BOSTON (CBS) — If the Celtics’ current “soft rebuild” has given fans anything this offseason, there’s now reason to tune into the NBA’s Summer League slate. The Celtics added four new players at last week’s NBA Draft, though one of them may not be able to partake in the team’s summer fun.
Boston’s first pick in the NBA Draft, Indiana guard Romeo Langford, may have to sit out Boston’s summer schedule with a lingering thumb injury on his shooting hand, the team revealed Monday as Boston’s four newest players were introduced at the Auerbach Center in Brighton. Langford tore a ligament in his thumb in November, but played through the pain and appeared in every game for the Hoosiers. He underwent surgery a few months ago after declaring for the NBA Draft.
“I wanted to be there for my teammates,” Langford said of playing through the injury on Monday. “I felt like I was able to show some things I was capable of doing, but there are many other things I feel like I’m good at that I wasn’t able to showcase as well.”
While the 6-foot-6 guard averaged 16.5 points per game in his one season in Indiana, his shooting numbers were on the low side, with Langford hitting 44.8 percent of his shots from the field and just 27.2 percent from three-point range. Celtics president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge said he wasn’t worried about the injury on draft night, and said he expected Langford’s shooting would improve as his health does. Ainge said the team will figure out if Langford’s thumb is healthy enough for Summer League action in the next few days.
Ainge jokingly added that he’ll have the same surgery as Langford in November, after golf season is over.
If Langford is healthy enough to play in the Summer League, he’ll take the floor with fellow 2019 draft picks Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters, who were all introduced to the Boston media on Monday. The C’s will tip-off their Summer League schedule on July 6 in Las Vegas.