Jabari Bird deserves a chance at an NBA roster spot, but has no guarantee of getting one. It may not come in Boston, due to a crowded roster and a looming luxury tax bill, but Bird did just about everything he could in Las Vegas to show he’s NBA roster material. The restricted free agent averaged 16.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game, all while shooting 57.0 percent from the field. The points, rebounds and steals averages were all team-highs. A second-year player is supposed to look a cut above the opposition at summer league and Bird did just that just about every night he played.
The question now is, what exactly that means for Bird’s future? The Celtics ideally would like to retain him as a two-way player, which would give them additional roster and salary flexibility as the season continues. That’s not a luxury they may end up with though if Bird finds himself getting an offer from another suitor on the open market. Bird's odds of making the 15-man roster in Boston improved this week with the trade of Abdel Nader, but the possibility remains that the Celtics will keep that roster spot open heading into training camp.
BostonSportsJournal.com caught up with Bird recently for an exclusive interview to discuss his free agency, potential future with the Celtics and much more.
Could you have envisioned summer league going much better for you in terms of showing your consistency and the different elements of your game?