Colton Iverson can’t be called “The Answer” — that nickname was already taken by his brother from another mother, Allen Iverson — but he could be “The Solution” for the cost-conscious Celtics to fill out their bench with an eye to the future.
Iverson, the Celtics’ second-round pick out of Colorado State, did basically what the Celtics expected of him this summer. He set hard screens, crashed the glass and delivered a few hard fouls in summer league games, throwing around his 7-foot, 260-pound body with just the sort of aggression the team would like.
If there is space on the roster, Iverson is exactly the type of low-cost, low-maintenance type of player who would be perfect for the Celtics. As a second-round pick, he would earn less than $1 million, which is just the right price for a big man whose likely role is spot duty and the occasional garbage time clean-up. (By comparison, Darko Milicic made the veteran’s minimum of $1.2 million a year ago, although the portion paid by the Celtics was smaller.) As a team struggling to get below the luxury tax level, Iverson is an ideal choice.
Still, Iverson’s own salary math is not the only factor the Celtics have to consider. They have 14 players under contract even if they opt not to bring back Shavlik Randolph. Point guard Phil Pressey, who was impressive in Orlando, appears to be the most likely member of the non-guaranteed crew to stick. All of this has to happen while the Celtics get below the luxury tax line of $71.75 million to avoid paying harsh “repeater” tax penalties in the future.
All this juggling may be why Iverson is considering playing overseas, with one report indicating he has already signed with a Turkish club. Other reports say the deal has not been finalized, and Iverson’s stated preference is to play this season with the Celtics. Iverson’s agent and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge have been in contact about a plan for Iverson, which may mean he plays for the Celtics down the road — just not now.
Is Iverson worth a longer look from 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*:
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 (Verdict: Keep him, 60 percent)
Thursday, July 18: Jeff Green (Verdict: Keep him, 92 percent)
Friday, July 19: Gerald Wallace (Verdict: Keep him, 51 percent)
Monday, July 22: Kris Humphries (Verdict: Keep him, 53 percent)
Tuesday, July 23: Keith Bogans (Verdict: Keep him, 62 percent)
Wednesday, July 24: Fab Melo (Verdict: Keep him, 53 percent)
Thursday, July 25: Jared Sullinger (Verdict: Keep him, 98 percent)
Friday, July 26:
Monday, July 29: MarShon Brooks (Verdict: Keep him, 92 percent)
Tuesday, July 30: Jordan Crawford (Verdict: Draw, 50 percent)
Wednesday, July 31:
D.J. White Phil Pressey (Verdict: Keep him, 76 percent)
Thursday, Aug. 1: Colton Iverson
Friday, Aug 2: Kelly Olynyk
*Subject to change pending any moves