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Celtics reportedly will open season vs. Heat

08.03.10 at 6:51 am ET
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According to multiple reports, the Celtics will open the 2010-11 season by hosting LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat in a matchup of Eastern Conference powers. The game, scheduled for Oct. 26, will be televised nationally on TNT. The NBA is scheduled to announce its opening week and Christmas Day schedules Tuesday night.

Read More: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James,

Report: Wafer ‘so happy’ to play for Celtics

07.31.10 at 2:08 pm ET
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When Doc Rivers delivered a straightforward message, Von Wafer was happy to oblige.

‘€œI just hope to help the team,’€ Wafer told SLAM. ‘€œI’€™m all about the team first. I want to do anything I can to help make this a better team. Coach Rivers said, ‘€˜If you’€™re not going to be a team player I don’€™t want you here.’€™ So I’€™m just gonna do my best to help make us a stronger group.’€

Wafer, a 25-year-old guard, confirmed to SLAM that he has agreed to play for the Celtics next season. He spent time playing overseas last season. Now he is embracing the opportunity to return to the NBA ‘€¦ and a contender.

‘€œI wasn’€™t always sure I’€™d be back,’€ says Wafer. ‘€œIt’€™s unbelievable. I’€™m just so happy to be back. I’€™m just so happy.’€

Wafer was drafted by the Lakers in 2005. He most recently averaged 12.4 points in 19.4 minutes for the Rockets during the 2008-09 season.

Click here for the entire SLAM story.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Lakers, Rockets

What Von Wafer does for the Celtics

07.29.10 at 8:28 pm ET
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Von Wafer is a 6-5 shooting guard who does one thing well: shoot 3-pointers, and according to Hoops World he will be doing it for the Celtics this season. Wafer made 39 percent of his 3’s with the Rockets in 2008-09 when he appeared in 63 games and played over 1,200 minutes. Wafer also made 45 percent of his 3’s in his one extended season in the Development league in 2007.

He was drafted by the Lakers in 2005 and has had cameo NBA appearances in each of the last five seasons (Dallas signed him to a 10-day contract this past season but he didn’t see any action). After his breakthrough season with the Rockets, which included scoring 14 points and making a late shot to beat the Celtics — Wafer signed with Olympiakos Piraeus in the Euro League.

Wafer was bought out of his contract only a few months into the deal and he appeared headed back to the NBA, but he reportedly failed physicals with the Grizzlies and Rockets. He spent the summer training in his hometown of Louisiana and declared himself healthy. It’s still unclear what caused Wafer to fail his physical, but he has had back issues in the past.

Wafer also clashed with Rockets coach Rick Adelman about playing time and was sent to the locker room during a playoff game, for which he later apologized.

All of that makes this an interesting addition for the Celtics. His shooting ability will certainly be a plus for a bench that could use some. If he can accept his role and do it without complaint then this move has solid potential. If not, then it’s still a reasonable low-cost gamble for a player with an obvious skill.

Wafer gives the Celtics 13 players under contract with second round pick Luke Harangody expected to become the 14th shortly. They also have Tony Gaffney and Oliver Lafayette on non-guaranteed deals. Counted in those 13 contracts players is Rasheed Wallace, whose situation remains in limbo.

Read More: NBA Rumor Mill 2010, Von Wafer,

Agent: Ex-Celtic House joins Heat

07.29.10 at 12:08 pm ET
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Former Celtics guard Eddie House has reached an agreement to join the revamped Heat lineup, House’s agent Mark Bartelstein told Yahoo! Sports. House was traded from the C’s to the Knicks for Nate Robinson last season. Bartelstein said this week that he had talked to the Celtics about the possibility of the 10-year veteran returning to Boston, but the sharpshooter will take his talents to Miami instead, agreeing to a two-year deal worth a reported $2.8 million.

Read More: eddie house, Miami Heat,

Report: Fernandez trade talks ‘likely on back burner’ for now

07.28.10 at 11:17 pm ET
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The rumor mill has been buzzing with reports of the Celtics being in the mix to acquire Trail Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez, who is reportedly unhappy with his current role behind Brandon Roy. But the talks may quiet down until next week.

On Wednesday Jason Quick of the Oregonian tweeted, ‘€œRudy trade talks likely on back burner until Sunday. GM Cho tells agent Andy Miller he will meet w/coach McMillan in Vegas on Sun to discuss.’€

That doesn’€™t mean, though, that speculation will be curbed until then. On Tuesday, Fernandez wrote in his blog, “There is gossip about my future and everyone asks me but I’€™m really just focused on the national team right now.”

In the meantime, here is a glimpse into why Fernandez is drawing interest around the league:

Fernandez has two years remaining on his contract and is set to earn $1.25 million next season. He averaged 8.1 points and 2.0 assists in 62 games last season.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brandon Roy, Portland Trail Blazers, Rudy Fernandez

Rondo makes first cut for Team USA

07.28.10 at 3:40 pm ET
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Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was among 15 players to make the cut for Team USA’s squad on Wednesday. Here is the roster:

Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers); Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Asked whether he felt Rondo was an unconventional choice for international play, coach Mike Krzyzewski defended his selection.

“He’s unconventionally become an NBA champion and a triple double guy in this league. I think he’s an adequate shooter for us,” Krzyzewski said. “He did well shooting the ball in the camp. The thing that Rondo does is he plays with a will to win and he just finds ways to have a positive impact on the game. I really like that about him.”

Read More: Rajon Rondo,

Rivers: ‘I was … leaning heavily’ toward leaving

07.28.10 at 10:05 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he was “leaning heavily” toward taking a sabbatical after this past season, because he was “spent” after the draining campaign and he wanted to spend more time with his family.

In an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz at a high school tournament in Orlando where his son was playing, Rivers said of the Celtics’ injury plagued, up-and-down 2009-10 season: “It was just a tough year, literally a tough year.”

Despite the Celtics coming within a quarter of winning the NBA title, Rivers said after the season, “I was spent,” adding, “I was most likely leaning heavily the other way ‘€” more because of [watching sons Austin and Spencer play].”

Rivers said when the season ended, he was “pretty much done, and Danny [Ainge] knew that.” He said he called coaching legends Pat Riley and Larry Brown for reassurance before committing to returning. “It was very helpful,” he said. “They’ve all been through it.”

Rivers said he consulted with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, then free agents, as well. “I wasn’t coming back unless they were coming back,” Rivers said. “I was first, and I thought that was important for them. We all talked. I can tell you that. I made sure. I knew they had to do their business. And Ray scared me a little bit with the money out there. They had said they were coming back and then you see what everyone was getting.”

Rivers signed for one year and still is considering a sabbatical as an option in the future.

“I’m just doing it year to year,” Rivers said. “Danny was great. [Co-owner] Wyc [Grousbeck] offered a long-term deal, but I didn’t think it was fair to them. I didn’t want to walk out of a contract.”

Read More: Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers,
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