With the preseason wrapped up, the Celtics have to get the roster down to 17 players. It was originally thought that Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas would battle it out for the 15th roster spot, but apparently they didn't show enough and the team wanted to bring in a veteran to backup the combo guard spot that Keyon Dooling might have filled before he decided to retire. Enter Leandro Barbosa and exit Smith and Christmas.
So that leaves second round pick Kris Joseph to be the 15th man on the roster.
One of the players who won't be getting cut is Kris Joseph, the Celtics' second round draft pick out of Syracuse. Joseph played well in "terrible positions," Rivers said, and proved to Rivers and company that he deserves a spot on the team. Joseph played in all eight preseason games and averaged 4.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 10.8 minutes per game.
With Joseph winning the final roster spot, the signs point to Micah Downs and Rob Kurz being the odd men out. Kurz (1.7 PPG, 1.8 RPG) played in six preseason games while Downs (3.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG) appeared in seven contests for Boston.
Joseph played well in summer league and here and there in the preseason, but the staff must have seen more long term potential from him than Christmas or Smith. This doesn't seem like a move that will impact the team in the near future. But he's a good guy to send to Maine with Fab Melo to keep him company and work on his game.
Speaking of Maine, I wouldn't mind seeing Downs and Kurz end up there. The team can't make them go to the Red Claws because they won't be on the 15 player roster. However, there are some rules and handshake agreements with player agents that allow teams to save a spot for the last few roster cuts to go to a team's D-League affiliate. What apparently happens is that when that player (who is a free agent) gets a call from another NBA team about signing, the agent will call up the parent team of his current affiliate and give them a chance to match. It isn't a perfect minor league system, but it will suffice for now.
I don't know if that's what will happen with Downs and Kurz but they seem like solid, energetic players and we could do worse. Maybe we'll see them again in the summer.
We might just see some of Joseph this year as well, though hopefully not in legit game action, since that would likely mean a run of injuries. The hope here is that he develops his game over the next year or more and is available to play a role off the bench in the years to come.