a rookie. Playing 14.5 minutes per contest, the Vanderbilt product averaged 4.7 points and 2.8 rebounds while knocking down 37.0% of his shots from beyond the arc. Boston will look for Nesmith to build upon his rookie campaign and the stellar shooting he flashed during this year’s Summer League.
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