Saturday, October 18, 2014

Minor roster tweaks instead of major splash for Celtics

Boston Celtics acquire Will Bynum
BOOM goes the Bynumite
Celtics fans all over the world knew that two things could happen this summer.

GM Danny Ainge could either swing for the fences and bring Rondo some Love, or he could decide to tread water and improve our odds for next year's free agent bonanza. In 2015, Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, DeAndre Jordan, and a slew of others hit the open market.

Ainge chose the latter, drafting sturdy point guard Marcus Smart (No. 6) and 6-foot-6 swingman James Young (No. 17), acquiring sparkplug Marcus Thornton and center Tyler Zeller in a three-team trade with Brooklyn and Cleveland, and signing former No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner away from Indiana.
  • The Celtics also shipped veteran Keith Bogans and two second-rounders to Cleveland for Dwight Powell, John Lucas (waived), Malcolm Thomas (waived), Erik Murphy, and two second-rounders.
  • On September 17, the team traded center Joel Anthony to Detroit for guard Will Bynum, shedding roughly $900,000 of 2014-2015 salary.
That means the roster now consists of holdovers Rajon Rondo, Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley, Vitor Faverani, Jeff Green, Kelly Olynyk, Phil Pressey, Jared Sullinger, Gerald Wallace, draftees Young & Smart, additions Turner, Zeller, Thornton, Powell, Murphy, Bynum, and training camp bodies Tim Frazier, Rodney McGruder, and Christian Watford.

In case you weren't counting, that's 20 players. Which means that five players will have to go for the Celtics to get to the league-max of 15.

The cut

The trio Frazier, McGruder and Watford, all of whom are on nonguaranteed training camp contracts, will soon be waived, probably latching on with the Maine Red Claws.

I also fully expect Erik Murphy, whose deal is only guaranteed for $100,000 if waived before November 1, to be gone.

Which means that one more player has to go, allowing two routes for Ainge. He could either strike another trade, bringing back less players than he sends out, but he might also cut either Phil Pressey or Will Bynum (the backcourt is simply to crowded for both of them), or rookie Dwight Powell.

The smoke will soon clear.

Update: Will Bynum's stint in Boston was a short one. The team waived him on Monday.

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