A player who made a very big impact in the Celtics second preseason game against the Knicks was Chris Babb.
Babb, an undrafted guard out of Iowa State, scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting to lead the charge to bring the team back from a 20+ point deficit to actually take a late lead before eventually losing. He had an insane +/- of +20 in just eight minutes of work.
Babb showed some good potential as a 3-and-D type guard who should make an NBA roster if he puts out even a fraction of what we saw Wednesday night. Too bad the roster he's currently on is in Boston.
The last thing the Celtics need is a 3-and-D guard, no matter how much potential he shows. Minutes are already tight with Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, MarShon Brooks, Jordan Crawford and Phil Pressey jockeying for playing time. At some point, Rajon Rondo is going to come back, which shrinks the minutes for that list of guards even more. And then there is Keith Bogans who probably won't see much playing time, but is getting paid $5M to take up a bench seat and isn't going anywhere this season. To make matters worse, coach Brad Stevens has talked about playing Jeff Green at the two-spot. Bottom line: there is no room for Babb.
ESPN's Chris Forsberg seems to agree:
Boston has an open roster spot with only 14 guaranteed contracts, but it's so close to the luxury-tax line that Babb would really have to impress to earn that final roster berth. While a better payday could await overseas (if no other NBA team is intrigued by his talents), he could give himself a chance to stick with the Celtics organization if he was willing to ink a low-money, D-League deal and get assigned to the Maine Red Claws as an affiliated player.
Odds are, Babb will continue his fine play and get picked up by another team looking for guard depth. It would be great if the Celtics could stash Babb away in Maine, but like Forsberg said, he'd likely take his talents to Europe so he can actually get paid if no other team comes calling.
This situation is not new for the Celtics. Last year Dionte Christmas showed some promise only to be cut by the team halfway through October. So enjoy Babb for now, because he'll be dropping triples and grabbing steals for some other team after Halloween.
Photo: Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Eric Blaisdell 10/10/2013 08:43:00 PM Tweet Edit