WALTHAM — With the NBA regular season opener a mere week away, the Celtics took their first step towards trimming down their crowded training camp roster on Tuesday.
Brad Stevens announced that the team will waive forward/center Erik Murphy, swingman Christian Watford, and guards Tim Frazier and Rodney McGruder in the coming days.
“We’re going to keep Tim through tomorrow night, and he knows that, because of potential minutes tomorrow night,” Stevens noted, since his starters will only played limited minutes Wednesday night against Brooklyn. “But all four of those guys will be waived.”
Despite the expected moves, Stevens raved about the contributions all players have made with the team during training camp.
“They’ve been great,” Stevens said. “I wish I didn’t have to waive them, they’ve been great teammates, they’ve put in extra work, they’ve come back in small groups and worked. But a couple of them had made mention that they’ve gotten better and that makes me feel good. They were all real professionals about it. I will root for them for sure.”
The Celtics will absorb a $100,000 cap hit for cutting Murphy, who is likely to draw some interest around the league or from teams overseas, if he clears waivers.
Frazier, McGruder, and Watford all signed non-guaranteed contracts with Boston so the team takes no cap hit for cutting them. The Celtics’ brass is hopeful all three will end up with the Maine Red Claws when their season kicks off next month.
The cuts will bring Boston’s roster number down to 16 players for the time being. New addition Will Bynum will likely be the last man gone from the team’s roster before the start of the season, as Danny Ainge has a few more days to see if he can find a home for Bynum in a trade. Otherwise, it seems likely the team will waive him and his $2.975 million salary to get down to 15 players by opening night on October 29th.