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Poll: Was signing Avery Bradley for four years and $32 million the right move? 07.02.14 at 10:51 am ET
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Was re-signing Avery Bradley the right move for Celtics?

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge,
Reports: Celtics re-sign Avery Bradley for 4 years, $32M 07.02.14 at 9:47 am ET
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Avery Bradley‘s dip into the waters of restricted free agency didn’t last long.

Bradley, who was tended a qualifying offer of $3.6 million for next season on Monday, has re-signed with the Celtics on a long-term deal just one day into restricted free agency, according to a report from the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett.

According to the Boston Globe’s Baxter Holmes, Bradley was signed to a four-year deal worth $32 million.

Bradley became a restricted free agent on Tuesday when the Celtics made their offer on Monday.

 

 

“Avery’s a big part of our future,” Ainge said on Monday when asked about wanting to re-sign Bradley. “I think that you, obviously, need three guards who are going to play a significant amount of minutes.

“I think Avery could be a very key player in us winning the championship. He does things that other players can’t do. His shooting continues to improve. We have all see in the past his terrific defensive abilities. I think he’€™s a big part of us.”

Bradley is coming off his best seasonBradley had per-game averages of 14.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals, while shooting 43.8% form the field, 39.5% from beyond the three-point line and 80.4% from the free throw line. Celtics‘€™ president Danny Ainge said before free agency began that Bradley was a big part of the Celtics future, reaffirming the teams plans to keep Bradley in Boston.

‘€œAvery’€™s a big part of our future,’€ Ainge said, via Scott Souza of The Metro West Daily News. ‘€œI think that you, obviously, need three guards who are going to play a significant amount of minutes.

Ainge kept pouring on the praise as well.

‘€œI think Avery could be a very key player in us winning the championship,’€ Ainge said. ‘€œHe does things that other players can’€™t do. His shooting continues to improve. We have all see in the past his terrific defensive abilities. I think he’€™s a big part of us.’€

Entering his fifth season in the NBA, the 23-year-old Bradley is coming off his best season with the Celtics, averaging 14.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals, while shooting 43.8 percent form the field, 39.5 percent from 3-point range.

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, NBA
Marcus Smart, James Young highlight Celtics summer league roster 07.01.14 at 4:10 pm ET
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The Celtics began their two-a-day workouts Tuesday, leading up to Saturday’s opener of the Orlando Pro Summer League in central Florida.

On Tuesday, the team announced the roster that will take part and released the five-game schedule.

First round picks Marcus Smart and James Young will join current Celtics Kelly Olynyk, Phil Pressey, Chris Johnson and Chris Babb as members of the Celtics entrant to the 2014 Orlando Pro Summer League. They are joined on the roster by 2013 Celtics draft pick Colton Iverson, European veterans O.D. Anosike, Dairis Bertans, Edwin Jackson and rookie free agents Mike Moser, Devin Oliver and Daniel Coursey.

The team will be coached by assistant coach Jay Larranaga, a routine procedure in summer league as GM Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens sit back and observe.

The Celtics’€™ first game will be Saturday at 11 a.m. when they take on the Heat. The Celtics’€™ five-game schedule in Orlando continues with matchups against the Pacers on Monday at 3 p.m., the Pistons on July 9 at 7 p.m., and the Magic on July 10 at 5:00 p.m.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, James Young, Jay Larranaga, Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart: ‘We embrace these banners’ 06.30.14 at 5:54 pm ET
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WALTHAM — It was a day for coronation.

Two would-be cornerstones of Boston’s basketball future – Marcus Smart and James Young – were formally indoctrinated publicly into the Celtics mystique on a six-seat dais on the team’s practice facility court. In five days they head out for the NBA Summer League in Orlando on their first basketball excursion as formal members of the most hallowed team in the NBA.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, co-owner Steve Pagliuca, head coach Brad Stevens and team president Rich Gotham introduced first-round picks Smart and Young on Monday at the club’s training facility on Monday, three days after they were chosen sixth and 17th overall, respectively, last Thursday in the NBA draft.

“We’re just excited to be here,” Smart said. “We embrace these banners. It means a lot to us, the tradition that’s here. We just want to go out and play our game and just feel part of this tradition and embrace it all.”

“Really just come out here and do what we did to get to this point,” added Young. “The empty banner up there, just look at it as motivation, that’s about it.”

As was the case before the team won the 2008 NBA title, there is a blank white banner with green trim next to the team’s last NBA title banner up on the wall in the practice facility.

Family members of both draft picks were on hand and formally welcomed by Ainge during the 15-minute press conference at the Sports Authority complex in Waltham.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge, James Young
Danny Ainge: Avery Bradley ‘is a big part of our future’ as Celtics extend qualifying offer 06.30.14 at 4:17 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Danny Ainge doesn’t want Avery Bradley going anywhere.

Whether that means Monday’s qualifying offer from Ainge to the fourth-year NBA guard is enough to make Bradley a permanent fixture in Boston remains to be seen.

On Monday, the Celtics offered Bradley a qualifying offer worth an estimated $3.6 million as they try to retain his rights in Boston. The move itself, without any agreement on a long-term deal, makes Bradley a restricted free agent. The bigger benefit of Monday’s offer is the ability of the Celtics to match any offer made to the 23-year-old defensive shutdown guard.

Before the 2013-14 season, Bradley reportedly turned down a four-year, $24 million contract extension from the Celtics as he anticipated his shot at restricted free agency this summer. Bradley, who played only 60 games due to various injuries, averaged a career-high 14.9 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field.

The real cost of Boston’s offer Monday is the so-called “cap hold.” Ainge and the Celtics will have to set aside 250 percent of Bradley’s previous salary or approximately $6.3 million.

“It would mean a lot,” Ainge said Monday of keeping Bradley in the fold. “I think Avery can be a very key player in us winning the championship. He does things that other players can’t do. And his shooting continues to improve and we have all seen in the past his terrific defensive abilities. I think Avery is a big part of this.

“Avery is a big part of our future. You obviously need three guards that are going to play significant minutes. We also think Marcus can play with Phil Pressey. Phil can play with Rondo and Phil can play with Avery. I think that because of the versatility of Rondo and Marcus, that probably allows that versatility. Listen, there are a lot of guys in our league that are small forwards, especially bench small forwards that are 6-5, guys are that are basically wing players that are ‘2’ guards. I think there’s a time and a place in a game where you could see three guards that could be playing. I see those guys being able to playing very well together and compliment each other.”

Hours earlier, speaking at his own skills academy at UMass-Boston, Bradley did nothing to dispel the notion that he wants to return to the Celtics long-term.

“I haven’€™t been worried about [free agency],” said Bradley. “I’€™ve been worried about getting better. I try not to think about anything I can’€™t control. All I can do is continue to try to get better every single day, and I know everything else will work out.

“We really haven’t [discussed] any numbers or anything. Obviously, I want to be here. And I let those guy know that. When the time comes, we’€™ll just see what happens, and see if we come to an agreement.”

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, NBA free agent
Brad Stevens on rebuilding with Marcus Smart and James Young: ‘I don’t want to sell our team short’ 06.27.14 at 12:57 pm ET
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Rebuilding is a four-letter word to Brad Stevens.

More to the point, it’s something the second-year coach of the Celtics doesn’t have time to consider. Let Danny Ainge be concerned about the semantics of “putting young pieces in place” or “restructuring the roster.” For Stevens, his focus is on the here and now and near-future.

He made that much perfectly clear when asked if adding 20-year-old Marcus Smart and 18-year-old James Young to the roster Thursday night meant that he was entering the second year of a rebuilding program.

“That’s going to have to be a question for all of you and maybe pose that question to management or pose that question to people who aren’t coaching,” Stevens said. “At the end of the day, when you’re a coach and you’re in the midst of it, you’re trying to win every game and you’re trying to win the next game. You don’t look at anything as rebuilding. You look at it as the next opportunity. As long as you can prepare and strive and do your best, it’s hard for me to say that because I don’t want to sell our team short.”

Stevens is excited about this much — he’s getting two young talents that know how to create their own shot, something that was missing last season in the 25-win campaign.

“The only thing I would say that we were at least discussing coming into play with the second pick was perimeter scoring,” Stevens said, referring to the selection of Young at No. 17. “I guess the current roster construction you might say that played a role in that. But at the end of the day, we wanted to take the best players available, that we thought were the best players available for us.

“I feel a lot better standing here today than I did on July 4 last year, with how I feel heading into things, how much more comfortable I am understanding the schedule of the NBA, the way to get the most out of our team as we move forward, the way to get the most out of our individuals. We’ll have a lot of guys back that have been a part of this and understand how we want to do things. I think we’re adding two good workers. I think we’re adding two guys that will be hungry to help and I think that’s all a positive. Can I predict how many wins that creates? I can’t predict that. I think we’ll be a lot more prepared from the standpoint of the big picture, both on the court and in our preseason and everything else than I would’ve felt last year at this time.”

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, James Young
Danny Ainge on Marcus Smart and James Young: ‘I don’t want to put too much pressure on them right away’ 06.27.14 at 11:55 am ET
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Danny Ainge was true to his word Thursday night – he decided to take the two picks he had in the first round and stay right where he was after all trade talks fell through.

As Ainge predicted 90 minutes before the draft began, there was no draft night drama for Boston. The Celtics selected powerful point guard Marcus Smart and super swingman James Young at Nos. 6 and 17 respectively in an effort to get younger and stronger at the same time.

“We’re very excited about the two guys that we drafted,” Ainge said. “Marcus Smart and James Young, we think they have a bright future. We can’t wait to get them started and get them ready for Summer League.”

Summer League begins Saturday, July 5 and runs for a full week in Orlando. “I just think they’re two guys that can be starting players in the NBA for years to come. I just don’t want to put too much pressure on them right away. We need to let these guys develop and sort of earn their stripes. I think they’re going to have very, very bright careers.”

Smart is a 6-foot-4 point guard that happens to weigh in at 230 pounds. Young is a 6-foot-7 swingman who weighs nearly 20 pounds less but showed in the NCAA title game against UConn that he can do what is an absolute must for a wing in today’s NBA – get to the basket and score. He led Kentucky with 20 points as an 18-year-old in the 60-54 loss to UConn.

In his freshman season at Kentucky, Young was the second-most prolific freshman 3-point scorer in school history with 82 threes. He was named to the 2014 All-SEC second team and All-Freshman team. In 40 games (39 starts), he averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 32.4 minutes per game.

“They’re young players and very talented,” Ainge said. “Good size for their position, good length and good scoring for their positions. James played very good defense and he had to guard the different perimeter positions throughout his college freshman year. He’s very young. Marcus is a terrific defender and really defends the pick-and-roll and is a guy that goes downhill on pick-and-rolls, gets to the basket, absorbs contact, plays through contact, initiates contact.”

After being recruited as a sharp-shooting wing in high school, (earning McDonald’s All-American status in Rochester Hills, Mich.), Young saw his percentage drop to 40.7 percent for John Calipari in his only season at Kentucky.

“He was a good shooter all throughout his high school life,” Ainge said. “He didn’t shoot the ball as well this year as he has in the past but he shot the ball great in the NCAA tournament. We know he’s a good shooter. He’s got a good athletic body, good size, good length for a small forward and we think he’s a prototypical small forward.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, James Young, Marcus Smart
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