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Reports: Celtics showing interest in Amir Johnson, Gerald Green, Tobias Harris

07.01.15 at 11:41 am ET
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NBA free agency has begun and the Celtics have reportedly already been connected to a few free agents.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweeted Tuesday that the Celtics are “expected to show interest” in power forward Amir Johnson and former Celtics shooting guard Gerald Green.

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.

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Read More: Amir Johnson, Gerald Green, Tobias Harris,

Report: Celtics awaiting word on Kevin Love meeting

07.01.15 at 10:32 am ET
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According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Celtics are currently waiting to hear whether they will get a meeting with free agent power forward Kevin Love.

Love played this season with the Cavaliers, averaging 16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. The Cavaliers swept the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, but Love was injured in the process.

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.

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Danny Ainge: ‘[Terry Rozier] was always that high on our draft board’

06.30.15 at 11:42 am ET
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Terry Rozier was selected No. 16 overall by the Celtics. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Terry Rozier was selected No. 16 overall by the Celtics. (Elsa/Getty Images)

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.

Ainge sat alongside coach Brad Stevens, team president Rich Gotham and the Celtics’ newest members — Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter, Jordan Mickey and Marcus Thornton.

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.

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Read More: Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge, Terry Rozier,

Reports: Celtics to meet with Greg Monroe, Al-Farouq Aminu

06.29.15 at 10:04 am ET
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Greg Monroe

Greg Monroe

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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Jeff Goodman on MFB: Terry Rozier ‘the wrong pick’

06.26.15 at 3:20 pm ET
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Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

ESPN basketball insider Jeff Goodman appeared on Middays with MFB on Friday to talk about the Celtics and the rest of the NBA draft. To listen to the interview, visit the MFB audio on demand page.
Goodman was highly critical of the Celtics‘ selection of Terry Rozier with the 16th pick of the draft. Goodman acknowledged that general manager Danny Ainge tried to move up to a higher pick, but Goodman was disappointed with the choice of Rozier when those efforts did not prove fruitful.

“I really like Terry Rozier at 16, but not for the Celtics. I think it was just the wrong pick,” Goodman said. “I’m usually a big fan of Ainge and how he drafts. Not a great shooter. My take is they’ve already got mediocre-shooting perimeter guys. Combo guards, they’ve got plenty of them. Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and now you add Terry Rozier to the mix.”

As a result of this apparent logjam at the guard position, it seems likely that more roster moves are on the horizon. According to Goodman, the Celtics are looking to trade guards but have found that the current Celtics may not have much value.

“I don’t know if they have enough value that you can move Avery Bradley or Marcus Smart right now. I think they’re trying,” he said. “From what teams have told me, Marcus Smart is on the block, but he doesn’t have quite enough value, so it’s going to be interesting to see if Ainge does make a move.”
Goodman said that, given the players still on the board at 16, the Celtics should have taken Wisconsin swingman Sam Dekker.

“I think Dekker was the best talent and he fit the best need at that point. He’s a 6-foot-9 3-man who’s pretty athletic and showed last year in the NCAA tournament, he might have been the best player up until the national title game. … just feel like Dekker was worth the risk, his upside is higher,” Goodman said.

On the whole, the Celtics didn’t do much to better themselves on draft night, according to Goodman.

“I just don’t know how much the Celtics helped themselves right now. I think Danny Ainge is probably frustrated because he felt like they had an opportunity to do so. … Terry Rozier, today, can’t beat out Avery Bradley or Marcus Smart,” he said.

The Celtics also owned the 28th pick in the draft. They used it to select Georgia State shooting guard R.J. Hunter, who hit one of the most memorable shots of this year’s NCAA tournament. Goodman was more impressed with the Celtics’ second selection, despite the fact that Hunter, scouted to be a great shooter, made only 30.5 percent of his 3-point attempts last season.

“I know the numbers don’t necessarily make him look like he’s a knockdown shooter, but he really is. He’s probably the third- or fourth-best shooter that came out of this draft, maybe even better. I like R.J. a lot. .. . I think he can help. He can help because he gives you something you really don’t have, which is a perimeter shooter,” Goodman said.

Despite the dissatisfaction with the front office’s draft performance, Goodman remains optimistic that the Celtics can improve later in the offseason, either via trade or free agency.

“I haven’t given up on this offseason,” he said. “Danny Ainge is still one of the better guys in terms of making deals out there. He’s active, he’s smart.”

Read More: Jeff Goodman, R.J. Hunter, Terry Rozier,

Poll: How do you grade Celtics’ draft?

06.26.15 at 12:20 pm ET
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The Celtics surprised almost everyone by grabbing Louisville point guard Terry Rozier with their first pick in Thursday’s draft, and followed that by taking George State shooting guard R.J. Hunter, LSU power forward Jordan Mickey and William & Mary point guard Marcus Thornton.

Did Danny Ainge do the right thing by taking the players he considered the most talented available, or was it a mistake to load up with undersized guards on a team that already has a plethora of undersized guards?

What grade do you give Danny Ainge on the Celtics' 2015 draft?

  • C (36%, 131 Votes)
  • D (29%, 104 Votes)
  • F (17%, 63 Votes)
  • B (16%, 58 Votes)
  • A (1%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 361

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Danny Ainge on not moving up: ‘Maybe we were going too hard at it’

06.26.15 at 1:17 am ET
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In the end, moving up into the prized Top 10 of the 2015 NBA draft was not in the cards for Danny Ainge.

“I’m not disappointed,” said the Celtics president of basketball operations. “We tried. It just didn’t happen.

“We tried hard. We tried hard to trade up. We spent the last couple of weeks trying to move, and really today was the only time we had any indication that we could move up. But we were trying. At the end of the day, it’s like Red used to say, sometimes the best trades you make are the ones you don’t make. Maybe we were going too hard at it. And there was a time when I thought, ‘Whoa, this is getting a little out of control. We’re putting a lot of eggs in one young player’s basket.’

“So, I’m not frustrated. And, in the long run maybe it’ll be the best.”

The “one young player’s basket” may be a reference to the rumor of the Celtics’ effort to move up to No. 9 earlier in the day, trying reportedly to nab small forward Justise Winslow of Duke. There were reports that the team was going to part with Jared Sullinger and ship him to Charlotte. Sullinger had reportedly even followed the Hornets on Twitter and stopped following the Celtics.

Ainge could only laugh.

“The fans feed into what’s being written and said a lot, too,” Ainge said. “I did say we would try to move up. The price was way too high. There’s so many rumors out there. There are so many things are being said and written that aren’t even close to being true, that are just made-up stories. No sources and fake sources and people get caught up in these rumors and their expectations grow even higher. Don’t you think?”

Did he come close? “Yeah, we thought we were close,” Ainge said.

Instead, Ainge stayed put and made selections at all four of his spots going into the night. He took Terry Rozier at No. 16, R.J. Hunter at No. 28, Jordan Mickey at No. 33 and Marcus Thornton at No. 45. Three of them, Rozier, Hunter and Thornton are guards, adding to an already crowded and jumbled backcourt.

“Listen, it all comes down to how good the players are that we have,” Ainge said. “It doesn’t matter what I say about it. We’ll just wait and see how good they are. We like the guys we have and I think our fans are going to enjoy them.”

Ainge had said he was looking for quality over quantity, and was not likely to make all four picks. He reiterated Thursday that he won’t be able to keep all four picks on the active roster, instead will try to stash them in Europe.

“No, we don’t have room on the roster for all four guys, most likely,” Ainge admitted. “We probably don’t have room for them so we’ll work out deals where guys can play overseas in some of the situations.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, NBA, R.J. Hunter
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