With the C’s final preseason game arriving today, the time has come for the final cuts to be made to the team’s preseason roster. I asked Doc specifically yesterday just how close he was to deciding on the final 15, and he announced the team would finalize the roster either right before or after tonight’s game against Toronto. Why so soon?
“Mainly because we just want to get to the guys we’re going to have.” Rivers explained, “And I only bought 15 Christmas gifts.” With the health problems for Jeff Green, the chances of making the team rose exponentially for training camp invites, Greg Stiemsma and wing Gilbert Brown. The two of those guys would have likely be fighting it out for one final spot on the team otherwise, but with Green out for the season, those two look like shoe-ins for the final two spots. The only other competition at this point for them are centers Jamal Sampson, who was absent for practice once again on Tuesday and Michael Sweetney. Needless to say, those guys should be feeling pretty good about their chances right now of landing spots with non-guaranteed deals.
The other thing that Danny Ainge may try to do is fill the roster with a free agent, or a player he likes that is waived during training camp. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reported that the C’s weren’t in the running for James Posey who would be one of the likely candidates. DeShawn Stevenson is a name that has been brought up a lot, but he hasn’t been linked to the C’s at all yet. I’d say it is unlikely Danny replaces Brown and Stiemsma from the outside with these spots before training camp starts, but by no means should the two of them feel comfortable, as buyout additions as well as trades are obviously a major possibility. There are still many players (mostly former Nuggets) trapped in China for the rest of their regular season, but the majority of these guys (Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler) are out of the C’s price range at the veteran’s minimum, unless Doc and company can do a terrific sell job.
One of the final free agent candidates to fill this roster spot spurned the C’s yesterday for — and I can’t believe I’m saying this….the Los Angeles Clippers?!?According to the Los Angeles Times:
The Clippers are close to signing veteran free agent forward/center Reggie Evans to a one-year deal for about $1.3 million, according to a basketball executive who was not authorized to speak publicly about the deal.
Evans, 31, has played for four teams over nine seasons in the NBA.
Boston was reportedly in the running for Evans, along with 3-4 other teams. To be fair, the Clippers have a bigger need for him right now off the bench, than the C’s, as he would have to deal with Bass, Wilcox, etc. to break into the rotation. They also (arguably) have the better roster. For depth and rebounding purposes however, this one has to hurt a bit, especially given he could have been had at the minimum.
With that said, here’s what the final roster is shaping up to look like for the opener (barring late free agent pickups):
Point guards: Rajon, Rondo, Keyon Dooling
“Shooting”/Hybrid guards: Ray Allen, E’Twuan Moore, Avery Bradley, Gilbert Brown
Small forwards: Paul Pierce, Marquis Daniels, Sasha Pavlovic
Power forwards: Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, JaJuan Johnson
Centers: Jermaine O’Neal, Chris Wilcox, Greg Stiemsma