Boston Celtics

  • MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 20: Trevion Williams #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers dribbles the ball in front of Christian Bishop #32 of the Texas Longhorns during the second half in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Fiserv Forum on March 20, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

    MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MARCH 20: Trevion Williams #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers dribbles the ball in front of Christian Bishop #32 of the Texas Longhorns during the second half in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Fiserv Forum on March 20, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

    The Celtics’ Summer League slate begins Saturday night, when they take on the Miami Heat in Las Vegas. It will be the first of five games on the schedule, running through July 17.

    Summer League is an experience unique to the NBA, where rookies and other less experienced players can make their case for a roster spot before the full team works together in training camp and the preseason.

    Which players on this year’s Summer League roster should draw the most attention over the next week and a half? Here’s a look at the players to watch for the Celtics in Vegas. (You can find the Celtics’ full Summer League roster here.)

  • F Sam Hauser

    Mar 21, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Boston Celtics forward Sam Hauser (30) attempts a three-point shot over Oklahoma City Thunder guard Tre Mann (23) during the second half at Paycom Center. Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 21, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Boston Celtics forward Sam Hauser (30) attempts a three-point shot over Oklahoma City Thunder guard Tre Mann (23) during the second half at Paycom Center. Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

    After going undrafted last season, Hauser joined the Celtics for 2021 Summer League. He showed enough as a shooter (he shot 46.2 percent from deep in five games) to earn a two-way contract with the team for the 2021-2022 season. That deal was upgraded to a full contract in February, and he ended up appearing in 26 NBA games. The team then rewarded him with a three-year, $6 million contract extension earlier this week.

    This year, Hauser is looking to upgrade his role from a bench filler to more of a rotational spot. Shooting off the bench has been identified as a need and Hauser fits that profile. Can he prove to the Celtics coaches that he deserves minutes as a park plug off the bench?

  • G JD Davison

    SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 18: JD Davison #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide dribbles against Prentiss Hubb #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half in the first round game of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena at San Diego State University on March 18, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 18: JD Davison #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide dribbles against Prentiss Hubb #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half in the first round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena at San Diego State University on March 18, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    The Celtics’ lone 2022 draft pick, Davison is the kind of player that typically shines in the summer league. He’s an elite athlete with explosive leaping ability, and will have a chance to flash that element of his game.

    When it comes to the big picture, Davison faces a tough challenge to earn playing time on a team very deep at the guard position. This will be his best chance to show the Celtics what he can do against professional-caliber opposition.

  • G A.J. Reeves

    BUFFALO, NEW YORK - MARCH 19: A.J. Reeves #11 of the Providence Friars shoots the ball against the Richmond Spiders during the second half in the second round game of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center on March 19, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

    BUFFALO, NEW YORK – MARCH 19: A.J. Reeves #11 of the Providence Friars shoots the ball against the Richmond Spiders during the second half in the second round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center on March 19, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

    Reeves comes into Summer League looking to earn a spot on his hometown team. He grew up in Roxbury, then attended Brimmer and May School in Chestnut Hill. Collegiately, he played three years at Providence and helped lead the Friars to a Big East regular season championship and Sweet Sixteen appearance this past year. After going undrafted, he joined the Celtics’ Summer League roster.

    Like Davison, Reeves will have to stand out to earn a roster spot on a team that is very guard-heavy. He has good size for an off-ball guard at 6-foot-6, and showed improvement as a shooter last year. Will that growth continue into the summer?

  • C Trevion Williams

    WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 13: Trevion Williams #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers makes a move on Julian Reese #10 of the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at Mackey Arena on February 13, 2022 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

    WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 13: Trevion Williams #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers makes a move on Julian Reese #10 of the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at Mackey Arena on February 13, 2022 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

    While the Celtics have plenty of depth at guard, the case isn’t the same for their big man situation. After trading Daniel Theis, there’s no true second center on the roster behind Robert Williams. Given Williams’ injury history, having a backup or backups that can help lighten his workload in the regular season is key.

    Williams, who signed with the Celtics for Summer League after going undrafted two weeks ago, should be in contention for one of those spots. At 6-foot-10, 265 pounds Williams is a true post player who has shown an ability to be effective in the paint and on the boards on both the offensive or defensive ends. He’s also a strong passer for his position.

  • C Mfiondu Kabengele

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 10:  Mfiondu Kabengele #25 of the LA Clippers boxes out Jarred Vanderbilt #8 of the Denver Nuggets during a 111-91 Nuggets preseason win at Staples Center on October 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 10: Mfiondu Kabengele #25 of the LA Clippers boxes out Jarred Vanderbilt #8 of the Denver Nuggets during a 111-91 Nuggets preseason win at Staples Center on October 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    Kabengele faces a similar situation to Williams this summer, looking to contend for the open big man spot(s) on the regular season roster. Unlike Williams, Kabengele has prior NBA experience, having played 51 games in two NBA seasons with the Clippers and Cavaliers. He’s also the only first-round pick on the C’s Summer League roster, having been taken 27th overall by the Nets in 2019.

    Late in the 2020-2021 season, Kabengele showed promise coming off the bench for the Cavs, scoring 4.3 points and grabbing 2.9 rebounds in 11.6 minutes per game. He spent the entirety of last season in the G League.