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“The rest” exit interview: The end of the bench provided Boston with rhythm and vibes

Boston’s bench was filled with potential, filler, and vibes.

2022 NBA Playoffs - Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

“The rest” of the Boston Celtics’ roster didn’t have much of a role this season. Ime Udoka ran a tight ship that left very little room for the end of the bench to earn playing time. To put it into perspective, these six players combined to earn 295 minutes this season. Daniel Theis joined the Celtics at the trade deadline and logged 393.

But just because they didn’t get much of an opportunity this season, it doesn’t mean they can’t have an impact moving forward. Let’s roll through each player, what they brought to the team, and what their future could look like.

2022 NBA Finals - Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Sam Hauser

Out of these six players, Hauser is easily the most intriguing. Boston signed him to a two-way deal after the NBA Draft last offseason and he earned himself a standard contract.

Hauser accounted for 158 of the aforementioned 295 minutes, averaging 2.5 points and 1.1 rebounds for the C’s this year on 43.2% shooting from distance (19-of-44 from deep). However, his G League stats are far more impressive.

The 6’7 forward played 10 games for the Maine Celtics this past season, starting in eight of them and averaging 33.5 minutes per contest. He averaged 16.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.9 assists on 48.7% shooting from the field and 43.3% shooting from deep on 9.0 three-point attempts per game.

While Hauser’s defense leaves much to be desired, his ability to shoot the ball makes him an intriguing piece for Boston to work in amongst its stars. If he can develop even the slightest bit on the defensive side of the ball, he’ll be worth having around because of his high-arcing, consistent three-point shot.

Luke Kornet

In his second-ish season with the Celtics, Kornet earned himself a standard contract after spending a bunch of time with the Maine Celtics. He was a part of the group that earned roster spots after Boston’s trade-deadline maneuvers left them with a ton of open roster space.

He only appeared in 15 games, and after having some fun moments with the 2020-21 Celtics, didn’t really have much of an impact this past season. Kornet is the tallest guy on Boston’s roster at 7’2, but with the likelihood of an incoming roster crunch, he probably won’t be on the team for long.

Kornet has the unique distinction of being the only player on the Celtics’ roster who is not under team control heading into next year. He will be an unrestricted free agent. Since Boston will likely be adding pieces this summer via the MLE or various TPEs, Kornet and the Celtics will likely part ways again.

Nik Stauskas

When the Celtics signed Stauskas after the trade deadline, he was coming off of some of the best basketball of his career in the G League. Stauskas had just scored 100 points across two games and was automatic from behind the three-point line. He only played 15 minutes for the C’s this year, and since his contract is non-guaranteed next year, it’s questionable whether or not he’ll be back.

Boston should take a similar stance with Stauskas as they do with Hauser. Both are great three-point shooters but don’t really hold up on defense. Hauser’s youth gives him an edge, but if the Celtics feel as though they need two specialists on the roster, maybe Stauskas will be back, too. It’s really up in the air.

Juwan Morgan

This may be the most curious case out of all of “the rest,” as Morgan didn’t really provide much for Boston. He doesn’t have the shooting upside of Hauser or Stauskas, the height of Kornet, or the intangibles of the next two players we’ll discuss. As harsh as it may sound, he was truly just a roster-filler for the Celtics, providing some “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency” big man depth.

Malik Fitts and Matt Ryan

These two get lumped in together — not because of what they brought Boston on the court, but because of what they brought to the team off the court. Please refer to the following song, Rhythm & Vibes by Tobi & Manny, as a representation of Fitts’ and Ryan’s contributions. It’s worth the listen.

They were simply rhythm and vibes.

Whenever the Celtics did something cool, these two were there to bring the energy on the bench. Theo Pinson is often regarded as one of the best culture-setters in the league. Well, based on the way these two performed on the bench, they may be adding their names to that list.

They’re even getting called out by their teammates for “stinking at UNO,” which may be the worst insult someone can come up with. How can one be bad at UNO?

Fitts and Ryan were always there to provide good vibes on the sideline when Boston needed it most. Plus, their names sound like they should have their own detective TV show - Fitts & Ryan.

Whether or not they’ll be back for next year is undetermined. They could get squeezed out in Boston’s offseason roster crunch. But if the Celtics find themselves with a couple of open spots, expect these two to be toward the top of the list of candidates.

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