By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Celtics rookie forward Romeo Langford apparently needs time just to learn more about being a professional. Thursday's news that the Celtics assigned Langford to the Maine Red Claws is ostensibly a reflection of that.
But as Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge explained on Thursday's interview with Toucher & Rich, a lot of that learning is a normal part of a rookie's development as he enters the NBA. Fred Toucher referred to a Red Claws exec who described Langford as "very immature" and "[Rajon] Rondo-esque in that he will ask questions of the coaches, he will challenge the coaches". Toucher was also told that Langford was assigned a personal coach to "take him around Boston and things like that."
Without getting into details, Ainge admitted Langford needs time to develop that area of his job. But it's not necessarily a major hindrance for a player that he and the Celtics are still excited about moving forward.
"You know, I don't think he's very immature," said Ainge. "I think he's young and I think that he has some growing up to do, for sure, and just becoming more of a professional and all those things like most every kid at his age. But yeah, I think he has a really good mind, and I think he's a willing learner and a question-asker. So, I'm really excited about Romeo's future."
Rondo infamously became the subject of a number of stories during his time as a Celtic over clashes with coaches and teammates. That comparison may spark concerns that Langford would engage in similarly disruptive behavior. But Rondo's issues weren't necessarily related to his basketball I.Q. so much as his general attitude. It's far too early to make those kinds of judgments on Langford's personal or professional character, like it would be with any rookie.
But it's pretty clear at this point that Langford won't necessarily make a big impact on the Celtics as a rookie, certainly not in the first half of the season. He'll need more time than that. For the Celtics, who drafted Langford with the 14th pick in the first round of the 2019 draft, that could be frustrating. But at 9-1, they don't seem to need Langford right now.
Listen to the full interview with Ainge below.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].