The Celtics have had an on-again, off-again relationship with Shavlik Randolph since 2013, and his desire for some stability heading into next season has caused it to be off once again.
Boston waived Randolph on Monday in order to sign Chris Babb to a multi-year deal, which is something Randolph wasn’t interested in because it would have been non-guaranteed for next season.
That afternoon the team discussed the situation with Randolph, who had an expiring contract, and he expressed he would not want to sign a non-guaranteed deal for the upcoming season. Randolph would like to keep his options open, including the possibility of returning overseas to China with the intention of returning to the NBA in February, as he has done in the past.
“As much as I would have loved to finish the season and playoff run with this team, I just wasn’t willing to commit to a non-guaranteed deal for next season,” Randolph told Basketball Insiders. “So they had to do what was best for them, which I completely understand.”
Randolph and the Celtics parted ways for a second time on good terms, he said.
“I said, ‘I don’t know who I’ll be with next season or whatever is going to go on, but I want you guys to know I would welcome any opportunity to come back here if it presented itself,’” Randolph recounted. “They told me the feeling was the same, I was always welcome back here, and that was something we could explore down the road.”
This is a smart move by Randolph, because it puts him in a position where he essentially has nothing to lose.
Agreeing to a non-guaranteed deal would mean he would have to wait for training camp to prove himself and potentially catch on, and it would also open him up to being waived at any point next season, without being paid for the rest of the year.
Now, Randolph can try to get a guaranteed deal to play in the NBA or overseas, and if nothing comes along that’s to his liking, he can always get a training camp invite on a non-guaranteed deal when that time comes — either in Boston, or somewhere else.