|07.02.15 at 8:41 am ET|
With Wednesday’s reported signings of Amir Johnson, Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko to a combined annual average value of $24 million, the Celtics have pushed right up against the projected $67.1 million salary cap for 2015-16.
Using Basketball Insiders cap guru Eric Pincus’ projections, the C’s now have roughly $66.1 million committed to 14 players, and that doesn’t include either of their second-round picks or non-guaranteed deals for Phil Pressey and Chris Babb.
On draft night, Celtics coach Brad Stevens gave us an idea of how he views a roster, which helps explain why the organization coveted versatile forwards Johnson, Crowder and Jerebko into the fold this week.
“Everybody starts with ones, twos, threes, fours and fives when they’re looking at a basketball team,” said Stevens. “I look at ball handlers, wings, swings and bigs. I’ve only got four categories. The more guys that can play the more positions the better. Right now when you look at our roster, I think we’ve got three of the four categories with a lot of depth. That swing area — where you can go three/four and play that way — that’s the area we’re going to have to address as we move into the next few weeks.”
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Celtics roster as currently constructed.
|07.02.15 at 12:01 am ET|
According to Shams Charania of RealGM, the Celtics have re-signed forward Jae Crowder to a five-year, $35 million deal.
Crowder, who made a name for himself this past postseason, was traded to the Celtics from the Mavericks as part of the Rajon Rondo deal last season. In 57 games with the Celtics, he averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds.
The Marquette product has averaged 5.8 points over his first three seasons in the league.
For more Celtics news, check out weei.com/celtics.
RFA Jae Crowder has reached agreement on a five-year, $35 million deal with the Boston Celtics, league sources tell RealGM.
‘ Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2015
|07.01.15 at 3:43 pm ET|
The 6-foot-9, 210-pound Johnson averaged 9.3 points (60.3 true shooting percentage), 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 26.4 minutes for the Toronto Raptors last season, producing a 15.4 player efficiency rating. The 28-year-old shot 41.3 percent on just 46 3-point attempts in 2014-15. Johnson has averaged 7.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 blocks in 22.6 minutes a night over a 10-year career for the Raptors and Detroit Pistons.
While the $12 million price tag may seem steep, the Celtics have struggled luring free agents to Boston, and the short-term nature of the deal as well as the looming salary cap increase make it a bit easier to accept the fact the C’s just made Amir Johnson the highest-paid member of the team.
The signing also brings into question whether the Celtics would still be in the market for Tobias Harris and/or Jae Crowder, who fill a similar role.
|07.01.15 at 11:41 am ET|
NBA free agency has begun and the Celtics have reportedly already been connected to a few free agents.
Johnson spent this past season with the Raptors, averaging 9.3 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and 0.8 blocks while posting a 57.4 field goal percentage and a 41.3 three-point field goal percentage.
Green, who played for the Suns in 2014-15 totaled 11.9 points per game, 2.5 boards and 1.2 assists. He also recorded a 41.6 field goal percentage and an 82.5 free throw percentage.
In addition, Shams Charania of RealGM reported forward Tobias Harris is looking for a maximum-level offer sheet as he enters free agency Wednesday, noting “several teams are believed to be open to preparing a near-max contract” for him, close to $15 million-plus per year. Charania also wrote that the Celtics and the Pistons are the frontrunners to give it to him.
Harris, who is just 22, put up 17.1 points per game for the Magic last season with 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists. The small forward registered a 46.6 field goal percentage, 36.4 three-point field goal percentage and a 78.8 free throw percentage.
For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.
|07.01.15 at 10:32 am ET|
In a tie-up with Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, Love suffered a dislocated left shoulder that required surgery. The injury knocked Love out for the remainder of the playoffs, as the Cavs won the Eastern Conference before losing to the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Last summer, as a member of the Timberwolves, Love was the subject of many trade rumors and the Celtics were reportedly in the mix to land the All-Star. Boston was sent into a frenzy when Love was seen with then-Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo while taking in a Red Sox game at Fenway Park last summer.
In the end, the Timberwolves traded Love to the Cavs for package that included 2014 No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins.
Love opted out of his contract in June and became a free agent, but many reports suggest that he is likely to re-sign in Cleveland.
‘ Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2015
|06.30.15 at 11:42 am ET|
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge introduced the team’s 2015 draft class at a press conference Tuesday at the team’s practice facility in Waltham.
With Ainge and the Celtics taking a lot of heat since the draft about potentially overrating Rozier, who they selected at No. 16 overall, much of the dialogue centered around the Louisville guard and how he managed to move so far up the C’s draft board.
“It started in my college career, I just got in a lot of work in the gym,” Rozier told reporters. “I left a lot of coaches with great impressions then I came here. I just work hard and show what I can do, which is toughness, defense, showing I can shoot the ball a little better than my college stats show. … I’m just excited to be playing for a … great franchise with 17 world titles and just to meet my new teammates and get it started.”
Ainge followed up to Rozier’s answer, saying he was always high on the team’s draft board. Rozier averaged a team-leading 17.1 points per game last year.
“He was always that high on our draft board,” Ainge said. “For the last couple months he’s been a guy that we had known and looked about and thought was very underrated based on the media and how they perceived him. Terry, because of the quality of player he is, was moving up rapidly in the last few weeks of the draft process as far as the attention he was getting around the league and that started scaring us because we thought we had a diamond in the rough that nobody really was valuing all that much.”
Though many expected the Celtics to emerge from the draft with solid, rim-protecting big men, Ainge surprised many when he selected guards with three out of his four picks. When asked about how he can set himself apart on a guard-heavy roster, Rozier conversely described how he intends to fit in with the rest of the Celtics’ roster.
|06.29.15 at 10:04 am ET|
The Celtics are expected to inquire about almost every available name this summer, so their rumored interest in Greg Monroe and Al-Farouq Aminu should come as no surprise in the days leading up to the July 1 free agent frenzy.
The 6-foot-11, 253-pound Monroe will meet with the Celtics, Blazers, Bucks, Knicks and Lakers this week, according to The Advocate in Baton Rouge. The Louisiana native averaged 15.9 points (54.9 true shooting percentage), 10.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game for the Pistons this past season, producing a 21.2 player efficiency rating.
Monroe certainly fulfills a rebounding need for the Celtics, ranking among the league’s top 20 in both offensive rebound percentage (11.2) and defensive rebound percentage (25.1). He is an adept scorer inside of 8 feet, where he made more than 90 percent of his successful field goals.
However, Monroe isn’t an elite defender, as opponents shoot a robust 55.1 percent at the rim against him. For reference sake, Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass all held opponents to a lower field goal percentage at the rim. Monroe also doesn’t have the floor-spacing ability that Celtics coach Brad Stevens seems to covet, as the big man converted just 34.8 percent of his 92 shots outside of 8 feet.
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