Colton Iverson Trying to Make Celtics' Roster With NBA Summer League Stint

Andy Lyons

Colton Iverson was drafted 53rd overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, but since the Celtics didn't have a roster spot for him, he spent his first professional season playing in Turkey. Now, he'll will return for the NBA Summer League to try and prove he deserves a spot after all.

Colton Iverson came out of nowhere during the 2012/13 NCAA season. After playing his first three seasons at the University of Minnesota, Iverson transferred to Colorado State University and flourished in his senior season. In 98 games for Minnesota, he averaged 17.6 minutes per game, while putting up a meager 5.3 points and 4.3 rebounds. In his sole season in Colorado he played 35 games, averaged 29.5 minutes per game and put up 14.2 points and 9.8 rebounds, while shooting a blistering 59.6 percent.

There simply aren't too many traditional centers in the NBA these days, and that's the benefit that a guy like Colton Iverson can bring to the Celtics. After realizing his dream of being drafted by an NBA team, Iverson spent his first professional season playing for Besiktas Milangaz in Turkey. Some might have hung their heads given the situation, but not Iverson, who told ESPN what he still has to do to make the roster.

"I know I still have to prove myself. It's not going to be easy, but I'm going to be preparing as much as I always do."

Iverson had a successful first season over in Turkey as well. He played in 47 games for Besiktas, starting in 25. He only managed to get 17.4 minutes a night, but still produced at a high level posting 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in those limited minutes.

The big man continued to show that he can score with his back-to-the-basket with either hand, and has a relentless motor for the ball when it comes to rebounding. He has soft hands and is a lot to handle on the block at a legitimate 7'0" and 260 pounds.

There are certainly still areas to improve upon in, and Iverson needs to get working on them like there's no tomorrow. He's 24, soon to be 25, so the time to shore up areas of opportunity is now. He struggles from the free throw line, like most big men, having shot just 48.4 percent from the charity stripe over in Turkey this season. Defense is also not a strong suit, due to a lack of athleticism, so even though he's got plenty of size there isn't much rim protection to go along with it.

Boston owns Iverson's draft rights after purchasing him for future cash considerations on draft night from the Indiana Pacers. This is important because they don't have to worry about another team coming in and snatching Iverson up if he plays well during the Orlando Summer League.

The Orlando Summer League is being held July 5 - July 11 and Iverson should get at least five games to show why he deserves one of those coveted roster spots. Danny Ainge & Co. obviously see something that he can bring to their franchise, so I look forward to seeing him prove them right.

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