JULY 31, 11:15am: The Celtics have officially signed Larkin, the team announced today in a press release.
JULY 20, 10:10am: The Celtics have reached an agreement with Shane Larkin that will bring the point guard back to the NBA, reports international basketball journalist David Pick (via Twitter). Terms of the deal aren’t known, but Larkin and the C’s have agreed to terms, according to Pick, who suggests that the point guard is leaving $6MM+ on the table by returning stateside (Twitter link).
Larkin, the 18th overall pick in the 2013 draft, spent time with the Mavericks, Knicks, and Nets before heading overseas last season. Having signed with Spanish team Baskonia for the 2016/17 campaign, Larkin was one of the most productive point guards in Europe, averaging a team-high 14.1 PPG and 4.9 APG in 37 Spanish League games for Baskonia. He also led the club in PPG (13.1) and APG (5.7) in 33 Euroleague games.
Larkin didn’t exactly turn heads during his first stint in the NBA, averaging a modest 5.8 PPG and 3.2 APG in 202 regular season games. However, he’s still just 24 years old, and Pick suggests that Larkin was widely viewed as the top Euroleague free agent point guard after Milos Teodosic signed with the Clippers.
While Boston appears willing to roll the dice on Larkin, it’s not clear if the Miami alum will be guaranteed a spot on the regular season roster. With Avery Bradley and Demetrius Jackson no longer on the team, I’d expect Larkin to have an inside track on a 15-man roster spot to provide backcourt depth, particularly since he reportedly turned down a far more lucrative offer from Barcelona in order to join the C’s. Still, the back of the roster could get a little crowded, given the arrivals of players like Abdel Nader, Semi Ojeleye, Daniel Theis, and possibly Guerschon Yabusele.
The Celtics are virtually out of cap room and have used the room exception on Aron Baynes, so Larkin appears likely to receive a minimum salary deal.