Why there is still hope for Romeo Langford


It was announced Tuesday that Romeo Langford’s season was over.

It turns out the 20-year-old had surgery to repair the scapholunate ligament in his right wrist.

Thus concludes the story of Langford's rookie season.

On the surface, it probably wasn't what some had hoped for.

According to the Web site Hashtagbasketball.com (which describes itself as: "We rank the 2019-20 NBA draft class based on our statistical algorithm") Langford was 17th overall pick was the 43rd-ranked rookie. It placed him behind teammates Grant Williams (No. 28) and Carsen Edwards (No. 40).

The conventional numbers were uninspiring, as well, with the guard averaging 2.5 points and 11.6 minutes per game, shooting 35 percent from the field.

It also doesn't help perception when the player picked one spot in front of Langford, Miami's Tyler Herro, is playing a key role in making the Celtics' postseason life somewhat miserable throughout the Eastern Conference Finals.

But ultimately Langford did show just enough to offer some hope that this isn't going to be James Young, 2.0.

He ultimately proved himself as an above-average on-the-ball defender, using his athleticism and 6-foot-4 frame to give Brad Stevens the confidence to run him out there when it counts the most. Game 2 against Philadelphia in the first round, for instance, Langford logged 22 minutes while finishing with a plus-26.

And there were glimpses of his offensive potential, such as the Feb. 7 16-point game against the Hawks.

The narrative really hasn't changed all that much heading into Year 2. Langford has to show he can be somewhat of a threat from the outside, shooting 66 percent from 10-16 feet but just 5-for-27 from beyond the 3-point stripe. But he still has time. There was another player who shot 36 percent from the floor in his rookie season but figured out while leaning on his defense -- Marcus Smart.

Who knows if Langford's career will land close to that of Smart, but the point is there is hope. For now, that's something the Celtics can live with.