Boston Celtics

The Guerschon Yabusele Problem

Guerschon Yabusele might be stuck in a bad situation with the Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics have an interesting situation growing with Guerschon Yabusele. He seems to be trapped in this state where anytime he is sent to weaker competition, he dominates, but when he gets up to the NBA, he can’t get on the court.

Everyone was expecting Yabusele to be more NBA ready than the other rookie bigs because of the season he spent in China. Yabusele was phenomenal over there, and has killed in summer league and G League. And yet, he can’t seem to crack the rotation, or have any significant impact in the NBA.

One issue could be how difficult of a role Yabusele is asked to play. That 3 and D label is used a lot in today’s NBA, but that is exactly what the Celtics want out of him. They need his defensive versatility, and they need his floor spacing.

Yabusele has shown tremendous potential to bring that role, the problem is that he never does it in the NBA. The Celtics do not want to keep him in lower competition, because it almost looks too easy, and he needs to be challenged. Then, he gets to the NBA, and can’t find a way to bring an edge.

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Who knows what kind of role Yabusele will ever have for the Celtics this season, but it could be all over the place. The Celtics are trying to get him as much playing time as possible by getting him in that game with the Maine Red Claws. The problem is that there is not much more Yabusele can do to prove anything in the G League.

Yabusele needs to prove that it can translate to the NBA, and he is not in a good position to do that. Both Semi Ojeleye and Daniel Theis have been great in the role he wants, and they are too important to the overall defense to just give their minutes so Yabusele can have a chance.

There is not much more Yabusele can do in the G League to prove he needs these minutes, and unless someone else starts struggling, they cannot afford to get him in the lineup.

It also doesn’t help that the Celtics play so many close games. Yabusele cannot even prove himself in garbage time minutes, because the Celtics almost never find themselves in a situation where the main rotation players can be rested.

At this point, it is hard to expect Yabusele to ever get a real role. Fortunately, the Celtics have clearly not given up on him. They are trying to find different ways to get his development on track, and find some way that he can be used to help this team.

The good news is that as long as Theis and Ojeleye are playing this well, they do not really need Yabusele. Having him play well would be a great bonus, but they are getting his imapct from other players, and until that changes Yabusele could be stuck in this position.

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