The Celtics  waived rookie forwards Kris Joseph and Jarvis Varnado on Sunday. But why?
The C’s second-round draft pick, Joseph appeared in mostly garbage time of six games for the Celtics, but he averaged 17.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 10 games for the Red Claws in the NBA Development League, so this transaction comes as a surprise.
Meanwhile, Varnado averaged just 1.2 points in 4.0 minutes over five appearances after signing from the D-League on Christmas Eve, and Fab Melo‘s emergence may have made him expendable.
The moves give the Celtics flexibility in two arenas:
1) Both Joseph and Varnado were playing on non-guaranteed contracts, and their waivers come prior to Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline to cut such players. After signing Jason Terry  to the mid-level exception, the Celtics are forced to adhere to the NBA’s $74.3 million hard cap. These moves save the Celtics a few hundred thousand dollars, which doesn’t sound like much, but it opens the possibility of adding a veteran minimum talent like Kenyon Martin  down the road.
2) The departures of Joseph and Varnado free up the team’s final two roster spots. Considering Danny Ainge‘s rumored interest in just about every big on the market, including DeMarcus Cousins  and Marcin Gortat, the Celtics could take on additional players or slightly more dollars in a potential trade.
Either way, those roster spots won’t remain empty until June.