The offseason is here for the Boston Celtics, and in just a couple of months, they will begin the process of putting next year’s team together. We will take a look at the current Celtics and try to figure out what to do with each of them. We continue today with the non-guaranteed players.
Photo By: Matthew West/Boston Herald
The Celtics, desperate to fill out their roster after a spate of injures, dipped into the Chinese league for Shavlik Randolph, DJ White, and Terrence Williams. Randolph made a big splash as hustler and rebounder while Williams emerged as a potential back up point guard whose size and instinctive abilities drew quick praise from Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers. DJ White was… well… DJ White.
But all three got multi-year, non-guaranteed contracts, giving the Celtics about three guys on the roster right now that make a combined $3.1 million.
What happens with these guys? They’re all in very unique situations, but the financial implications are essentially the same. So they all get lumped together as we close out this series.
Part of the reason you give these guys multi-year, non-guaranteed deals is to have some waive-able money that you can throw into trades. E’Twaun Moore’s deal helped make the Courtney Lee deal happen, so you never know what DJ White’s deal ($1,027,424) could do for a team looking to shed a little payroll. Throw him and Terrence Williams ($947,907) into a deal and you’ve got $2 million in salary a team can dump if it’s desperately trying to get under a tax or cap line. Toss in Randolph’s $1,106,942, and Jordan Crawford’s $2,162,419, and suddenly you’ve got the ability to bring back a mid-level guy for four players you only picked up in desperation.
In that scenario, the Celtics could return a little less salary than what they gave up while the other team could buy out Crawford, waive the other three, and save itself somewhere around $4 million.
You can very easily save yourself some money by letting these guys go on your own. How much you save depends on when the player is waived.
Terrence Williams’ contract is structured slightly differently that White’s or Randolph’s. Williams gets $200,000 guaranteed if he’s not cut before June 30. The Celtics are watching his legal issues closely, and if they extend beyond June 30, the team might just decide to save the whole $947,907 and cut him before then. Williams gets $300,000 guaranteed if he makes it past September 1. The whole contract is guaranteed if he’s not waived by October 31.
White and Randolph are fully unguaranteed if they’re not waived on or before August 1. So the Celtics can keep them through the summer league and figure it out then.
This is obviously a case-by-case basis. It depends on Williams’ legal issues, and Randolph/White’s performances this summer and their ability to grasp the system. Randolph seems to be far ahead of White, but they could both prove to be cheap size on a team that need it. If Williams is cleared, he becomes a candidate for the back-up point guard role. And again, the total cost for these guys is just north of $3 million, so if the Celtics feel one or all of these guys can be effective (and problem-free), then they’re very cap-friendly options.
So to recap…
- The Celtics could package these guys as waive-able, cost-savers in a trade to a team looking to shave salary
- The team could save a few million by waiving them before their various guarantee-dates
- They could keep one or more of them to be cheap contributors or end-of-bench emergency guys
DJ White: Unless he shows up and dominates the summer league, he’s done. There’s no need to guarantee a guy a million bucks if he’s not going to get off the bench when the team needs size.
Terrence Williams: Before his legal problems, I was excited for the possibility of Williams spending a summer as the team’s point guard and figuring out if he could truly back up Rondo. Now, I’m not so sure. I don’t really want to go further until the whole story comes out. This is a wait and see situation.
Shavlik Randolph: He’s the obvious choice to return to the team. I think he can be a good contributor if he stays healthy. I know the playoffs were a bit confusing for fans who saw Randolph lead the team in total rebound percentage (20.9%) in the 16 games he was here. The downside to Randolph is he can suffer against stronger centers like Tyson Chandler, but at just over a million bucks, you can keep him and play him against quicker bigs… situations in which he thrived last year.
So in the end, I wouldn’t be shocked if Randolph is the only one to return next season. He’s a good, cheap option to contribute in a transition year. In a vacuum, I like the idea of TWill competing for the backup point guard spot, but obviously we have to watch how his legal issues pan out first.
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