The vast majority of preseason cuts come towards the end of October, which makes today’s developments a bit of a shocker. Guards Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith, two players who were widely considered in strong contention for the final two spots on the 15-man roster were given their release earlier this evening by the C’s before the team’s preseason contest with the Brooklyn Nets
The early moves have to be considered a somewhat classy gesture by the C’s to allow both players to try to find landing spots with other teams or over in Europe early in the process, but do come as a bit of a surprise. Smith, a shoot-first guard had struggled mightily with his shot in the team’s first four preseason games, making his inclusion to the roster a tough sell when there is no other aspect of his game that stood out on an NBA level.
The release of Christmas though does come as a bit of a shocker, as half of his rookie salary roughly $470,000 was guaranteed by the Celtics when they signed him after his impressive summer league performance. With Avery Bradley sidelined until December in all likelihood in his recovery from shoulder surgery, there was room at the end of the bench for another guard to fill that void. Christmas was the favorite to do that, but Doc Rivers and company weren’t happy with the fit after 2+ weeks of games and practices.
For now, prospects just got a lot better of making the roster later this month, as there are still two open non-guaranteed roster spots at this point. Additionally, you can’t help but think the team is in the market for another veteran to fill the veteran void at point guard or provide some additional depth upfront. There are plenty of potentially helpful names still available on the market and Doc Rivers told reporters tonight at the Garden that the team is always looking. We’ll take a look at some of the possibilities here at the Hub tomorrow, but for now an early farewell is in order for Smith and Christmas. Here’s hoping they find a home somewhere.
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