Speaking to the Boston Globe this week, assistant GM Austin Ainge said that the Celtics’ Summer League roster will include five players from the roster the team brought to the NBA Finals—Sam Hauser, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, Brodric Thomas and Matt Ryan, with Thomas and Ryan having been on two-way contracts.
Perhaps of most interest to those in Boston will be the two players fans have not been able to see stateside, French prospect Juhann Begarin and Israel’s Yam Madar. The Celtics have the rights to both, as Begarin was chosen in the second round of the 2021 draft, and Madar went in Round 2 in 2020.
Madar Made a Jump Up in Class
Madar, who is 21, is considered the more polished of the two players. He made a big move up from the Israeli League, where he had starred, to playing for powerhouse KK Partizan in Serbia. He averaged 7.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists this season, shooting 54.1% from the field and finished on a strong note—he averaged 11.7 points on 60.9% shooting in Partizan’s last six games.
There is a chance that Madar could be with the Celtics next season, though his game is fairly similar to that of Payton Pritchard.
“It was a big growing experience for him both on and off the court, and it really helped him mature a lot,” Ainge told the Globe. “He was kind of a big deal in Israel growing up and it was brave of him to go outside of that and really push himself. I thought it was great for him.”
Juhann Begarin Made a Big Leap in Paris
Begarin turns 20 in August and made very good strides in smoothing out his roughness as a prospect this year. He averaged 11.1 points playing for Paris this year, getting consistent minutes despite being so young on a solid first-division team. His performance was erratic, but he did have a 29-point game in a win in late March, which was followed by a 21-point outing.
He shot 30.9% from the 3-point line this season, and only 56.3% from the free-throw line.
Back in April a scouting director told Heavy.com about Begarin:
I think you’ve got to be excited about how he has developed. I mean, he was raw with a capital R, even at the beginning of this season. He made some strides last year, and early this year you were just looking for some signs that he was putting it together. Then, bam, I think you really saw it late in the season. They made some tweaks to his jumper, he shooting from the outside with a lot more confidence, he is a little smoother. He is still raw, but you can see the physical gifts coming together now with some work, some practice time, some development. He is smarter defensively, you can see that. They might want to bring him over on a two-way (G-League contract) or maybe you leave him in Paris for one more year. But he could be a keeper.