The Boston Celtics waived Jarvis Varnado and Kris Joesph according to Marc Stein of ESPN:
Players waived today: K. Joseph & J. Varnado (BOS), S. Samuels (CLE), C. Douglas-Roberts (DAL), S. Young (IND), L. Hayward (MIN) and …
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 6, 2013
The C’s have made some news lately, most notably the possible acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins, but in lesser news they have waived Jarvis Varnado and Kris Joseph in a move to avoid the league’s luxury tax.
It’s somewhat depressing that the C’s are already giving up on Kris Joseph. Joseph has oscillated between the NBA roster and the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, but the second round pick from Syracuse was thought to have a lot of potential heading into this season.
Joseph may have fallen to the 51st overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, but as I wrote following draft night, his potential seemed to indicate he could prove to be a valuable wingman off the bench. Joseph’s scoring potential was maybe average at best, but he was thought to be a good defender, and he also felt he was capable of scoring big at an NBA level if the situation called for it.
The obvious implication from the likely waiving of Joseph is that he hasn’t lived up to these expectations, in either the pros or in the D-League, despite the fact he scored 28 points in the Maine Red Claws’ opener (highlights below).
But I don’t think this is the last the NBA will hear of Joseph. The C’s just don’t want to enter the luxury tax, and cutting ties with the 6’7″ swingman is the only way they can avoid doing so. The luxury tax is a dollar-per-dollar tax assessed to teams over the cap which ends up hurting owner’s pocket books big time, and clearly the C’s don’t think the value that Joseph offers is worth paying that penalty.
As to whether or not they’ll regret cutting ties with him, we may not know that for many years, as he has yet to establish himself at the pro level.
As for Varnado, he’s played 18 minutes all season and while some were high on his NBA potential, it doesn’t seem too likely that he ends up being much more than a career D-leaguer.
He displayed great potential at the D-League level, but the chasm that bridges the Developmental League from the pros is quite substantial, and his dominance among the guys in the D-League doesn’t really speak much of his potential among the best players in the world. Varnado averaged 14 points per game and eight rebounds per night in the D-League, but couldn’t get any burn for the C’s.
The move also gives Danny Ainge a little bit of flexibility financially entering the weeks up to the trade deadline, and even if the DeMarcus Cousins deal isn’t consummated tonight, he still could find himself making a move or two in attempt to right the ship, as the C’s have a lot of ground to make up if they want to solidify a place in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
As of the time of issue, the C’s sit just two games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Presumably, they will want to move up in the standings to avoid a potential first round matchup with the Miami Heat.