|05.13.16 at 4:07 pm ET|
Now we know where the Celtics will have to travel to see at least one of the blue chip prospects in the upcoming draft.
The Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy reported Friday afternoon that the team will head to Los Angeles to watch Duke sharpshooter and Kinston, N.C. native Brandon Ingram. Murphy reports that if the Celtics nab either the No. 1 or 2 spots in the draft in Tuesday’s lottery, that could change.
If they don’t, it’s likely that Ingram’s handlers would prefer the Celtics make the trip out west to watch him work out. Ingram and LSU’s Ben Simmons are considered the consensus top two picks in the upcoming draft. Ingram, who played only one season, chose to come out early this spring. He has been compared to Kevin Durant, a tall, athletic forward who can shoot.
Several leading prospects for the June 23 draft are in Chicago this week for the NBA draft combine to work out for various teams. In a surprise to absolutely no one, neither Ingram nor Simmons chose to work out as their stock is already high.
The Celtics interviewed Ingram Thursday morning at the combine after doing the same with Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Kentucky’s Jamaal Murray on Wednesday.
The Celtics are represented there by president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens.
Ainge had indicated last week that he wasn’t sure whether the team would have to travel to see some of the top prospects or whether they would come to them. He hinted that could depend on where the Celtics land in the lottery.
According to Murphy, the Celtics will also be back in Waltham next Wednesday to workout two prospects with local ties, including Maryland guard Jake Layman from Wrentham and North Carolina State forward Malik Abu from Boston.
Celtics have tentative workout set in Los Angeles with Brandon Ingram, though it depends on where they are after the lottery.
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) May 13, 2016
|05.10.16 at 11:44 am ET|
The Celtics are joining the Bruins’ move to Boston Landing.
The C’s, in conjunction with New Balance, announced Tuesday their plans to move their practice and training facility from Waltham to the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston, with a state-of-the-art complex opening in the spring of 2018.
The Celtics and Bruins practice facilities will be in walking distance from WEEI and New Balance headquarters.
“We are proud to team with New Balance Development in the creation of a best-in-class athletic training and practice facility that will provide Celtics players, coaches, and training staff with the resources, technology, and programming to compete at the highest level in an increasingly competitive NBA landscape,” Celtics president Rich Gotham said in a statement. “The Boston Landing location will bring us closer to our game day home at the TD Garden while providing high impact brand visibility.”
The Celtics practice facility will be the latest dramatic element at Boston Landing — at 55 feet in the air cantilevered out to the edge of the Mass Pike. The Celtics’ new practice home, including the team’s 17 NBA championship banners, will be highly visible from the Massachusetts Turnpike with a 40-foot glass wall enclosing the practice courts that face the approximately 130,000 daily commuters. The practice facility will encompass approximately 70,000 square feet.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Boston Celtics to Boston Landing,” said Jim Halliday, Managing Director for NB Development Group LLC. “Adding another iconic brand like the Boston Celtics to Boston Landing at Allston-Brighton along the Mass Pike further advances the concept of Boston Landing serving as the gateway into the City of Boston from the west, while at the same time adding to the culture of health, wellness, and movement with this district.”
|05.09.16 at 4:22 pm ET|
Celtics coach Brad Stevens joined Dale & Holley on Monday to discuss the current NBA landscape and the future of the team. To hear the interview, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
This is considered a pivotal offseason for the Celtics, who are coming off a first-round elimination at the hands of the Hawks but have the third-best shot at the first overall pick because they have the Nets’ first-round selection. Whether with picks, a trade of roster players or in free agency, the team hopes to add at least one star player to the roster.
Stevens, who is coming off his third season in Boston, says he will play whatever role he can in trying to recruit players, but noted he considers the Celtics’ history to be the biggest draw.
“I’ll play an active role,” he said. “I’ll do anything that I can as far as meeting with guys, calling guys, whatever I can after the July 1 time frame when we’re given the go-ahead to meet with those guys. I think the best selling point, I would say that I’m probably not near that. I think that the tradition, the history, the way that the city embraces the Celtics, the way that our players feel about being Celtics, the amount of pride that they’ve taken in that, and this group in particular, how thankful they’ve been to get a chance to play in front of these fans and in this place where those banners hang above you — to me, that’s the top of the list.
“I’m a basketball guy; I love the game and I love the tradition and the history and the tradition of the game. Maybe that just means to me, but I think it means a lot to a lot of people. Certainly there are other factors involved, when ultimately free agents have to choose a place to play, but for me, those were a lot of the things that obviously flattered me about being asked to be the coach here.”
The Celtics had an All-Star in Isaiah Thomas this season, but the feeling around the team is that it needs to have a true superstar in order to contend with teams like Cleveland in the East. Stevens acknowledged as much, but noted it’s how a team shapes its roster around stars that allows the team to thrive.
“A lot of the NBA is really focused on whoever your one, two or three guys that draw the most attention are, but then who can space the floor for those guys and how effective is that all working together,” he said.
Added Stevens: “Let’s say that you end up drafting a person that is a great rim-protector but may have limited offensively ability, for example. You’ve got to come up with a plan to manage and maximize that. I think that generally speaking, I think that versatility — and when I say versatility, I’m talking about guys that can guard really 2 through 4 — because at times those guys can switch everything and make it as difficult as possible on a number of different positions while at the same time shooting are two of the big things that we just have to continue to focus on.”
|05.04.16 at 7:23 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Quincy Ford really sounds like a Celtics fan already.
There’s good reason for that. The 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward prospect played his ball at Northeastern. And on Wednesday, during a pre-draft workout in Waltham, he got a taste of what it would be like to play for the team he’s admired and respected from afar.
“For one, that they play hard all the way to the buzzer,” Ford said. “They don’t give up. I really like that they’re a young group because all the other teams, they have vets but they have a young core group and they really look close and they play hard together all the time, regardless the outcome. So, that’s one thing I truly respect, guys that play hard, no matter what.”
Already 23, Ford is the type of player Ainge was referring to on Wednesday when he said NBA teams are looking for size, length and the ability to score. During his five years at Northeastern, he was in double figures four seasons. The only year he didn’t average double figures was his junior season when a back injury limited him to two games. This past season, he caught the eyes of NBA scouts with averages of 16.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
“It was my very first workout. It was just an unbelievable experience. I’m truly blessed and humbled to be able to be considered to work out with a great group of guys here. It was a tough workout. I was tired. I really wanted to push my body to the limits. So, that was the goal coming in.”
|05.04.16 at 3:47 pm ET|
WALTHAM — With the cap flexibility and the possibility of names like Kevin Durant and Al Horford on the free agent market this summer, there’s one question at the top of everyone’s mind: Can Danny Ainge make Boston and the Celtics attractive to free agents next season?
“I think our team is attractive to some,” Ainge said. “I think Boston and the tradition and the Celtics and their winning ways and our fan base and ownership group and sort of the chemistry that we have as an organization between coach, management, and ownership, I think that we’re an attractive place for free agents.”
Ainge is not permitted to talk about any free agents at all, not even potentially his own as they apply to next season, including Tyler Zeller, Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger.
What Ainge did make clear was that he believes with the coaching staff in place — led by wunderkind Brad Stevens — and the winning chemistry of a team that won 48 games a year ago, there is a lot to be drawn to in Boston.
“But, ultimately, free agents want to come to a place where they can win,” Ainge said. “Where they get paid. Where they get an opportunity to play their game. There’s many factors. And some places people want to be closer to the sun, closer to equator, and I think that there’s just a lot of factors. But I do think that we are and we will be attractive to some free agents.”
|05.04.16 at 3:37 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Turns out Kelly Olynyk may need surgery after all to fix a shoulder that never fully healed after an injury that slowed his season.
On Feb. 10 at TD Garden, he injured his shoulder in a collision against the Clippers in the first half. It was partially separated but began to heal after a 14-game absence.
But upon his return he never fully regained the form that produced the most effective 3-point shooter on the team at 41 percent. He did help lengthen the Celtics bench and the spacing on the court but when he re-injured the same shoulder in Game 1 against the Hawks, he was reduced to a small bit player off the bench, missing Games 2 and 3 and playing sparingly in the final three games of the series.
“Kelly is still deciding what to do with our medical staff and with the opinions that he’s received,” Danny Ainge said Wednesday. “We should know within the next week or so of what that decision will be, but surgery is an option and it is being discussed. He’ll make that decision soon.”
As for other injured Celtics at the end of the season, Ainge said none will require surgery. Jae Crowder (right ankle), Isaiah Thomas (left wrist) and Avery Bradley (right hamstring) should all be back to full strength with rest and rehab.
“Jae’s is a bone bruise in the foot,” Ainge said. “Some things just linger. He’ll be OK. Same with Isaiah, same with everybody else. I think the only surgery possibility is Kelly’s shoulder.”
Ainge made it clear that Bradley almost certainly would not have been able to return to the Atlanta series, simply because the team did not want to risk future injury. And returning soon after that was a “long shot” as well.
“I think that first of all, the hamstring injury Avery had, a Grade 1 strain, it’s risky,” Ainge said. “You want to be really careful with that because if you get a second hamstring injury then they sort of have a tendency to linger throughout your career. So we probably wouldn’t have let Avery go back out unless he was just 100 percent and felt absolutely nothing. But I think that was always a long shot.”
|05.04.16 at 2:19 pm ET|
WALTHAM — The Celtics are going in a different direction to change their lottery luck.
Danny Ainge, the team’s president of basketball operations, confirmed the big news after draft workouts Wednesday that they’re not sending one of the legends like Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn or Jo Jo White to New York City for the May 17 draft lottery.
Instead, they’re sending a current star who seems perfectly suited to fitting the bill of bringing good luck: Isaiah Thomas.
“Sure. Yeah. He’s our leprechaun,” Ainge joked Wednesday.
Ainge said it was actually a decision made after consultation with owners Wyc Grousbeck and Stephen Pagliuca and team president Rich Gotham.
“Wyc and Rich and I collectively, and Pags, we talked about it and thought it would be a great idea,” Ainge said. “And Isaiah when he was told, it was like his eyes lit up. He loves that stuff.”
Ainge was asked to respond to those who argue that Thomas is not a foundational piece of the Celtics and key to their team moving forward.
“Have they been to any games?” Ainge replied.
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