Finalizing the Celtics roster

The preseason concluded yesterday with a win over the Raptors but now the hard part comes for the coaching staff and management.  Deciding on the final roster spots, to complete a 15 man roster, is always a difficult decision to make.  Only 12 players get to dress for games, but teams can carry up to 15 players.  Typically teams opt to send players to the Developmental League (D-League) to get playing time opposed to sitting every game, usually sending young players.

We know who is guaranteed to make this roster, so I won’t dive into those players who will not be seeing a red tag in their locker (Major League reference).  I want to take a look at the fringe players, hoping to make the cut and dawn a Celtics jersey for the up coming season.

The Celtics will have to make a decision on whether Avery Bradley or E’Twaun Moore will get to dress game by game.  Only able to dress 12, these two youngings will battle it out throughout the season.  Granted, if any injuries arise, I expect both of these guys to dress.  You might see Moore get some playing time in the D-League if Doc has trouble finding the kid some minutes, I expect Avery Bradley to obtain that 12 spot more times than not based on his defense and the Celtics realization that he is better suited at the 2 guard.

The last two roster spots are interesting.  I can see Danny keeping those open to sign veterans down the road, but currently I do not see many viable candidates for them.  Let’s take a look at who these other four players are, that were invited to participate in Celtics preseason and training camp.

Greg Stiemsma

A player who has never been able to crack a NBA roster, Greg has signed deals with Minnesota and Cleveland, only to be cut later.  He has spent time playing in Turkey, South Korea and spent one season with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League.  A big body at 6’11” and 260 lbs, he has shown the Celtics that he is capable, in the two preseason games.  Boston covets big men who can get up and down the floor with Rondo.  Watching the game live in Boston, I could see that Greg has learned a lot while training with Jermaine and Kevin.  He was running the floor well, finding space, creating shots for his teammates and defended well.  It would be a shame for him not to make an NBA roster as a reserve.

Jamal Sampson

Cousin of NBA legend, Ralph Sampson, Jamal comes from Paul Pierce’s neck of the woods, Inglewood, CA. He was drafted in 2002 with the 47th pick by the Utah Jazz.  He was traded a few times before seeing the court with the Milwaukee Bucks.    In 2003, he signed a 10 day contract with the Lakers, drafted by the Bobcats in the expansion draft of 2004 and later signed with the Kings.    In 2006, he signed with the Nuggets.  The following year he played a few games for the Mavericks before being waived.   After his stint with the Mavericks in 2007, Jamal took his talents China where he played for three teams over there.  In 2011, Sampson was drafted in the D-League draft.  In December, he joined Celtics training camp.  Jamal is a long shot to make this roster, although you can never have enough big bodies.  I doubt he makes the 15 man roster cut.

Michael Sweetney

A training camp veteran, Michael Sweetney has attended the Celtics preseason before.  Sweetney was hidden in a draft full of stars in 2003, seemed impossible to miss on a draft pick outside of Darko, but the Knicks took Sweetney 9th overall.  Battling weight issues, barring him from playing in games from 2007-2009.  In 2009 is when the Celtics invited him to camp, hoping to make a comeback into the league.  As of today, it appears that Sweetney will not be playing in the NBA for the up coming season.  Regardless of the cheers he received from Celtic fans last night against Toronto.

Gilbert Brown

Gilbert has had a tough career ever since he arrived at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was an injured red shirt freshman his first year.  He stayed in school for 5 years, gaining that extra year of eligibility because of the injury.  He has improved each year in college but never a break out star and never averaging over 11.3 points per game in over 28 minutes.   Boston gave a shot on this kid in camp but it doesn’t appear that he will make an NBA roster this season.