The Boston Celtics have announced that they have waived guard Zoran Dragic.
This move has been expected ever since the Celtics acquired him last month from the Miami Heat, who were looking to shed his salary to cut their luxury tax bill. Boston acquired a second-round pick and cash considerations from Miami for their troubles in exchange for a heavily protected second-rounder that is unlikely to change hands. That's just Danny being Danny, trading nothing for something.
So the Celtics will pay Dragic $1.5 mil - but they got $1.6 mil for their trouble from Miami, plus a 2020 2nd rounder @BBallInsiders— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) August 10, 2015
There was never really a fit for Dragic here given Boston's loaded backcourt situation, but Ainge was willing to take on his salary anyway in order to add another asset to his ever growing collection. He hung on to him hoping to find a trade partner to ship him to, but when nothing materialized the decision was made to cut him loose.
The Celtics have officially waived Zoran Dragic. The roster is now down to 16 guaranteed players. One more still has to go.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) August 10, 2015
This move brings the Celtics roster down to 16 guaranteed contracts, which means someone else has to go before the start of the season. That decision may not come until after training camp, but Dragic's release eases the roster crunch a bit and allows the Celtics to focus on the remaining fringe players with a chance to make the team.
The Celtics have extended training camp invites to Malcolm Miller, Corey Walden, Levi Randolph and Coty Clarke, according to Jay King from Masslive.com. Waiving Dragic allows them to finalize those agreements, while staying within the 20-player offseason limit.
Without a clear role or an assurance of minutes in Boston's rotation, Dragic's representatives reportedly asked for his release so that he could return to Europe to secure a steadier role.
Reps for Zoran Dragic, I'm told, wanted to secure release from Celts so the younger Dragic could return to Europe and ensure consistent PT— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 10, 2015
Dragic appeared in 16 games last season split between the Phoenix Suns and Miami, averaging 1.8 points in 4.7 minutes per game. He was traded by the Suns to the Heat as a throw-in as part of the deadline deal in February involving his brother, Goran Dragic.