The Boston Celtics added a handful of players onto their Summer League roster that were eventually transferred to Maine. One of those players is Luka Samanic, a former 2019 first round draft pick by the San Antonio Spurs.
Who is Luka Samanic and how did he end up with the Celtics?
Samanic has been a professional since he was 16 and signed with FC Barcelona. He has represented Croatia at FIBA in 2017, leading his team to a gold medal in FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship and earned MVP in doing so.
The Celtics were able to land Samanic in Boston after he was waived by the Spurs before the start of the 2021-22 season. He then signed a two-way deal with the New York Knicks’ G League team, the Westchester Knicks, however, he was waived again without appearing in a single game.
Then, Samanic was picked up by the Celtics during Summer League and became part of the group of players that was assigned to Maine at the end of the summer.
He’s leading the Maine Celtics to success this season
Samanic has been a pleasant surprise this summer and I’m happy he’s with the Maine Celtics. At the time, I was hoping Boston would’ve signed him to a two-way contract and allowed him to float between Maine and Boston.
I even suggested it to Chris Forsberg on Oct. 10. just before the start of the season. He didn’t turn it away and he possibly even shared my notion about Samanic being on a two-way contract.
Samanic is averaging 19 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.3 assist, and 1.1 blocks per game. He’s oftentimes the most dominant player on the court at all times for Maine and is a big reason why the Celtics have the best record in the G League at 6-1.
Standing 6-foot-10, 227 lbs with a 6’10.5”, Samanic has some true skills with the ball in his hands down in the paint. He’s a big guy who can shoot from the low post and get himself to the basket almost at will.
What’s the future hold for Samanic in Boston?
Samanic could certainly find his way onto Boston’s roster. We’ve seen it happen as recent as last year with Sam Hauser, in which the Celtics converted his two-way contract into a standard deal and made Hauser part of the 15-man roster.
The difference between Hauser and Samanic is the two-way contract. Samanic isn’t on a two-way but that still doesn’t deter his path to Boston. We’ve seen Exhibit-10 contract call ups happen more frequently than not in recent years.
For that to happen, the Celtics would have to make space on their current roster, which actually doesn’t seem too challenging when looking at the end of the bench right now.
It’s fair to say Boston could easily part ways with Nonah Vonleh and Justin Jackson, it would open two roster spots by the trade deadline without even influencing the team in the least.
Samanic is off to a great start in Maine and will look to continue improving his skills. If there’s a path for him to play in Boston, it wouldn’t be until February, which will give him more time to improve along the way.
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Photo Credit: Maine Celtics