The Boston Celtics suddenly got busy late last week. They swung a huge trade for dynamic guard Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers and they’re likely to sign Danilo Gallinari after the veteran sharpshooter clears waivers. They’ve also shored up the back end of their bench, and in the process showed a lot of confidence in one of their recent undrafted free agents.
As reported by Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe on Sunday, the Celtics are expected to re-sign forward Sam Hauser to a three-year deal worth $6 million, with the first two years fully guaranteed. The numbers are notable, because the Celtics recently declined Hauser’s option for only $1.6 million with the intention of signing him long-term. Now, Hauser gets a big raise compared to what he was on track to make.
Hauser, 24, played his final year of college ball at Virginia, before signing a two-way contract with the Celtics as an undrafted free agent in 2021. The C’s later converted his deal to a regular NBA contract, but Hauser still spent some time with the Maine Celtics in the G League.
According to Himmelsbach, “there’s real optimism that Hauser can become a regular rotation player next season.” Hauser played 26 games in the 2021-22 season and averaged only 6.1 minutes off the bench. But he did shoot 43.2 percent from three-point range in his limited role. Ostensibly, that’s the main area where the team will expect the 6-foot-8 Hauser to have an expanded role.
The C’s seemed to suffer from a lack of wing scoring behind Jayson Tatum down the stretch and through the playoffs. The expected addition of Gallinari, and the retention of Hauser, are two notable steps in that direction.
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