The Boston Celtics still have three roster spots remaining for the 2022-23 season. While the team has brought in Noah Vonleh and Bruno Caboclo to compete for the last three spots, they are only two of what are expected to be several candidates to make the final roster. As it turns out, the Celtics may potentially sign another former first-round to a deal similar to Vonleh’s or Caboclo’s. The target in mind is Denzel Valentine.
“It’s likely Boston will be bringing in some athletic wing options (Justin Jackson, Brodric Thomas) for the final opportunities. Denzel Valentine is also a candidate to be signed as well, per multiple reports, after playing with the Maine Celtics last year.”
Valentine also spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz last season. In 22 games with the Cavaliers, Valentine averaged 2.9 points and 1.7 rebounds in 9.3 minutes a game. In the two games he played for the Jazz, Valentine averaged 2.5 points and two rebounds a game.
While playing for the Maine Celtics during the 2021-22 season, Valentine put up demonstrably better numbers.
Valentine’s Numbers in Maine
Valentine only played in 12 games for the Maine Celtics, but he certainly left a good enough impression with the team for the Celtics to consider calling him up for a training camp invite.
In the 12 games Valentine played for the Maine Celtics, he averaged 14.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, and seven rebounds in 31.9 minutes a game. He also shot 44 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three.
Among his more standout performance was when he scored 27 points, dished out nine assists, and hit seven threes against the Motor City Cruise, the G-League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons.
Bringing in Valentine may not be the worst idea because he has familiarity with Sam Hauser when they played together in Maine.
While Valentine is reportedly an option, it appears the Celtics will be parting ways with one of their players from last season’s roster.
Celtics Not Bringing Back Matt Ryan
Robb also reported that Ryan, who signed a two-way contract with the team towards the end of the 2021-22 season and played for their summer league team, will not be returning to Boston.
“A league source tells MassLive that Ryan is expected to resume his career elsewhere next season amid a roster crunch in Boston.”
Ryan was among the Summer League standouts for the Celtics. His biggest highlight was hitting a buzzer-beater against the Milwaukee Bucks while spraining his ankle in the process.
Ryan’s story was very inspirational. Before the Celtics brought him aboard, he was working blue-collar jobs like at the cemetery and for Doordash. Ryan got emotional while talking about the journey he’s had getting to the NBA following his buzzer-beater against the Bucks.
Alas, it appears Ryan will not be returning to the Celtics for the 2022-23 season, but bringing back previous Celtics has been a theme for Brad Stevens since taking over as President of Basketball Operations.
Since taking over, he’s brought back Al Horford, Enes Kanter Freedom, Daniel Theis, and Luke Kornet for a second go-round, and he’s had the job for a little over a year.
Who’s to say Ryan won’t follow a similar career path?