By Tim MacLean
The Celtics’ decision to sign Shane Larkin last summer was a curious one. At the time of the agreement, Boston already had 15 guaranteed contracts on its books—three of which belonged to primary ball handlers—and an incumbent starter in Isaiah Thomas who was diminutive in his own right. Adding Larkin as the 16th guaranteed deal—one over the league limit—seemed odd.
But fast forward a couple of weeks and things began to make more sense. The Celtics made a blockbuster move to acquire Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers, moving on from the undersized Thomas while simultaneously opening up a roster spot for the newly-signed Larkin.
Once seen as a candidate to be cut by the ending of training camp, Larkin went on to appear in 54 games for the Celtics in 2017-18, averaging 4.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
Now set to become an unrestricted free agent later this summer, the Celtics will have a decision to make on Larkin—one that will largely be contingent on what happens with their other guards. Marcus Smart will be a restricted free agent seeking a sizable pay raise, and after performing so well as a starter this past post season, it’s possible teams inquire about Terry Rozier’s availability. If one of the two were to end up in a different uniform next year, Boston could certainly consider bringing Larkin back into the...