The Boston Celtics will sign guard Chris Babb for the remainder of the 2013-14 season and have agreed to team options beyond this season. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Chris Babb’s agent has confirmed that an agreement has been reached that will see the D-League call-up remain with the team beyond his second 10-day contract which ends on Thursday.
The 24 year old rookie has had limited opportunities since joining the team from the Maine Red Claws. In his six appearances Babb has averaged 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds while playing 11.5 minutes, but the Celtics’ coaching staff has been impressed with his work ethic and defensive intensity. While it comes off a small sample size, the Celtics’ defense has been dramatically better with Babb on the floor where they average a defensive rating of just 87.4, which is tremendous. Jay King from Massive Live quoted Brad Stevens recently who praised Babb’s defensive abilities and team-first attitude.
“He’s a perfect fit for what we need,” Stevens said last week. “He’s not going to play 38 minutes a game, (but) he’s going to come in, get open shots, hopefully knock those open shots down, play off of other people and then be a feisty defender for us. And he really is an outstanding defender for a young guy. And I credit him and, certainly, the coaching he’s received in college and now. But he’s an outstanding defender as a team player and an individual.”
While the opportunity to stay on with the Celtics for the remainder of the season is huge for Babb, his contract will now also provide general manager Danny Ainge with another valuable trade asset in the offseason. Babb, along with fellow D-League call-up Chris Johnson and veteran Keith Bogans, all have non-guaranteed deals beyond this season so they can be included in trades to make up salary and then waived immediately to save money for their new team. This is a win-win move for the Celtics as they remain just under the luxury tax, can audition Babb for an ongoing spot on the roster for the remainder of the season and will also have the flexibility of these non-guaranteed deals when they hit the negotiating table with teams in the offseason.