The Boston Celtics presumably added the finishing touch to their Opening Night roster Friday, snagging Lamar Stevens in free agency.
Stevens, 26, agreed to a contract with the Celtics, per Shams Charania of The Athletic, signaling that Boston has its final piece to complete its 15-man roster. It’ll also provide Stevens, who averaged just 16 minutes per game through three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a shot at filling a much-needed role.
Before the deal was made, the Celtics reportedly informed Stevens of the expectation in place upon his arrival, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Boston envisions Stevens bridging the toughness gap that opened up following the departures of Marcus Smart and Grant Williams this offseason, giving the Penn State alum a major opportunity on an NBA Finals-contending squad.
Last season Stevens averaged 5.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.4 steals and 0.3 blocks in 62 games for the Cavaliers. He grew into a defense-first role player in Cleveland, getting his initial NBA shot from the Cavs after going undrafted in 2020.
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The offseason wasn’t particularly welcoming to Stevens, either. After being dealt in part of a three-team swap that included the Heat and Spurs, Stevens was waived in July by San Antonio, leaving him short of a roster spot for over two months.
With Stevens’ new Celtics deal being partially guaranteed, the 6-foot-6 veteran will still need to compete for a roster spot during Boston’s training camp. He joins Dalano Banton, Svi Mykhailiuk and Luke Kornet as Celtics players with non-guaranteed contracts.
Featured image via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images