October 3, 2022

With a new guaranteed two-year contract with a partially guaranteed third year worth around $5.3 million in hand and a long playoff run at the end of the Celtics bench fresh on his mind, Sam Hauser admits that the last year has been a blur.

But as the star performer on the Celtics’ 2022 NBA Summer League roster, the 6-foot-7 wing with the pure shooting touch now has a chance to put his ability center stage.

“I remember it was really, really fast,” Hauser said of his first summer league experience after practice on Thursday. “Draft night, I was not drafted. Agreed to a two-way deal that night. He flew to Boston as two days later began summer league training. It was kind of a whirlwind. It was really gone in the blink of an eye. But summer league was fun. I liked that. We had a good team last year and I think this year I’ll be more comfortable knowing what to expect and obviously having four good days of training, overall I’ll just be more comfortable.

Hauser received a different kind of education during the Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals from his vantage point on the bench.

“Getting to the finals and seeing the highest level of basketball is pretty cool, and getting a close look at some really good players,” he said. “So I was just trying to be a sponge and learn and remember what it took to get there and apply that to what I’m doing now.

“It just goes to show that playoff basketball is different from the regular season. The attention to detail is enormous. Game planning and strategies are huge. With each match, there are adjustments. You really need to be locked in for the full 48 minutes.

And now this team has signed him for two years. It’s a leap of faith Hauser doesn’t take lightly.

“I think it shows that they appreciate me, what I do and what I can bring to the table. I definitely don’t take that with a grain of salt,” he said. “Being in one of the best teams in the league is pretty special and to be able to stay here is awesome with one of the most historic franchises in the NBA. We have a lot to improve on to get back to where we want to be and get through next year.

“I think that’s the beauty of the Summer League, you can show more than you could in the regular season,” Hauser said. “I think you can show yourself fully and I hope to do that and show what I can bring to the table other than my shooting abilities. Obviously using that to my advantage and not passing up opportunities to (score Really just playing with my instincts and making the right plays and the right reads and helping my teammates improve and hopefully get some wins while we’re there too.

A rough introduction

Ben Sullivan, the Celtics assistant who coaches this year’s summer league team, first met Ime Udoka while playing summer basketball in Portland, Oregon, where the two have grown. One of their first meetings ended in a fight.

“It was a short fight, and I’ll let you guess who won,” said Sullivan, who actually traces his roots to the Boston area, where he spent the first five years of his life on Cape Cod.

“My dad’s side of the family is from here,” he said. in Oregon, from five or six o’clock. »

Sullivan played collegiately at the University of Portland and got his first taste of coaching as a sixth-year coach in his hometown of Lake Oswego.

“Some people think, oh I want to be a coach when I’m done, and they can see that path and understand it. But it wasn’t as clear to me,” he said. didn’t necessarily see that. When I finished playing, my girlfriend at the time who is now my wife – I had a regular job – and she suggested to me why don’t you try coaching? I said OK I tried, I talked to my high school coach in Lake Oswego and he offered me to coach the sixth grade boys I still remember five minutes after the first practice, that’s what I want to do. I loved it right away. And from that point on – when I was at that elementary school in Lake Oswego, I never imagined it would lead to what he was leading, just one foot in front of the other.

A young great prospect

Trevion Williams, an undrafted big man from Purdue, caught the eye early on as a skilled center with promising passing ability.

“With a lot of these guys coming straight out of college and the NBA, the list is pretty long in terms of what you need to start working on. But he has a lot of tools, a lot of attributes that are really impressive,” Sullivan said. “And he’s really committed to trying to do everything we want him to do. He’s bought defensively, he’s bought offensively, and he just needs to keep working on the different aspects of the game in terms of when he plays the fours or when he plays the fives or when he keeps the little players, like there’s just a few things like that as he grows as a player that he’s gonna figure out, like, with his size and his abilities, what he can do.