Celtics waive Gaffney

NEWPORT, R.I. -- The Boston Celtics waived rookie forward Tony Gaffney Saturday, trimming their roster to 17 players on the day training camp closed on the campus of Salve Regina University.

Gaffney, who signed on the final day of the regular season in April, did not appear in a game for the team. He was inked to a non-guaranteed deal for the upcoming season and, with the team maxing out its roster with 11 offseason signings, he was on the outside looking in.

"Numbers, just a lot of numbers [in front] of him," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said when asked about Gaffney's departure. "He plays extremely hard. He's one of those guys that you would love to figure out a way to keep him on the team. At the end of the day, the numbers got him.

"I thought if we released his earlier, he'd have a chance to hook on [with another NBA team.] We're looking for more shooting at that position, quite honestly, and that's something he needs to improve on."

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Tony Gaffney poses in a Celtics jersey on Media Day.Gaffney expressed gratitude for his time with the team in a post on the social network site, Facebook, this morning:

"All good things must come to an end. It was a great time being w the Celtics, it ended today. I appreciate all the love n support. You guys are the best. My agent is back to the drawing board and stirring up something. So when the next move is finalized you all will know. Thanks again everyone."

Undrafted out of the University of Massachusetts, Gaffney latched on with the Los Angeles Lakers and was their final cut before the 2009-10 season. He signed in Israel, but injured his ankle in his first game and soon returned to the states to rehab.

The Celtics inked Gaffney along with NBA Development League standout Oliver Lafayette on April 14 with the idea of getting a better look at both players over the summer, particularly with potential for open roster spots given the amount of free agents. Despite strong performances at summer league in Orlando, the Celtics made enough signings that both Gaffney and Lafayette essentially had to play so well it allowed the team to eat a guaranteed contract.

That didn't happen. Both players were let go this week, along with training camp invites Jamar Smith and Chris Johnson.

Unlike the invitees, it's unlikely that Gaffney will latch on with the Maine Red Claws utilizing the new allocation rules for parent clubs and their D-League affiliates (teams can sign up to three camp cuts if they agree to D-League deals). Given the timing of his departure, Gaffney might be able to latch on with another NBA team (one not overflowing with proven NBA talent) and muscle his way onto a roster. Or he could try to go overseas again, where the payday might be greater.

"Honestly, I just wake up every morning saying no one in the world is going to work harder than me," Gaffney said last month while preparing for camp. "I kinda live by that motto in whatever I do, just be the hardest worker."

A native of Berkley, Mass., the 25-year-old Gaffney grew up a Celtics fan before starring at Somerset High School. During his senior season at UMass, he earned Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year honors in a season in which he averaged 11.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.8 blocks, 2 steals, and 1.7 assists per game.