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Celtics sign Noah Vonleh to deal to compete for a roster spot

The former lottery pick hasn’t been in the NBA for a few years

New York Knicks v Boston Celtics Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics have signed F Noah Vonleh to a one-year deal that will take him to training camp to compete for a roster spot for the 2022-23 NBA season. Vonleh is Boston’s second signing of the day after getting F Bruno Cabloco on a deal to compete for a spot as well earlier today.

From Ime Udoka to Brad Stevens, several members of the team spoke out about looking to acquire another big to add insurance behind Al Horford and Robert Williams. After the Evan Fournier TPE worth about $17M expired on July 18th, not much has been going on that front publicly either in free agency or in trade rumors. Just this one 7-footer named Kevin Durant, if you’ve heard of him.

This means that there is still a roster spot available for a big man, and Noah Vonleh will likely hope to fill that spot as the Celtics have room for two more regular contracts ahead of training camp. Vonleh will join a group that includes Matt Ryan, Bruno Cabloco, Juwan Morgan, (potentially Juhann Bergarin) the two-way contract players (J.D. Davison and Mfiondu Kabengele) for final roster spots.

Vonleh was a lottery pick in the 2014 NBA Draft at the No. 9 pick, and he was last spotted in the NBA in the 2020-21 season when he appeared in four games for the Brooklyn Nets. He didn’t make a shot in any of those appearances. Vonleh was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, but he was included in the Nicolas Batum trade that sent him to Portland before a few stops in Chicago and New York.

His most productive season came with the New York Knicks when he averaged 8.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 25 minutes. He started in 57 games that year for a Knicks team that was in the lottery. Noah Vonleh’s best career performance came for the Knicks when he dropped 22 points and 13 rebounds against the Nets.

Since he was waived by the Nets in 2021, Vonleh played the last season for the Shanghai Sharks in China. Vonleh may not even make the roster, but his size at 6’10” will give him the ability to really try to make an impact in camp and preseason games. If he has some gas in the tank, there are worse options for a third-string big. This is without mentioning Luke Kornet, who aspires to have a larger role than he did last year with the Celtics.

Stay tuned as the Celtics continue to flesh out the 20-man training camp roster over the coming weeks.

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