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Celtics Player Profile: Jordan Mickey 09.20.16 at 10:25 am ET
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With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

JORDAN MICKEY

2015-16 season 

23 games with D-League’s Maine Red Claws: 33.4 minutes, 17.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.4 blocks

Mickey was a double-double machine in the D-League and finished the season as the league leader in blocked shots. In his 16 appearances with the Celtics — mostly at the end of lopsided games — he finished with a total of 21 points, 13 rebounds and 11 blocks. Mickey was expected to have a big summer with the Celtics, but he was forced to sit out the Utah league due to a left shoulder injury. He rejoined the C’s in Las Vegas, where he averaged 9.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1 block in five games. 

Projected role in 2016-17

For a team that’s in dire need of a secondary rim protector, the Celtics have high hopes of molding Mickey into that role. But he still has plenty of growing to do on both ends of the floor before he’s given an increased role. Mickey will be a third-stringer this season but certainly is making the most of his opportunities.

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Celtics Player Profile: Jaylen Brown 09.19.16 at 10:00 am ET
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With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

JAYLEN BROWN

2015-16 season

34 games with University of California: 27.6 minutes, 14.6 points, 43.1% FG, 5.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals

The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2015-16, Brown uses a combination of strength and athletic ability to score. He utilizes his strength to absorb contact near the hoop and has a quick first step that creates space for his jump shot. His speed also comes in handy on the opposite end of the floor, where he’s able keep up with defensive assignments and can guard three positions. 

Projected role in 2016-17

Brown has the athleticism and quickness to become a good NBA defender. As Jae Crowder’s understudy, his primary role will be on defense. He’s not going to score a lot of points and will use his rookie season to become a better offensive player.

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Celtics Player Preview: Gerald Green 09.18.16 at 2:17 pm ET
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With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

2015-16 season

69 games with Heat: 22.6 minutes, 8.9 points, 39% FG, 2.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists

Last season Green wasn’t able fill the the kind of role he had prior to joining the Heat and ultimately found himself buried behind Joe Johnson, Luol Deng and rookies Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson on the Heat’s depth chart by the end of the regular season. For two seasons Green was a viable sixth man for the Suns, but his shooting percentages took a dip in Miami and the Heat eventually let him walk over the summer.

Projected role in 2016-17

The Celtics are hoping Green can rekindle the scoring touch he had with the Suns, and it would be a much-needed spark off the Celtics bench. If he’s able to be the 44.5 percent 3-point shooter he was a couple of years ago, he’ll have no problem cracking Brad Stevens’ rotation. If not, he’ll be a third-string forward who will only see the floor when the Celtics are in a dire situation.

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Celtics Player Preview: Jae Crowder 09.17.16 at 2:21 pm ET
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With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

JAE CROWDER

2015-16 season 

73 games with Celtics: 31.6 minutes, 14.2 points, 44.2% FG, 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.7 steals

After signing a five-year, $35 million deal in the summer of 2015, Crowder proved he was worth every penny. He emerged as one of the better small forwards in the Eastern Conference — a two-way wing-defender who could knock down jump shots on the other end of the floor. Crowder finished the regular season shooting 33 percent from deep, but from inside the arc — his sweet spot — Crowder shot 41.6 percent. He also was a leader in the locker room and a catalyst who helped pushed the Celtics to a 48-34 regular-season record. For his production, Crowder is a bargain. 

Projected role in 2016-17

As the Celtics’ most versatile defender, Crowder will continue to be a defensive anchor in the front court and should get more touches on the offensive end. With Al Horford’s inside presence, Crowder will get more open looks — which should help him improve on his 44.2 percent field goal percentage from last season. But more importantly, he’s proven he can guard some of the league’s best players — All-Stars like LeBron James, Paul George and Jimmy Butler. Crowder’s defensive assignments against some of the best teams in the Eastern Conference will give the Celtics a fighting chance to reach the upper echelon of the conference. He also will continue his leadership role in the locker room and show his understudy — rookie small forward Jaylen Brown — the ropes.

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Celtics Player Preview: Ben Bentil 09.16.16 at 2:14 pm ET
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With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

BEN BENTIL

2015-16 season

35 games with Providence College: 34.2 minutes, 21.1 points, 46.2% FG, 7.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks

As Providence’s leading scorer, Bentil led his team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and made a name for himself as a versatile scoring power forward. As a sophomore, Bentil tripled his point average from his freshman campaign while adding a 3-point shot to his arsenal. He shot 32 percent from deep while attempting 4.5 3-pointers a night. Alongside senior point guard Kris Dunn — the No. 5 pick in the 2016 NBA draft — the duo led the Friars to a 24-11 record, the best record Providence has seen in 12 years.

Projected role in 2016-17

Bentil has a shot at making the opening night roster but will still be spending time in the D-League. He’s a project the Celtics will work on, and they demonstrated their belief in his potential by inking him to a three-year deal this summer. Bentil won’t receive meaningful minutes behind guys like Al Horford, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller but will develop his defensive prowess and scoring abilities.

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Isaiah Thomas surprises Cambridge 14-year-old on ‘Good Morning America’ 09.14.16 at 12:14 pm ET
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Isaiah Thomas surprised 14-year-old Robbie McNulty for the second straight week by inviting him to an upcoming Celtics game as the two appeared via video on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

After joining McNulty for a surprise shooting session at a Cambridge park last week, Thomas stunned the teenager again by inviting him to a game at TD Garden.

“Thanks for letting me shoot hoops with you the other day,” Thomas said in a video taped at the Celtics’ Waltham practice facility. “Keep working on that jumper. I know we talked about this upcoming season, and I’d like to invite you to one of my games as my guest. See you at the Garden.”

McNulty is a diehard Celtics fan and Thomas is his favorite player. After his first day at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, McNulty went to the basketball court by himself after none of his friends wanted to join him, but he wasn’t alone for long. Thomas saw McNulty playing alone and headed toward him.

“It was just so nice of him to come over and play with me,” McNulty said. “I bet he didn’t even think it would be that big of a deal to me, but for me, like, it’s crazy. He’s an NBA All-Star and he’s just looking at you and talking to you.”

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Jaylen Brown works out with Jimmy Butler 09.06.16 at 8:56 pm ET
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Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown is gearing up for his NBA debut by working out with one of the best shooting guards in the league. 

Brown posted a video on Twitter of himself working out with Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler over the weekend. The video shows the C’s first-round pick running a leg drill with help from the Bulls guard.

Back in June, Butler complimented Brown during an appearance on Bill Simmons’ podcast, stating the young prospect reminded him of himself after playing him one-on-one back in June.  

Brown spoke to reporters in New York after the draft about the intense game he had with Butler. 

“We went tooth and nail at it. … I guess he thought it would be easy, and then somebody won the first game and then he wanted to keep going,” Brown told reporters in New York. “And so we kept going after that, then he won the second, then he won the third, then I won the fourth, and we ended up playing all the way to 21.”

Butler — who reportedly was targeted as a trade possibility by the Celtics this summer — is getting ready for a highly anticipated season with the Bulls. After winning a gold medal with Team USA at the Rio Olympics, Butler will be teaming up with new teammates Dwyane Wade and former Celtic Rajon Rondo.

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