LAS VEGAS — The Celtics boast a summer league roster that includes seven former NBA Draft picks, an unusually large number for this event that is filled with players who were afterthoughts on draft night.
But so far, perhaps Boston’s most electrifying player has been Javonte Green, an undrafted free agent from Radford University who has spent the last few years playing in Europe. On Tuesday night, Green added to a growing summer highlight reel with some more powerful slams, and he tallied 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in the Celtics’ 95-82 win over the Nuggets.
“I look at myself as an entertainer,” Green said. “They paid their money to watch us play, so might as well put on a show.”
Celtics coach Scott Morrison said Green, a 6-foot-5-inch guard, has been most disruptive with his defense. But he has seen the soaring, too.
“He’s special,” Morrison said. “Getting out in transition, he’s a beast. If you can get him downhill with a little momentum he can get to the rim on two dribbles, and obviously defensively he’s been disrupting people with his defense all week. Obviously we’ve been preaching to him to win people over with his defense and they can stay for his offense.”
The Celtics trailed by a point at the start of the fourth quarter on Tuesday before a powerful one-handed slam by Green on a fast-break helped ignite a 15-0 run that put them in control. On the next play he had a chance for similarly spectacular play on the break, but he was wrapped up before liftoff. A clear-path foul was called, giving the Celtics two free throws and the ball.
“I wish he wouldn’t have done that because I had something to do for the crowd,” Green said. “It’s OK. We still got 2 points out of it.”
The Celtics do not have any open two-way contract slots for Green, but they will likely designate him as an “affiliate player,” meaning that he would join the Maine Red Claws if he signs a G-League contract after being waived before the start of next season. He would still be eligible to sign with any NBA team, however.
Boston improved to 3-0 with Tuesday’s win. Carsen Edwards led Boston with 23 points and Grant Williams added 16 points and 8 rebounds.
Celtics center Robert Williams (hip contusion) and forward Guerschon Yabusele (pinky injury) both sat out against the Nuggets. They are the only two players on the summer roster who played for Boston last season. Morrison said that Yabusele will likely miss the rest of summer league while Williams could return on Thursday night, when the Celtics face the Grizzlies.
“I just want them to see what I’m capable of doing on the court,” Green said of the Celtics. “I think I’m a very athletic person and I think they know that. But to do it in their style of play, in their rules, I think that shows them a lot.”