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Celtics waive Nick King and Jeff Roberson

The Boston Celtics have waived forwards Nick King and Jeff Roberson. These transactions bring the roster down to 18 players, one more than the regular season maximum of 17.

King and Roberson, like Justin Bibbs who was waived last week, were unlikely to crack the Celtics regular season roster. Initially, with 15 roster spots spoken for and both Two-Way spots filled, King, Roberson and Bibbs were camp/preseason bodies for Boston.

Despite the waivers, it’s unlikely the three player’s affiliation with the Celtics will end. All three players are likely to sign with the NBA G-League, at which point Boston will assign them to the Maine Red Claws as Affiliate Players. Each NBA team is allowed to allocate up to four Affiliate Players to their NBAGL club, following a preseason waiver. There are two potential sticking points. Should another team claim the player or sign them as a free agent prior to training camp ending, that team would have their Affiliate Player rights.

The second potential pitfall is that the player must sign with the NBAGL. Outside of players who are on an NBA Assignment (as James Young made famous on an almost daily basis during his Celtics tenure), all NBAGL players are NBA free agents. Those players actually sign with the NBAGL itself and not the individual teams. Players are then allocated to each of the NBAGL teams via multiple methods. They are either assigned as Affiliate Players, they go back to the NBAGL club they were last with as Returning Rights players or they are claimed from the player pool.

King played in two preseason games for Boston and averaged four points in 12 minutes of playing time. Roberson also played in two of the Celtics four preseason contests. He also averaged four points in just over 13 minutes of action.

As of now the Celtics are carrying 16 players on standard NBA contracts and two players on Two-Way contracts. The team will need to make at least one more waiver prior to Monday’s 5:00 PM EST deadline to be in compliance with regular season maximums. It is likely that waiver will depend on where the team stands with Jabari Bird’s situation.

The NBA is currently reviewing all provided facts, but has not yet decided on Bird’s fate. The league has the power to void Bird’s contract per the domestic violence clause in the CBA. Boston has deferred all questions related to Bird to the NBA at this point. Voiding a contract due to the domestic violence clause is not a power the NBA has wielded as of yet, as it is a fairly new item, having been added in the current CBA. As it stands now, Bird is currently on a leave of absence from the Celtics until further notice.

Bird being away from the team does not create an additional roster spot. Should his fate not be decided prior to Monday, Boston will likely waive Marcus Georges-Hunt. Georges-Hunt was added to the roster about a week into training camp. He’s a player the Celtics had on the preseason roster in 2016-17. Georges-Hunt then played with the Red Claws for the bulk of the 2016-17 season, before earning a late season call-up from the Orlando Magic.

Georges-Hunt, King, Roberson and Bibbs were all on fully non-guaranteed contracts with Boston. This means there is no cap or luxury tax hit for the Celtics in the event of waivers.

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