Celtics Question of the Day: Of guys with non-guaranteed deals, who will stick?


Celtics Question of the Day: Of guys with non-guaranteed deals, who will stick?

Everyone loves an underdog, especially in the NBA when they seemingly come out of nowhere and wow us with their hustle, heart and effort.

Guys in training camp with non-guaranteed contracts, regardless of how impeccable their college pedigree might be, fall into this category.

Even with the roster shuffling the Boston Celtics went through on Thursday which included Darko Milicic agreeing to a one-year, 1.3 million deal and Keyon Dooling retiring, the C's still have a couple roster spots open.

So who's going to get 'em?

Training camp will sort this out obviously.

But among the five players in camp with non-guaranteed contracts - Dionte Christmas; Micah Downs; Rob Kurz; Kris Joseph and Jamar Smith - there appears to be a clear-cut favorite.

That would be Dionte Christmas.

For starters, he was arguably the C's most complete player this summer which in itself earned him an invite to training camp.

Maybe just as significant as his play, was his willingness to pass on a bigger payday in Europe to instead fight for a roster spot.

The C's made it worthwhile for him by giving him a partially guaranteed contract that's worth about half of the rookie minimum salary.

But what's really helping him now is the fact that he showcase an all-around game instead sticking to what he has done best throughout his career which is score.

A close second to him among the non-guaranteed contract guys is second-round pick Kris Joseph.

For Joseph, the issue is consistency.

Throughout his four years at Syracuse University, Joseph had moments of greatness. But he never put it all together in such a way that his game was deemed dependable.

This summer, he did show that he can handle the ball a lot better than folks saw at SU, and he is more athletic than billed.

A dark horse in this race is Jamar Smith, who might actually get a closer look because of Dooling's departure and the C's need for another point guard.

Smith plays both guard positions, but looked a lot more comfortable off the ball.

Boston will also have former Notre Dame big man Rob Kurz in camp in addition to wing player Micah Downs who played collegiately at Gonzaga.

Both have overseas experience, but are considered long shots to stick with the C's beyond training camp.

But hey, the same was said last year about some dude named Greg Stiemsma and we know how that turned out!

Report: Kyrie Irving believes LeBron James leaked trade request news

Report: Kyrie Irving believes LeBron James leaked trade request news

Noting that LeBron James "wants the world to know that he had absolutely nothing to do with Kyrie Irving deciding that he wanted to be traded," Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN Monday that Irving believes King James may have been the one who leaked the news last week. 

It was reported Friday that Irving wanted out of Cleveland in what's been a tumultuous offseason for the Cavs. Smith said that the timing of the leak has many close to the situation suspicious.

"According to my sources, they believe LeBron James had everything to do with news getting out that Kyrie Irving wants to be traded. Because Kyrie Irving and his representation and others met with the Cavaliers a couple weeks ago, and not a word got out until recently," Smith said.

"They believe that LeBron James got word of it and was put off by it and leaked it. I’m not going to accuse LeBron of such a thing. I don’t know that to be true at all, but I know that’s what Kyrie Irving believes. 

Still just 25, Irving has three seasons left on a team-friendly five-year, $94.3 million deal.