After the Delonte West signing, the Boston Celtics now have 17 players under contract. It doesn’t take Will Hunting to realize that two players will have to be released in order to reach the 15-player limit allotted by the NBA.
Oddly enough, Von Wafer’s contract is reportedly fully guaranteed. So is Semih Erden’s. The three players without fully guaranteed contracts (if I’m not mistaken) are Tony Gaffney, Oliver Lafayette and now Delonte West (according to the Boston Herald). Since West figures to make the team, even though he’ll be suspended for the first ten games, one would have to believe both Gaffney and Lafayette will be released.
Danny Ainge told reporters, “They’ll have the chance to compete. We’ll keep the best players.” But Gaffney and Lafayette aren’t just two of the three Celtics with non-guaranteed contracts; they’re also the two least-established players.
For Lafayette, news that he will probably be cut shouldn’t come as a shock. The writing has been on the wall since Avery Bradley was drafted and Nate Robinson re-signed.
But for Gaffney, the life-long Celtics fan who realized his dream when the Celtics offered him a contract, the West signing likely ended some legitimate, if thin, hopes of being the C’s 15th man. Now, Gaffney will almost definitely be cut and his Celtics career, the fulfillment of a long-shot dream, will probably end before he was able to dress for even a single game.
It sucks sometimes that the NBA is a business, huh?