Is sweat pouring from Greg Stiemsma’s skin as tonight approaches? Stiemsma, the lone Boston Celtic on a non-guaranteed contract this season, will find out by 6 p.m. tonight whether the team intends to guarantee his contract for the rest of the season.
According to the Boston Globe, Stiemsma’s contract is expected to be guaranteed before the deadline. A month or two ago, when Stiemsma was garnering comparisons to Bill Russell and blocking any shot released within a two-mile radius of his lengthy arms, the question hardly even warranted asking. But Stiemsma has played just 11 minutes this month and hasn’t played more than 10 minutes in a single contest since Jan. 18. Since then, Stiemsma’s contributions have noticeably regressed, JaJuan Johnson has started to make an impact and Chris Wilcox has stolen almost all of Stiemsma’s minutes.
Does that mean the Celtics will (or should) cut Stiemsma? No. They would be right to keep him around, if only because they don’t have very much center depth. Stiemsma provides some insurance in case Jermaine O’Neal injures himself while eating a meatball grinder, tying his shoes or reaching for his cane after a game.
Still, the big fella’s role has dwindled, and the Celtics could want to keep a roster spot open for when players are bought out later in the season — lawdy knows Danny Ainge loves the likes of Stephon Marbury, Carlos Arroyo, Mikki Moore and Troy Murphy.