Report: Boston Celtics Attempting To Trim Roster Via Trade


The Boston Celtics have until 5 p.m. Eastern Time on October 27th to get their roster down to 15 men. After waiving the non-guaranteed contracts of Coty Clarke, Malcolm Miller and Levi Randolph, the Celtics are down to 17 players. The team will then likely waive their last remaining non-guaranteed contract, Corey Walden, who’s only still around because of Isaiah Thomas‘ (minor) injury has prevented him from practicing.

Danny Ainge could easily waive one additional player before the October 27th deadline, but it really isn’t the most optimal solution, seeing as every remaining contract besides Walden’s is guaranteed. This would require the Celtics to eat whichever player’s contract they decide to cut.

If anyone gets waived, it’s going to be Perry Jones III, considering the team’s apparent lack of interest in him. This was illustrated by how little playing time he saw during the Celtics’ preseason. Also, when the Celtics acquired him, the Thunder sent “cash considerations” to the Celtics – presumably for the sake of covering Jones III’s salary if the Celtics were to cut him.

Despite the convenience of waiving Perry Jones III, the best way for the Celtics to trim their roster would be to do it via trade. Doing so would allow the Celtics to reach that maximum roster count in a way that could possibly yield additional draft picks.

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It appears this is the route Ainge is hoping to take, as according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Ainge wants to do it in a way that wouldn’t involve paying for another player’s contract.

Unfortunately, general managers are primarily not looking to make any trades at this time of the year. The majority of GMs would rather see how well their summer acquisitions perform before making any additional trades. The only reason why a GM would want to trade at this time of the year – besides cutting down on salary cap and/or roster spots – would be to fill the void created by any recently-injured player.

One team currently short-handed is the New Orleans Pelicans. Because of injuries the Pelicans will be without Tyreke Evans, Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca, Quincy Pondexter, Luke Babbitt and Norris Cole for tonight’s preseason game. They’ve been trudging through the NBA’s trenches of mediocrity for several years now, so they’re probably desperate enough to overpay if they think it improves their team.

Players like Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley and James Young may therefore be of interest to them, considering the team’s lack of three-point shooting. While all of the aforementioned players are integral parts of this Celtics team, they may be the type of players other teams could have their eyes on. If the deal is right, Ainge will pull the trigger on anyone. But I wouldn’t expect Ainge to make any blockbuster trades until the trade deadline, as his immediate goal is to simply shave one player off of the team by October 27th.

Look for Ainge to seek out cost-efficient ways to shed Perry Jones III’s salary. This may mean Ainge could send Jones III and a second-rounder to a team for a conditional second-rounder. But the Celtics have plenty of cap space so it really wouldn’t be the end of the world if they had to pay Jones III.

So unless somebody’s in desperate need for wing depth, and is therefore willing to send the Celtics a second-rounder for Jones III, don’t expect any trades to go through. Also, there wouldn’t be much of a point for teams to pay for Jones III, when they could have easily just acquired him for free off waivers.

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