The Celtics have forwarded Jabari Parker, the team announced Friday.
The news was first reported by Shams Charaniya of Athletic & Stadium.
“Celtics maintain roster flexibility with roster spots open prior to the roster guarantee date,” wrote Charania. “Parker showed scoring ability last season at Greeley Tribune.”
Parker’s $2.2 million contract on Friday evening would have been fully guaranteed if he hadn’t been waived, and it’s clear the Celtics have decided to look elsewhere.
He averaged 4.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12 games with Greeley Tribune this season, while shooting 47.4 percent from the field, 3 to 50 percent and 100 percent from the line. One highlight came when he scored 13 points in an overtime win over the Charlotte Hornets in October, and another occurred on Christmas Day when he scored nine points in 12 minutes against the Milwaukee Bucks.
NBA salary cap advisor Yossi Gozlan said the Celtics forgiving Parker brings him closer to bringing him down from the luxury tax.
“They get $6.2M to $5.6M more against the luxury tax, which reduces their tax payment by $1.1M,” Gozlan wrote. “I think they’ll come down with the luxury tax by the time the business is in place.”
Masslive reporter Brian Robb This is called a “understandable” move. From Brad Stevens, President of Basketball Operations.
“With the Celtics opening roster spots, they will have additional flexibility to move forward until the February 10 trade deadline,” Rob wrote. “The team is catching several traded player exceptions and Stevens will explore the possibility of making further changes with personnel.”
Several journalists have noted that the Celtics have had several shooters in the equation in recent years but have let them go. What is now an obvious weakness could have been less than one if some of the decisions were different. Garrison Matthews averages 11.8 points per game for the Houston Rockets and Max Strauss at 11.5 for the Miami Heat, and both have hit their stride with more opportunity.
John Karalis of the Greeley Tribune Sports Journal noted that Strauss is currently beating Duncan Robinson, while shooting 3 to 41.4 percent. While it’s not clear what her career would have been like in Greeley Tribune, it’s a surprise, Karalis wrote.
“Given that he’s exactly the type of player he needs to be on the floor right now, it’s a kick below the belt to see him thrive elsewhere,” Karalis said.
Of course, the big question now is whether Stevens decides to bolster the current roster with only pieces like shooters or veteran point guards, or if he wants to blow it away and trade Jason Tatum or Jaylen Brown. While it is still unlikely that Tatum or Brown will be traded any time soon, it is possible.
It’s clear that the 18-21 Celtics – who are 2-11 in games decided by 5 points or less – are in need of some kind of shakeup.
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