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I'll admit that I openly scoffed at the Celtics when they signed Shavlik Randolph to a 10-day contract in early March. I remembered Randolph's "meh" career at Duke during the middle of the last decade, and hadn't heard his name in years. It turns out he had spent the 2012-13 season in China, dominating the Chinese Basketball Association to the tune of 32 PPG, 14.6 RPG while winning an MVP over there. Not exactly NBA level opposition, but 32 and 15 a game are eye opening numbers.

The C's renewed Randolph with a second 10 day deal, and once he actually got a chance at regular minutes, he produced. Despite averaging only 12 minutes, Randolph averaged 4.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. The rebounding was especially impressive as the former Dukie grabbed 20.9% of all available rebounds during his 198 minutes played this season (if he had enough minutes, that number would have ranked 3rd in the NBA behind Reggie Evans and Omar Asik). The Celts rewarded Randolph with a "multi-year" contract in late March, locking him up for the rest of this season, with a team option for next season. While exact terms of the deal were not released it would seem likely that Randolph is guaranteed very little money unless he actually makes the team during training camp.

Now the question becomes, is Randolph a good bet to be with the team next season? Obviously 16 games is a pretty small sample size, but the 29 year old Randolph showed that he is a high-effort, high-energy guy that can fill a rebounding niche on a team that is short on just that. Of course the C's will look to upgrade any position on the roster that a chance of being upgraded though, and Randolph's spot is certainly up for grabs.

It doesn't help his case that he was buried in the playoff rotation, barely seeing the court in the team's 6 game loss to the Knicks. Then again, Doc Rivers has a history of shortening the rotation come playoff time, so there may not be much to read into with that.

Randolph could also simply be a victim to a numbers game. If Kevin Garnett returns and Paul Pierce is brought back, the Celts would have 12 players already under contract for next year, plus any draft picks and free agents they bring in. That would not bode well for a guy with marginal talent and a non-guaranteed deal.

Most likely the C's will see how the off-season shapes up before making any decisions on Randolph, but on a team desperate for roster upgrades, it appears likely that the Shavlik era may be over before it ever fully got off the ground.

Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13

Michael Dyer 5/11/2013 03:16:00 PM Edit
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