This morning, ESPN.com listed the non-roster training camp invitees for nearly every NBA team. Not surprisingly, there are quite a few former Celtics fighting for jobs around the league.
In fact, there are eight former Cs currently in opposing camps looking to hang on to their NBA dreams. They are:
Fab Melo, Mavericks - This one has been well documented, but it's just amazing how Melo has gone from 22nd pick in the draft to a safe bet to be cut from his 3rd NBA team in the span of one year. Melo is facing long odds to make a Mavericks team that already has 15 guys with guaranteed pacts.
Ricky Davis, Knicks - So Davis isn't actually listed in the ESPN report, but it has been widely reported that he will vie for a roster spot with the Knicks this fall. Considering he was drafted in 1998, it's amazing that Davis just turned 34 years old, but the former Celtics SG/SF (2003-2006) is taking one last shot at playing in the NBA. If he impresses he may have a shot to stick around, at least until J.R. Smith returns from knee surgery/suspension.
Patrick O'Bryant, Bobcats - Jesus Christ the Bobcats suck. Giving O'Bryant, who was AWFUL when we last saw him three and a half years ago, a shot to make your team is not a good sign for your franchise. O'Bryant was a monster bust for the Warriors (selected 9th overall in 2006), and played a whopping 26 games for the 2008-09 Celtics. Side note: Danny Ainge giving O'Bryant a fully guaranteed 2 year, $3.1 million deal coming off the '08 title was an underrated awful move.
D.J. White, Bulls - D.J., we hardly knew ye. White played in just 12 games for the Celtics last season before being a throw in in the Celtics-Nets mega-deal in July. He was then released by the Nets and is now trying to re-ignite his NBA career in Chicago. Considering the Bulls only have 11 players under guaranteed contracts, White has a decent shot to win a roster spot in Chicago. In his career he has averaged 14 points and 7.5 boards per-36 minutes white shooting over 50% from the field. Signs that he is probably worthy of an NBA contract.
Mike James, Bulls - It's been eons since James suited up for the Celtics, but the now 38-year-old guard was solid in 55 games for the 2003-04 C's, and was then traded to the Pistons (with whom he's win a title) for a 2004 1st round pick..which the Celtics then used to select Tony Allen. James has had an insane career, not debuting in the NBA until he was 26, but still managing to play for 11 teams (plus the Rockets twice). Like White, James has a decent shot to stick with Chicago, especially when you consider how solid he was last season for Dallas (6 PPG, 3 APG in 19 MPG).
Tony Gaffney, Grizzlies - Raise your hand if you remember Tony Gaffney?! //(3 people raise their hand). Ok, so this one barely counts as Gaffney never actually played in a game with Boston, but was on their roster for the final six games of the 2010 season plus the entire run to the NBA Finals. Had the Celtics won that Game 7, Gaffney would have unquestionably become the most obscure player in NBA history to win a ring (he has never played an NBA minute).
Kris Joseph, Magic - No Kris, run!!! Don't stay in the NBA..play in China or Italy or Russia or anywhere where Danny Ainge can't re-acquire you only to release you days later. In all seriousness, Joseph is actually in a good spot down in Orlando. The Magic have only 12 players under guaranteed deals, so it's possible there may be a happy ending for Joseph this time.
Dionte Christmas, Suns - Another borderline one here, as Christmas never appeared in a game for the Celtics. But we're going to count him considering he spent the majority of training camp with the team last year. Much like Joseph, Christmas is in camp with a rebuilding team and hoping that he gets a shot to finally make an NBA roster.
Also have an update on one former Celtic who's not in camp..Mickael Pietrus.
Free agent swingman Mickael Pietrus remains unsigned as NBA training camps have begun to open and he may not get a deal for a while.
According to RealGM.com, Pietrus is looking for a team willing to give him a fully guaranteed contract for 2013-14.
Pietrus spent the offseason getting his body healthy and feels he can contribute, however all the NBA teams are not willing to chance that, which is why the 30 teams have so far declined to offer what he's demanding. That might change sometime after the regular season tips off.
I mean, I like Pietrus as a guy. Hilarious, great teammate, and a team player for sure. But he was really bad for the Celtics in 2011-12, and was quite possibly the worst player in basketball last year in Toronto. If he's holding out hope for a guaranteed contract..he may be waiting for a while.
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For more of my articles, click here Michael Dyer 9/30/2013 12:37:00 PM Tweet