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A mom’s NBA draft diary: Strong workouts a boost for Michael Carter-Williams 06.07.13 at 11:45 am ET
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Hamilton resident Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, the mother of Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams and the girls basketball coach at Ipswich High School, is chronicling the days leading up to the June 28 NBA draft through blog entries for WEEI.com. Carter-Williams, who prepped at Hamilton-Wenham High School and Rhode Island’€™s St. Andrews School before spending two seasons at Syracuse, is projected to be a lottery pick.

On May 24th Chad Ford, ESPN Insider writer, came to Glen Cove [N.Y.] to watch Michael and a few other players from Excel [Sports Management] play. He covers the draft extensively and wanted to see Michael, C.J. [McCollum] and Mike [Muscala] work out.

Michael’s shooting has been the talk of his downside, so Chad wanted to come out and see what was going on. Michael did a workout with [trainer] Jay [Fernandez] while Chad filmed it. Having to shoot under pressure in front of a well-respected sports journalist had to make him nervous, but we saw no signs of nerves. The workout was at a local Boys & Girls Club. Michael shot very well. He hit 3-pointers, NBA threes, mid-range jumpers, and was explosive off the dribble getting to the basket.

I had never met Chad before, and both [Carter-Williams’ stepfather] Zach [Zegarowski] and I enjoyed talking hoop with him after the workout. We talked about what he was hearing from GMs. He explained how his draft rankings focus more on matching a player with a team need. Because there isn’t a LeBron James in this year’s draft, teams are looking for a player who will fit in with their current roster of players. Some teams say they are going to pick the best player available, but the best player in the top 10 isn’t obvious, it will be more the opinion of the NBA team. Nerlens [Noel], who has been on the top of most draft boards, is injured, and that leaves some questions, but he will definitely go 1 or 2. Nerlens Noel is a close friend of Michael’s and spends a lot of time at our house. It is pretty amazing to have both of them and Ricky Ledo in the draft. Ricky went to St. Andrews [in Rhode Island] with Michael for a year and they have stayed friends since sophomore year.

For Michael, Chad coming to watch him and then write about him was positive. If Michael shot poorly and did not have a good workout I don’t think Chad would have written anything negative but he would have let his readers know through his draft board that Michael has work to do. He said to us that Michael looks way more athletic and explosive in person and that if he performs like he did for him at his NBA workouts, he will be in a great position.

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Read More: Chad Ford, Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, Michael Carter-Williams, Trey Burke
NBA draft guru Jeff Goodman on Celtics: ‘I’d look at Dennis Schroeder or Shane Larkin at No. 16′ 06.06.13 at 5:33 pm ET
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After the Game of Thrones-esque series premiere of the Green Street podcast with likely top-10 pick Michael Carter-Williams, NBA draft guru Jeff Goodman joined Ben Rohrbach for Episode 2. For the complete interview, click here.

A former CBS Sports columnist recently hired by ESPN, Goodman knows the Celtics well as a native of the Boston area, and his draft knowledge is beyond reproach. Here are a couple highlights to wet your whistle for an interview that spans everything from potential steals to likely busts of the June 27 NBA draft.

On the draft: “It’s not bad in terms of depth. The problem is the top eight guys normally are guys who you think might be All-Stars, and I’m not sure you can say that about a single guy in this draft. That’s the biggest difference this year.

“There’s decent depth. In the thirties and forties, there’s similar talent level to what you had a year ago or two years ago. It’s really more the top-10 picks that you look at, and you go, ‘Eh, they’re all about the same.’ I don’t see a guy here that’s going to be a No. 1 or 2 guy on a team in the next five years.”

On the Celtics: ‘€œThey need a little bit of everything. I could see them taking a kid like Dennis Schroeder — the point guard from Germany, who’€™s fast and athletic. He has a little bit of [Rajon] Rondo in him — the speed, the athleticism. He’€™s got some red flags from what I’€™m told as far as his personality is concerned, and he throws the ball around a little bit. He doesn’€™t always make great decisions.

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A mom’s NBA draft diary: Michael-Carter Williams’ hard work pays off at NBA combine 06.05.13 at 6:58 pm ET
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Hamilton resident Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, the mother of Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams and the girls basketball coach at Ipswich High School, is chronicling the days leading up to the June 28 NBA draft through blog entries for WEEI.com. Carter-Williams, who prepped at Hamilton-Wenham High School and Rhode Island’€™s St. Andrews School before spending two seasons at Syracuse, is projected to be a lottery pick.

We have a few weeks to catch up on in this blog, so the first few may be long. It has gone by so fast and been pretty incredible so far. As much as I am going to miss Syracuse. we are moving forward full steam ahead.

Michael has gotten some great press recently, and although it is hard to know what to believe, we are happy about where he is positioned for the draft so far. As of right now, we are planning for the green room, which means he is slotted to be a top-14 pick. We could find out he slips out of the top 14, and that would be fine.

Michael getting on a team that presents him with an opportunity to prove himself for a second contract is most important. If, for instance, he goes No. 2 he would make more money the first three years, but if he doesn’t play, he risks not getting another contract after his third year and his career in the NBA could be over.

Getting picked in the first round (top 30) is an amazing accomplishment and the dream! We watch the draft every year and this year we are going to be a part of it. His agent, Jeff Schwartz, is working hard to advocate and position him in the right situation. But how Michael performs until June 27th will dictate where he goes in the first round. That’s why for us, picking the right agent for Michael was so important. He has already played a large role by organizing the workouts and getting Michael in front of the right people. There is not a ton of time to prepare for the NBA workouts, and Michael got started a little late.

Michael chose to stay at Syracuse and finish school. A lot of draft prospects leave school to train as soon as their NCAA tournament is over. When this happens, the team can suffer academically if the player does not finish the semester. It sounds strange that a player would choose to leave early and not finish school, but it is common. The rational is that after the tournament, college basketball coaches spend a lot of their time recruiting so they are not around to train the players and prepare them for the NBA draft workouts.

There are also NCAA rules about how much time a coach can spend with a player out of season. There is also the fact that some players value leaving school more than their education. Michael carried five classes and he finished with the highest GPA on the team. It was not easy considering the amount of time his team spent on the road second semester. Syracuse did an amazing job staying on him to keep up with his work when he was on the road. The academic advisor and tutors worked hard to make sure Michael made up all his work. The tough part for Michael was missing class. It is hard to miss the lectures and the actual teaching in the classroom and still do well.  It was also up to Michael to take advantage of the tutoring and writing workshops. It was his responsibility to communicate with his teachers. His last three weeks at school were exhausting for him with him attending classes and finishing the makeup work.

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Read More: Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, Michael Carter-Williams,
Grande & Max to host weekly ‘Celtics Summer Cooler’ 06.05.13 at 1:27 pm ET
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Celtics radio announcers Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell will be hosting a weekly radio show on Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. on the WEEI network called “Celtics Summer Cooler.”

The first edition will air this weekend, and the show will run through Sept. 28, leading up to training camp. Grande and Max have called more than 1,200 games since teaming up for Celtics radio on WEEI in 2001, including the 2008 title. The two expect to have C’s front office personnel, players, beat writers and columnists on the show.

‘€œThis is going to be the most interesting offseason for the Celtics since 2007 when [president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] pulled off the big trades for KG [Kevin Garnett] and Ray Allen,’€ said Jason Wolfe, VP of Programming and Operations for WEEI. “Celtic fans deserve a show that will be devoted to the team’€™s efforts this summer, and no one knows the strategy better than Grande and Max.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cedric Maxwell, NBA, Sean Grande
Michael Carter-Williams: Playing for Celtics ‘would be a blessing’ 05.28.13 at 9:05 pm ET
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Even the most trusted experts can’€™t agree on where Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams will go in next month’€™s NBA draft. While many forecast the Hamilton, Mass., native as a top-10 pick, ESPN.com’€™s Chad Ford slotted him to the Celtics at No. 16 as recently as three weeks ago.

‘€œI don’€™t really pay attention to any of the mock drafts,’€ Carter-Williams told WEEI.com’€™s Ben Rohrbach on his Green Street podcast. ‘€œAt the end of the day, they’€™re all pretty much wrong anyway.’€

That’€™s why the point guard was caught off guard when the Boston Herald’€™s Steve Bulpett asked him at this month’€™s NBA scouting combine about playing for the Boston team he grew up rooting for on the North Shore.

‘€œI kind of want to get away and play somewhere else,’€ he told Bulpett.

Given some time to mull the possibility of playing for his hometown C’€™s, Carter-Williams sang a different tune on Rohrbach’€™s podcast this week.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Michael Carter-Williams, NBA
Reports: Doc Rivers is coming back to remain as coach of Celtics 05.16.13 at 3:07 pm ET
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According to multiple reports, Doc Rivers will be returning to coach the Celtics next season. Rivers has three years remaining on his current contract, having inked a five-year contract extension in May, 2011. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge confirmed the news to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, saying, “We’ve got a coach everybody would love to have.”

 

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Chris Mannix on Mustard & Johnson: Celtics should do ‘exactly what [Danny Ainge] has been doing’ 05.04.13 at 3:09 pm ET
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With the future of the Celtics now up in the air after the six-game first-round playoff loss to the Knicks, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, in an interview on WEEI’s Mustard & Johnson show, suggested that the team should proceed in precisely the fashion in which president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has operated for some time. Mannix noted that Ainge actively explored the possibility of dealing longtime mainstays Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett leading up to this season’s trade deadline, and suggested that the Celtics should again explore the market for the duo this offseason — while remaining comfortable with the notion of bringing them back if the team is unsatisfied with the return.

“I don’t think it would be [financially] difficult to trade Pierce if you wanted to. Boston was motivated to do it the last couple years. Leading up to the trade deadline, they spoke to Brooklyn, they spoke to Atlanta, they spoke to Dallas. They were actively looking to deal Paul Pierce,” said Mannix. “They had conversations with the Clippers about Kevin Garnett and were trying to figure out a way to get a deal done for DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe. Look, they were trying to make some moves with these two guys. Boston’s issue wasn’t financial. It was that they wanted a lot in return. I remember talking to some people in the Nets organization about how much Boston wanted in return. It was a combination of draft picks and young talent.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a financial issue for the Celtics to trade either one of those players if they’re motivated to. It’s just how much less they’re willing to take back in return.

“I would do exactly what Danny’s been doing to this point,” added Mannix. “If you can trade one of them and get a lot in return, get something that you know is going to help reboot your franchise, do it. If not, hold onto them and just play this thing out, wait for their contracts to expire and play with the flexibility then.”

Mannix noted that the avenues to upgrading the Celtics roster are limited this offseason, particularly in terms of free agents. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Chris Mannix, DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe, Kevin Garnett
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