Shavlik Randolph Could Be Victim of Celtics’ Numbers Game in Crowded Frontcourt (Poll)

Byron Mullens, Shavlik RandolphShavlik Randolph proved last season that there is a place for him in the NBA. That place just might not be in Boston.

Of all the hard-luck players on the Celtics’ crowded roster this summer, Randolph is in a particularly tough spot. Both within the locker room and the front office, Randolph garnered instant respect with his hustle as a reserve center after Jason Collins, who previously served those purposes, was dealt to Washington in a trade deadline deal. But there is no room for sentiment when it comes to business decisions.

Randolph inked a pair of 10-day contracts with the Celtics in March, then was extended through the end of the season and offered a second, non-guaranteed year as part of his contract. He is in line to make the veteran’s minimum of a little more than $1 million in 2013-14, if he is still around. That is far from a certainty.

After the Celtics waived Kris Joseph on Monday, Randolph is the last member of the Celtics roster with a non-guaranteed deal. The Celtics need to clear about $2 million to get below the luxury tax line, so they could release him by Aug. 1 to get about halfway there, or they could include him in a money dump trade to get below the tax level. Either way, expect Randolph to be a popular topic of conversation in Boston’s front office in the next two weeks, but not because of his on-court skills or because the Celtics think he’s such a great guy.

Even without the Celtics’ financial concerns, Randolph might still be the odd man out. Second-year man Fab Melo and rookie Kelly Olynyk have guaranteed deals, while second-round pick Colton Iverson deserves a long look. Kris Humphries, recently acquired in the Nets trade, is capable of playing center (though not particularly well) in the NBA’s smaller, more mobile era, although he could be on the move as well. The rebuilding Celtics have a lot of raw young talent in the post to work with, making a hard-working veteran big man like Randolph a luxury the Celtics can no longer afford.

Is saying goodbye to Randolph the best move for the Celtics? Vote in the poll below.

To kick off the official start of the NBA offseason, NESN.com will ask fans whether they think the Celtics should keep or move on from each player. The following day, we will provide the fans’ verdict. Here is the schedule*:

Thursday, July 11: Avery Bradley (Verdict: Keep him, 88 percent)
Friday, July 12: Brandon Bass (Verdict: Keep him, 59 percent)

Monday, July 15: Rajon Rondo (Verdict: Keep him, 67 percent)
Tuesday, July 16: Courtney Lee (Verdict: Move on, 52 percent)
Wednesday, July 17: Shavlik Randolph
Thursday, July 18: Jeff Green
Friday, July 19: Gerald Wallace

Monday, July 22: Kris Humphries
Tuesday, July 23: Keith Bogans
Wednesday, July 24: Fab Melo
Thursday, July 25: Jared Sullinger
Friday, July 26: Kris Joseph

Monday, July 29: MarShon Brooks
Tuesday, July 30: Jordan Crawford
Wednesday, July 31: D.J. White Phil Pressey
Thursday, Aug. 1: Colton Iverson
Friday, Aug 2: Kelly Olynyk

*Subject to change pending any moves

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