The Boston Celtics currently have a full roster after signing free agent Coty Clarke today. With Clarke’s signing the Celtics have 20 players under contract and 16 of those contracts being fully guaranteed. All NBA teams must get down to 15 players prior to the start of the regular season.
Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders is reporting that Clarke’s contract is a one-year deal for the rookie minimum, and it contains limited injury protection.
Arkansas SF Coty Clarke has signed a summer contract w/ Boston Celtics for $525k, non-guaranteed, limited injury protection @BBallInsiders
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) August 21, 2015
The Celtics have not yet formally announced the signing.
Clarke, 23, went undrafted out of Arkansas in 2014 and spent last season with Hapoel Kazrin in Israel where he averaged 19.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 30.7 minutes per game. The six-foot, seven-inch small forward averaged 9.4 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 22.3 MPG as a senior at Arkansas.
According to SB Nation, Clarke is a solid all-around player with a high basketball-IQ. He is very versatile, a good rebounder and excellent shooter.
Due to the Celtics training camp numbers, Clarke and the team’s other three training camp — invitees Corey Waldon, Malcolm Miller, and Levi Randolph — are prime candidates to head to the D-League with the Maine Red Claws.
Speaking of Boston’s roster numbers, even taking into account that the four players with non-guaranteed contracts are headed to Maine, the Celtics will need to make a roster move or two. Perry Jones, Evan Turner, and Jared Sullinger are the most likely candidates to not be with the team on opening night, per an ESPN poll.
Jones is a versatile player with elite athleticism. However, the 23-year-old has yet to realize his full potential. Jones averaged 4.3 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting just 39.7 percent from the field and 23.3 percent from beyond the arc with the Oklahoma City Thunder last year.
Turner is the definition of versatile. He can play any of three perimeter spots and possibly power forward in a small lineup. Turner put up modest numbers across the board — 9.3 points along with 5.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds — but did post seven double-doubles and three triple-doubles. Turner’s biggest issue is his shooting as he shot 42.9 percent from the floor and 27.7 percent from the three-point line.
Sullinger is the least likely of the three to be headed out of Beantown due to his potential. Sullinger has had his issues, namely staying healthy and being in shape, since being selected by the Celtics in the first round in 2012. He has appeared in just 177 games of the 246 possible regular season games.
Sullinger averaged 13.3 points and 7.6 rebounds in 58 games last season. For his career, Sullinger averages 11.4 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 44.0 percent from the floor along with 27.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Jones and Turner are likely battling for the final roster spot with the ultimate decision likely resting on how Jones performs in training camp. If Jones performs well Turner will likely be shopped and if the Celtics can’t trade him, Sullinger is the next logical choice as Boston is loaded in the front court.
The only other option, which seems unlikely, is that the Celtics cut second-year pro James Young.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images]