Can newcomer Svi Mykhailiuk crack the Celtics rotation? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The 6-foot-7 Mykhailiuk, a second-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2018, produced some of the best basketball of his career over a 19-game stretch with the Charlotte Hornets to close out the 2022-23 season.
The 26-year-old Mykhailiuk is a career 36 percent shooter beyond the arc but shot 40.4 percent on 4.7 attempts per game after landing in Charlotte as part of a four-team trade in February.
The lingering question: Can Mykhailiuk crack the rotation on a Boston team with championship aspirations? The Celtics undoubtedly subscribe to the notion that you can never have too much shooting and Mykhailiuk will get every opportunity to show he can be a reliable option off the bench.
While his 3-point shot is what most will focus on — and with good reason as 63.2 percent of his career shot attempts have come beyond the arc — Mykhailiuk is a willing ball-mover who sometimes can even be too unselfish. Playing alongside Boston’s established roster players should create plenty of quality looks. Mykhailiuk simply has to show more consistency than he’s displayed in six different stops during his NBA career.
Mykhailiuk certainly enjoyed playing *against* the Celtics. He shot 43.6 percent beyond the arc against Boston while averaging 10.4 points per game in 10 appearances. That had him knocking on the door for a spot among the Ish Smith All-Stars, or role players that irrationally torch the Celtics.
Boston is likely hoping that third-year forward Sam Hauser, after shining out of the gates last season, can be a more consistent presence after fighting through a couple rough patches last year, which kept him from ever emerging as a consistent late-season presence. Hauser held up well when teams tried to target him, defensively, and Mykhailiuk must prove he can do the same.
Mykhailiuk can differentiate himself with his ability to put the ball on the ground and create off the dribble. His passing skills might have separated him from some of the other wings that Boston eyed to fill out the roster.
The bottom line is that Mykhailiuk hasn’t quite tapped into his full potential and the Celtics are banking that some of what he displayed at the end of last year will carry over. Mykhailiuk was reportedly weighing overseas options so he’s really going to have to distinguish himself to carve out a consistent spot here.
But, for a 14th or 15th man, the Celtics have a young player with a specialty skill that they hope will be accentuated on a talent-filled team.
Source: Yahoo Sports