Thursday, July 31, 2014

All Eyes on Smart & Young

It hasn't been quite the summer of 'fireworks' so far this offseason per-say, but there have been a few 'firecrackers' to cap-off the month of July for C's fans. Besides the announcement of Danny Ainge signing guard/forward Evan Turner last week, Celtics rookie Marcus Smart was invited to team USA's training camp, and James Young was cleared to resume all basketball related activities yesterday.

Smart; the sixth overall draft pick in June, was extended an invitation on July 23 (one of only two rookies, the other being Chicago's Doug McDermott), to help prepare the national team for the FIBA World Championship in Spain next month. The former Oklahoma State guard has made an impression in the last 72-hours, going up against the likes of Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose and John Wall. Though only playing for the practice squad and not for an actual spot on team USA, Smart is drawing some rave reviews that could mean good things for Celtics Nation. Among his great defense, his shot is coming along a lot better than any of us could say during the summer league in Orlando earlier this month.

The 20-year-old rook who has prior experience playing internationally, was apart of the under-19 U.S. team that took home the gold last summer at the FIBA World Cup. Smart will have a few more weeks to continue his strong play against some the league's elite, as USMNT coach Mike Krzyzewski will have some cuts to make before the tournament begins in August. You can check out some of their scrimmages on NBA-TV.

On a side note: Before training camp started on Monday in Vegas, Marcus Smart signed an endorsement deal with Adidas worth about $1.2 million. The company also added Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid.

Pic courtesy of Walter McCarty's Twitter

Young: 'Good to go'


On Tuesday, rookie swingman; James Young was cleared to play basketball after being in a car accident before last month's draft. 

Young was in Los Angeles when he sustained a concussion and whiplash that forced him to miss summer league, practices and all competition for first-year and free agents in Orlando. 

The 17th overall pick has already been seen doing workouts, and has said he was cleared as of "a few days ago."

When asked about his rear-ended collision in June he added; 

"How fast things can change. It really opened my eyes about things and I'm very blessed that I'm here and playing." [Boston Herald]

Joel Pavón



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