Celtics Fill Roster Spot With Signing of Isaiah Thomas’ Teammate

Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Getty Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Since the Boston Celtics converted Luke Kornet and Sam Hauser to full-time contracts the team has had an open two-way spot to fill.

According to a report from Marc Stein, the Celtics are signing Matt Ryan to a two-way contract for the remainder of the season. Ryan had been playing for the Colorado Grand Rapids in the NBA G-League before the Celtics extended the deal.

Ryan has participated in 16 games for the Grand Rapids this season, averaging 18.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists on 38.7% shooting from deep and 42.6% shooting from the field. At six-foot-seven, Ryan is a traditional wing/forward and can spend time playing at the small forward position or the power forward.

By adding Ryan to the team on a two-way deal the Celtics have acquired another shooting on a team-friendly deal, although it’s unlikely we see much of him outside of garbage time.

Celtics Now Have Multiple Sharpshooters

By adding Ryan, the Celtics now have four players who can be considered sharpshooters that they can call on. Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard, Sam Hauser, and now Ryan are all known for their reliable stroke from beyond the arc, however, we’re yet to see Nesmith live up to that billing.

Unfortunately, of all those shooters, only Pritchard is getting consistent minutes. As such, the Celtics continue to struggle from deep but can’t rely on Nesmith or Hauser due to their limitations on defense – an area of the floor Ime Udoka has placed at a premium. Pritchard may have some physical limitations as a defender, but he plays with intensity and understands the switching scheme the coaching staff has implemented, which is why we’re seeing more of him in recent weeks.

It does seem that Boston has learned a tough lesson following their cutting of Max Strus a few seasons back. The Miami Heat ended up giving Strus a two-way contract and he has gone on to become a valuable member of their rotation and solid NBA floor spacer for them.

By converting Hauser so quickly after adding him on a two-way deal, and then adding another known shooter in Ryan, it seems that Brad Stevens is focused on following a similar route to that of the Heat, who have been one of the best teams at developing G-League talent in recent years.

Boston Still Has Open Roster Spots

The Celtics may have filled their open two-way spot, but still have multiple open roster spots. The team recently added Kelan Martin and Malik Fitts to ten-day contracts but are not obligated to keep either with the team long-term.

Many believe that Boston is making use of ten-day contracts to take a closer look at some free agents before making a decision on who to add to the team, while it’s also possible Stevens is biding his time to see who shakes loose on the buy-out market.

The Celtics opened up some roster spots during and around the February 10 trade deadline as the team sent out Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, Enes Freedom, PJ Dozier, Bol Bol, and Dennis Schroder in multiple deals but only took back Derrick White and Daniel Theis.

Boston filled two of their empty roster slots with Hauser and Kornet, but still, have another two to utilize should they find players who they believe could help if called upon.

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