LAS VEGAS -- Despite not hearing his name called on draft night, Jonathan Holmes was one of the more intriguing bodies available in the aftermath of the annual pick-a-palooza. The Boston Celtics seemed like an unlikely contender for his services given their bloated roster that had four players added on draft night, but the University of Texas forward was intrigued by the situation.
The 6-foot-9, 242-pound Holmes elected to join Boston and, on a summer squad thin on size, he has taken advantage of available minutes up front. Holmes posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds over 26 minutes of court time in the Celtics' 85-76 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.
Steady but quiet during Boston's three-game stint in Utah last week, Holmes seems to have found his groove in Vegas. He posted 15 points and seven rebounds during Saturday's win over the Portland Trail Blazers in the Celtics' Vegas opener.
On Sunday, he showcased his range, connecting on a trio of 3-point attempts while finishing 5-of-10 shooting overall from the floor. Holmes added a block and an assist and was plus-9 in plus/minus.
So what was it that attracted him to Boston?
"I just know they have the best coaching staff and I thought I had a good opportunity to play here and show what I can do," Holmes said. "It seems to be a pretty good choice so far."
Holmes is regarded as a versatile forward and he has thrived as a stretch 4 in Boston's summer system. In college, Holmes had to play out of position a bit because he often shared the floor with Myles Turner, the 6-foot-11 power forward selected at No. 11 by the Indiana Pacers in last month's draft.
Holmes said he's not certain what will happen after Boston's stint in Vegas, but he's not concerning himself at the moment about what it could lead to.
"Just come here and do this," Holmes said when asked if the team had discussed his future beyond summer league. "That's all I'm focused on right now is the next week and a half."
Holmes heaped praise on Stevens and his staff for the opportunity they've given him. You get the sense that he's exactly the type of player the team would love to funnel through to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League in order to groom while still part of the team's system.
Boston's frontcourt is jam-packed at the moment, including the offseason additions of both Amir Johnson and David Lee. Holmes will have to be patient and understanding of the team's roster crunch, but it has all worked out for him pretty well to this point.
Young sits again
Celtics second-year swingman James Young missed his second consecutive game due to lingering soreness from a hip-pointer.
While the Celtics are not rushing him back, Stevens did note that Young needs reps, particularly after a tough go in Utah last week.
"He needs to play if he's available to play," Stevens said. "Hopefully he'll get better and quickly. I think these games are important for James. Every time he misses a game, I think -- we obviously want him out there. So hopefully he'll get better ASAP."
IT's surgery? "Small, minor thing"
After Isaiah Thomas revealed on Twitter that he had minor offseason surgery on his wrist, Stevens detailed Sunday how Thomas had a small cyst removed, but didn't believe it would hinder the runner-up of the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year moving forward.
"It was something that we knew at the end of the year they would have to [remove]," Stevens said. "It's a small, minor thing, so they had to take care of it."
Thomas underwent a minor wrist surgery last summer while with the Phoenix Suns. Despite the latest procedure, Stevens stressed that there are "no longer-term ill effects."