BOSTON (CBS) – It’s hard to find a team in the NBA right now that has a bigger logjam of young players than the Boston Celtics. With 12 players selected by the franchise in the last three drafts alone, roster spots have been particularly hard to come by for fringe NBA players, particularly the team’s recent second round picks.
For that reason, it’s been a waiting game for selections like Marcus Thornton (2014 draft pick) and Colton Iverson (2013 draft pick) over the past several years. The delay for an NBA opportunity for Iverson has been particularly long since Boston bought his draft rights from the Indiana Pacers at No. 53 overall during the 2013 NBA Draft. Since then, Iverson’s spent the first three seasons of his pro career overseas waiting for a chance to be offered a contract and make the team. Unless he forced Boston to tender him a contract (something rarely done by late second round picks), he was waiting on Boston’s timetable for his shot stateside.
With 19 players already in training camp and 16 players under guaranteed contract, it was evident that Iverson would not be getting that chance this October for the fourth straight year. In response, the Celtics front office did him a favor on Thursday by renouncing his draft rights, according to a report from Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.
The move allows the 27-year-old an opportunity to seek a chance with another NBA franchise during training camp, which is a classy move by Danny Ainge. Boston’s depth chart in the frontcourt is deeper than last season (Al Horford, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller, Jordan Mickey, Ben Bentil, Jonas Jerebko) making Iverson a long shot to make the roster even if the team had agreed to offer him a non-guaranteed camp deal.
Now, Iverson’s agent can seek out a more competitive opportunity for the seven-footer out of Colorado State this October, who has put up strong numbers in Turkey over the past couple seasons. The Celtics could still take a look at the big man down the line if he remains a free agent, but they no longer have exclusive rights to him.
Brian Robb covers the Celtics for CBS Boston and contributes to NBA.com, among other media outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @CelticsHub.