Every year in the NBA, undrafted players get a chance to stick with teams by impressing during Summer League play, exhibition games and with their work at practice. This year, Missouri’s Phil Pressey did just that to earn a spot on the Boston Celtics. And not only did he earn a spot, but he’s been an extremely valuable player in the rotation, especially for the part of this season while star point guard Rajon Rondo was out rehabbing his torn ACL.
While Pressey’s numbers may not jump off the page at you (2.4 points per game, 2.7 assists per game, on .286 shooting) he has developed a great rapport with both his teammates and his coaches.
Pressey has also been a great facilitator and ball handler, with a 2.66 assist to turnover ratio, and is averaging just one turnover per game, he’s been careful while running the point. He’s averaged just less than 14 minutes per game, but has been the one constant in a Celtics backcourt which has undergone some serious changes since the beginning of the season.
He’s also shown the ability to be an offensive weapon while on the court, like on Jan. 22, where Phil dropped 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, with four assists and two steals in 35 minutes of play. Although that is just a small sample, and he has only broken double digit scoring only twice this season, Pressey appears to be a valuable player in Brad Stevens’ rotation.
Pressey will never be the type of player that will be leaned on as a primary, or even secondary scorer, but he can get his points when he needs to. Pressey is the type of player that can run the court safely, distribute the ball to his open teammates, and NOT turn over the ball, something that all teams can use.
Pressey is only 23 years old and as a rookie, he has shown great poise, especially for a team that is appearing to only get worse. Pressey is due to hit free agency this season, and whether the Celtics plan to re-sign the Mizzou product, or let him hit the open market, some team will see him as a great option to be a part of their point guard rotation.