Celtics Add Familiar Face in Hunter


After originally being selected 28th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, R.J. Hunter has found his way back to the Boston Celtics. The 25-year-old guard agreed to a two-way contract with the C’s on Wednesday. The signing marks his return to the franchise after being waived in 2016. With the final two-way slot now filled, Boston now wields a full roster.

Hunter was part of a Celtics rookie class that also consisted of rising point guard Terry Rozier. However, things did not work out for the Georgia State product. Hunter appeared in just 36 contests during his rookie season, shooting a dismal 30% from long range. He also struggled in the G-League, converting only 35% of his shots on the Red Claws.

Hunter was released the following year and picked up by the Bulls, but played just nine total minutes. In 2017-18 he was added by the Houston Rockets, earning his first start in one of Hunter’s five active showings. Still, the results were poor: 3.8 PPG, 35% FG, 21% 3PT. In the G-League, he was a 20 PPG scorer, but not well-rounded enough for a permanent NBA home.

New Year, New Hope?

As a member of the Erie Bayhawks, Hunter has taken a noticeable step up in his all-around game. He currently holds a stat line with averages of 22 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.0 steals per contest. Hunter has still been inconsistent from deep, as evidenced by a weak 34.4% three-point rate. However, the uptick in other statistical categories, plus past displays of effective scoring, must have enticed the Celtics.

Hunter fills the vacant spot left by waived point guard Walt Lemon Jr.. He’ll likely spend most of the season in Maine, forming a deadly scoring duo with fellow two-way player P.J. Dozier. If the Celtics do need to call on Hunter, be it for injuries or extra depth, they know he can be relied on for more than scoring. Hunter’s fourth year may have brought him back to Boston, but experience has molded him into a useful, NBA-ready talent.

About Ethan Fuller

Hailing from Portsmouth, NH, Ethan is a journalism student at Boston University and writes about the Celtics for TLSM. His chief basketball teams are the Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves. Ethan is also a still-growing ultimate frisbee player.

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