A relatively healthy Celtics roster led to a decline in playing time for Ojeleye in his sophomore season of 2018-19. The return of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward resulted in Ojeleye appearing in only 56 games (three starts) and averaging 10.6 minutes per contest. However, he improved in a number of metrics despite the cut in playing time. Ojeleye actually bested his rookie scoring mark with 3.3 points per game -- that's 11.3 points on a per-36-minute basis -- thanks to a much-improved 42.4 field-goal percentage. The Celtics finally unleashed him for 38:13 on the court in the final game of the regular season, Apr. 9 against Washington, and Ojeleye responded with a career-high 17 points along with four rebounds, three assists and a steal. But Ojeleye had delivered some other eye-opening performances in limited time over the course of the year. Most impressively, on Dec. 8 at Chicago, he scored 13 points in just 14:25 on the court, hitting 3-of-6 from downtown. Ojeleye found his way into the lineup for six of the Celtics' nine playoff games, and he set a new playoff best with six points in just 11:02 during Game 3 of their second-round series against the Bucks.2017
Ojeleye was drafted by the Celtics with the seventh pick of the second round out of Southern Methodist and went on to play a major bench role in his rookie year, appearing in 73 games (all as a reserve). Ojeleye's gritty defense meant he was often tasked with coming off the bench to slow down opponents' top scoring wings. The muscular Kansas native also banged inside versus a few power forwards. Ojeleye's ability to guard players of different positions was a strong fit with coach Brad Stevens' switching defensive scheme. On the whole, he averaged 2.7 points (including 0.5 threes) and 2.2 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game. He cracked double-digit points twice, setting his personal best Apr. 8 against Atlanta with 13 points and six rebounds. Come playoff time, Ojeleye again played a vital defensive role. He also made the first three starts of his career in the Celtics' first-round series against Milwaukee, largely tasked with guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo.
June 22, 2017Drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 2nd round (37th pick) of the 2017 NBA Draft.
July 19, 2017Signed a rookie three-year contract with the Boston Celtics. Contract includes a club option for a fourth year.