LAS VEGAS — There’s never a guarantee that Danny Ainge has stopped dealing, but the Boston Celtics president already has close to a full roster.

Now is the time for two-way contracts (a new NBA development) and assignments to the Maine Red Claws, with several players proving their value in the retitled G-League.

But one player who especially emerged this summer was Jabari Bird, a resourceful shooting guard who played with Jaylen Brown at the University of California. If you’re wondering who could emerge from the summer league with the greatest shot of landing one of those two-way contracts, it’s Bird.

“He did really well. I think he showed that he can score in different ways,” said Walter McCarty, the Celtics’ assistant who coached the summer league team in Las Vegas. “He can shoot the 3-ball, and his mid-range game is tremendous. He played tough players tough defensively. Getting blocks, rebounding, as well as scoring, so he showcased himself really well here.”

Here’s a rundown of what some Celtics – some heralded, some not – accomplished this summer:

JAYSON TATUM: Before knee tendinitis sidelined him for the last two games in Las Vegas, the Celtics’ rookie played well enough to earn mention at the top of this year’s tournament field, along with Dallas point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and, after a bad first game, the Lakers’ Lonzo Ball. Tatum averaged 17.7 points and eight rebounds in three games in Las Vegas, after averages of 18.7 and 9.7 over three games in Utah.


He could be the most accomplished shot-maker in this highly regarded draft class. But his coaches will want to see much more from Tatum beyond the arc. He attempted only three 3-pointers (and made two) in three games in Las Vegas. He’ll need a higher volume than that once the season starts.

JAYLEN BROWN: Brown kicked off the summer league season in a big way with a 28-point performance against Philadelphia in Utah. But a bruised quad forced him out of the last two games in Vegas, and his scoring production had dropped before then. He averaged 10.3 points in roughly 21/2 games after leaving Utah. But Brown flexed his muscle on the glass (10.5 rebounds per game in Utah, 5.3 in Vegas), showed a lot of ability guarding both wing players and point guards, and handled the ball. At a time when experimentation is the norm, Brown didn’t look out of place with the ball in his hands.

ABDEL NADER: His production was roughly the same over three games in Utah (14.7 ppg) as it was in his one game in Las Vegas (14 points, seven rebounds), before a calf strain sidelined him the rest of the way. But the Celtics, who had been talking with the D-League Rookie of the Year since last season about joining the main roster, already knew what they had in this multi-skilled wing forward – thus the four-year, partially guaranteed contract he signed on Friday. It’s hard to envision where he fits on a roster already loaded with swing forwards who can shoot the 3-ball, but Nader’s signing is further proof that defined positions are less and less important to Brad Stevens.

ANTE ZIZIC: He got off to a rough start in Utah and was particularly uncomfortable on offense. But the 6-foot-10 center, currently one of only two true centers on the Celtics’ roster, started to board and clear house with impunity once he reached Las Vegas, where he averaged 9.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and two blocks over four games. But his offense has seasons to go, without any range to his game at the moment. If not for the Celtics’ big-man shortage, Zizic would probably spend much of his rookie season as a Red Claw.

SEMI OJELEYE: Larry Brown, who successfully recruited the 6-foot-8 power forward in his transfer from Duke to SMU, has compared Ojeleye to Jae Crowder – same strength and burst, same ability to guard quicker players, and perhaps a step ahead of Crowder at this stage as a 3-point shooter. He attempted more than twice the number of 3-pointers (28) than the next highest player on the roster and was the most successful (42.8 percent) on the team. He’s already shown enough quickness to defend when switched into a summer league point guard (not to be confused with an NBA-caliber point guard), the strength to guard power forwards, and the versatility to defend everyone in between. He’s expected to make the Celtics’ roster, though the logjam at his position doesn’t bode well for his playing time.

JABARI BIRD: Once Brown, Tatum and Nader were all sidelined, Bird pounced on the opportunity. He’s not a ballhandler – at least not by NBA standards – but he’s a pure scorer with an especially effective mid-range jumper. He also held his own defensively.

LANDEN LUCAS: An unheralded power forward from Kansas who primarily made his mark in Vegas and Utah with his physical interior play, he doesn’t seem to have much to contribute offensively but could be an interesting training camp invitee because of his edgy style.

KADEEM ALLEN: Allen may already be able to defend on an NBA level, and that was his primary contribution this summer. He could add something in training camp.

SCOTT WOOD: The best pure shooter in the lineup outside of Tatum, and last year’s D-League 3-point shooting champion, the 27-year-old veteran played three seasons in Spain. He probably has a better chance to make his money overseas, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he received a training camp invitation.

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