- The Celtics have a crowded roster with 18 players currently under contract, and as a result, will have some difficult decisions to make during the preseason. Logan Mullen of 93.7FM’s Green Street broke down who he thinks will make the regular season roster and who is ticketed for Boston’s D-League affiliate in Maine.
- Ben Bentil‘s three-year contract with the Celtics includes a partial guarantee of $250K for the first season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
- The Celtics have officially renounced their rights to Gigi Datome, Pincus relays (on Twitter). The 27-year-old last appeared in the league during the 2014/15 campaign.
- Bobby Marks of The Vertical has the details on Demetrius Jackson‘s and Ben Bentil‘s contracts with the Celtics. Jackson’s four-year deal, which is worth nearly $5.5MM in total, starts at $1.45MM fully guaranteed in 2016/17, and declines annually in subsequent seasons. Bentil, meanwhile, got a three-year, minimum-salary pact that is partially guaranteed for $250K in year one.
10:19am: A source tells Jay King of MassLive.com that there is no agreement at this point between Iverson and the Celtics, despite the fact that the seven-footer wants a shot to play in the NBA.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that Iverson and the C’s won’t eventually finalize a deal — Pick’s report didn’t materialize out of thin air, so it seems likely that the two sides are talking. We’ll pass along any updates as they become available.
8:51am: Three years after landing him on draft night, the Celtics have agreed to a deal with big man Colton Iverson, according to international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). It’s not clear if there’s any guaranteed money included on Iverson’s deal, which will bring him to camp with the C’s.
Iverson, who played his college ball at Minnesota and Colorado State, was selected 53rd overall in the 2013 draft with a pick Boston acquired from Indiana in exchange for cash. Since then, Iverson has played overseas, spending time with various teams in Turkey and Spain. The 27-year-old played for Pinar Karsiyaka last season, averaging 11.4 PPG and 6.4 RPG in 33 Turkish League contests (21.2 MPG).
The timing of Iverson’s move is interesting, since the Celtics’ depth chart looks pretty crowded this season. Iverson will be the team’s 19th player under contract, not counting 2016 second-round pick Abdel Nader, who remains unsigned. Of those 19 players, 16 are believed to have guaranteed contracts for the coming season, while John Holland‘s deal is non-guaranteed and Ben Bentil received a partial guarantee.
With an uphill battle to make the regular-season roster, Iverson could end up being one of the players the Celtics cut in training camp and assign to their D-League affiliate in Maine.
The Celtics have officially signed 2016 lottery pick Jaylen Brown, the team announced via press release. Brown was one of the five remaining 2016 first round picks who had yet to put pen to paper on their rookie deals.
Brown was selected with the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He appeared in six games this summer for the Celtics split between the Utah and Samsung Summer Leagues in Las Vegas, averaging 16.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 29.0 minutes per game. Brown was named to the Samsung All-NBA Summer League Second Team in Las Vegas.
The 6’7” forward from the University of California was selected to the five-player USBWA Freshman All-America team, was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was the lone freshman this season to make the All-Pac 12 First Team, according to the release. He averaged 14.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 34 appearances and shot .431/.294/.654 from the field in his lone collegiate season.
6:10pm: The signing is official, the team announced via press release.
11:46am: After signing second-round pick Demetrius Jackson, the Celtics have also finalized a deal with another second-rounder, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe, who reports (via Twitter) that Ben Bentil received a three-year deal with a partial guarantee in year one. Himmelsbach first reported over the weekend that Boston and the young power forward had agreed to terms on a contract.
[RELATED: Update on unsigned 2016 draft picks]
There had been some uncertainty about whether or not Bentil would join the Celtics right away, since the team selected six players in the draft. However, first-round picks Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic will be stashed overseas, and Boston hasn’t yet committed to adding Abdel Nader to its roster. That left the door open for Bentil, Jackson, and third overall pick Jaylen Brown to join the C’s as rookies.
Of course, just because Bentil received a contract from the Celtics, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s guaranteed a roster spot for the regular season. Including Tyler Zeller and Gerald Green, Boston has 14 guaranteed salaries on its books for the 2016/17 season. Jackson figures to receive a more sizable guarantee than Bentil, and the team also has John Holland on a non-guaranteed deal, so it may be an uphill battle for Bentil to crack the regular-season roster unless the Celtics make a trade or cut a player with a guaranteed contract.
Bentil, who left school after his sophomore year, averaged 21.1 PPG and 7.7 RPG during his last season at Providence. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com ranked him as this year’s 45th-best prospect, and the Celtics made him the 51st pick in last month’s draft.
JULY 27th, 6:09pm: The signing is official, Boston announced via press release.
JULY 23rd, 10:15am: The Celtics will re-sign restricted free agent Tyler Zeller to a two-year deal, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports (on Twitter). The deal is worth $8MM per year and there is a team option for the second year, Bulpett adds. The Celtics also signed second round pick Demetrius Jackson and have agreed on a partially guaranteed deal with second round pick Ben Bentil, according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).
R.J. Hunter, James Young, John Holland and Bentil are in position to fight for the final roster spot, Himmelsbach tweets. It remains to be seen just how much more creative Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is going to be after he said he was looking to add another significant piece to a group that features newcomer Al Horford. If there were to be another move for Boston, it would likely come in the form of a large trade, according to recent reports. The Celtics also plan to sign unrestricted free agent Gerald Green.
Zeller spoke fondly of the Celtics after the season and was open to a return. It would not have been surprising, however, if he had signed elsewhere with the hopes of having a larger role than the one he had last season with Boston. Zeller averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds last season. He did not play in three of the six playoff games.
JULY 27th, 6:07pm: The signing is official, the team announced via press release.
JULY 26th, 5:40pm: The Celtics have signed 2016 draftee Demetrius Jackson to a four-year, $5.5MM deal, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops reports (via Twitter). It’s unknown how much of that salary is guaranteed, but the fourth year is a team option, notes Scotto.
Jackson, 21, was the No. 45 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft by Boston. He joins a crowded Celtics roster that now has 18 players heading into training camp, which is three over the regular season maximum.
The point guard spent three seasons at Notre Dame, appearing in 103 games and averaging 11.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting .467/.381/.782 from the field.
JULY 27th, 6:05pm: The signing is official, the team announced via press release.
JULY 23rd, 8:50am: The Celtics will sign unrestricted free agent Gerald Green, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reports (on Twitter). It is a guaranteed one-year deal, Deveney writes in a full story. Green’s deal is for the minimum, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald tweets.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for Green, whom the Celtics drafted at No. 18 in the 2005 draft. Green has played for eight franchises and spent last season with the Heat. Miami never reportedly seemed interested in re-signing Green, but the swingman did play decently. Green averaged 8.9 points per game last season.
By adding Green, the Celtics continue to seem headed toward making a trade. It’s been an interesting summer for Boston, which landed Al Horford early in free agency and it may not be over. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has already said he would still like to add one more big piece. The Celtics will have 14 guaranteed contracts on their roster, once they sign No. 3 pick Jaylen Brown, as Deveney points out.
- The free agent spending boom sparked by the league’s new TV deal this summer has many role-players earning higher salaries than the Celtics‘ All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, who will be paid $6,587,132 for his work in 2017/18. Thomas isn’t bitter about his situation, but the player does worry if these larger deals will affect locker rooms around the NBA, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com writes. “Hopefully it doesn’t mess up any locker rooms, hopefully it doesn’t mess up ours, but it can,” said Thomas. “Definitely if you get paid that much, you feel like you should have a bigger role than whatever that role is. But hopefully for the betterment of the team and the guys we have around the locker room, I don’t think it’s going to happen.“
- Despite feeling the pressure to add a superstar to the Celtics‘ roster, team executive Danny Ainge should hold onto the teams ample assets and not deviate from the plan merely to add a short-term piece, Michael Pina of RealGM opines in his look at the team.
The Sixers, Nuggets, Nets, Thunder, and Lakers have the most cap room still available, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details. In addition to those five clubs, the Timberwolves, Suns, Jazz, Celtics, Pacers, and Bucks also have some wiggle room remaining. While some of those clubs could use that cap space to try to sign a free agent like J.R. Smith or Lance Stephenson, I’d expect many of those teams to stay well below the cap throughout the year. Remaining $10-15MM below the cap would allow a team to accommodate a mid-season salary dump, potentially picking up a draft pick or two in the process.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:
- Larry Sanders, who has been working out and is considering an NBA comeback, may be willing to play for a minumum-salary contract, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). It remains to be seen whether a team will take a flier on the former Bucks big man.
- Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders identifies a few players who will be under pressure to perform in 2016/17 due to big new free agent contracts or roles that changed as a result of other players’ deperatures.
- Former Louisville guard Russ Smith, who appeared in 15 games for the Grizzlies last season, has accepted a $1MM contract offer from Galatasaray, according to international basketball reporter David Pick (via Twitter). Mete Budak of Eurohoops pegs the former second-round pick’s salary at $850K, so the Turkish team may have included some bonuses in the deal.
- Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders explains why he thinks the NBA’s restricted free agency system has problems, and puts forth some suggestions to potentially improve it. Donatas Motiejunas of the Rockets is the only RFA still on the market this summer.