The 2017-18 NBA season was a season to remember for the Boston Celtics as they emerged as a true contender for the Eastern Conference. With a loaded cast of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford, they were the team to beat. As soon as the season started, the injury plague came down on the Celtics. Throughout the season, Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis, and other key players went down with injuries, which caused the Celtics to rely heavily on the bench. One of those bench players, who was often overlooked, was Shane Larkin.
What Happened to Ex-Celtics Player Shane Larkin?
With some key players of the Celtics not available due to injury, the bench really stepped up for Boston. Lead by Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, and Aron Baynes, the team was able to finish 2nd overall in the Eastern Conference.
Early NBA Career
Prior to the start of the 2017-18 season, the Celtics announced the signing of Shane Larkin. Larkin, a point guard, had played ball overseas the year prior, after a four-year stint in the NBA. Larkin was drafted in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks with the 18th pick but was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks. Following his rookie season, he was traded to the New York Knicks. His time with the Knicks was short, as he signed with the Brooklyn Nets following the 2014-15 season. He was a solid role player for the Nets, playing an average of 22.4 minutes in 78 games.
Following the 2015-16 season with the Nets, he decided to opt out of his contract and sign a one year deal with Baskonia, a EuroLeague and Liga ACB team in Spain. He established himself as a solid player in the league, averaging 14 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and a steal, all in an average of 28 minutes per game. This performance gave him the achievement of being named the player of the month, as well as drawing attention from NBA teams.
His Time in Boston
After his successful year overseas, the Celtics signed Larkin to a one year deal. Larkin lost out on a $6.3 million dollar contract with Baskonia when he decided to return to the NBA. Larkin proved to be a good spark plug for Boston’s bench. He played in 54 games in the season, with an average of 14.4 minutes a game. In those minutes, he was responsible for 4 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, and a steal.
In the few games he was relied heavily on, he really stepped up to prove his worth. He had a clutch factor that made him extremely reliable down the stretch. An example of this can be seen in the last game of the regular season, where Larkin took on his old team, the Brooklyn Nets. In 25 minutes played, he was responsible for 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. When he was given the chance, he performed at a high level.
After the close of the 2017-18 season, Larkin decided to return to the EuroLeague. Larkin signed a one year, $1.8 million deal with Anadolu Efes, a team competing in the Turkish Basketball Super League. He credits his decision to return overseas to playing time, so he can continue to grow and improve as a player. The season is only 5 games in, and Larkin is averaging 27.5 minutes per game. He is averaging a solid 12 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, and a steal.
Since his contract is only a one year deal, anything is possible for Larkin. While he will most likely receive more money playing overseas, he has the skill to come off the bench of most NBA teams. Anything is possible for the future of Shane Larkin.
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