After lingering back-and-forth discussions, the Boston Celtics finally got their man, at an extremely team-friendly price might we add. As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the point guard-needy Cs agreed to a one-year deal with free-agent Dennis Schroder for the $5.9 million taxpayer mid-level exception. Yet, while Boston theoretically bolstered their backcourt, there’s still somewhat of a roadblock in the way — roster space.
As things currently sit, the team has no open roster spots, and while this is will in no way affect Schroder’s deal, his arrival will almost certainly mean the end to other current Celtics’ runs in Boston.
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Newly-Acquired Celtics on the Way Out?
According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the team had been “exploring trade opportunities for point guard Kris Dunn and forward Bruno Fernando” prior to concluding contract conversations with Schroder.
This shouldn’t come as much surprise, as it had been up in the air whether either player would actually join the Celtics in the first play. As Brian Robb of Mass Live noted, when there was a hold-up in finalizing the trade that shipped Tristan Thompson to the Sacramento Kings, “there appeared to be behind-the-scenes reasons. Boston was looking for another trade partner for its recently acquired pieces,” ie: Dunn and Fernando.
Evidently, they failed to find buyers for either player, leading to the original three-team trade being completed. As for Dunn, the former No. 5 pick could prove to be a quality wing defender and depth piece for the Celtics. Then again, the backcourt is getting a tad crowded following the addition of Schroder. With the latter joining the likes of Marcus Smart, Payton Pritchard and Josh Richardson, among others, Dunn’s services may waste away on Boston’s bench.
Fernando finds himself in a similar position as Dunn. Big men Al Horford, Robert Williams and Enes Kanter will eat up the majority of the minutes in the frontcourt, leaving very little court-time for the Angolan power forward/center.
Fernando made his Summer League debut with the Celtics on Tuesday and finished with nine points and two rebounds in 15 minutes in a 107-82 win over the Denver Nuggets.
Is Jabari Parker the Odd Man Out?
With undrafted free agent Sam Hauser on a two-way deal, the Celtics have essentially 17 players on their roster and that’s before taking Yam Madar’s potential addition into consideration. However, they have 16 players under contract for the upcoming season — one over the maximum of 15 players on an active roster.
With that in mind, another possibility worth mentioning is the idea of cutting Jabari Parker. The former No. 2 pick’s deal checks in at a non-guaranteed $2.3 million. Parker had some flashes during his abbreviated first season in Beantown. However, he remains a far cry from the 20 points per game scorer he was earlier in his career.
The Celtics are permitted to carry as many as 20 players signed to contracts during the offseason, as per the league’s CBA, via HoopRumors. In other words, there’s no reason to make rash decisions. At the same time, the writing looks to be on the wall for at least a few players towards the bottom of the roster.