The Boston Celtics have released second-round draft pick Ben Bentil, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. Celtics president Danny Ainge has confirmed the move. The power forward could become a waiver claim or a candidate to land on a D-League roster. Bentil was one of eight players selected by the Celtics in the 2016 draft.
After two seasons at Providence, Bentil declared for the NBA Draft. Before declaring, he was named to the All-Big East First Team and was an honorable mention AP All-American. He was also named the Big East’s Most Improved Player in 2016. He averaged 21.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in his sophomore season.
Bentil played in three of the Celtics’ preseason games this month. He had 15 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and an assist in 39 preseason minutes. He was considered by some to be a potential first-round pick after declaring for the draft.
The Celtics have a crowded frontcourt and just didn’t have enough minutes in their rotation to justify keeping Bentil around. They already have Al Horford, Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, Jonas Jerebko and Jordan Mickey on the roster at the forward/center spots for the upcoming season.
The Celtics still have moves to make before rosters have to be trimmed to 15 players for the season opener. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the team is attempting to land a second-round pick in return for James Young or R.J. Hunter.
Additionally in other Celtics backcourt news, Marcus Smart received a clean MRI on his left ankle, according to Charania. His return to action is dependent on his response to continued treatment.