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Boston Celtics

Ryan Kelly Headed To D-League

  • Celtics executive Danny Ainge confirmed that Ryan Kelly, who was waived by the team on Saturday, will be joining the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s D-League affiliate, Goodman tweets.
  • Ainge also weighed in on James Young, who barely made the Celtics‘ regular season roster this season by edging out R.J. Hunter for the 15th and final spot. The executive told Chris Forsberg of, “I told him [Young] this morning that I think this is the first time he’s earned anything in his life. He earned this by his play, day in and day out, and he just has to keep earning it. He was given a lot as a young kid, with a lot of promise and a lot of potential and … he had to come out and win a spot with some good competition, and he did. So he just needs to keep doing what he’s been doing.

Celtics Waive R.J. Hunter, Keep James Young

4:05pm: The Celtics officially announced Hunter has been waived.

11:05am: After spending the last two seasons with the Celtics, James Young will remain in Boston for a little while longer. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter), Young has earned a spot on the Celtics’ 15-man regular-season roster. With Young not going anywhere, the Celtics have waived R.J. Hunter to get down to the 15-man limit, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

After waiving Ben Bentil and a few other camp invitees, the Celtics were believed to be deciding between Young and Hunter for their final roster spot. The team didn’t want to cut loose either of the two players, who were first-round picks in 2014 and 2015, respectively — a report last week suggested that Boston was dangling both players in search of a second-round pick. However, the C’s were unable to find a deal, forcing them to part ways with last year’s 28th overall pick.

For Hunter, who turns 23 today, it’s not much of a birthday gift. Still, his salary for the 2016/17 season is fully guaranteed, so Boston will owe him $1.2MM. The Celtics would remove that hit from their cap if Hunter is claimed off waivers by another team later this week. Either way, the team won’t be on the hook for Hunter’s third- and fourth-year salaries, since those were team options that hadn’t been locked in yet.

As for Young, the Celtics will soon face another decision on the 21-year-old shooting guard. The team has until October 31 to decide whether to exercise or decline his fourth-year option for 2017/18. If Boston picks up that option, Young would be guaranteed a $2.804MM salary in ’17/18.

Pacers Sign, Waive Ben Bentil

2:12pm: A few hours after signing him, the Pacers have waived Bentil, the team announced in a press release. Indiana’s roster is now back to 15 players, making it regular-season-ready.

12:16pm: Pacers head coach Nate McMillan confirmed that Bentil is expected to join Indiana’s D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, tweets Scott Agness of

10:26am: After getting down to 15 players over the weekend, the Pacers are back up to 16, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed rookie forward Ben Bentil to a contract. Indiana’s interest in Bentil was reported late on Saturday night by Mark Porcaro.

[RELATED: Pacers waive Jeremy Evans, Julyan Stone]

The 51st overall pick in this year’s draft, Bentil averaged 21.1 PPG and 7.7 RPG at Providence last season, and signed a three-year contract with the Celtics as one of the team’s six draft picks. Although he received a strong partial guarantee of $250K from Boston, Bentil always seemed to be on the outside looking in with the Celtics, who had a crowded roster this fall. He was waived by the C’s on Friday, and a report indicated he’d look to sign with another NBA team rather than joining Boston’s D-League affiliate.

While it’s possible the Pacers will keep Bentil on their 15-man roster and cut someone else with a guaranteed salary, it’s far more likely that the club will waive the 21-year-old later today and assign him to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. With that $250K guarantee from the Celtics in hand, Bentil can afford to spend some time in the D-League, especially if he sees a potential path to a call-up.

Celtics To Pick Up Terry Rozier’s 2017/18 Option

The Celtics will exercise the third-year option on Terry Rozier‘s rookie contract, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of, who tweets that the team will make it official soon. The move will lock in Rozier’s $1.989MM salary for the 2017/18 season.

[RELATED: Full list of rookie scale team option decisions]

Rozier, the 16th overall pick in the 2015 draft, played sparingly for the Celtics in his rookie season, averaging 8.0 minutes per contest in 39 games. He saw more action during his 14 games with the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, racking up 19.4 PPG, 8.0 APG, and 6.4 RPG in 33.7 minutes per contest.

When the Celtics do officially announce that they’ve exercised Rozier’s option, they’ll likely announce at least a couple more option decisions. Boston also has fourth-year options for Marcus Smart and James Young to exercise or decline, along with R.J. Hunter‘s third-year option.

Smart’s option will certainly be picked up, but the options for Young and Hunter remain up in the air, since they’re on the roster bubble. The C’s will likely trade or waive one of those two players, then perhaps pick up their option on the other one.

And-Ones: Roster Moves, Bulls, Rudez, Onuaku

Monday afternoon is the deadline to reach the roster limit of 15, and nine teams still have cuts to make, tweets salary cap expert Albert Nahmad. The Celtics, Cavaliers, Rockets, Lakers, Pelicans, Thunder, Sixers, Suns and Kings all remain over the limit leading into what should be an eventful day, says Nahmad. By our count, the Grizzlies still have a move to make as well. The Pacers were the latest team to trim their roster, waiving Jeremy Evans and Julyan Stone tonight.

There’s more news from around the NBA:

  • J.J. Avila, who was waived Friday by the Bulls, has agreed to play for Chicago’s D-League affiliate, tweets Dennis Silva II of Monitor News. The 6’8″ power forward from Colorado State signed a training camp contract with Chicago in September. Guard Thomas Walkup of Stephen F. Austin, another Friday cut, will also be joining the Windy City Bulls (Twitter link).
  • Damjan Rudez and Arinze Onuaku both traveled a lot of miles to realize their dream of returning to the NBA, writes John Denton of After playing overseas and in the D-League, both veterans were told Saturday that they had earned a place on the Magic’s final roster. “It was a big blessing,” Onuaka said. “When you are out here fighting for a spot every day it’s stressful and to get that news, it was great. You’ve always got to wait to hear if you’re in or you’re out, so it wasn’t easy sleeping at night.’’
  • Fred VanVleet won the Raptors‘ final roster spot, but coach Dwane Casey said all the training camp invitees were impressive, tweets Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. Casey said Drew Crawford and Brady Heslip have the talent to be NBA players, adding that he was disappointed he didn’t have room to keep all of them.

Pacers Interested In Ben Bentil?

Rookie forward Ben Bentil, who was waived by the Celtics on Friday, has an offer to join the Pacers’ D-League affiliate in Fort Wayne, tweets freelancer and Hoops Rumors contributor Mark Porcaro.

The 6’9″ Bentil was taken 51st overall out of Providence in this year’s draft. He appeared in three preseason games for Boston, averaging 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds.

Bentil is on waivers, so he could be claimed by the Pacers or any other team. He reportedly will look for an opportunity with another franchise if he isn’t claimed and is not interested in rejoining the Celtics as part of their D-League affiliate. Boston signed Bentil to a three-year contract with a $250K guarantee.

Celtics Waive Ryan Kelly

As expected, the Celtics have waived Ryan Kelly, with the team announcing the move via press release. This paves the way for the forward to join Boston’s D-League affiliate in Maine, which was why the team inked him to a deal on Friday.

Kelly, who was waived by the Hawks earlier this week, spent his first three seasons in the NBA as a member of the Lakers after being selected 48th overall in the 2013 draft. After averaging 22.9 minutes per contest during his first two seasons in Los Angeles, Kelly saw his playing time reduced last season, playing just 13.1 MPG in 36 contests. He averaged 4.2 PPG and 3.4 RPG in those games, shooting just 36.9% from the floor, 13.5% from beyond the arc, and 68.5% from the line.

The Celtics still have one more cut to make to reduce their roster to the regular season maximum of 15 players, and it is likely going to be either R.J. Hunter or James Young who gets the axe.

Celtics Sign Ryan Kelly

The Celtics have added another player to their already crowded roster, announcing via press release that Ryan Kelly has been signed. Contract details were not relayed in the announcement, though, it is almost assuredly a minimum salary arrangement that includes little or no guaranteed money.

Boston cut 2016 second-rounder Ben Bentil earlier today, which pared the roster down to 16 players, one over the regular season maximum. The addition of Kelly means that two players still need to go prior to opening night, but it is very likely that Kelly was signed with an eye on snagging his D-League rights, though, that is merely speculation on my part.

Kelly, who was waived by the Hawks earlier this week, spent his first three seasons in the NBA as a member of the Lakers after being selected 48th overall in the 2013 draft. After averaging 22.9 minutes per contest during his first two seasons in Los Angeles, Kelly saw his playing time reduced last season, playing just 13.1 MPG in 36 contests. He averaged 4.2 PPG and 3.4 RPG in those games, shooting just 36.9% from the floor, 13.5% from beyond the arc, and 68.5% from the line.

Celtics Waive Ben Bentil

4:25pm: The Celtics have officially announced that Bentil was waived.

12:44pm: Bentil will look to join another NBA team and isn’t expected to play for the Celtics’ D-League affiliate, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.

12:24pm: The Celtics have become the second team to cut a player they drafted this past June, having released rookie forward Ben Bentil, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). Bentil was the 51st overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Bentil, 21, averaged 21.1 PPG and 7.7 RPG at Providence last season, and signed a three-year contract with the Celtics after being selected with one of the team’s six draft picks. While his deal wasn’t fully guaranteed, he did get a strong partial guarantee of $250K, so Boston would presumably love to see him clear waivers and make it to the team’s D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. However, as Charania observes, Bentil could be claimed or signed by another team, since the C’s no longer hold his NBA rights.

With 16 players on fully guaranteed deals for 2016/17, the Celtics had an overcrowded preseason roster of players capable of opening the season on an NBA team. Even after cutting Bentil, the team will have to remove one player from its roster — James Young and R.J. Hunter are viewed as the most likely candidates to be cut. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link), Boston has made both players available via trade, seeking a second-round pick in return.

The Jazz were the first team to waive a 2016 draftee, cutting 55th overall pick Marcus Paige from their roster last week.

Smart Out Two Weeks With Ankle Sprain

  • Celtics point guard Marcus Smart is expected to be out two weeks with an ankle injury, Mannix tweets. Smart has suffered numerous left ankle sprains before, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of, but it doesn’t appear to be as serious as some of his previous ones. Since the injury is expected to be a short-term situation, it probably won’t impact the decisions that will be made in the coming days to pare the roster down to 15 players, Blakely adds.

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