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The 2008 second round draft choice by the Boston Celtics officially signed a one-year deal with the team Monday.
The 7-footer, Semih Erden, joins a front-court that is in desperate need of size. With Kendrick Perkins out at least until November with an ACL tear, the Celtics are incredibly thin at center.
Erden, who is a major project, is in no shape to see 15-minutes a game at the NBA level but he certainly has all the physical tools to develop into a solid contributor. NBAdraft.net graded Erden at a 90 back in 2008, noting that he’s particularly strong in the athletic department. With his blend of size and quickness, Erden’s a few low-post moves away from being an offensive play maker. Defensively, Erden needs to bulk up as he struggles on the block.
With the signing of Erden coming early in July, the Celtics were able to squeeze him on their 2010 Summer League roster.
In his first game, Erden only managed two points and four rebounds in 22 minutes of play however, Erden said himself that he wasn’t ready for Summer League play after coming off a championship season with his Turkish team.
A key person to mention in the Erden discussion is Celtics coach Clifford Ray. In the past Ray, has transformed potential to production, especially with guys like Al Jefferson, Perkins, Leon Powe and Glen Davis. Ray does a fantastic job in finding a player’s strength and building off that to make him into a better basketball player. Despite playing for years for Turkey, Erden needs just as much coaching now than ever before.
It all comes down to whether or not Erden wants to be an NBA basketball player or will he let his Turkish routes always follow him. While Erden won’t make an impact during the 2010 season, he’s a player to watch for in the future.
According to Pro Basketball Talk, the Celtics will meet with Kwame Brown, signaling the team is definitely desperate for size.