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For this piece, I’m going to write about Grant Williams getting pulled out of the Heat game, Marcus Smart getting suspended, and the recent players that got cut.
Marcus Smart and Grant Williams each got suspended. Grant got pulled out of a game for arguing with the ref and not getting back on defense. Smart got suspended for missing the team flight. On a locked out Celtics episode that I listened to, I saw a one on one interview with Ime Udoka where he explained how he doesn’t like some things. He explained how he will be holding guys accountable, and wants to break some habits that the Celtics in the past. He also said that if he doesn’t like something, he will say something. He said that it might be a talk or even a suspension, but something WILL happen. It seemed like that happened this time, but the question is, will he actually reinforce it? Will he actually be doing this in the regular season?
So, the second part to this is will he actually enforce it? Does he actually suspend players during the regular season for braking a couple minor rules? It’s important to remember that the Celtics wanted to go all-in on the game, so suspending your 2nd-4th best player available and your backup 4 definitely doesn't help. Although they wanted to win the game, it is important to remember that it was a preseason game, and they would have wanted to win a regular season game more. Another possibility is that this could have been a chance for him to show how he can suspend them if he doesn't like something that they did.I still think that there will be some suspensions in the regular season, because he wants to break habits, and if you don’t act on them then they wont be worried that they will be suspended, and I think that he knows that so we will see more suspensions.
So, let's get into the cuts. The Celtics had a bunch of cuts. Garrison Matthews, juwan morgan and ryan arcidiacono unsurprisingly got cut, however, Parker, and Theo Pinson got cut which I found more surprising. Below are three potential reasons why they may have been cut.
1: Vaccine. A LOT of the Celtics are unvaccinated, so they may be unvaccinated. When you have someone who would be an end of rotation, 3rd stringer and you can take that person who ISN’T vaccinated or pick someone who IS vaccinated then if everything is equal, the Celtics take the vaccinated person. Seeing what those 2 bring, it could easily not be worth it if they are unvaccinated. Seeing what he provides, it may not be worth it if he is unvaccinated. And when you it's keeping him, paying him that 2 million, AND losing that roster spot, that’s a LOT when he is unvaccinated so if he is actually unvaccinated, then that could potentially be why he got cut.
2: They are both unguaranteed. The Celics are trying to get rid of cap. It’s either him, Fernando, both or neither. So, if they cut Fernando, then they have dead cap, which they don’t want for obvious reasons. Parker has something around 100 000 of guaranteed money, not too much. I don’t know about Pinson. If both were guaranteed, it could have very well been a different story.
3: The Celtics may want to get someone from buyouts.
This is more for the Parker one, but, if the Celtics wanted someone for the buyout market, let's say they're doing well, then they very well could have cut Parker for that reason. Those players can be very helpful and give more than Parker can.
So, to sum everything up, Ime Udoka will hold this team accountable. If he sees something he doesn’t like, whether it's missing a flight, or arguing with the ref, not playing defense, that player will hear it. He seems to not be messing around as two players were already suspended. The Celtics cut a bunch of players, and seem to be looking to see if they can get someone good at the buyout market, whether a 2 way player that they really likes comes available, they just want to save some money, maybe a push to get out of the luxury tax. Anyways, it’ll be interesting to see what the Celtics do with theses two topics moving forward.