Back during the Orlando Summer League, the NBA published the first edition of the Rookie Ladder and the Celtics rookie, Kelly Olynyk, was on the top rung. Now, the Vegas Summer League has come and gone and Olynyk is still at the top of the ladder. Here is what Drew Packham had to say in his intro to the post Vegas Rookie Ladder:
Well, Las Vegas came and went, and the Celtics' top rookie remains in the top spot. While more eyes may have been on the games in Las Vegas (due to later start times and actual crowds at the games in Orlando), what the rookie out of Gonzaga did in his five games stands out.
Olynyk averaged 18.0 ppg (most in Orlando) and 7.8 rpg, while hitting 58 percent of his shots. From Day 1, in which he broke out for 25 points, the 7-footer showed an ability to score in a variety of ways. When opponents put a bigger, slower defender on him, he stepped out and hit the midrange jumper. When the defender decided to step out to stop the shot, Olynyk used a quick first step and variety of moves -- up-and-under, baby hooks across the lane -- to get his buckets.
It was an impressive performance and the Celtics have to be pleased with the crop of young talent they now have in their frontcourt. It was at the same tournament last year that Jared Sullinger opened eyes by averaging 13.8 ppg and 8.3 rpg and went on to have a respectable rookie season (6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game) that was eventually cut short by injury.
Olynyk may not carry his play into a run at Rookie of the Year, but for now, he sits as the top dog of the Summer.
I'm pretty excited to see what the Big KO will do this season, especially now that we have a coach that may actually play the rookies. Kelly and Sully are going to bring some excitement to the Celtics front court this season. In spite of rebuilding, I'm getting excited for this season to see what these kids can do. Here's the final rookie standings after Summer League play:
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