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.