Monday, December 5, 2022

Celtics make final decision on Massachusetts Native: report

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The Boston Celtics continue to cut their roster with opening night just around the corner. According to CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith, the Celtics are dropping AJ Reeves, who hails from Roxbury, from the roster.

This comes a day after the Celtics signed Reeves to an Exhibit 10 contract, as reported by Adam Zagoria.

AJ Reeves played college basketball for the Providence Friars from 2018-2022, where he averaged 9.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and two assists while shooting 36.9 percent from the field and 31 percent from three, according to Sports-Reference .

After failing to be called up in June, Reeves continued playing for the Celtics’ 2022 Summer League team in Las Vegas. In the two games he played for the Celtics, Reeves averaged 4.5 points and 1.5 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field and 50 percent from three, according to (Page Seven).

With Reeves dropped from the roster, the roster is reduced to 19 players including JD Davison and Mfiondu Kabengele, both of whom have signed two-way contracts. Without those two, the Celtics have 17 players on their training camp roster. They need to cut the roster down to 15 at most, although they could potentially cut it down to 14.

An Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney that the Celtics would also consider using one of their TPEs for 29-year-old winger Moe Harkless, among other players.

“I think two guys they’ve looked at and could be looking at with their TPEs are Justise Winslow and Mo Harkless. I think these two guys make sense if they don’t get what they want from the bench.”

The executive went on to say that Harkless “would be a good fit there” and that “he does a little bit of everything and fits in with all of his teams.”

The Celtics don’t have to use any of their TPEs, after all, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Oct. 11 that Harkless’ current team, the Houston Rockets, is waiving him.

In his 10-year NBA career, Harkless has averaged 6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game while shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 32 percent from three.

Whether the Celtics dropped Reeves after learning Harkless had been waived by the Rockets remains to be seen, but with the executive confirming that the Celtics had previously considered acquiring Harkless, the timing doesn’t seem coincidental be.

After his performance in the Celtics’ third preseason game, Noah Vonleh received praise from The Athletic’s Jared Weiss. So much so that Weiss believes Vonleh has the inside track to make the Celtics’ opening roster.

“(Vonleh) finally showed how his open play can be used in an offense that won’t get him a clearance at the high post. Vonleh had a couple of athletic finishes after the jump, showing he can be aggressive to get into spots where he has leverage without flipping the ball.

“That gives him a distinct advantage over Mfiondu Kabengele when it comes to earning minutes on the five, especially given that Vonleh’s defensive intensity and positioning looked much better on Friday. With Kabengele already making a two-way deal, Vonleh seems to have the inside track at 14th on the roster.”

If Vonleh ends up being included in the Celtics’ roster for opening night, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be with the team all season.

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