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Why Did Tim Ohlbrecht Turn Down a 10-Day Contract Offer from the Celtics?

In a move that has gone a bit under the radar this weekend, Sportando.net, a reputable European basketball site is reporting that Tim Ohlbrecht had turned down a 10-day offer from the Boston Celtics in the past couple days.

Tim Ohlbrecht received a 10-day contract offer from the Boston Celtics but the German big man elected to turn it down, his agent Tyler Glass told Sportando. Ohlbrecht is averaging 13.3ppg and 7.3rpg in D-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

The following situation begs the obvious question. Why would a player with no NBA experience turn down an NBA offer? 

It’s tough to speculate without knowing the particulars of the situation, but the decision seems rather peculiar. The likely situation is that Ohlbrecht believes he is on the verge of getting a contract offer from an NBA team for the remainder of the season.

While the Celtics would undoubtedly offer the benefit of possible playing time nearly right out of the gate for the German center, due to a lack of suitable NBA big men on the Boston roster, Danny Ainge appears to be in the business right now of strictly offering free agents 10-day deals. The wise philosophy behind this approach is the goal of maintaining flexibility on the open market for the rest of the buyout market to shake out in the next couple weeks. Given the C’s tight salary cap situation with the $74 million hard cap this season, Boston won’t be able to afford to waive anyone they sign for the rest of the season and also pick up a new player in that spot. Once they commit to someone, that’s it for the rest of the way.

With a full season contract offer potentially waiting in the rings (the Rockets are rumored to have interest), Ohlbrecht apparently decided to pass on the C’s 10-day opportunity. Ainge must like the center, but not enough so to commit a roster spot to the remainder of the season for the big man due to the risks I described. He wants to make sure a player is a good fit on the floor before making a final decision on them.

It remains unclear whether Ohlbrecht was Boston’s first choice for a big man ahead of D.J. White, or whether the team wanted to added both players to their front line. Either way, the point is moot now. White is expected to be in uniform for Boston tomorrow night and Ainge still has another roster spot to shop with for the next couple weeks to help him fill out the rest of Boston’s depleted roster.

  • jr9901

    Correction: Where this post talks about the Cs' "….goal of maintaining flexibility on the open market for the rest of the buyout market to shake out in the next couple weeks" — there aren't "a couple of weeks" left to the buyout market. My info is that It all ends on March 1 – in 5 DAYS. Any player acquired after that, who previously played in the NBA this season, will be ineligible to play in the playoffs… i.e., out of the question.

    Pls check that date…. I think, but can't be 100% certain, it's correct.

    • http://twitter.com/M_DeVelaine @M_DeVelaine

      My understanding about the March 1 deadline is that players have to be completely released and processed out from their old teams to be eligible for the post season for the new team.

  • kg215

    I also found that extremely odd. You play in the d-league hoping to get called up by an NBA team, and when you do get called up you turn it down?! Almost every player who got called from the d-league started out with a 10-day contract. Your speculation makes a lot of sense, perhaps he feels like another team is out there offering the full rest of the season contract. There could be some risk for him too, let's say we sign him to a 10 day and he plays terribly so we let him go. Now other teams that were thinking "maybe we should sign him" don't want him anymore.

  • Phil725

    Don't worry guys, I solved the mystery:

    Tim Ohlbrecht received a 10-day contract offer from the Boston Celtics but the German big man elected to turn it down, his agent Tyler Glass told Sportando. Ohlbrecht is averaging 13.3ppg and 7.3rpg in D-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

    He likely received a huge wave of vicious, xenophobic messages from someone going by the pseudonym 'KG', and decided that he was too scared to come here.

    • kg215

      Yeah because KG never gets along with players that aren't from the U.S. /sarcasm. I guess Semih Erden and Nenad Kristic don't count. If you are KG's teammate and not a moron, you will never have problems with KG. Such a hater Phil…

      • Phil725

        It was only a joke.

        It's no secret that rookies and European players face a heavier level of trash talk from the already super vocal KG though. I'm sure he'd hear plenty of talk in practice.

        • Rav

          Is it racism/xenophobia, or is it just that those players are more vulnerable?

          • Phil725

            Probably the former. And if KG focuses on them more because he thinks the latter, that's just circular logic that leads back to the former. I've certainly seen no real evidence that European players are more vulnerable. It's always possible that KG has done more in depth studies on the effects of trash talk by nationality than I have, but I kind of doubt it.

            That said, I don't feel like KG's been too over the top with Euro players lately. Though I did find the CSN cameras picking up him calling Kousta Koufos the n word on a blocked shot rather amusing…

  • mcshane

    If Morey wants him I want him. Give him s rest of season deal Danny. He could be the next Steamer

    • Run Tommy Run

      Never could figure out why steamer was not signed. Steamer is a solid backup and would now have 2 season in are system with youth and shot blocking. He is only getting 13 mpg in Minn but is avg 1.26 blocks.

      • Phil725

        The team couldn't match the offer that Minnesota gave him under salary restraints since they didn't have his bird rights. Once they used their full mid-level exception on Terry, the most they could spend was the bi-annual exception, which wasn't enough to match Stiemsma's offer sheet.

        He's not actually that young though, he's 27. Considering he couldn't get off the bench last year during the playoffs for a team only playing KG and Bass, and he's struggling this year even playing on an injury depleted Minnesota team, I'd say the team's better off paying the DJ White's of the world 400k than Stiemsma 2.5m for a couple months of passable 5th big play last year.

  • Rav

    Off-topic question: haven't been able to watch the past couple of games, so I was wondering – what position is Terence Williams playing? Is he backing up the SG position or SF, or a bit of both?

  • Anonymous

    good, nobody wants his ass and is this guy seriously the best they could find? I mean come on, there has got to be better bigs in the D league or China league or something

  • Viper Fan

    Today, the Rockets have given him a 3 year deal, that is why he turned down the 10 day offer.

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