Fight for 15: Making the Case for DeShawn Sims


July 17, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tyler Zeller (40) and Phoenix Suns forward DeShawn Sims (32) battle for position during the game at the Thomas and Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With the start of training camp on September 30th, the Boston Celtics final training camp roster will have 18 spots unless another player is added shortly before the start. There are a few players who are going to have to fight for the final roster spot on the team. The Celtics have 14 guaranteed contracts, so those players will likely not be going anywhere. In the fight for 15, we’ll discuss the four players who received invites to camp that could make the cut. 

DeShawn Sims was one of the guys who accepted a training camp invite from the Boston Celtics shortly after Summer League play was over. He’s a high jumping forward who has an immense 7’0 wingspan and stands at 6’8. He can stretch the floor at the power forward position from beyond the arch–something the Celtics have lacked over the years.

Sims had a stint with the Boston Celtics’ Summer League team after going undrafted from out of Michigan in 2010. Sims then played for the Maine Red Claws where he scored 20.8 points per game and shot 39% from three. Sims has shown signs that he can be a productive player, but is he worthy of the 15th roster spot? Lets discuss.

Why Sims should get the spot

Well, Sims number one strength is having the ability to stretch the floor from three at the power forward position. The Celtics don’t really have another player who can do that consistently. Kelly Olynyk has a decent midrange shot and so does Brandon Bass, but that is all of the shooting that they have at the position.

Sims would be able to bring a bit of versatility to the table for the Celtics. He’s shown, in the past during his stretch at Michigan, in the D League, and overseas, that he can score the ball if he needs to. He probably won’t be able to do that on the NBA level, but his skill set does offer things that could be put to use.

He’s only 6’8, but he has a 7’0 wingspan. That wingspan is going to go a long way in Sims crashing the boards and defending. He is a great athlete and can jump out of the gym. If the Celtics play fast this season, that will greatly increase his chances of making this team. They’re going to need forwards that are able to run and Sims can certainly do that.

He could give the Celtics a chance to play some small ball during certain stretches to exploit different matchups. If he can be productive on the defensive end that will go a long way in him seeing the floor.

Why Sims shouldn’t get the spot

The Celtics already have a dearth of forwards. They have three players who play power forward specifically in Kris Humphries, Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass. They have Kelly Olynyk who is more than likely going to log minutes at power forward and they’ve got two tweeners in Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace.

Sims seems to be very talented, but that doesn’t guarantee him a roster spot. He’d have to outperform most of the aforementioned forwards if he wants to earn himself a roster spot through camp. With his limited experience in the NBA, that could be a hard thing to do.

Sims has this going for him though: this is a new system and there are a few new players that have to earn their minutes. Even the players who are veterans on this team are going to have to show Brad Stevens that they can play. It isn’t going to be a cakewalk for anyone going into camp.

Will Sims get the spot?

I don’t think he will. Again, Sims is going up against guys who have been in the NBA for a while and there are already a bunch of forwards on this team. Its very possible that he could get the spot because everyone is going to be new to the system. If he performs well enough in it, he’ll get it. But his margin of error is slim here and one slip up could cost him dearly.

He’s definitely got the talent to make someone’s roster, though. If he doesn’t make this one, I could see him getting another stint in the NBADL and then getting picked up on someone’s roster.