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The Celtics announced their Orlando Summer League roster a few days ago. The roster contains four players we’re all familiar with: Gabe Pruitt, Bill Walker, J.R. Giddens and newly drafted rookie Lester Hudson. The C’s should get a good look at Hudson as he will be going up against pretty tough competition at either guard position.
Hudson should be prepared to face some good competition: 2008 draft picks Russell Westbrook, Brandon Rush, and Chris Douglas Roberts, as well as 2009 first round selections James Harden, Jrue Holiday and Eric Maynor.
Here’s a breakdown of each of the other players on the Celtics’ summer league roster:
After a successful career at Georgetown, Sweetney was the 9th pick in the draft in 2003.
Chronic weight problems caused Sweetney to disappear from the league. He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2006-07 season. Sweetney’s best season came in 05-06 when he started 44 games for the Chicago Bulls while averaging 8 points and 5 rebounds a game. He’s a long shot to make the Celtics, especially given their experience with players in similar situations (Vin Baker anyone?). Still, with Leon Powe and Mikki Moore potentially leaving the C’s, Sweetney has an outside shot.
Swift is the most interesting prospect on the list. He’s a huge center who’s yet to prove himself in the NBA. Due to injuries, Swift has managed to only play 97 games in four NBA seasons. Still, with his relative youth, 23 years old, and shot blocking skills, Swift could become a player similar to Denver’s Chris Anderson at a third of the price. It also helps that Danny Ainge has a huge man-crush on the guy and wanted to draft him the year he drafted Al Jefferson.
One of the most successful players in University of Nevada history, Fazekas led the Wolf Pack to four NCAA tournament appearances. Fazekas was also a four-time recipient of the WAC Player of the Year Award. He was drafted in 2007 by the Dallas Mavericks and cut later that year so they could make room for retired Keith Van Horn and his contract in the Jason Kidd trade. He’s an offensively gifted power forward who could end up being insurance if Glen “Big Baby” Davis gets a deal the C’s can’t match.
This kid’s an NBA pedigree. As the son of long-time NBA coach George Karl, Coby was bound to get a shot somewhere. Karl was the Lakers 12th man two seasons ago, and only appeared in 17 games. He was the star at Boise State and is a decent 3-pt shooter. The only way Karl makes the roster is if he outplays Hudson, Pruitt and Giddens in the summer league; an unlikely scenario since there won’t be a whole lot of playing time for guards on this team.
Washington is a Memphis point guard that played a season for the San Antonio Spurs. He has decent size for a point guard and a good outside shot with decent ball handling skills. The same is true for him that is true for Karl…this is already a guard-heavy roster.
Lofton was a Tennessee Volunteer whose most memorable collegiate performance was a 35 point effort in a 111-105 overtime victory against Kevin Durant and the Texas Longhorns. He’s a deadly 3-pt shooter who scored 47 points on 13 of 20 shooting from outside in a Turkish league game last year. If Hudson or Pruitt don’t pan out for the Celtics, and if the C’s decide to go with a young backup to Rondo instead of a vet like Marbury, Lofton could get a look…but those are a lot of ifs.
Taylor is a 3-pt shooting, defensive specialist. He played his college ball at Oregon, where he helped them to a Pac 10 title. A bit undersized and a questionable athlete, Taylor has yet to land a contract with an NBA team. However, Taylor has been playing against top European talent in the premiere Italian league. With Tony Allen’s history of injuries, Taylor could fit nicely in a similar role if he brings his A-game.
Rogers was the star of Baylor last season, but went undrafted in the recent NBA draft. In four years of college ball, Rogers proved himself to be a great rebounder and a good finisher at the rim. He’ll have to staunchly compete with the aforementioned big men to even get a solid look.
Mullins is a red-headed, Irish point guard from Southern Illinois. He shot over 40% from 3-pt range and had a decent assist to turnover ratio in college. If the C’s trade Scalabrine’s expiring contract, Mullins could be the 12th-man-Irish-mascot. If Scal remains with the C’s, Mullins could always try out for Lucky.
The Celtics Orlando summer league schedule kicks off Monday night when they play the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7PM.