The Boston Celtics have difficult roster decisions to make this offseason. Who might be on the wrong end of that in October?
As much cohesion as the entire Boston Celtics roster seems to have, from Jaylen Brown’s unlikely friendship with Tacko Fall and Kemba Walker’s quarantine kinship with Grant Williams, there will still be a time this offseason when tough decisions will need to be made.
Short of the Cs rattling off 10 straight wins and securing banner #18 in dominant fashion, the roster will most certainly change this offseason. As of now, there are three incoming first-round picks making their way to the roster in mid-October (the currently scheduled time for the NBA Draft) and Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters can’t stay on a two-way contract forever.
While we have oftentimes been quick to point out potential flaws in the roster makeup, it still would be hard to lose anyone on this team. A sweep of the Philadelphia 76ers and two straight wins against the defending champs in the second round have made this team stand out–aside from the fact that they are looking to spark tangible social change and are sacrificing a lot finishing out the season in the Lake Buena Vista bubble–from other Celtics teams of years past.
That said, the following players have been making a minimal/non-existent impact in the postseason, and various circumstances could make them expendable this offseason:
Enes Kanter, C
The most notable name on this list is the somewhat controversial Turkish center Enes Kanter. Now to his credit, Kanter made an impact in the first round of the Cs’ series against the Philadelphia 76ers and was often the most effective big man off the bench.
The current series against the Raptors is revealing how unplayable he can be at times. Brad Stevens has deployed him for about four minutes of game time, opting instead for second-year man Robert Williams as his primary bench big.
This Boston team may be cutting costs this offseason if the cap situation is direr than projected, given the team’s salary commitments to Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, and (in a year) Jayson Tatum. If the team needs to shave money off of a luxury tax bill, Kanter’s $5 million could be the first to go.
Vincent Poirier, C
If Kanter is going to be off the roster, it only seems right that his fellow international mate Vincent Poirier goes with him. The two have formed a light-hearted friendship that has taken social media by storm at times…perhaps they can find a team willing to keep the friendship going?
Because right now, it would make little fiscal sense for Ainge to pay almost $3 million to a player that has never been able to get off the bench for a center rotation that has had its fair share of injuries this past season.
Poirier has never been able to make much of an impact on the floor, and at age 26, there isn’t supposed to be this much of a learning curve. There is a likely better big man available in the first round of the upcoming draft.
Javonte Green, SG/SF
Unfortunately for Javonte Green, if he was going to make an impassioned plea to stay on the Boston Celtics beyond the 2019-20 campaign, it was going to happen with a mythical playoff run that landed him in Beantown sports lore.
His pedestrian counting stats (three points, two rebounds in 10 minutes per game) coupled with inefficiency on anything other than a rim-run (including a sub-par 27 percent 3-point conversion rate) make it an easy decision to end his fairy tale run to make the roster next season.
That said, Green should find a job somewhere next season. Having him on your roster gives you a high-octane, high-energy guy that can give a jolt to his team and (if this pandemic is ever controlled) the live crowd with his highlight-reel finishes.