Celtics Announce Major ‘Competition’ Among Players

Ime Udoka talking to multiple members of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Ime Udoka talking to multiple members of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics roster is slowly taking shape. After an impressive run to the NBA Finals this past season, Brad Stevens was anything but complacent this offseason as he looked to improve the roster around the team’s current core.

Stevens started out by signing forward Danilo Gallinari after he was waived and then followed that up by making a shocking trade, dealing five players to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Malcolm Brogdon. And then he followed that up by signing Summer League standouts Mfiondu Kabengele and JD Davison to two-way contracts.

But the team isn’t done quite yet. According to Jay King of The Athletic, the Celtics plan to hold an open competition during training camp, allowing multiple players to compete for the final three roster spots on the team.

“The Boston Celtics are preparing to hold an open competition for their final roster spots at training camp next month, league sources told The Athletic,” King wrote on August 3.

Some teams around the league employ this tactic, choosing to make players earn their spot on the roster. It gives coaches a chance to closely evaluate potential candidates and gives those players a chance to gel with their potential teammates, too.

King also outlined multiple players who would be amongst those competing for the three final spots.

Players Competing for Final Roster Spots

According to King, two players have already been signed to be a part of this competition, and two more players, who played for Boston’s Summer League team, are likely to join them.

“As of Tuesday, the Celtics mostly were expected to fill out the rest of the training camp roster with young veterans willing to vie for those spots,” King reported. “Recent additions Noah Vonleh and Bruno Caboclo will be in that group, while last year’s two-way player Brodric Thomas and former Kings draft pick Justin Jackson are viewed as strong candidates to join them, league sources told The Athletic.”

That being said, King also noted that Summer League fan favorite Matt Ryan seems unlikely to return to the team.

“Matt Ryan, a Celtics summer-league standout who finished last season as the team’s other two-way contract player, now sounds less likely to return to Boston,” King wrote. “He has fully recovered from a summer ankle injury, according to a league source.”

And as the Celtics continue to search for end-of-the-bench players to fill out their roster, they are seemingly targeting younger players rather than veterans.

Celtics Preferred Players for Bench

King noted that, while some proven NBA veterans are still on the market and available for the Celtics to sign, they aren’t looking in that direction. Instead, they want to add younger players to the end of the bench who will embrace a smaller role.

“Though veteran big men like Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins and Montrezl Harrell are still unsigned, the Celtics are said to prefer younger players who have room to grow and will be more likely to embrace a limited role. Kabengele, a first-round pick in 2019, fits that mold,” said King.

So, as the Celtics continue to fill out their bench, make sure to keep a close eye on training camp and the preseason. It could mean a lot more than usual this year.

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