As the C’s wrapped up the exciting conclusion to the speediest preseason in NBA history, the attention now has to turn to the team’s roster, which must be finalized by tomorrow. We talked a bit about the possibilities yesterday, but Doc Rivers shed more light on the team’s plan after the game tonight, one that shows the team will be ready to pounce on potential free agents in the upcoming days and months.
When asked about whether the team would carry 15 players, Doc noted “?I don’t know [if he would carry 15], I would say most likely not,” Rivers continued. “There are guys still out there, unsigned. And we might want to sign them.”
When pressed on the possibility of bringing in another free agent, Doc elaborated. “Really, we’re looking around. I still think there will be buyouts, probably starting Thursday. So there’s so many things that could happen and we want to make sure if that happens, we’re able to (sign a free agent) quick instead of a delay. We may keep 15 for a couple more days, but after that, we’re probably going to go to 14.”
CH Analysis: So what does this all mean? I actually anticipated this possibility yesterday, but it’s time to start putting the pieces together, even though Doc won’t name names. It’s almost certain that Jamal Sampson and Michael Sweetney will be given their walking papers tomorrow, and that number would leave the C’s roster at 15. Looking ahead though, Gilbert Brown appears to be the next player most likely to get the ax, especially given the solid performance from Greg Steimsma tonight, and the fact he’s the only other true center on the roster. However, if the team is able to bring in another veteran big, in addition to a potential scorer off the bench, (a definite need), both Brown and Steimsma could be on the way out.
For now, both guys will wait patiently by their phones tonight and tomorrow, while Doc and his staff make a decision. It’s a solid bench, but definitely one that needs plenty of help putting the ball in basket with Jeff Green having to watch the team from the sidelines this year. Whether they can find that help out there now, or in the upcoming weeks remains to be seen. One additional possibility (DeShawn Stevenson) appears to have gone by the wayside tonight, after he reportedly agreed to terms with the New Jersey Nets. The possibility remains someone else will be let out of their contract in the upcoming days, and you can be sure Danny and company will be on their case right away as Doc joked about signing veterans tonight.
“First come, first serve. Can we make an announcement to all the free agents?”
After getting passed over by Reggie Evans, the C’s need to make sure that message is as loud as ever.