|2017 NBA Draft||NBA||Drafted 37th overall by Boston.|
|18th July, 2017||NBA||Signed a partially guaranteed four year contract with Boston, for $1,291,892 in the first season and the final three seasons at the minimum salary. Included team option for 2020/21.|
|2013 - 2015||Duke (NCAA)|
|2015 - 2017||SMU (NCAA)|
|July 2017||Boston Celtics (Summer League)|
|July 2017 - present||Boston Celtics (NBA)|
June 29, 2018
SF - 6’7, 235lbs - 23 years old - 1 year of experience
Brad Stevens seemed to like Semi Ojeleye a lot. Down the stretch of the season, when the Celtics had pretty much tightened their playing rotation down to seven and a half players, Ojeleye was still valued enough to be that half. It was pretty much exclusively for defensive reasons because Ojeleye is pretty much exclusively a defensive player. But for a rookie to get this responsibility speaks to something.
Ojeleye earned this role by virtue of aggressive, rugged and versatile defence. Very strong for a wing, he has that Steve Lavin brand sticktoitiveness about him, and seems to relish being the defensive go-to type that he already seems to be. Ojeleye is heady and strong, and to already be drawing star assignments is a great endorsement of his future as such a player.
Of course, some offence will need to flank it. There is little right now. Ojeleye did have some success on open three-pointers (from the corners, at least; his shooting from above the break was considerably worse), yet this is about all he does. And they are of course all very open and off of the catch. Ojeleye did not show much desire to cut, post, handle, drive or anything else, and nor did the Celtics much want him to. Offensively, he was to get to the weakside corner, roll to the wing if necessary, and to not get in the way.
That will need to be built on. But the defence makes for a pretty good reason to stick around and see if he can do it. Many players have made many year careers out of this skill set; or at least, out of this reputation.
Player Plan: Three minimum salary seasons remaining, with $901,965 of next year’s guaranteed and the final two fully unguaranteed (one via a team option). Has likely earned year two.