The Celtics have cut guards Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith, both of whom were Summer League standouts, and were trying to earn their way onto the team.
The moves bring the roster to 16 players, and has opened up a roster spot.
Christmas, a 6’5″ shooting guard, played his college ball at Temple University, where he played for four years and left the school as one of the top scorers in school history.
Before coming to the Celtics training camp, he went undrafted during the 2009 NBA Draft. The 26-year-old did garner Summer League and camp invites from the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Sacremento Kings during his career. Christmas also played professionally overseas in Greece, Czech Republic, and Israel.
Smith, a 6’3″ shooting guard, played at the University of Illinois for a few seasons before transferring to the University of Southern Indiana. After college, he played in the NBADL and overseas with teams from the Czech Republic and Venezuela.
Christmas getting cut was kind a shock to me. He played exceptionally well in the summer league, and I thought he’d stick after Keyon Dooling retired. His shot was solid and he was tall for a guard.
I also thought more into Christmas, and said all this was done during the SUMMER LEAGUE.
I know he was great in college, but there’s a reason why he has toiled overseas for several seasons. He just lacks the talent or something to compete night in and night out against the best in the NBA.
Hopefully one day, his dream will be realized and all the hard work he has sunk into playing basketball will pay off down the line. Christmas is still young and has time to hitch onto a team somewhere.
I think his Summer League performance will at least get him onto an NBADL team. Will that be with the Celtics’ affiliate, the Maine Red Claws? Who knows. He at least showed that he can stick in the U.S. and play, but remember it’s all about the Benjamins. If a team shows him the money in Europe, than that’s where he’ll go.
As for Jamar Smith, I think any realistic basketball fan knew that he had no choice on making the Celtics. This was the second time he was invited to a training camp with the Celtics, and both result in him being cut. He has worked hard, but like Christmas the potential and talent to exceed against NBA players wasn’t good enough.
Looking forward he’ll probably end up in the NBADL. He played for the Maine Red Claws during the 2010-2011 season, so there’s a chance he’ll stick in the region.
As for the Celtics, the roster is now down to 16 players. The roster has three players who could get cut Kris Joseph, Rob Kurz and Micah Downs. If all three are cut in the next week or so, it’ll open two roster spots for veterans outside of the team. From what I’ve heard and seen, Joseph will probably stick. I think Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers like his potential. Joseph was one of the better second round draft picks this year.
If he stays and Kurz and Downs are cut, they’ll be one opening on the roster. Rivers has even said that the team is looking for a veteran to fill the spot.
What veteran could that be?
I don’t think they’ll bring in a big man as they already signed Darko Milicic not too long ago. Kenyon Martin could be intriguing as he’s an excellent rebounder, but the power forward position is already stacked with Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger and even Jeff Green. So you can pass on Martin. There’s also Leandro Barbosa, but does the team really need another shooting guard? Once Avery Bradley comes back from his injury; any guard that’s signed will probably not see playing time. Is someone willing to ride the pine for most of the year at the league minimum?
We’ll just have to wait and see.
Image obtained was from NESN and is an AP photo. Some rights reserved. I don’t own it.