The name Yam Madar might not be too familiar for Celtics fans at the moment, but that is going to change sooner rather than later. The 20-year-old Israeli point guard was drafted by Boston with the 47th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. However, instead of playing for the C’s last season, Madar decided to stay in his home country and play in the Israeli Premier League.
Now, Madar is in the states and ready to don the Celtics green. He will be playing for Boston in the NBA Summer League and attempt to earn his spot starting there. Madar has as good of a shot at breaking into the rotation as any of the young, inexperienced guards on the Celtics roster.
“I don’t know anything in my life that has come guaranteed,” Madar told The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. “Every place I’m coming, I’m coming to work and coming to earn my place on the team. That’s something I know how to do. Working hard is something I know how to do.”
Madar’s work ethic has been fruitful throughout his overseas career. Just last season, the 6-foot-3 guard became the IPL’s youngest player to win the Most Improved Player award. He averaged 17 points, three rebounds and five assists per game.
Madar has steadily grown and improved ever since his 14-year-old self took a trip to New Hampshire in 2015 and met basketball trainer Yogev Berdugo.
“He’s a killer on the court,” Berdugo told Chris Grenham of Forbes. “He’s always in attack mode offensively and defensively. He’s a wizard in the pick-and-roll game, both in the pick-and-pop and the short-roll. He is wise beyond his years when it comes to IQ… He’s a true lead guard. A floor general. That’s who Yam Madar is.”
Madar improved in every statistical category from the 2019-2020 season to last year. Most notably was his uptick in three point shooting. Prior to the 2020 NBA Draft, one of the knocks against the guard was his shooting ability. Madar and Berdugo focused on that area over the past year. The results speak for themselves – Madar went from a 27.4% mark to 40.9%.
Madar is not only an offensive weapon. With a 6-foot-5 wingspan, he is a pest on defense as well. His length helps him guard multiple positions, which will help the Celtics who have a history of going small and paying for it.
“Feisty and nasty on defense. A dog on defense,” Berdugo said. “Very smart off the ball as well with reading passing lanes.”
Comparisons can sometimes get a little out of hand. Before the 2020 NBA Draft, Madar was compared to TJ McConnell, Earl Watson, and others. However, Berdugo, who knows Madar best, made a comparison to a guy that Celtics fans know well.
“He can give you 25 [points], but that’s not his M.O. If he has seven, eight and nine, he’s happy,” Berdugo said. “There was another point guard who played the same way that helped bring Boston a championship. His name is Rajon Rondo.”
How Will Barton is Helping the Celtics Resign Evan Fournier
The first question you need to ask yourself is if you want the Celtics to resign Evan Fournier. If you do, then here is some good news. If you don’t, you can blame Will Barton.
Nuggets forward Barton, who has played ten years in the NBA, opted out of his $14.7 million player option according to Shams Charania. Denver will retain his Bird Rights and both sides are interested in making a new deal before free agency starts on Aug. 2.
If they don’t come together, Barton will be one of the more sought after wings on the market. He is coming off a season where he averaged 13 points, four rebounds and three assists, while shooting 38% from three. Plus, Barton won’t be as expensive as some of the other free agent wings like Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan, Tim Hardaway Jr., Kelly Oubre, or Duncan Robinson.
Celtics’ Summer League Roster Starting to Take Shape
The Celtics have a plethora of young talent that could use the NBA Summer League as a platform to get better and show the coaches what they have. So, who will be heading out to Las Vegas in a couple weeks?
It was already reported that Payton Pritchard and Yam Madar would be playing for Boston. Now, you can add Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith and Carsen Edwards to the list, according to Jared Weiss. Grant Williams and Robert are not planning on playing, however.
Langford is coming off his second season in the league where he averaged three points and two rebounds in just 18 games played. As for Nesmith, the guard/forward combo added five points and three bounds off the bench in his rookie season. Plus, Edwards averaged four points in his sophomore campaign.
The Celtics Summer League roster is still pretty slim, so expect them to fill it out in the coming weeks. Right now, the team is full of guards, with Nesmith being the tallest player at just 6-foot-5. So, Boston will need to add some height and could turn to Taco Fall and newly acquired Moses Brown for that.