The Celtics have been holding off on finalizing a couple of deals that have been agreed to in principle in order to maintain maximum flexibility. Jae Crowder will officially re-sign with the Celtics and the team will complete the David Lee trade soon, but waiting on those deals allowed the team to trade for Perry Jones III and could (in theory) still allow them to make yet another move where the team takes on more salary than it sends out.
However, the roster already stands at 16 guaranteed contracts (Babb is non-guaranteed and could be headed out in the Lee deal anyway) and barring any last minute changes, the roster moves could be over for the summer.
Also, I'm hearing that the Jae Crowder signing and David Lee trade will most likely be finalized next week.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) July 21, 2015
So why is Ainge willing to finalize those deals and do away with the flexibility that he's been maintaining? I might have something to do with the fact that the Denver Nuggets agreed to a contract extension with Danilo Gallinari.
Lot of buzz that Gallo could have been traded earlier this summer. Teams called--including Boston--but the Nuggets weren't interested.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) July 21, 2015
Perhaps with Gallo and other options off the table, Ainge is happy going forward with the roster as it is for the time being. Obviously he's always looking for deals to upgrade, but at some point he has to put pen to paper and finalize the deals he's agreed upon.
Speaking of deals, draft pick Marcus Thornton is headed to Australia to play.
Celtics rookie Marcus Thornton, the 45th selection of this year’s draft, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Sydney Kings of Australia’s National Basketball League, according to multiple sources. Celtics president Danny Ainge had long made it clear that the team selected Thornton with the intention of having him play overseas or in the D-League. For Thornton, one benefit of playing in the NBL rather than in Europe is that its regular season ends in February, which could allow him to return to the US and finish the season in the D-League. Boston will retain his NBA rights.
Also, R.J. Hunter could be locked up soon too.
The Celtics are expected to sign first-round pick R.J. Hunter to a contract early next week, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The Celtics have historically offered first-round picks the full 120 percent of the rookie salary scale, meaning the No. 28 overall pick is expected to receive a four-year, $5.86 million deal...
I haven't seen any reports on it yet, but I'm sure that Terry Rozier's contract will likely be hammered out right around the time that Hunter's is.
All these finalized deals should bring the Celtics roster to 16.
• Ball handlers: Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas, Terry Rozier, Evan Turner
• Wings: Avery Bradley, James Young, R.J. Hunter
• Swings: Jae Crowder, Jonas Jerebko, Perry Jones
• Bigs: David Lee, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller, Jordan Mickey
That means one of those guys won't make the final cut at the end of training camp. Perry Jones III seems like the most likely candidate to get the axe but you never know. There's also a chance Ainge could pull off a 2 for 1 deal in or around camp.
Another impact of all these roster moves could be where Jonathan Holmes lands. With no room on the Celtics roster (at the moment) Holmes might find some other team to sign on with. He's got teams that are interested and he's a free agent (he just agreed to play for the Celtics summer league team after going undrafted).
A number of teams have expressed interest in Celtics summer league standout Jonathan Holmes, but no deals imminent just yet.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) July 22, 2015
Got all that?
tl;dr - Basically, all the deals that were agreed to in principle are supposed to be made official next week and so far there's nothing else cooking on the rumor mill.