According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, the Celtics have picked up Semi Ojeleye’s team option for the upcoming season. Ojeleye’s contract will become fully guaranteed on Saturday.
The Celtics have picked up Semi Ojeleye's team option for the 2020-21 season, league sources tell ESPN. Ojeleye's contract for next season remains non guaranteed until Saturday, when it becomes a fully guaranteed $1.75 million.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) November 19, 2020
This move comes with a bit of uncertainty with free agency not officially starting until tomorrow night. Though the team is picking up his option, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee Ojeleye will be with Boston for the 2020-21 season. In fact, The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach went as far as saying “it’s appearing unlikely” that he’ll actually be back.
The Celtics are facing a bit of a roster crunch as it is, especially after using two first round picks in last night’s draft to select Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard. As Himmelsbach pointed out, whatever ends up happening with Gordon Hayward could also effect Ojeleye. If Hayward chooses to negotiate a long-term deal with Boston, Ojeleye’s $1.75 million could be that little extra that gets his signature on a new contract.
Drafted with the 37th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Southern Methodist University, Ojeleye has spent the last three seasons with the Celtics, averaging 3.1 points and 2 rebounds while serving as a versatile defender off the bench for Brad Stevens.