The Boston Celtics are an iconic franchise. They are tied with the rival Lakers for the most championships with 17, and the Celtics have the second-best winning percentage in NBA history. No team has won more games, but all of their success has not come without mistakes.
From busted draft picks to failed signings, the Celtics are no strangers to missteps. They are fantastic at bouncing back and building another contender. Brad Stevens jumped from head coach to the front office and has kept Boston in title contention. They are eager to break through and get championship 18 after being in the conference finals in five of the last seven years.
One of the weirder phenomena in the NBA is teams acquiring a player and letting them go before they see the floor. It happens in draft night trades as the league refuses to finalize deals until after the proceedings are complete. Teams sometimes acquire a talent only to quickly reroute them. The Celtics are no strangers and have let some skilled players walk out the door before seeing a minute on the floor.
Boston Celtics that never played a single minute
12. Damion Lee
Lee went undrafted in 2016 and signed with the Celtics in September. The 6’5 guard did not make their roster out of training camp and played the next two seasons primarily in the G League before signing a two-way contract with the Warriors in 2018.
It was just the shot that Lee needed. He became a rotation player in 2020 where he averaged 12.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 steal per game. The Dubs struggled in his first season, but Lee remained in their rotation through their 2022 championship. He played nearly 20 minutes per game during the regular season and got playing time in 16 of their 22 playoff contests.
Damion Lee departed for Phoenix in the 2022 offseason and remains a 20-minute per-game role player for the Suns. The Boston Celtics had their chance to keep the 6’5 guard, but he just was not quite ready for an NBA role at that stage.