Veteran Scorer has a “leg up” for Celtics Final Roster Spot: Report.
No question about it, in a week before the Celtics take the word for the start of the NBA regular season, the roster and rotation will have taken shape. We may see the starters tinker with and there will be fights for positions that will go on throughout the season, but the contours of this team are pretty well defined.
With one exception: we don’t yet know who will be 15NS Man on the list. According to a team insider, however, veteran Jabari Parker has “a head start” in the competition for the spot.
Parker certainly helped himself with his game at the Boston game in Orlando on Wednesday.
Spotrac’s Keith Smith outlined the Celtics’ squad situation, noting that Parker faces significant competition from a handful of other players: Ryan Arcidiacono, Garrison Mathews, Juwan Morgan, Theo Pinson. Neither of these players saw much time the preseason, and Mathews, Morgan and Pinson, as Smith points out, are eligible two-way players. Smith thinks Mathews is the most likely to land a two-way deal in the G-League.
As Smith wrote, “The Celtics are above the tax and will not be under it without a deal. They’d have to eat $ 100,000 if they didn’t have Parker. That’s not a large amount, but it might be enough to keep him with you. “
Of course, when the Celtics signed Parker last spring after he was abandoned by the Kings, the team insisted he wasn’t a short-term renter. Parker played for Boston in just 10 games last year, averaging 6.4 points, despite averaging 8.5 points at 61.9% shooting in four playoff games.
Coach Brad Stevens, now president of the team, said at the time: “This is a plan that goes beyond this year. We will be patient to take him with us. We see him mainly as a guy who can play some 4s for us, but maybe also some small-ball 5s in some lineups, especially for some of our better players as ball movers, passer, playmakers, drivers, as the guy who hits the ball in the basket and poses a real threat to put the ball in the basket. “
The Celtics gave him a multi-year contract last season, but the $ 2.3 million he owes this year is only guaranteed for $ 1.1 million. The Celtics could strike Parker before October 20th and owe him only the $ 100,000 Smith mentioned.
The Celtics saw Parker as a reclamation project, a one-off top 3 recruit in the nation who played for Duke and was number 2 in the 2013 NBA draft.
But Parker grabbed his left ACL as a rookie for Milwaukee and ripped it again in 2017, his third NBA season. Parker averaged 20.1 points per game in 51 games that season and seemed on the way to developing a good 3-point shot (he made 36.5% that year).
Parker hasn’t been the same since then, and the Celtics are his fifth team in his last three seasons since leaving Milwaukee. Parker only appeared in three games for the Low Kings last year.
But Parker is only 26 years old and the Celtics are a side that could struggle to score from the bench, especially if point guard Dennis Schroder joins the starting line-up. Parker’s defense was bad even before his injuries so that will be a problem – but he can score and the Celtics need that.