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.