Ainge: 'Difficult situation' for Bogans
The Celtics announced Tuesday that 33-year-old Bogans, a veteran of 11 NBA seasons, was excused from the team indefinitely due to personal reasons. Appearing on Boston sports radio 98.5 the SportsHub on Thursday, Ainge explained that he simply felt it was better that a frustrated Bogans be away from the team while the team lacked the minutes he desired.
"Well, it’s just been a difficult situation for Keith," said Ainge. "Keith, when he was acquired in the [Brooklyn] deal, he was paid handsomely and was very fortunate to sort of come to our team with the contract he got. But at the same time, he's a competitive guy, he wants to play, and there just wasn't an opportunity. We were logjammed at all positions, but especially the 2 guard. He was not happy and just felt like -- him and I both -- came to the conclusion that he should just go home, spend time with his 10-year-old son and we’re just going to move on. I told him stay ready, if we have an injury and need him to come back. But it's better for the team and better for him to part ways."
Bogans earned a windfall as part of the blockbuster summer trade, scoring a three-year deal worth as much as $15.9 million. Only the first season is guaranteed, however, but Bogans is still making $5.1 million this season. Over his first 10 NBA seasons, he had earned $14 million and never been paid more than $2.6 million in a season.
The deal was structured to help facilitate the trade and allow Boston to gain two benefits: A $10.3 million trade exception and a trade asset with Bogans able to be dealt to a team desiring to cut costs after this season.
"It’s a unique situation, very unique," admitted Ainge. "His value to us is he has nonguaranteed contract and, for us, he's a chip at the trade deadline or this summer, most likely, that has value around the league. We don’t want to release him, we don’t want to let go, we want to keep that chip as we’re rebuilding."
The Celtics cleared some room in their backcourt Wednesday with a trade that sent MarShon Brooks and Jordan Crawford to Golden State, but the impending return of Rajon Rondo and the recent acquisition of Jerryd Bayless still leaves Bogans on the outside looking in at the moment.
Later, while meeting with reporters at the team's training facility in Waltham, Ainge stressed that there was no incident that precipitated the decision to excuse Bogans.
"There was no big incident. Keith, he’s been frustrated for a lot of the year, just because he hasn’t had a role," said Ainge. "Keith has started on a lot of teams in this league and he’s in his 11th year and I think his expectations were just different than what I thought was realistic. I shared with him what his realistic role was and I just didn’t think he was very happy with it. It was just better for him to go home, stay in shape in case we need him, but we’d rather have -- we’re going to play the guys that we have here that are really hungry to play and dying to play that we’re going to try to develop into better players."
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