Amongst all the other hoopla that is going on with the Boston Celtics at the moment, the team has finally completed its training camp roster. Keith Smith of CelticsBlog reported that the Celtics have signed Brodric Thomas to their training camp roster.
Thomas signed a two-way contract with the Celtics last year. In the 12 games he played for them, he averaged 1.8 points, 0.9 assists, and 0.8 rebounds while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from three. Because he was on a two-way contract, Thomas was never eligible to play in the playoffs.
Thomas played for the Celtics during the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League. In the four games he played, Thomas averaged 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting 51.6 percent from the field and 52.2 percent from three, according to NBA.com. This included a standout performance against the Golden State Warriors, where he put up 18 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
With Thomas onboard, the Celtics now have 20 players on their training camp roster, which means they are at full capacity. Although Robert Williams III will be out due to arthroscopic knee surgery while Danilo Gallinari will be out rehabbing his torn ACL.
Celtics Sign Luka Samanic
After the Celtics waived Bruno Caboclo, they were quick to fill in his spot when they signed former first-round pick Luka Samanic to their training camp roster, as reported by Bobby Manning of CLNS Media.
After being drafted 19th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2019 NBA Draft, Samanic spent two years with the team, where he averaged 3.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.6 assists while shooting 43 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from three. Samanic was then waived by the Spurs before the 2021-22 season was about to start.
Samanic would go on to sign with the New York Knicks on a two-way contract. While never appearing in a game for the Knicks, Samanic played seven games with their G-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. In those seven games, Samanic averaged 27.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists while shooting 54.9 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three, according to Basketball-Reference.
The Knicks later waived Samanic on March 17.
Celtics Not Signing ‘Bigger-Name Veteran Centers’
Following the announcement that Williams would be missing time because of his surgery, many speculated that the Celtics would add a more proven big available on the free agent market like LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, or Hassan Whiteside, among others.
However, Jay King of The Athletic reported that the Celtics were not planning to do that. Instead, they planned to sign a young big to compete for a roster spot – King’s report came before the addition of Samanic was announced.
Since then, the Celtics have announced that Williams will be out longer than what had been initially reported, as the timeframe for his return was bumped up from four to six weeks to eight to 12 weeks.
Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe added that he thinks Williams may not play for the rest of 2022.
With this latest update, the Celtics may have to consider changing their tune on not adding a free agent big who is a bit more proven. Besides waiting to see if one of their younger bigs may prove themselves, they also may be waiting to see if more proven bigs could get waived down the line who could help them out.