With Boston on pace to carry approximately 50 players on their roster for the upcoming season, cuts were inevitable to pare the roster down to the maximum of the 15. Today, the first move was made; the Celtics have waived point guard Phil Pressey.
Today was the deadline for Boston to decide whether or not to fully guarantee Pressey's $947,276 contract for the upcoming year, and they have made their decision to part with the Missouri product. Given the number of players that the Celtics have on guaranteed contracts, and their current glut of point guards, this is a move that made sense from a management perspective. However, Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge have been consistent in voicing their appreciation of Pressey's work ethic, his attitude, and his contributions on the court.
Despite standing only 5'11", going undrafted in 2013, and receiving very limited playing opportunities, Phil consistently showed the ability to inject energy into whatever lineup he was in while on the court. He was a tenacious defender, a willing and capable passer, and a lead guard who always pushed the pace of the game. He was even able to attack the rim with moderate success, despite his size. Unfortunately, his shooting numbers have consistently been poor; he is a career 25.7% 3-point shooter. In a league where long-range shooting is becoming increasingly important, and increasingly demanded, Pressey still found ways to be effective. He managed an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.85 this past season, and improved his PER by 3 points between his rookie and sophomore seasons.
This move opens up the a roster spot for Boston, meaning that they now have enough space for the newly acquire Perry Jones. However, if the Celtics sign both Mickey and Thornton, their roster would consist of 17 players. While Thornton is a likely candidate to be stashed, Mickey has shown a lot of promise so far in the Summer League, and it seems likely that he will be signed. There may still be many moves left that trader Danny intends to make during the off-season.
As for Pressey, he was a consummate professional, and a good player to have on a young roster. He set a great example by being in throughout the summer months, and was always ready to make a positive impact in games when his number was called. He certainly has the talent and the work ethic to earn a roster spot on an NBA team, and I'm sure that I'm not alone in wishing him the best of luck moving forward. Thanks for everything, Phil!