Celtics Player Preview: Ben Bentil
|09.16.16 at 2:14 pm ET|
With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.
35 games with Providence College: 34.2 minutes, 21.1 points, 46.2% FG, 7.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks
As Providence’s leading scorer, Bentil led his team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and made a name for himself as a versatile scoring power forward. As a sophomore, Bentil tripled his point average from his freshman campaign while adding a 3-point shot to his arsenal. He shot 32 percent from deep while attempting 4.5 3-pointers a night. Alongside senior point guard Kris Dunn — the No. 5 pick in the 2016 NBA draft — the duo led the Friars to a 24-11 record, the best record Providence has seen in 12 years.
Projected role in 2016-17
Bentil has a shot at making the opening night roster but will still be spending time in the D-League. He’s a project the Celtics will work on, and they demonstrated their belief in his potential by inking him to a three-year deal this summer. Bentil won’t receive meaningful minutes behind guys like Al Horford, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller but will develop his defensive prowess and scoring abilities.
Bentil is a scorer who can finish around the rim and score from the perimeter. He does a good job of utilizing his strength — he has a quick first step that allows him to get past his defender and has an outside touch. Although his offense is raw, Bentil has an ability to run the floor in fast-break situations — something he showcased over the summer in summer league, as he averaged 8.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game in the Utah league.
In a 6-foot-8 frame, he lacks athleticism, which may limit him in becoming a solid post defender in the NBA. However, with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Bentil has the potential to become a good pick-and-roll defender, although he’s going to need to work on footwork in order to utilize his mobility on defense.
Likelihood of making final 15
40/60 in favor of heading to the D-League
Bentil’s versatility on both ends of the floor gives him a decent shot at grabbing the Celtics’ final roster spot. He’s an ideal small-ball forward whose inside/outside scoring and help defense will give him a chance to make the team on opening night. However, James Young still has a chance of beating out Bentil for the last spot. If Bentil does make the team, he won’t see the floor much; instead he’ll be making trips to and from Portland.
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