Tremont Waters was the G League Rookie of the Year last season for the Maine Red Claws, but it’s uncertain whether the Red Claws will play this winter. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

The Celtics are awaiting further information on the league’s plans for the NBA G League – a mid-January start is expected under a bubble format – before deciding whether or not to opt in or out of competition.

But the prospect of not having this additional outlet for the development of younger players, like two-way signees Tremont Waters and Tacko Fall, is one more thing for Coach Brad Stevens to worry about.

“We’re already at 14 guys in training camp. So inevitably, everybody’s gonna get opportunities as the season goes on,” the Celtics coach said on Tuesday. “That always happens, whether it’s, knock on wood, hopefully it’s all rest days or short-term injuries.

“But that said, if there isn’t as much opportunity for some guys, we’ve got to figure out how to get them as much game-like simulations as possible under these unique circumstances. And we’ll do that in practice. We’ll do that in our player enhancement program. But again, we’re gonna have to figure that out. That’d be a negative of not playing, obviously.”

ROMEO LANGFORD is fighting his way back from surgery to repair a torn scapholunate ligament in his right wrist.

“The wrist is feeling good. I just got out of a hard cast yesterday,” Langford said in a Wednesday video conference. “Right now, I’m focused on getting my range of motion back in my wrist and strengthening it back up.”

The initial timeline for his type of surgery suggests Langford can return no sooner than late January. It’s perhaps more likely that the recovery and rehab will spill into February, or maybe even until the All-Star break in early March.

“He’s still a ways away from (five-on-five basketball), let alone one-on-one and two-on-two and different progression steps you usually take at the end of a long rehab plan,” Stevens said. “I think we go into the season looking at it from the standpoint that Romeo will be an addition midseason to our team. We’re doing everything we can to keep him working, from the weights, to different film and video, to solely working on his left hand.”

AARON NESMITH had the draft’s most highly rated jump shot, and as such, a great beginning tool in his NBA career. Though Stevens was careful to note earlier this week that the prospect of making shots is entirely different in the NBA, Nesmith’s confidence remains in full bloom, including where the deeper 3-point line is concerned.

“I spent the last eight, nine months shooting only NBA-level 3s, so I wouldn’t say the line has messed me up that much,” he said. “But yeah, for sure, the corner is definitely the sweet spot, for sure. … It’s all about repetition and focus, so I wouldn’t say it’s very much different. It’s just getting back in the flow of playing at this speed of the game.

“It’s very helpful, and it’s what I do best,” Nesmith said of the early impact of his shooting. “Just being able to go out there and make shots and make life easier for the creators of the offense. Just being able to sprint to the corners, do my job, make the right play, make the right cuts at times and fight for rebounds – that’s my focus right now, and I want to try to do that day-in and day-out to the best of my ability.”

It helps that he played for a former NBA star – Jerry Stackhouse – at Vanderbilt.

“It’s huge. I actually missed a text from him this morning, so I got to text him back after this. But it’s been huge, very influential to my development and my growth,” he said. “And he knew what my role was going to be coming into the NBA, so he just wanted to make sure that he ingrained all of those things into my mind so once I got here, I could just step right in and continue to work on and continue to get better at what he knows I need to do.”

The biggest challenge for
Nesmith, like any other rookie, is learning the defensive system. It helps that Stackhouse used similar principles and schemes at Vanderbilt.
Nesmith has also been guided by the big man behind him in practice – Rob Williams.

“You know, Robert is really big, really long,” said Nesmith. “So him being able to muck up the paint and talk in the back of the defense and be one of the anchors of the defense makes life a lot easier for guys like me running around flying off screens, constantly hearing his voice and helping guide me through our defense has been really helpful the past couple days.”

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