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.