Tag: Jamar Smith

Dionte Christmas

Reports: Kris Joseph makes Celtics roster; Christmas, Smith waived


Dionte Christmas looked pretty good for the Celtics at Summer League. He has played well enough for them this preseason that CSNNE.com’s A. Sherrod Blakely thought he stood a good chance to make the team.

Nope. Multiple reports have come out today that Kris Joseph has made the Celtics roster and both Christmas and Jamar Smith have been waived. Peter Yannopoulos of TSN Radio 690 in Montreal was first with the story, since confirmed by Gary Tanguay of CSNNE.com.

While Christmas may have looked like the best of the backup point guards in camp for the Celtics, he has looked up and down in preseason games. With more downs than ups. That was apparently enough for Danny Ainge to make a call.

The question is where do the Celtics go now for a backup point guard behind Rajon Rondo. Can’t believe it is Micah Downs from in camp. Free agents Leandro Barbosa (not a bad call) and Derek Fisher (not a good call) are out there as free agents. There also may be teams like the Lakers (Chris Duhon and Steve Blake) and the Raptors (Jose Calderon, although his $10 million salary is steep) who might be willing to make a trade.

Dionte Christmas waived from Celtics roster despite strong preseason

Dionte Christmas

UPDATE  4:51 pm: Nope.

Turns out Kris Joseph has made the roster and both Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith have been waived. It is a bit of a surprise considering how Christmas has played.

10:55 am: It looks like Christmas is coming to Boston a little early this year.

Dionte Christmas — the 26-year-old NBA rookie who has spent the last three seasons playing in Europe — seems to have found his way into the NBA.

The Celtics gave him a chance with an unguaranteed contract and it appears the guy Kevin Garnett calls “Temple” (where he went to college) may make the roster, reports A. Sherrod Blakely in an interview on Comcast SportsNet Boston.

The guy that has jumped out, really, is Dionte Christmas … His versatility has really set him apart. He has the ability to score at this level. He’s proven to be a decent defender and he’s learning to be more of a facilitator, something we did not see much of when he came out of Temple University.

Coming out of college in 2009 Christmas was pegged as a shooter (and not a great one) and little more. But his three years playing in Israel, the Czech Republic and Greece seemed to both steady his shot and round out his game enough that he is a fit. He’s not going to get a ton of minutes, but he’d be on the roster and get a chance.

It should be added that Christmas’ contract still pays him $200,000 if the Celtics cut him, which makes it far less likely they do.

Report: Celtics will sign Darko Milicic next week. Seriously.

Brendan Haywood, Darko Milicic

When the report first came out of Boston looking at Darko we took it with a grain of salt… oh, who are we kidding, it was like a 5 lb. bag of salt.

But apparently it’s true — the Boston Celtics are going to sign Darko Milicic, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

A league source confirmed to CSNNE.com that Milicic, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, will sign a one-year deal with the Celtics next week for the veteran’s minimum.

The signing of Milicic will give the C’s 14 guaranteed contracts heading into training camp, which begins Sept. 29.

While half of Boston just yelled “NOOOOO” this is not a bad move. Not a game changer by any means, but not terrible as some will paint it.

This gives the Celtics two more traditional big men off the bench to balance out their small ball lineups his year (Jason Collins is the other). Also fighting for minutes off the bench will be Chris Wilcox, plus rookies Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. That group gives coach Doc Rivers some flexibility.

Darko is a guy who never lived up to the hype of being picked No 2 overall, he certainly was not the “manna from heaven” Timberwolves GM David Kahn said he was, but Darko is not as big a disaster as some labeled him. He developed into an okay backup center. While he struggled some last year, he has a career PER of 12.3, which is just below the league average and what you can expect out of a lot of backup bigs in the league. He’s not going to score or rebound a lot for you, but he can give you a decent 12 minutes a game and not really hurt you.

He’s the kind of guy (like Collins) that would float through the league on minimum deals and not draw much attention save for where he was taken in the draft. If he had been a late first or second round pick (as he should have been) this signing would be a footnote. One seen as decent insurance for the Celtics.

Which is exactly what it is.

By the way, one other interesting roster note from Blakely:

The domino effect of Milicic’s signing next week will be that it leaves just one roster spot for the handful of players in camp with non-guaranteed contracts. That group includes second-round pick Kris Joseph, summer league standouts Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas, in addition to former Notre Dame big man Rob Kurtz who played in France last year, and former Gonzaga guard Micah Downs who played in Russia last year.