|07.28.16 at 6:38 pm ET|
The Celtics will be playing a seven-game preseason schedule to get ready for the 2016-17 NBA season.
The team announced its preseason slate on Thursday, which will include an opener on Oct. 4 against the 76ers at the Mullins Center at UMass-Amherst. The Celtics will technically be the visiting team as Spectra/Comcast Spectacor is the parent company of the Mullins Center (as well as the home of the 76ers, the Wells Fargo Center).
Tickets for the Oct. 4 game are available for purchase at Ticketmaster.com.
The Celtics then will face the Hornets twice, with the first matchup taking place at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum on Oct. 6 and the second at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Oct. 8. Tickets for the Oct. 8 game are available at Ticketmaster.com.
The preseason lineup also includes contests against Atlantic Division rivals Brooklyn and New York. The C’s will start their New York road trip by facing the Nets on Oct. 13 and the Knicks on Oct. 15. The Celtics will close preseason play at home as they host the Nets and Knicks at TD Garden on Oct. 17 and Oct. 19.
Tickets for the TD Garden games will go on sale at a later date to be announced. Fans can visit Celtics.com, “like” the Celtics on Facebook or follow @celtics on Twitter for more ticket sale updates and information.
|07.28.16 at 3:30 pm ET|
If all things stay the same for the Celtics by the time training camp begins in late September, there’s going to be some trimming that will need to take place before the regular season tips off.
Here are a few things about roster sizes:
1. A team can carry 20 players on their training camp roster, and often times will sign players to training camp contracts bringing the size of that roster up to or near that number.
2. A team can carry a maximum of 15 players on their regular season roster.
So that creates something of a problem for the Celtics, who, after making the signings of five more players official Wednesday are carrying a roster of 18 players.
So barring a trade or another signing, who would be out and in for the Celtics once the season begins?
Here’s a breakdown of the Celtics roster as it stands currently:
Guards: Avery Bradley, John Holland, R.J. Hunter, Demetrius Jackson, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas, James Young.
Forwards: Ben Bentil, Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder, Gerald Green, Jonas Jerebko, Amir Johnson, Jordan Mickey
Centers: Al Horford, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller
There are plenty of players on this roster would be locks to make the 15-man cut. There are a group of players who could be left in limbo, however, including Bentil, Mickey, Young, Holland, Jackson and Hunter.
There are a few interesting cases here — namely Mickey, Young and Hunter.
|07.28.16 at 3:26 pm ET|
Wednesday evening the Celtics made five deals official — most notably the signing of No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown. Nearly all of the signings were previously reported, however were not made official by the team until Wednesday.
Though the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Brown is expected to be a big part of the Celtics immediate future, Brown was immediately a scoring threat during the summer league, averaging 16 points per game over 29 minutes. He also added 6.2 rebounds per game as well as 2.3 assists.
In his Pac-12 Freshman of the Year-winning 2015-16 campaign, the 6-foot-7 19-year-old averaged 14.6 points and 5.4 boards over 27.6 minutes per game.
Also signed from the draft were second-round picks Demetrius Jackson and Ben Bentil — deals that had been agreed upon earlier on Wednesday.
The two remaining deals included the re-upping of big man Tyler Zeller, as well as the return of Gerald Green, both of whom have agreed to deals, as WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia reported on Saturday.
The signings now set the Celtics roster at 18, leaving an interesting training camp ahead that will see three players not make the NBA roster.
|07.27.16 at 12:56 pm ET|
The Celtics inked a pair of their second-round picks, signing 45th overall pick Demetrius Jackson to a four-year, $5.5 million deal while signing 51st overall pick Ben Bentil to a three-year deal, according to the Boston Globe.
A 6-foot-1 guard out of Notre Dame, Jackson did not turn many heads in the summer league, averaging 5.3 points, 1.3 assists, 2 rebounds and 1 steal in 16.6 minutes per game over eight appearances.
The deal seems nothing more than a rational protection of assets, with a number of Celtics draftees from recent years playing overseas — including Ante Zizic and Guerschon Yabusele, both of whom were taken in the first round of the 2016 draft.
Jackson averaged 36 minutes per game in 2015-16 with the Fighting Irish, scoring 15.8 points per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field. He also averaged 4.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 3.5 boards per game.
He was projected by DraftExpress to go 24th overall, but ultimately fell much later in the draft.
Don’t be surprised if Jackson ends up in Maine to start the season in the D-League with the Celtics already carrying quite a bit of young depth at the guard position with John Holland, James Young and R.J. Hunter, all of whom are still working to earn their spot on the roster.
The 6-foot-9 power forward Bentil is also a likely candidate to start the season in the D-League seeing as the C’s now have 18 players on the roster with a maximum allowance of 15 on an active roster.
Bentil was taken following a standout sophomore year at Providence College, where he averaged 21.1 points and 7.7 rebounds. While with the Celtics during the summer league, he averaged 8.7 points and 4.3 boards per game. Though the financial figures of the deal are unknown currently, the first year of his deal is reportedly guaranteed.
|07.23.16 at 5:34 pm ET|
These are very fluid times at the bottom of the Celtics roster.
The news Saturday that the Celtics have reached agreement in principle on free agent deals with Tyler Zeller (their own through restricted free agency) and Gerald Green (1 year, $1.5 million) brings the Celtics roster to 17 players for the upcoming season.
In the NFL, when a significant free agent is signed in the offseason, it is presumed that free agent will be with the team come training camp. With the Celtics, that is not a certainty by any stretch of the imagination, especially when that imagination belongs to Danny Ainge.
Several sources around the league have indicated that Ainge is far from done with his offseason maneuverings and would like to reshape the roster once more before the team heads to camp in late September.
The Celtics were able to get a max deal done (4 years, $113 million) with Al Horford, who comes to Boston still in his prime at the age of 30.
Even with Tom Brady on their side, they just missed out on Kevin Durant.
They drafted a confident swingman in Jaylen Brown, who blossomed late in Summer League and started to show the glimpses of brilliance that gave Ainge and his staff reason to take him third overall.
Horford and Brown are definitely new pieces that will give Brad Stevens more to work with in 2016-17. Zeller and Green may or may not play a big role.
If you include the guaranteed contract of Brown and pending deals with Ben Bentil and Demetrius Jackson, the Celtics will actually be at 18 players.
|07.23.16 at 3:26 pm ET|
The Celtics are trying to make the best of what’s left of the free agent market.
League sources confirmed Saturday to WEEI.com that the team will re-sign 26-year-old center Tyler Zeller for two years and $16 million, with the second year consisting of a team option. The news was first reported by the Boston Herald and later by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
The Celtics are following through on their intentions after extending a $3.7 million qualifying offer in June to Zeller, who like Jared Sullinger was a restricted free agent.
Sullinger left for bigger money in Toronto.
Zeller, the 17th overall pick of the Mavericks (traded to Cleveland) in the 2012 draft, appeared in 60 games for the Celtics this season, just a season after starting 59. Zeller averaged 6.1 points and 3 rebounds over 11.8 minutes per game last season.
The Celtics are also going back to the future and signing 30-year-old Gerald Green. A league source confirms that Green and the team have agreed on a one-year deal for the league veteran minimum of $1.5 million, as reported by Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.
Green was the No. 18 overall pick of the Celtics in the 2005 NBA draft. He played his first two seasons with Boston before being dealt to the Timberwolves as part of the Kevin Garnett deal in 2007. Green averaged 8.9 points per game in 69 games for the Heat last season, including 14 games as a starter.
Green, entering his 10th season, was a productive sixth man for the Heat in the first half of the season but mysteriously fell off and played little down the stretch and in the playoffs against Charlotte and Toronto. Green indicated publicly he had hoped to return to Miami. Green is a career 36.1 percent shooter from 3-point range. During the 2013-14 season with the Suns, Green shot a remarkable 40 percent on a career-high 510 attempts.
Per a league a source, the signings of Zeller and Green appear to be a “fall-back” position for the Celtics, should they want to enter the season with the roster they have constructed. There is still the possibility that these pieces, along with others, could be used in trades down the road, like for Jahlil Okafor of Philadelphia. Both the Herald and Globe have indicated from sources that it’s more likely than not that the roster will definitely be adjusted significantly before the start of camp in late September.
The roster, after these two signings, will be at 17, including the non-guaranteed contract of John Holland and the guaranteed deal of No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown. The team must cut to 15 players by the start of the season. The Celtics already have freed up the spaces of Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic, both of whom will play overseas next season.
|07.21.16 at 6:19 pm ET|
Jae Crowder isn’t happy with Kevin Durant. And he’s not pulling any punches talking about it.
Speaking to Tom Westerholm of MassLive prior to his 60 Days of Summer appearance at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts the forward was remarkably candid in discussing how he feels after the Celtics were snubbed.
“We were the only team in the NBA to beat both (Cleveland and Golden State) on their home court — the only team in the NBA, the Boston Celtics,” Crowder said. “We told him that. We played him clips from both games and told him basically the scouting report of how we guarded Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson) — our entire game plan, basically. That’s what made me mad. We (expletive) told him everything we do to beat these guys, and we beat them, and he went and joined them. I mean, that’s part of the process, but I did not think he would go to those two teams … I felt like afterward, I was talking to Isaiah, like maybe after you sit back, you shouldn’t have told him everything, but who the (expletive) thought he was going to Golden State, realistically? It was like a slap in the face for us, basically.”
Durant made his dramatic announcement via The Players’ Tribune on July 4, stating he would be joining the squad that had denied him a chance to take the Thunder back to the NBA Finals mere weeks ago.
The Celtics pulled out everything they had to try and swing the most prized free-agent their way. They brought some of their impact players like Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk to their meeting in the Hamptons. They also brought Tom Brady — Durant’s favorite athlete. Just prior to the decision, they inked big man Al Horford, who Durant had long shown interest in playing alongside.
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