After the Boston Celtics acquired Marcus Thornton and Tyler Zeller yesterday in a trade that allowed Cleveland to clear cap space for LeBron James, the C's roster has become considerably more crowded. Add in that they officially signed draftees James Young and Marcus Smart last night, and Avery Bradley's deal will become official shortly, which means the Celtics will have 17 players under contract, and the NBA only allows a team to have 15.
So what does that mean for those who currently have unguaranteed contracts -- Phil Pressey, Chris Johnson, and Chris Babb? According to Celtics' head coach Brad Stevens, even he is not sure what the future holds for these players.
"We don’t know how (the Thornton/Zeller trade) will impact anybody yet. We don’t know exactly what the rest of the summer will hold,” head coach Brad Stevens said before Thursday’s 76-67 summer league win against the Orlando Magic. “I think at the end of the day, those are probably better questions for Danny (Ainge) and the front office. But I think all they can do is control what they can control. And that’s play as hard and well as they can, and continue to be the people they’ve been from the moment they walked in the door. They’ve been nothing but great pros."
The under-sized Pressey proved himself to be a pretty good back-up for Rajon Rondo last season and has shown great dedication, but Danny Ainge must make a decision on whether to keep Pressey by July 15th (he can waive Babb or Johnson at any time). Ainge might also have some other deals up his sleeve (for instance, he could try and shed the contract of Keith Bogans), but the current roster would still need some trimming.
When asked about the roster situation, Ainge seemed a little flustered, and even was unsure of the exact number of players he was dealing with:
"We have a competition everywhere," Ainge said. "We have, I don’t know, 17 guys now under contract. Maybe more. So we’ll see how that goes."
Even Ainge can't count all the bodies on his team.
"I don’t know,” he said. “It’s 17 or 18. I lost track."
The fact that Ainge is losing track of players wouldn't make me feel optimistic if I was one of the guys working hard and busting my butt to make the team. But I suppose that Ainge is probably distracted trying to create the promised fireworks to bring the Celtics back to being a contending team.
Who do you hope that the Celtics keep? Who would you like to see be cut or moved from the roster? Sound off in the comments.
Photo: USA Today Danielle Hobeika 7/11/2014 08:55:00 PM Tweet