- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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With Jermaine O'Neal out for the season as he preps for left wrist surgery, the Celtics have potential roster flexibility if they desired to buy out the rest of his contract and free a spot.
But Celtics coach Doc Rivers hinted Sunday that there's no players that were made available before Friday's playoff eligibility waiver deadline that currently interest the team. Which means the Celtics would likely only make a move for two reasons: 1) Emergency regular-season depth or 2) To add a player to the roster in order to have them part of the team during the summer workouts and get first crack at being a part of the team next year.
"We may add another guy just to get through the year," said Rivers. "But we'll see; there's no out there."
If the Celtics were looking to add a body with playoff eligibility, that player has to have been off an NBA roster by Friday. Even though Rivers had previously said the team might be interested in adding two bigs to help grind through the regular season after losing both O'Neal and Chris Wilcox in recent weeks, he backed off that talk and it appears the team is content with the mere addition of Ryan Hollins.
"Honestly, I'd be surprised if we brought a big in," said Rivers.
That's also a reflection of how well Greg Stiemsma is playing at the moment (even if he's grinding through a cocktail of maladies). The Celtics now have Hollins to help eat up big-man minutes and rookie JaJuan Johnson remains an emergency depth option up front.
The Celtics could potentially add another wing player if they desired, particularly if the team felt a need with Mickael Pietrus (concussion) sidelined indefinitely (and Ray Allen having missed the last three games with an ankle injury). But there again, Boston has been unable to offer its own bench guys like Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic more than bite-sized minutes (and rookie E'Twaun Moore remains an emergency depth option).
At the moment, the team simply doesn't have a real pressing need to add a body.
The one thing Boston could consider is bringing in an intriguing D-Leaguer or any young player that might interest them for next year's roster. It's what the team did during the 2009-10 season, taking advantage of late roster space by adding Tony Gaffney and Oliver Lafayette, who got to enjoy the team's run to the NBA Finals and worked out that summer with the goal of making the team out of camp (though neither did).
Keep in mind that Boston could have as few as four players under contract heading into the summer, so there's a small advantage at getting a look at cheap, young talent that might help fill up some of the many potentially available spots next season.
4dMatt Walks, ESPN.com
5dESPN Stats and Information Group
7dESPN Stats & Information