In terms of the team’s cap situation, the Kemba Walker trade was a smashing success for the Boston Celtics. While it will save the club nearly $20 million in payroll over the next two seasons, though, the deal left a glaring hole for the Celtics at the point guard spot.
Finding Walker’s replacement will be tough, too. Team president Brad Stevens won’t have the funds to offer a free agent floor general like Lonzo Ball, Mike Conley or Kyle Lowry a contract. He’s probably not trading for a player like Dejounte Murray, either. And simply handing the reins over the Marcus Smart seems suboptimal.
As ever, the cash-strapped Cs are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
That said, there’s a chance that the Celtics’ point guard of the future is already part of the organization.
Yam Madar, a stash pick for Boston at No. 47 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, is coming off an incredibly strong campaign for Hapoel Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League. And he finally appears to be getting his feet wet stateside, as he’ll reportedly play for the Celtics’ summer league outfit.
However, his official jump from the IPL to the NBA may have just hit a snag due to some legal wrangling.
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Madar Loses Arbitration Case With Israeli Club
As relayed by Heavy’s Bryan Starr in March, Madar and his current club seemingly have a difference of opinion about when his contract ends.
For their part, the 20-year-old and his representatives believe that he should be free to pursue other opportunities, with the Celtics or elsewhere, right now. And they were willing to file a lawsuit seeking arbitration regarding the expiration of his contract in order to make it happen.
Hapoel, meanwhile, argued that Madar is still under contract, and will remain so through the 2021-22 season. In order for him to leave the team and potentially join the Celtics, the team was reportedly demanding that a $700,000 buyout be paid.
Per a Sunday report by Israeli hoops scribe Josh Halickman/Sports Rabbi, Madar’s case has been decided. Unfortunately, the arbitrator ruled that he will remain the property of Hapoel for the time being. So, there’s a chance that Madar’s move to Beantown will have to wait.
However, Halickman did note that the decision likely won’t affect Madar’s attendance at the NBA Summer League with the Celtics.
There’s also a chance that Madar could simply pay the buyout. But the Celtics would only be allowed to contribute a certain amount of money per the CBA; the rest would fall to Madar himself. And the actual buyout number is unknown.
Madar Has Been Balling Out
In 35 games across all competitions last season, Madar put up 16.5 points, 5.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest. He also hit on 40.6% of his three-point attempts.
The previous year, he became the youngest player in IPL history to win the league’s Most Improved Player Award.
In addition to his club career, Madar has been a big part of the Israeli national team program. As a junior competitor, he played well during the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship and Under-20 championship in 2018 and 2019, respectively. At the ’19 event, he paced Israel to a gold medal finish, logging a 16-8-3 line.
In four games with the senior national team during EuroBasket 2020 qualifiers, he averaged 7.2 points and made 50.0% of his shot attempts in limited duty.
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