When the Boston Celtics signed Lamar Stevens, they signed him to a non-guaranreed Exhibit 9 training camp deal, per Spotrac’s Keith Smith. This meant his spot on the team was uncertain. On October 21, Smith revealed that a deadline had passed that could indicate where Stevens stands with the Celtics.
With there being no news of Stevens being cut by the Celtics, this could mean he has made the team’s opening night roster. Given that Stevens had a prominent role during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2022-23 season, combined with his impressive preseason play and the Celtics, it’d be hard to see the Celtics let him go.
Stevens started in 25 of the 62 games he played for the Cavaliers in his last season with the team. Stevens does not boast much floor-spacing – a career 28.1% shooter from three. However, he has a reputation for being a stingy defender along the wing. Better yet, he showed some offensive finesse during the preseason. Stevens may have an outside chance of playing in the rotation if he continues demonstrating his offensively capable ability.
Celtics Cut Wenyen Gabriel: Report
Though Stevens may very well make the Celtics opening night roster, other training camp invitees were not so lucky. On October 20, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Celtics had cut Wenyen Gabriel via his X account.
Gabriel appeared in three preseason games for the Celtics. He played 25 minutes in total, putting up seven points, eight rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal. Gabriel was also out-shined by Neemias Queta, who had a few standout performances for the Celtics during the preseason.
Like Lamar Stevens, Gabriel agreed to a training camp deal with the Celtics, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. However, they evidently were not high on Gabriel like they likely are with Stevens.
With Gabriel now cut, the Celtics big man rotation consists of Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, Luke Kornet, and Queta. The Celtics should also enter the 2023-24 season with an open roster spot. They could potentially use that spot on another big via free agency or with one of their trade exceptions.
Insider Makes Case for Lamar Stevens
MassLive’s Brian Robb explained why he believes Stevens should be on the Celtics’ roster despite his warts.
“A lack of reliable 3-point shooting will always be a knock on the 25-year-old forward, but Stevens showcased the energy upside he could bring off the bench in the performance. Boston was sorely lacking in the athleticism department last year with their reserves and Stevens provides that dynamic as a springy wing that could be useful while surrounded by a bunch of shooters.
“His ability to hit the offensive glass wore Boston out in a head-to-head contest last year in Cleveland, and that mentality could go a long way this season on nights the Celtics are dragging,” Robb wrote in an October 20 story.
Robb then directly referenced Stevens’ preseason performance overall for why he should make the team.
“He posted good finishing numbers during this preseason (52 percent from the field) and also was second on the team in offensive rebounds per game (1.5) in his four preseason appearances. Throw in a gritty defensive mentality, and this is an ideal option for Joe Mazzulla to have on the end of his bench.”
Stevens will have more mountains to climb if he makes the opening night roster. To be in the rotation, he must beat out Svi Mykhailiuk, Oshae Brissett, and Sam Hauser.