|How the Celtics look after David West signs with Pacers||12.11.11 at 4:02 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Give Danny Ainge this: He turned Marquis Daniels into Keyon Dooling via a trade exception and Glen Davis into Brandon Bass in a sign-and-trade. If he had been able to parlay Jermaine O’Neal‘s expiring contract into David West, Ainge would have emerged as a clear winner in this chaotic chapter in NBA history.
The Celtics pursuit of West ended on Sunday after he signed with the Pacers for two years and $20 million as reported by Yahoo. Indiana had the cap space to sign West outright.
While the West situation resolved itself, the rest of the Celtics have been on hold. Doc Rivers conducted practice with just nine players on Sunday and that number was reduced to eight after Rajon Rondo sprained his ankle. Rivers said the injury wasn’t serious, but he joined Paul Pierce (right heel) on the sidelines. Rivers said they were keeping Pierce out as a precaution.
Also absent, but not for medical reasons, were Bass, Jeff Green and rookie JaJuan Johnson and E’Twuan Moore. Rivers said the team was waiting for the paperwork on Bass and Green to be cleared, but it is believed that either Johnson or Moore could have been included with O’Neal in the sign-and-trade effort for West. Rookies can’t be traded for 30 days after they sign their contracts.
“The first day we camp is when we have everyone,” Rivers said. “As far as I’m concerned we haven’t started camp.”
With only two weeks and counting until the Celtics open the season on Christmas Day against the Knicks, here’s where things stand on the roster:
Guards: Rondo, Ray Allen, Keyon Dooling, Avery Bradley
Forwards: Pierce, Daniels, Green
Bigs: Kevin Garnett, O’Neal, Bass, Chris Wilcox
When Johnson and Moore sign their rookie deals, that will give the Celtics 13 players.
They also have big men Greg Stiemsma, Jamal Sampson and Michael Sweetney in camp, although Stiemsma has been the only one on the court while media has been allowed to view practice. The 6-foot-11, 260-pound Stiemsma has played in the D-League and Turkey after his collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin and will get a long look.
Ainge still has the taxpayer mid-level exception to offer and the Celtics could use another big man and possibly a shooter.
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