Free-agent PG Sebastian Telfair is drawing interest from the Boston Celtics. Telfair, aka “Bassy,” was once considered a top PG prospect and believed by many to be the next big thing. Telfair was the 13th-overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft out of Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn.
Telfair played briefly for the Celtics in 2007 before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves as a part of the deal that brought Kevin Garnett to Boston. Since then, Telfair has played for several different teams (eight), but has never really lived up to the hype that surrounded him upon his entrance into the league. Despite being in the league for so long, the nine-year veteran is only 28 years old.
If Telfair does become a Celtic again, he would join Phil Pressey (rookie from Missouri) as the only other true point guard on the roster who can play during whatever time All-Star Rajon Rondo misses while recovering from his knee injury. This potential move would be a smart one for the Celtics, considering their lack of depth at that position. Even after Rondo returns, Telfair is the type of player who can still contribute off the bench.
The only thing that concerns me is the cap room. The Celtics would have to get rid of some pieces to make this work. I’d suspect that the Celtics would sign Telfair to a veteran-minimum deal. However, even with a small contract, it would most likely put the team over the luxury tax threshold again (as a repeat offender). After the blockbuster deal with the Brooklyn Nets, many people assumed the Celtics would trim some of the roster fat in order to stay well-below the luxury tax threshold and save money while trying to rebuild. That hasn’t happened yet, and with a potential move like this, maybe a sign-and-trade would make the most sense for the Celtics. However, Telfair’s former team, the Toronto Raptors, have a crowded roster as it is, so that doesn’t seem likely.
Recently, the Celtics signed undrafted PG Pressey after his stellar performance in Summer League play with the team. It seemed that the team was going to give Pressey a good run with Rondo sidelined. However, if the Celtics are considering bringing in a guy like Telfair (and potentially compromising staying under the luxury tax threshold), you have to wonder about how much confidence they really do have in Pressey.