Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Could Kris Joseph see decent minutes playing behind Pierce & Jeff Green?
The final spots on the roster are going to come down to a battle between Dionte Christmas, Jamar Smith, and Kris Joseph.
I think most anyone would agree that Joseph owns these three in a potential showdown after his productive career at Syracuse. But Joseph is a second round pick, so there is no guarantee of this, nor is he getting a guaranteed contract.
Kris Joseph is younger than both Christmas and Smith and always seemed as though he had even more scoring potential than he exhibited in college—which is saying something since he did still put up a respectable 13.4 points per game. He can shoot the ball very well and will make a cheap option for bench scoring in the same mode of Eddie House during the championship run in 2009. That is likely a best case scenario.
Dionte Christmas is a bit of an X-factor in many ways. He had a collegiate career equally as decorated as Joseph's, if not more so, playing for Temple back in 2005-2009. With the Owls, he led the Atlantic 10 in scoring his sophomore year and followed it up with approximately 20 points per game the next year as a junior.
Christmas was considered an All-American candidate his senior year and he lit up then eighth ranked Tennessee for 35 points on national television and won ESPN's Player of the Week. He finished his career at Temple with over 2,000 points, becoming only the fourth player in the touted program to have done so. He was the first A-10 player to lead the conference in scoring for three straight seasons.
Oddly, he went undrafted in 2009 and earned a camp invite from the Clippers, but was waived and has toiled away in Europe from that time until now. Could he be a surprise in camp? Maybe. The problem is that he plays shooting guard and the C's are already stacked at that position, so I'm not sure what they are going to do if Christmas comes out and shocks everyone. The D-League may beckon, but he'd likely head back to Europe for more cash.
Jamar Smith hails from the D-League already, where he put up 13.6 points per game and dished out 5.0 assists as a member of the Maine Red Claws last season. He's not young and it's hard to imagine he is going to suddenly break out at age 25 and become anything more than practice fodder until the season gets going. This happens every year with every team, but hey, we're noting who is and who isn't going to make the squad, right? Expect to see Smith suiting up for the Red Claws after his celebrated practice stint with Boston this fall.