D.J. White is unlikely to be the difference between whether or not the Celtics win it all this season, so the Celtics’ move to sign the fifth-year pro out of Indiana to what was termed a “multi-year” deal on Wednesday may seem like simple housekeeping. White did not step foot on the court during the Celtics’ close loss to the Heat on Monday, and he has clocked in for a total of 27 minutes in his 20-day stint with in Boston.
Even so, retaining White through the end of the season is a quiet, sensible move. For now, he provides another body to a bench that has been thinned by three season-ending injuries and the recent injury/illness to Kevin Garnett. His playing time is likely to be even more sparse as Celtics coach Doc Rivers narrows his rotation in preparation for the playoffs, but at least he ensures Rivers will not be caught without anybody to send into the game if Garnett, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox all get struck with foul trouble or freak injuries simultaneously.
As for next season, which is probably non-guaranteed, White adds depth without worsening the Celtics’ accounting crunch. White becomes the 12th player signed through next season, after fellow 10-day signee Terrence Williams had his contract extended two weeks ago and assuming Paul Pierce is back. They are already staring down the presumptive luxury tax line, which has yet to be established for next season, and Pierce’s $15 million non-guaranteed deal would be their only expiring contract of substance. Simply put, they will need as many low-cost options to fill out their roster as they can find.
In Williams, 25, and now White, 26, the Celtics have two guys who not only give them somebody to throw in at the end of blowouts, but two relatively young players with some potential to become rotation players in the future. Given the Celtics’ payroll flexibility (or lack thereof), they could do much worse.
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