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Celtics, for the last time: Phil Pressey

One of the most unpredictable Celtics seasons [1] in recent memory begins Wednesday, and in order to determine the likelihood of each player reaching his full potential, we’ll be examining them individually in this year’s Green Street preview with one form of this question in mind: “When’s the last time ‘€¦ ?” Next up: Phil Pressey.

When’s the last time an undrafted rookie point guard set the NBA world on fire?

The answer, quite simply, is Jeremy Lin [2], who transcended basketball and transformed into a global phenomenon during the Linsanity outbreak, and the odds of Philunacy recreating that magic are however-many-people-have-ever-played-basketball-to-1. Let’s just agree Lin’s an aberration and move on from there.

The list of undrafted college point guards who developed into productive NBA players is fairly extensive: Darrell Armstrong, Carlos Arroyo [3], J.J. Barea, Earl Barron, Earl Boykins [4], Troy Hudson, Mike James [5], Avery Johnson, Jannero Pargo and David Wesley, to name 10. And none of them produced as a rookie.

Their average line as rookies: A whopping 2.5 points (38.1 FG%, 25.2 3P%), 1.5 assists, 0.8 rebounds, 0.7 turnovers and 0.4 steals over 8.2 minutes in 26.3 games. What’s the opposite of Linsanity?

Oh, yeah, it’s Hansbr-awful. Last season, Ben Hansbrough made the Pacers out of training camp, averaged 2.0 points, 0.8 assists and 0.6 turnovers in 7.1 minutes over 28 appearances, and now plays in the Canary Islands.

Other than Lin, the only other exception to this rule is Chucky Atkins, who averaged 9.5 points and 3.7 assists over 19.8 minutes while appearing in all 82 games for a Magic team that finished .500 under Doc Rivers [6] in 1999-2000. Both he and Pressey are listed at 5-foot-11. (So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?)

Click on the links below to check out the “When’s the last time ‘€¦ ?” questions for other Celtics [7].

Kelly Olynyk: When’€™s the last time a middle-of-the-pack draft pick won NBA Rookie of the Year honors? [8]
Gerald Wallace [9]: When’€™s the last time a declining over-30 former All-Star enjoyed a career resurgence? [10]
Avery Bradley [11]: When’€™s the last time a player emerged as a defensive standout, then made offensive leap? [12]
Vitor Faverani: When’€™s the last time an undrafted foreign-born rookie took the NBA world by storm? [13]
Brandon Bass [14]: When’€™s the last time a frontcourt mate emerged in the wake of a blockbuster trade? [15]