The shortened preseason schedule just ended and it’s already blatantly apparent that the Celtics will greatly miss Romeo Langford. With Kemba Walker out for the first month of the season with knee issues, newly-signed Tristan Thompson out with a strained hamstring, and Langford healing from hand surgery, the Celtics depth will be tested early. Even worse, is the gap in the starting lineup left by Gordon Hayward, who was a main facilitator for Brad Stevens offense when he was healthy–a gap that may very well have been filled by Langford, especially if he hadn’t missed out on the valuable experience of going deep into the playoffs in the bubble.
Now Langford is certainly not the passer that Hayward is, but they are both crafty offensive player who can score at all three levels, and most importantly, Langford brings a strong defensive presence to the table. He was so solid in stints last year, that he earned Stevens trust and along with it, a decent amount of P.T. Langford is a crafty scorer and a solid rebounder for a guard–and he averaged about 3 assists per game in high school and at Indiana. So he has it in him to be a decent passer, and would fit in nicely as a dynamic wing in between Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who could project to average 12/5/3 per game, while guarding the best 2 or 3 on the opposing team. Modest numbers for sure, but production that would make a big difference in Hayward’s absence.
Sadly, Langford’s reality is that he has never gotten into an extended groove, and will not be in one anytime soon, having missed out on the vast majority of the bubble experience, needing to heal from the surgery, and now missing training camp. When he returns, in February, as is being speculated currently, the Celtics will be happy to have him, but he’ll need to regain Stevens trust and fight to gain that starting spot that may have been earmarked for him with Hayward gone.