Taylor Funk

Celtics Sign, Waive Brandon Slater; Cut Two Others

The Celtics officially completed a series of roster moves on Thursday, per RealGM, signing and then waiving forward Brandon Slater while also cutting wing Jordan Schakel and forward Taylor Funk.

Slater went undrafted in June after spending five years playing for Villanova at the college level. As a super-senior in 2022/23, he averaged 9.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 29.0 minutes per game across 34 appearances (all starts) for the Wildcats.

Schakel had signed with the Celtics earlier this week, while Funk joined the roster in early September. Like Schakel and Funk, Slater likely received an Exhibit 10 contract, which will make him eligible for a bonus worth up to $75K if he spends at least 60 days with the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League affiliate.

The series of roster moves reduces Boston’s roster count to 18 players under contract, including 11 on guaranteed deals, four on non-guaranteed pacts, and three on two-way contracts. The team will likely fill out its 21-man roster before training camp begins next week, with DJ Steward among the anticipated additions.

Celtics Sign Taylor Funk To Exhibit 10 Deal

The Celtics have signed former Utah State forward Taylor Funk to an Exhibit 10 deal, a source tells Bobby Manning of CLNS Media (Twitter link).

Funk played his first five collegiate seasons with St. Joseph’s before moving to Utah State as a grad transfer. In 34 games with Utah State, Funk averaged 13.4 points and shot 37.0% from deep on 6.4 attempts per night. After going undrafted in the 2023 draft, Funk joined the Heat for the California Classic and Las Vegas Summer League, but played sparingly across both events.

Boston is now up to 17 players under contract, four away from the offseason limit. That total includes 11 players on guaranteed contracts and three on partially or non-guaranteed deals (Svi Mykhailiuk, Dalano Banton and Luke Kornet). The Celtics also have JD Davison and Jay Scrubb signed to two-way deals. DJ Steward will reportedly get an Exhibit 10 contract too, but it isn’t yet official.

Funk will likely end up with the Maine Celtics, where he could earn a bonus worth up to $75K if he spends at least 60 days with Boston’s G League affiliate.

Pacific Notes: Ayton, VanVleet, Paul, Lakers’ Workouts

Deandre Ayton is believed to be a prime trade candidate but new Suns coach Frank Vogel feels he can get more out of the enigmatic center, he told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

“I have history with having great success with the elite rim protectors and with bigs in general. And I feel like I can take a lot of those lessons and use them to help restore Deandre to a place of prominence in this organization and in this league,” Vogel said. “He obviously has an immense amount of talent, and the talent fits the way I have played throughout my career. So I think he can be in an elite, dominant, defensive center in my system.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Fred VanVleet‘s decision to decline his player option could influence how the Suns handle the Chris Paul situation, according to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. The Suns could have a dynamic backcourt for years to come if they could land VanVleet in a sign-and-trade with the Raptors, but they first have to figure whether they’ll waive, retain, or trade Paul, who has a partially guaranteed contract.
  • Speaking of Paul, Gerald Bourguet of GoPhnx.com explores 10 hypothetical trades the Suns could make involving their aging future Hall of Famer. Bourguet ultimately concludes it’s more likely that teams would rather wait to see if Paul is waived and then bid for his services.
  • Big man Adama Sanogo of national champion UConn was among the draft prospects who worked out for the Lakers on Tuesday, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin tweets. Taevion Kinsey (Marshall), Taylor Funk (Utah St), Tosan Evbuomwan (Princeton) and Nathan Mensah (San Diego State) were among the other visitors.