7/24/2015 10:07:00 PM
With 16 players already on board with guaranteed contracts once offseason moves become official, one would think the Boston Celtics would be done adding to their roster. But that didn’t stop them from inviting 6’5” former Alabama wingman Levi Randolph to join them in training camp.
Randolph -- who averaged 15.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game as a senior last year in college -- went undrafted, but had a solid summer league with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and also earned summer league time with the Utah Jazz shortly afterwards. In 10 summer league appearances overall, Randolph averaged 4.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists during 20.5 minutes per game.
It’s reported by Al.com that Randolph had multiple offers from teams overseas, but skipped on them for the chance to play with the Celtics in training camp. Obviously he’s not expected to actually make Boston's roster at any point this season, but it’s very possible he could land himself a position with Boston’s D-league affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.
Why would the Celtics want to bring Randolph in when they already have 16 guaranteed contracts? As ESPN’s Chris Forsberg pointed out Thursday, NBA teams are allowed to assign as many as four training camp cuts to their D-league affiliate. This is up from the three cuts that were allowed by the league in previous seasons.
So don’t be surprised if more players like Randolph are invited to camp by the Celtics as they look to lure some young, underrated talent away from the overseas teams (and other NBA teams) and into their system.
It's not easy to get players to commit, as they are usually turning down the potential to make much more playing professionally overseas. But the Celtics have had players in similar situations wind up joining their big league roster in the past. Guard Chris Babb has been called up twice from the Red Claws as a late season add for the Celtics. Randolph likely hopes to get a similar chance to prove himself.
Randolph was ranked just outside the top 100 prospects (#101) pre-draft by ESPN’s Chad Ford. According to Ford, he is a good shooter with steady ball handling skills and the versatility to play shooting guard or small forward. His lack of height (6’5”), strength and toughness are the traits working against him.
Top Photo: Beth Hall USA TODAY Sports
NBA Photo: Bart Young FOX Sports
Babb Photo: USA TODAY Sports
follow Tob on twitter: @muggsytobs
7/24/2015 10:07:00 PM