The Celtics have until Wednesday to make decisions on three players’ futures. Two are dead-lock certainties. One is not. While the club will clearly be exercising their 2019-20 options on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the call on Guerschon Yabusele is more complicated. Tatum will get his third-year slot of $7,830,000 next season and Brown will get his fourth-year number, $6,534,829. The Celtics aren’t letting either get out of their sight.
And even though Yabusele’s third-year guarantee would be for a relatively modest $3,117,240, the real dollars are much greater. The club would be committing more than double that because of the luxury tax implications. And at present, Yabusele isn’t part of the main rotation and doesn’t figure to get there without injuries or roster moves that open playing time. It’s possible the Celts could decline the option and sign Yabusele to a more team-friendly deal next summer. But if the C’s pass now, the Dancing Bear will be an unrestricted free agent -- and if he shows something this season, he could be wanted elsewhere. What’s more, if there is demand, Boston would be able to start a new deal at an amount no higher than what it declined. If the option is picked up, the process will play out again at this time next season, when a call will have to be made on $4,781,846 for 2020-21.
But he’s not concerning himself with that just now. “I would love to be back here with the team,” Yabusele said. “The Celtics are a great organization, so if I have a chance to be back here, I would love to do that.”
September 22, 2021 | 11:35 am EDT Update
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers wants to change Ben Simmons’ mind. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the star guard has told the team that he will not report to training camp next week and does not plan to play for the franchise again. “Well, I hope we can change that thought,” Rivers said on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill, and Max on Wednesday morning. “That’s part of our job.”
Marc Farzetta: “We hear it all, but we’re not going to give up on that…I just love how [Ben Simmons] plays. I love a lot of the things that he does for the team…but we have to go through all this to get him back” -Sixers Coach Doc Rivers on @FirstTake
While Rivers wants to change the narrative, he hasn’t had much of a chance this offseason. He was asked how much he’s talked to Simmons. “Not much, but we’ve had some,” he said. “And I get his feelings. I understand where he’s at right now, but we’re going to keep trying to work on it to get him in the right place.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent G Theo Pinson will go to training camp with the Boston Celtics, sources tell ESPN. Pinson spent parts of his first three NBA seasons with the Nets and Knicks.
Michael Scotto: The Houston Rockets signed Dante Exum to a three-year deal worth $16.22 million if he achieves all bonuses in his contract, league sources told @HoopsHype. Years two and three are non-guaranteed.
Keith Smith: Dante Exum’s contract features likely bonuses, unlikely bonuses and non-guaranteed salary! Current cap hits: 22-23: $5,000,000 23-24: $5,000,000 24-25: $5,000,000 $6.9M in likely bonuses, $1,215,000 in unlikely bonuses. Final two seasons are both fully non-guaranteed. @spotrac
Did you ever wonder what would’ve happened if you didn’t have that injury? Brandon Jennings: I would’ve been an All-Star for sure if I didn’t tear my Achilles, and I believe we would have made the playoffs that year in Detroit, and then I’d end up getting paid. That probably would’ve happened. Then again, who knows what happens after that? I feel like with the injury, that’s when the chaos started happening outside of my career. I felt like with the money, it would’ve probably been more chaos.
When you had that 55-point game, what stuck out to you about it? Was that your favorite NBA moment? Brandon Jennings: The 55-point game was still something I can’t explain. I just got hot, and the ball was just going in. I only scored 10 points in the first half, and I had a terrible first quarter. I just came out in the second half hot. I’m sure everybody is like, that should be your favorite game, but one of my favorite games ever was my first game in the NBA when I almost had a triple-double in Philly. I didn’t know if I was going to start. He told me I was going to start the day before.