Jordan Mickey remains intriguing but ineffective

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Jordan Mickey remains intriguing but ineffective

Post by bobheckler on Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:07 am

http://www.celticsblog.com/2017/6/13/15761770/celtics-roster-review-jordan-mickey-remains-intriguing-but-ineffective-brad-stevens-boston




Jordan Mickey has a blend of skills that is scarce in the NBA, but he hasn’t shown an ability to utilize them at the game’s highest level. His future remains intriguing but uncertain.



by Greg Cassoli  



Jun 13, 2017, 9:00am EDT




Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports





When the Celtics drafted Jordan Mickey in 2015, they hoped they were getting a back-of-the-rotation rebounder and rim protector. It was clear that he wouldn’t get major minutes as a rookie, but Boston hoped they could develop Mickey into a useful, inexpensive bench big.

The Celtics desperately needed an effective shot blocker to patrol the back line (and still do). Mickey averaged over three blocks a game in college and earned SEC First-Team All Defense honors in both of his years at LSU. Boston saw potential there and decided Mickey was worth rolling the dice on as an early second-round selection.

It’s been two years since then, and the Celtics are still waiting for Mickey to cash in on that potential. He played well this year for the Celtics’ G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, averaging 20.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in 32.6 minutes per game, but he failed to find consistent playing time in Boston.

Mickey spent most of the year shuttling between the Red Claws and the Celtics, a trend that has held for the entirety of his career. In fact, he’s been assigned to and recalled from Maine forty-one times in the past two seasons. That’s indicative of who he’s been as a player to date—probably a little too talented to play in the G-League full-time, and not quite talented enough to stick in an NBA rotation.

Typically those kind of players find long-term success internationally, and that may ultimately be where Mickey is headed, if he doesn’t show significant growth in the upcoming campaign.


There are things to be excited about in that regard. Mickey’s shooting stroke has improved dramatically. He shot a very healthy 43.8 percent on 2.7 three-point attempts per night in Maine. That’s very good for any player, let alone one with Mickey’s size and shot-blocking ability.

If that skill translates to the next level, Mickey becomes very interesting. Defenses are smarter in the NBA though. Closeouts are more aggressive, and the opponents performing them tend to be quicker and more athletic. Mickey has only ever attempted one three-pointer in his entire NBA career, a reality indicative of what makes projecting his future so challenging.

Mickey’s trouble staying on the court in Boston really comes down to the stakes of competition. In Maine he can test out his limits with very little consequence. He can shoot ill-advised jumpers or slide out of position on defense without fear of being immediately pulled from the game.

That doesn’t exist in Boston, particularly not with Brad Stevens at the helm. Mickey frequently found himself riding the bench after only a couple of minutes, riddled with poor decisions. He’ll need to turn that around if he wants a meaningful future in the NBA. That’s doubly true if he wants that future to take place in Boston.

The Celtics are ready to compete now, and they could certainly use the best version of Mickey. A player that can contest at the rim and space the floor with shooting is one that is ludicrously valuable. He’s also already the team’s most explosive big man when finishing near the hoop. None of that matters if he can’t get himself in the right spots, however, and Boston may be running out of patience on that front.

The Celtics will have to make a determination on whether or not they would like to have Mickey in the fold next year soon, and, interestingly, his performance might ultimately be irrelevant in that decision. If Boston can lure a big-name free agent this summer, they will need to trim a lot of salary, and Mickey may very well be a casualty of that process.


NBA: Boston Celtics at Sacramento Kings
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports


There is a team option in Mickey’s contract for just over $1.3 million next year. It’s not an outrageously high price for a player with the type of intriguing skill set Mickey has, but every cent is going to count for Boston this offseason. If the Celtics feel that money can be better utilized elsewhere they shouldn’t hesitate to do so. Mickey hasn’t played well enough for them to regret letting him go.

Then again, he hasn’t been quite bad enough to make that call a no-brainer. Mickey remains more or less what he was when he entered the league—an intriguing talent who is not yet effective at the game’s highest level. He’s earned the right to additional opportunities to develop his game. Whether or not the Celtics’ finances will allow them to offer him the appropriate context to do so is another question entirely.



bob
MY NOTE:  Every time I've seen Mickey this year he has been effective.  I understand he wasn't going to cut into Amir's minutes and he isn't as offensively versatile as Kelly and nor as defensively versatile as Jonas but I am surprised he didn't get a few more minutes.  Will the highly probable departure of Amir get him some minutes now?  At $1.3M/year and some skills I agree he's a no-brainer, but we have 3 2nd rounders this year too.  On the other hand his $1.3M isn't much of a filler on a trade package neither.  Nevertheless, I have to believe both Mickey and Rozier, especially Rozier, are coveted by other teams if for no other reason than they are still quite cheap.


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Re: Jordan Mickey remains intriguing but ineffective

Post by cowens/oldschool on Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:32 am

When we drafted him I was hoping we had a 6'8" mobile defensive shot blocker that could make Lebron work and cover him with his athleticism and long arms, but seeing him play hes too slow and seems slow to rotations too.....and on offense he looks clueless.
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Re: Jordan Mickey remains intriguing but ineffective

Post by red16russ11 on Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:38 am

I agree, Bob, and I think he'll be the "filler" on any trade. He has proven in the D League that he's decent, but if he can't crack the rotation, I think we owe it to him to find a home. If we have a lot of cuts, then we can keep him. Yabba isn't playing in the Summer League, so Mickey might get one more chance to show us, or someone else, that he deserves a chance.

Also, I'm all for trading Rozier. I didn't like the pick then, and I still don't.
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Re: Jordan Mickey remains intriguing but ineffective

Post by dboss on Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:21 pm

I do not think he has been given a fair shot.  He rarely got any meaningful minutes.  He actually may have regressed as I noticed his indecisive play at both ends.  

I suspect that he still may be a low cost roster filler.  It will be very interesting to see how he plays this summer.  If he is marginal they may cut him or try to package him with a player and a pick for something else.  

If they keep him he will need to become a solid mid-range shooter at the very least.

Dboss
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Re: Jordan Mickey remains intriguing but ineffective

Post by wideclyde on Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:54 pm

Mickey has looked good in summer ball two summers ago, then had a good year at Maine this year, and may eventually turn into an NBA rotation player, but probably not with the Cs.

He still looks pretty lost when he does play with the Cs, and looking lost at the end of your second season is not a good way to look. He may be more in the James Young mode than anyone may have guessed. I believe that the Cs need to look for someone else to fill his roster spot.

As mentioned already, he may be used in a trade to make salaries work, but I do not expect him back for a third season in Boston.

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Re: Jordan Mickey remains intriguing but ineffective

Post by kdp59 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:06 am

he was a typical second round draft pick. End of the bench type with a possible future as a rotation player. Trouble is he is sill just that.

he wasn't a first round pick even with his college numbers , because he was a 6-8 shot blocking, low post player. Most of those players do NOT pan out in the NBA because of their lack of NBA size.

Nothing has changed for Mickey and unless Danny moves multiple players in a trade this off-season, I think we've seen the last of Mickey here.
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Re: Jordan Mickey remains intriguing but ineffective

Post by NYCelt on Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:59 am

kdp59 wrote:he was a typical second round draft pick. End of the bench type with a possible future as a rotation player. Trouble is he is sill just that.

he wasn't a first round pick even with his college numbers , because he was a 6-8 shot blocking, low post player. Most of those players do NOT pan out in the NBA because of their lack of NBA size.

Nothing has changed for Mickey and unless Danny moves multiple players in a trade this off-season, I think we've seen the last of Mickey here.

kdp,

I agree with your assessment.

From day one I always thought he fit the 'nice player/not an NBA player' category.

As The Celtics roster gets deeper, there just isn't going to be room for this type of player.  Hopefully he has a nice career waiting somewhere else. Maybe overseas.

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Re: Jordan Mickey remains intriguing but ineffective

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