WALTHAM, Mass. — For a team that is not sure if playoff contention is in the cards for them, the Celtics are flirting dangerously with luxury tax territory in the coming season. They made a move Monday afternoon to provide some relief, although the job is far from complete.
Kris Joseph, the Celtics’ second-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, got that old, familiar feeling when he was waived three days after officially being acquired in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. After three of the five players included in Brooklyn’s end of the deal appeared before the Boston media for the first time, the Celtics issued a news release announcing the release of Joseph, who was not present at the news conference.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge hinted to reporters at Monday’s meeting that a move could be in the works when he was asked if he expected the three players with him at the Celtics’ training facility — Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and MarShon Brooks — to be with the team with the regular season opens.
“Sure, we have some work to do,” Ainge said. “We have a few too many guaranteed contracts but, yes, I do. We have to make some adjustments and we’re very busy trying to put the best team on the court. But there could be some changes this summer, yes.”
Joseph, 24, was due less than $800,000 in non-guaranteed salary this season. The Celtics need to cut loose money and players, as they are slightly over the luxury tax line and have more than the 15 allowable players on their roster. The 51st overall pick in last year’s draft, Joseph appeared in six games and averaged 1.2 points per game for the Celtics. He was waived in January and signed a 10-day contract with the Nets, later signing through the end of the season.