Celtics Not Sure If Keith Bogans Will Return

THURSDAY, 9:17am: The decision to excuse Bogans from the team was a mutual one, Ainge told 98.5 the SportsHub this morning, Forsberg notes in a full story. Ainge said he told Bogans to stay ready “if we have an injury and need him to come back,” but went on to say “it’s better for the team and better for him to part ways.” Still, it appears he’ll remain on the roster for a while, as I speculated yesterday.

“It’s a unique situation, very unique,” Ainge said in reference to Bogans’ contract. “His value to us is he has nonguaranteed contract and, for us, he’s a chip at the trade deadline or this summer, most likely, that has value around the league. We don’t want to release him, we don’t want to let go, we want to keep that chip as we’re rebuilding.” 

THURSDAY, 8:51am: Celtics GM Danny Ainge confirms it was indeed Bogans’ frustration over a lack of playing time that led the team to send him home, tweets Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. Ainge has nonetheless told Bogans to remain ready to play, Forsberg notes, which hints at a possible reconciliation.

WEDNESDAY, 5:16pm: The Celtics excused Keith Bogans from the team for personal reasons last night, but it’s not clear whether he’ll return at any point this season, according to coach Brad Stevens, who says the matter is “undecided,” tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. Bogans has complained about a lack of playing time after inking a three-year, $15.86MM contract as part of a sign-and-trade over the summer. Only this season’s salary is guaranteed, but it’s nonetheless a sweetheart deal for the veteran guard.

Bogans, 33, has appeared in only six games for a total of 55 minutes all season, though his two longest stretches of playing time this year came earlier this month. He played in 74 games, and started 23, for the Nets last season.

The 11th-year veteran is on the books for a little more than $5MM this year, so the Celtics would likely be reluctant to waive him without trying to see what they can get for him in a trade if they decide to formally part ways. I’d also imagine Boston would try to negotiate a buyout in advance of the March 1st deadline for players to be waived and remain eligible to join another team for the playoffs.

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