One of the cornerstones of the IU rebuilding effort has played himself into a legitimate shot at an NBA roster spot over the last year. Christian Watford announced yesterday that he has signed a one year non-guaranteed contract with Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics. Though it isn't guaranteed until he makes the final roster, I'd venture a guess that he'll be right there for the last two to three roster spots. Stevens knows what the guy can do.
After not being drafted in his post college career, Watford helped lead Israel's Happoel Fattal Eilat to a strong playoff run with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 assist a game. He played an average of 27 minutes. Strangely for Watford last year was his down shooting season. He only shot 33% from three point range and that is obviously his biggest strength. If he finds his shot again this season he could find some quality court time for the Celtics.
Interestingly Watford is one of about 8 other guys that Stevens seems to be building a Midwest out East All-Star team. Watford joins Tyler Zeller, James Young, Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Rajon Rondo, Chris Babb, Phil Pressey and Keith Bogans as regional guys currently on the Boston roster. Though their season is probably not going to wind up with a playoff spot, this opportunity offers Watford a chance to show that he's NBA material and could make a living for a couple years stateside. We wish him the best of luck.