When the Celtics signed Sam Cassell, it was obvious that someone on the roster was destined to be cut. With 4 point guards on the roster, it seemed that one of them might be the obvious cut. Eddie House just signed a 2 year contract. Rondo is secure as the starting point guard and with Sam being pretty much assured of a spot, it seemed that Gabe Pruitt might be the odd man out. But, this quote from the Herald suggests that all 4 point guards could make the final cut.
Barring anything unforeseen, the Celtics [team stats] will be keeping four point guards on their final roster. One cut will need to be made from the 16 in camp (or a trade would have to be made where the C’s got one fewer body in return), but the little guys seem safe.
So, if the 4 point guards are safe, who is the 16th man? We can rule out the starting five so Perk, Rondo, Pierce, KG and Ray Allen are safe. And if the Herald is right, then Sam, Gabe and House are safe as well.
Patrick O'Bryant is pretty safe as he has something the Celtics desperately need and that is size. Also, reports are that he has been playing well in camp. But, even if he is lagging behind a bit, his size pretty much guarantees him a spot.
Tony Allen was signed for 2 years and Danny and Doc have both said that they are depending on Tony to be the defensive stopper now that Posey is gone. So, it would seem that Tony is also safe.
Scal has 2 years left on his contract and even though he didn't play in the playoffs, both Danny and Doc talked about how much he brings to the team. Danny was talking about how the team was better with Scal in the starting lineup last season. Now, knowing Danny, he may be hyping him up for a trade.
Next would be Big Baby and Leon Powe. At first it seems as though they are similar players and maybe one or the other would be the one to be cut, but they both bring their own skill set and depending on the matchup, each brings something different. Of the two, I would rather keep Leon. He brings so much toughness and although he is undersized, he has those long arms and plays much bigger than his size.
Then we have the 2 rookies. Bill Walker has gotten rave reviews for his performance in camp and it seems as though he has already picked up the system and looks good. He also brings some toughness to the team as could be seen from his scuffle with KG in a scrimmage. JR Giddens is struggling so far, but Doc and Danny still seem high on him and I don't see the team cutting a first round pick on his rookie contract.
So, then we have Darius Miles. All reports out of camp say that Miles is playing very and the knee doesn't seem to be an issue. When asked about Miles, Danny said that he could see Miles making a team and playing 10 games and then added that he hoped it would be the Celtics. Miles' contract is not guaranteed and so that could make him the most likely to be cut. But, if he plays well enough in camp, then it would be very hard to let him go. I am pulling for Darius to make the team.
So, it seems as though everyone has a role on the team and it will be hard to make that last cut. Of course, Danny could have a 2 for 1 or 3 for 2 trade in mind. In that case, I could see Scal and either Big Baby or Gabe being involved in the trade. I still think that one of the points is going to have to be cut or traded and Gabe Pruitt would seem to be the odd man out, although he has potential and should be the back up point of the future. Another theory I have been thinking about is that Sam will be the one cut and immediately added as a coach. Then, if needed during the season, he can be picked back up. It will be interesting to see who stands out over the next 3 weeks and who doesn't.
The team looked good on the Real Training camp session. It seems as though things are coming together. For those worried about Perk's shoulder, Danny Ainge said that Perk was probably the healthiest guy in camp but that they were just playing it cautious. He did throw down a couple of nice dunks in the drills and looked good. For anyone wanting to see the first pre-season game, it will be televised on NBA-TV on Wednesday, October 8 at 7:00 PM. I am getting very excited! How about you?