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Celtics cut Perry Jones III, finalize 15-man roster for opening night 10.25.15 at 2:50 pm ET
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Perry Jones

Perry Jones

The Celtics cut forward Perry Jones III and guard Corey Walden on Saturday, finalizing their roster at 15 players.

Walden hung around as a training camp invite to fill preseason gaps left by Marcus Smart’s illness and Isaiah Thomas‘ tendinitis, so Kelly Olynyk wouldn’t get stuck playing point guard again, as he did against the Nets on Monday.

Jones’ departure is a little more interesting from an operational standpoint. The Celtics acquired him and Detroit’s second-round pick from the Thunder for essentially nothing (a heavily protected second-round pick). Jones is guaranteed $2 million this season, at least a portion of which was offset by cash they acquired in that deal as well.

The Celtics raved about Jones’ production in Oklahoma City during the early going last season and the athleticism he brings to both the big small forward and small big forward positions. But chronic knee issues that arose again during the preseason may threaten the 24-year-old’s NBA career. Surely, team president Danny Ainge shopped Jones’ contract around the league in hopes of not having to eat his salary, but it doesn’t appear anybody was willing to take on that guaranteed $2 million. Whether he’ll receive a non-guaranteed minimum offer elsewhere remains to be seen.

Barring a trade in the next few days, the Celtics have locked in their 15-man roster for Wednesday’s opener.

  • Ball-handlers: Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas, Evan Turner, Terry Rozier
  • Wings: Avery Bradley, R.J. Hunter, James Young
  • Swings: Jae Crowder, Jonas Jerebko
  • Bigs: David Lee, Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Jordan Mickey

The only questions left now are who will start and how deep the rotation will go, and we probably won’t have definitive answers to either of those queries on opening night, because that’ probably change from night to night.

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Perry Jones III (knee) misses second straight Celtics practice 10.02.15 at 5:45 pm ET
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Perry Jones

Perry Jones

Perry Jones III missed a second consecutive Celtics practice with knee soreness on Friday.

The Celtics acquired Jones, a 2019 second-round pick and cash considerations from the Thunder in exchange for a future second-round pick this past July. He averaged 4.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 14.7 minutes over 43 games in Oklahoma City last season, showing considerable promise in a 32-point, seven-rebound effort against the Clippers before suffering a separate knee injury in early November 2014.

Jones fell to No. 28 in the 2012 NBA draft due to knee problems that a scout told CBS Sports reporter Seth Davis would limit his career to “3-4 years in the league.” This would be his fourth NBA season.

The Celtics currently have 16 players signed to guaranteed contracts with room for only 15, and Jones was already the favorite to be left off the roster at the end of training camp. This setback does not bode well, particularly if the soreness lingers, but he is expected to travel with the team to Italy.

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Celtics acquire Perry Jones III, pick from Thunder 07.14.15 at 3:45 pm ET
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Perry Jones

Perry Jones

The Celtics once again benefited from another team’s cost-saving machinations, acquiring Thunder forward Perry Jones III, Detroit’s 2019 second-round pick and cash from Oklahoma City in exchange for a protected 2018 second-round pick, the teams announced.

The deal reportedly saves OKC about $7 million in salary and luxury tax expenses while creating a $2.o4 million trade exception.

Meanwhile, the Celtics will audition the 23-year-old Jones for one season on that same $2.04 million salary before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2016. The 6-foot-11, 235-pound Jones averaged 4.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in just 14.7 minutes over 43 games this past season. Bostonians probably best remember the Baylor product as one of several late first-round picks the C’s passed on in order to select Fab Melo in 2012.

The deal brings to mind last summer’s trade for Tyler Zeller, who the Celtics acquired along with Marcus Thornton for a conditional second-round pick in a cost-cutting move by the Cavaliers. Zeller played a similar role to Jones before starting for the C’s in 2014-15.

Even if the Celtics can get just one game close to his performance against the Clippers in the second game of this past season ‘€” a 32-point, seven-rebound, three-assist night when OKC was missing Kevin Durant ‘€” the trade will be worth the phone call to Sam Presti.

The deal theoretically brings the Celtics to the requisite 15 guaranteed contracts once Jae Crowder is officially signed and the David Lee trade is completed, which either means second-round pick Jordan Mickey won’t be earning a roster spot or more moves are coming down the pike. The latter scenario is more likely so early in the 2015-16 calendar.

Read More: Boston Celtics, NBA, Perry Jones III,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Baylor SF/PF Perry Jones III 06.25.12 at 6:05 am ET
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As part of’€™s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.


Position: Small forward/power forward

School: Baylor

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 234 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All Big-12 third team, 2011 All-Big 12 second team, 2011 Big-12 All-Rookie team

Key 2011-12 stats: 14.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 50.0 FG%, 30.7 minutes

What he brings: Jones, who leaves Baylor after his sophomore season, is one of the most athletic players in the draft, as his size and quickness give him the potential to be an impact player at the NBA level. He is a smooth ball-handler, a good shooter from mid-range, and a good rebounder thanks to his 7-foot-2 wingspan.

While he moves quickly like a big guard, he could be tougher in the paint if he wants to handle the contact at the NBA level. For a player his size, he needs to work on his post play and his aggressiveness if he wants to reach his full potential.

He was not very consistent at the college level and his effort was questioned at times. If the Celtics do draft Jones, they will draft him based upon his potential and not necessarily his production in college.

Where the Celtics could get him: Jones has been mocked all around the first round, including at pick No. 21 to the Celtics. Jones has a good chance of being in line for the Celtics to take him with either one of their first two picks.

Notes: The NCAA declared Jones ineligible toward the end of the season after an investigation about whether he received improper benefits from an AAU coach before going to college. He would have had to serve a five-game suspension and pay back $700 if he wanted to return to Baylor next year.

Recent articles:

Sports Illustrated: Baylor’€™s Jones finally tapping into potential

Fox Sports Ohio: Jones a gifted mystery man

Video: Here is a highlight package of Jones’€™ sophomore season

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Perry Jones III,
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