Should Celtics add 16th player via NBA Medical Hardship Exception?
NBA teams are eligible to add a 16th player to the roster under the Medical Hardship Exception. To do this, a team needs to have four players out of action for sickness or injury for at least two weeks, and each must miss at least three consecutive games during those two weeks.
The Celtics should be eligible for an injury exception now. They would be allowed to expand to 16 full NBA contract players from having Hayward, Theis, Smart, and Kyrie out for an extended period. Someone would have to be released if/when one of the four returns.
The Celtics, if they wish, could do this without waiving a current team member. Daniel Theis is out for the season. Gordon Hayward only has a slight chance of returning, but certainly not soon. Marcus Smart is out another four-plus weeks, and Kyrie Irving (happy birthday, Kyrie) is having knee surgery tomorrow. Depleted ranks and increased fatigue may only lead to further injuries, so this would seem to be a quick-fix for the short-term.
When one of the four players returns, the added player must be released. We certainly are not talking about a franchise player or savior-of-the-season here. This just a fill-in, but it may be a good opportunity for the Celtics to get a good look at a G-Leaguer or current free agent and fill a gap at the same time. Readers, feel free to submit ideas.