Offseason Depth Chart: Point Guard
BOSTON – July is coming to an end, and that means most NBA rosters are shaping up for training camp in late-September. Some changes will occur between now and then, but by and large, the league’s roster landscape is set.
The Boston Celtics are one team that will need to make minor changes over the next couple of months. As of July 29, they have 16 players under contract and one unsigned draft pick. Teams are not allowed to have more than 15 players under contract once the week of Opening Night arrives.
With all of this in mind, we’re taking a week-long look at the Celtics’ current depth at each position. Today, we examine the team’s point guards.
|2013-14 Point Guards|
|Rajon Rondo||7 Years|
Boston has not put a heavy emphasis on point guard depth over the past handful of seasons. The main reason for that mindset is the presence of Rajon Rondo.
Rondo is a three-time NBA All-Star who can put a team on his back. He’s a triple-double machine, as his 28 career triple-doubles rank second in Celtics history behind only Larry Bird’s 69.
Rondo’s ascension in the league has been at a steep incline since his rookie season in 2006-07. His scoring has increased in each of the past three seasons, and he has averaged at least 11.1 assists per game during each of those campaigns. He is a bona fide star.
All of that information had been great news for the Celtics, at least until January 25 arrived. That’s the day Boston fell to the Atlanta Hawks in overtime and Rondo suffered a partially torn ACL in his right knee.
Rondo underwent surgery on February 12 and has been on the mend ever since. His absence left an enormous hole in Boston’s lineup last season, and his return date is to be determined.
Which makes the other point guard on this roster all the more important. The only other true floor general on the team is rookie Phil Pressey.
Pressey went undrafted out of Missouri and then played with the Celtics during this year's summer league games in Orlando. His impressive summer league play, which included averages of 9.4 points per game and 6.6 assists per game, led to his signing with the C’s on July 22.
There’s no doubt that Pressey showed flashes during his five summer league games. He brought it at both ends of the court, with his only deficiency being turnovers.
As great as Pressey played, however, he is still a rookie. It’s possible, but not probable, that the Celtics would be willing to give him the starting job should Rondo not be ready for Opening Night. Boston does have two other players on its roster in Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee who can handle the point guard duties in short order if Rondo remains sidelined for the start of the season.
That being said, Rondo and Danny Ainge have each mentioned Opening Night as a possible return date for Boston’s star. That would be phenomenal news for the C’s, as his presence would provide significant statistical and leadership boosts.
Boston will be in great shape if that happens. Rondo will lead the team on the court and mentor Pressey throughout the process. If Rondo happens to return post-Opening Night, however, the talented yet inexperienced Pressey could potentially be the only healthy true point guard on the Celtics’ roster.