Euro Star Aiming to Play With Celtics Next Season

Yam Madar Israel

Sven Mandel - CC BY-SA 4.0 Israeli point-man and Boston Celtics draftee Yam Madar passes the ball during a game against Argentina.

Yam Madar’s status with the Boston Celtics has been a major point of interest in Beantown since the team acquired his rights in the 2020 NBA draft. Of course, when a player is billed as the Euro Steph Curry, they’re bound to grab a headline or two.

So, when Madar received permission from his Israeli club — Hapoel Tel Aviv — to join the Celtics for summer league action, it was definitely a big development. However, the 20-year-old floor general isn’t content to have just a quick cup of coffee with the team that drafted him.

He fully expects to begin his NBA career with the Celtics next season.

“I feel comfortable in my game,” Madar said regarding a possible NBA jump. “It’s a new level, it’s a new challenge. I worked really hard, I prepared myself for this moment to come. I know it’s going to be this year that I will come, and I’m excited to get started.”

It was a strong statement given his current contract situation.

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Confident in His Abilities, But Locked Into a Contract

Yam Madar: I'm Planning On Playing For The Celtics This Year." | FULL Interview 8-3Las Vegas — Yam Madar spoke to the Celtics media for the first time on Tuesday after Summer League Practice. Yam told reporters that he plans to play for the Celtics this year. He also added "I feel comfortable in my game. It's a new level, it’s a new challenge. I work really hard and…2021-08-03T17:52:23Z

Clearly, Madar is confident in his abilities. And given how he played in Israel last season, he probably has good reason to be. In 35 games across all competitions, the 20-year-old averaged 16.5 points, 5.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest.

He also blossomed into a steady hand from deep, making 40.6% of his 4.4 three-point attempts per game. That number represented a major improvement over his first two seasons with Hapoel.

The biggest question regarding a jump stateside is whether he’ll be able to produce in a similar manner against bigger, stronger athletes in the NBA. However, Madar believes in his process and envisions it will yield dividends.

“It’s just the day-to-day work,” he said. “Being in the gym, putting that work in — in the end, that pays off.”

The other question mark with Madar is the matter of his contract. Although he and his reps contended that he should have been free to sign with a new team this summer, Madar lost their arbitration case with Hapoel. As such, he’ll have to return to the club next season unless a buyout is negotiated.

Boston will only be allowed to contribute in part to freeing him from the pact; Madar will likely have to pony up some money himself. Based on his statements, though, it would seem he expects there to be some kind of resolution before the 2021-22 NBA campaign tips off.

Madar Will Also Have to Earn a Spot

The Celtics may not be done wheeling and dealing this offseason. As it stands, though, they’re not exactly flush with roster spots with which to take fliers on players like Madar, who was a second-round pick.

There’s a chance that his best path to joining the Celtics will be via a two-way contract. That said, if he shows out during summer league, he may be able to lock down a full-time spot on Boston’s 15-man roster.

Madar and the Celtics will begin summer play on Sunday, Aug. 8. with a game against the Atlanta Hawks.


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