Celtics to Cut Former Top-5 Pick, Eyeing Big Man with Open Roster Spot: Report

Celtics cut Jabari Parker

Getty The Boston Celtics are waiving forward Jabari Parker.

The Boston Celtics‘ roster looked all but cemented heading into Wednesday’s season opener — and Jabari Parker appeared destined to be a part of it. However, things have since changed.

After seemingly surviving Boston’s final round of cuts, The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach has reported that Parker has been waived. The decision to move off of the former No. 2 overall pick opens up one roster spot for the Cs, who also have an available two-way contract slot at their disposal as well. According to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, Garrison Matthews was offered a two-way deal from the team but chose to decline the offer in hopes of receiving a standard contract elsewhere. Undrafted rookie Sam Hauser is currently the lone Celtic occupying a two-way slot.

Parker and Matthews join the likes of Theo Pinson, Luke Kornet, Chris Clemons, Ryan Arcidiacono and Juwan Morgan as players waived by Boston in recent days. Per Weiss, Arcidiacono, Morgan, Pinson, Kornet and Clemons are all set to join the Maine Celtics G League affiliate.

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Celtics Avoid Guaranteeing Parker’s Contract; Eyeing Big Man?

Had Parker been a part of Boston’s opening night roster, $1.24 million of his $2.28 million salary would have become guaranteed. Instead, the Celtics will take on $100,000 in dead money while opening up a standard roster spot — a spot that may very well go towards bolstering the team’s frontcourt.

“There has been some buzz that the Celtics are looking at adding another big man, given the uncertainty of Al Horford’s early-season availability. Robert Williams’ recent knee soreness likely factors in here as well,” tweeted Keith Smith of Celtics Blog.

Timelord sat out of the team’s preseason finale against the Miami Heat with “knee tendinopathy,” a concerning designation for a player who has battled his fair share of lower-body ailments throughout his young career. However, coach Ime Udoka downplayed the severity of Williams’ knee issues, telling reporters he didn’t believe the center could be dealing with a recurring injury.

We tested it at shootaround, we tested it before the game and it felt a little sore, so we were on the safe side. Obviously, [in a] preseason game, we still want to get a look at certain guys, and he’s played quite a few minutes in all three games, so we took the safe approach.

It’ll be ready to go against [the] New York [Knicks] for the season opener on Oct. 20th.


Parker’s Outlook

Parker drew the start in Boston’s preseason finale and put forth a solid showing throughout the entirety of the preseason. In three exhibition games, the 26-year-old averaged 7.0 points on 40.0% shooting from the field and 50.0% from beyond the arc.

Parker appeared in 10 regular-season games with the Celtics a season ago, averaging 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per contest after being signed on April 16th. He also played in four playoff games, totaling 34 points and 15 rebounds throughout Boston’s first-round matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.

The 6-foot-8-inch, 245-pound Chicago native has averaged 14.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists over his up-and-down eight-year career. The Duke product remains a solid scorer,  averaging 15.0-plus points with three different teams over his NBA tenure. Unfortunately, numerous ACL injuries have stripped Parker of his near All-Star form from earlier in his Milwaukee days.

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