The Celtics have agreed to a deal with free agent swingman Denzel Valentine, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports that Valentine will be signing an Exhibit 10 contract with Boston and will compete in training camp for a spot on the regular season roster.
The 14th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Valentine spent the first five years of his NBA career in Chicago before signing last offseason with the Cavaliers. He played a minor role in 22 games for Cleveland, then was dealt in January to the Knicks, who waived him. Following a 10-day contract with the Jazz, Valentine played in the G League for the rest of the 2021/22 season.
Considered a strong three-point shooter, Valentine has made 36.0% of his attempts from beyond the arc in 256 NBA appearances (18.8 MPG). He has also knocked down 41.2% of his three-pointers in a small G League sample (16 games). Valentine appeared in 12 games (31.9 MPG) last season with the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League affiliate, filling up the box score with 14.6 PPG, 10.3 RPG, and 7.0 APG.
The Celtics have at least 11 players expected to make their regular season roster, with Luke Kornet viewed as a strong candidate to be the 12th. The team has reportedly reached deals with Valentine, Bruno Caboclo, and Noah Vonleh to compete for the 13th and 14th spots — free agents like Brodric Thomas and Justin Jackson are also expected by local reporters to vie for a spot on Boston’s roster.
Because Valentine has been in the NBA for five seasons, he’s ineligible to have his Exhibit 10 contract converted into a two-way deal, but he could earn a bonus worth up to $50K if he’s waived and reports back to Maine for at least 60 days.