I was definitely dreading for this day to come. The Boston Celtics had to make some sacrifices as Kris Humphries and Jerryd Bayless each will no longer be wearing green next season. It was expected after the recent 3-team deal that brought over Tyler Zeller and a 2016 first round pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers and also brought over Marcus Thornton from the Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics’ current roster situation gives them 17 active players on the roster (15 is the maximum) and puts them over the luxury tax limit at $78.7 million ($63.1 million is the limit for the 2014-15 season). This is the exact type of situation that any rebuilding franchise doesn’t want to be in as the Celtics were unable to afford bringing back two quality players in Kris Humphries and Jerryd Bayless.
Jerryd Bayless was very bright this past season with the Celtics despite it was a very brief stay. Bayless was acquired last January from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for the hefty contract of Courtney Lee and a future second round draft pick. Bayless had been a thorn in Boston’s side for several years prior to his trade to the Celtics this past season, but he provided a lot of flexibility at both the point and shooting guard positions while Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley were sidelined with injuries. Bayless averaged 9.3 points, 2.7 assists per game with a 35.8 3-point shooting percentage combined with Memphis and Boston last season. Bayless will now be playing for his 6th team in his 7 years in the NBA as he just recently signed with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Kris Humphries became the player we all had hoped he would be this season with the Celtics. Besides the fact that he is legally no longer married to Kim Kardashian, his performance on the basketball court showed that he had put his reality TV career behind him. Humphries was traded last summer to the Celtics from the Brooklyn Nets as part of one of the biggest blockbuster draft day trade in NBA history. Humphries won a lot of fans’ respect in Boston, especially the naysayers. He was stuck deep on the bench to begin the season and was able to start in 30 of his 69 games played as the season progressed. He led by example with his relentless work ethic in the games and on the practice court. He was turning into a true veteran taking a lot of the younger players under his wing and running sprinting and shooting drills with the inexperienced players on this young Celtics squad. Humphries averaged 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his lone season with the Celtics. Humphries was part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Washington Wizards that gave the Celtics a $4.2 million in trade exception next season as well as a future second round pick.
I will really miss both of these players next season as they will both be playing for their respective teams. In the offseason, unfortunately, the business part of the NBA takes precedence over the actual playing and winning games perspective. It will be something that I will have to accept and move on from, but having true professionals like Bayless and Humphries given the circumstances the Celtics are in currently really do go a long way. Sacrifices have to be made and I’m just glad at this point that I don’t have Danny Ainge’s job in this situation. But life goes on and I’m liking how the Celtics are being patient and looking for the best options available.