Phil Pressey has an impressive college resume, an NBA bloodline and now he’s a Celtic.
The Boston Celtics made two new additions to their team, signing free-agent deals with Phil Pressey and Vitor Faverani. Both are undrafted rookies, and as such, they are far from the dominant news in the NBA offseason. But on a rebuilding team, you don’t know where your next gem(s) is going to come from, so let’s do a brief introduction on the roles Pressey and Faverani might fill.
Pressey’s last name will be familiar to Celtics fans that are at least middle-aged. His father Paul played for the Milwaukee Bucks at a time in the 1980s when the C’s and Bucks met several times in the playoffs, including an epic seven-game battle in the 1987 conference semifinals. Paul revolutionized the small forward spot, handling the ball so well, he became known as a “point forward.”
His son Phil won’t do that, and at 5’11”, he’s on the short side. But it’s the lack of size that makes him available, because his three-year track record at Missouri tells us that Phil Pressey can both handle the ball and score. And the question here is not whether he’s going to be an outstanding player in the NBA—realistically he isn’t—but whether he could be a quality backup to Rajon Rondo.
I think there’s reason for optimism here. If Nate Robinson can make it as an off-the-bench spark in the NBA at 5’9”, there’s no reason Pressey can’t do the same. I think the bigger concern with his size is how it fits into the Celtics’ roster as well. Rondo and Avery Bradley are both smallish guards to begin with, and the C’s will be vulnerable to two-guards who can post up.
Here’s a video of recent workout Pressey gave for scouts, showcasing his ballhandling skills…
Faverani is a very intriguing prospect out of Brazil. He goes 6’11” and has a good reputation for his offensive skills. The quality of play in his homeland is good, so there’s no reason for concern there. The big issue will be his defense, and whether he’s physical enough to guard NBA big men. The very strength that makes him so interesting offensively is his finesse and natural skills in the open floor. That might work against him on the defensive side.
We can say this—the sorting-out phase for the Boston big men is going to be interesting. This is an area that was woefully thin last year, and now Kevin Garnett is gone. We’ve got first-round draft pick Kelly Olynyk, who looked great in the Summer League. Jared Sullinger will be healthy, and now we can speculate where Faverani might fit in.
Here’s a look at Faverani’s highlights from Brazil—note how comfortable he looks in the open floor for a big man…
I might be the only one, but I’m excited about this new phase of Celtics’ history. I don’t know if I feel that way if they start 10-22, but right now the process of building a new champion brick-by-brick is fresh and new and we’ll see if and where Pressey and Faverani can fit into that.