Celtics Predicted to Retain Rookie Sharpshooter Beyond this Season

Sam Hauser, Boston Celtics

Getty Sam Hauser, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics might be gearing up for a playoff battle with the Brooklyn Nets, but one eye still needs to be on next season’s roster construction, such is the life of an NBA front-office executive.

Luckily, all of the Celtics’ core rotation players are under contract for next season, and with the exception of Al Horford, there is little chance we see any of them moved during the off-season. But, as we look towards the end of the Celtics bench, things are slightly different.

Boston has multiple players on short-term deals through the end of the current season, as they looked to make up numbers after clearing the deck around the trade deadline. One of the players who has an uncertain future once the post-season reaches its conclusion is rookie sharpshooter Sam Hauser, who Boston converted from a two-way deal mid-way through the basketball year.

Still, Hauser does have a team option in his contract that would allow the Celtics to keep hold of him throughout next season, and they would then hold the rights to extend a qualifying offer to the Virginia product the following summer. But, with a team option in place, Boston could just as easily cut ties with Hauser in the coming months without taking on any dead cap space in the process.


Celtics Expected to Pick Up Team Option

One of the biggest flaws in the current Celtics roster is the lack of perimeter shooting. Sure, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are straight buckets, but every contending team needs multiple floor spacers off the bench.

Aaron Nesmith’s struggles from deep this year have accentuated Boston’s limited scoring options, and the team has suffered at times because of it. So, Hauser, who is shooting 43.2% from deep this year, does have a viable path to regular minutes off the bench, and that should help convince the Celtics front office to keep him around beyond this season.

“When the Celtics turned unbeatable for nearly two months (going 22-3 from Jan. 29 through March 27), one of the most obvious changes was the club leveling up to elite status from range, ranking fifth in threes (14.2) and fourth in percentage (37.7). Given the need for spacing and the clear impact of it, it seems pretty likely the Celtics will want to keep around rookie sharpshooter Sam Hauser,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley wrote in a recent article.

Hauser’s contract for next season, should the Celtics exercise their option, is valued at $1.5 million, which in NBA terms is pennies for a scoring threat who can get hot off the bench.


Hauser Unlikely to Play in The Playoffs

Unfortunately for Hauser, he’s unlikely to see much floor time during the Celtics’ current post-season run. Single-skilled shooters tend to lose their value once the playoffs roll around, primarily because teams put more of an onus on two-way players due to the increased need for half-court defense.

Still, against a Nets team that’s overflowing with firepower, Hauser could find himself playing spot minutes if the Celtics need to change the flow of the game or open up the Nets’ half-court defense for stretches.

Boston’s post-season run begins on Sunday, April 17, when they will face the Nets in game one of their playoff series. And regardless of what happens in the coming weeks, Hauser should be confident of having a place on the Celtics bench next season.

 

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