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Celtics Player Preview: Jalen Jones 09.26.16 at 12:30 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 

33 games with Texas A&M: 27.3 minutes, 15.3 points, 42.5% FG, 7.2 rebounds, 0.7 steals

Jones was one of the Aggies’ go-to scorers his senior year. His long frame helped him score baskets at an efficient rate. Jones began his college career at SMU but sat out of the 2013-14 season after transferring to Texas A&M. He became a starter almost immediately after the start of his junior year and put together his best season last year. 

Projected role in 2016-17

Jones will be one of four players without guaranteed contracts at training camp and was the last man added to the 20-man roster. He most likely will spend his season in the D-League.

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Paul Pierce announces he will retire after this season 09.26.16 at 9:45 am ET
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Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce kept it short, sweet and direct. He’s retiring after this season.

The soon-to-be 39-year-old announced on The Players’ Tribune website Monday morning that after this season with the Clippers he will be retiring. He accompanied a story with a tweet reading: “It’s time.”

There was speculation throughout most of the summer about whether Pierce would return for a final season after a noticeable decline in numbers last season, his first with the Clippers. He averaged a career-worst 6.1 points per game over 18.1 minutes in 68 games.

He makes no mention in the story of his time or future with the Celtics.

Doc Rivers, his current boss who also coached him with the Celtics, mentioned earlier this month that Pierce has “got to retire as a Celtic,” but should that come to fruition it will require some patience by Celtics fans.

Pierce grew up in Los Angeles and cited that in his story as well as the hunger and belief the Clippers have that they will win an NBA title.

With NBA training camps set to begin this week, Pierce is going to just enjoy the ride.

Said Pierce in his announcement, “After 18 NBA years, it’s hard to believe I’ll be playing in each arena for the last time. So I’m going to enjoy every practice, every bus ride, every team dinner, every time running out through the tunnel. I’m going to do my part to give us a shot at the ultimate goal.”

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Celtics Player Preview: Kelly Olynyk 09.25.16 at 10:20 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.

KELLY OLYNYK

2015-16 season

69 games with Celtics: 20.2 minutes, 10.0 points, 45.5% FG, 1.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 0.8 steals

Olynyk established himself as a prime option both as a shooter and a big man off the bench last season. He led the team in 3-point percentage and occasionally could be relied on to grab a rebound. He started just eight games but often was one of the first players off the bench for Brad Stevens.

Projected role in 2016-17

With the addition of Al Horford, Olynyk may be able to be looked upon as a shooter and guy to run the four instead of playing down low. This would enable him to shoot more than he did last season — which could see mixed results. Nonetheless, he will be looked at as one of the first options off the bench to play in the front court.

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Celtics Player Preview: Isaiah Thomas 09.24.16 at 2:16 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.

ISAIAH THOMAS

2015-16 season

82 games with Celtics: 32.2 minutes, 22.2 points, 42.8% FG, 6.2 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals

The point guard certainly earned his first career All-Star appearance last season, and as a result had his name rightfully being tossed around with the top point guards in the league. He started all but three games and proved he could do it all on both ends of the floor. He could force turnovers on defense and be a stout defender. He could be a ball distributor or score off the dribble and drive. Whatever Brad Stevens asked of him, he answered the call, all the while always seeming to know his role in late, intense situations, whether it was making a key pass, taking the big shot or playing lockdown defense.

Projected role in 2016-17

Don’t expect anything to change for Thomas. He almost certainly will be the starting point guard and will have to do it all for Stevens, and he should be able to do just that. He’ll have to continue to be a defensive threat, but he’ll still need to serve as one of the best ball distributors in the league but be willing to shoot at the same time — something that shouldn’t be an issue for him.

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Celtics Player Preview: Tyler Zeller 09.24.16 at 10:07 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.

TYLER ZELLER

2015-16 season 

60 games with Celtics: 11.8 minutes, 6.1 points, 47.6% FG, 3.0 rebounds

Zeller saw his minutes cut in half last season but made the best of his situation by stepping up in moments when the Celtics needed him. After losing his starting job to Amir Johnson, Zeller saw his role further diminished as Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger shared minutes at the center spot. But Zeller did have a few memorable performances. In a 124-109 win over the Bucks in early April — a game with playoff implications — Zeller had his best game of the season, finishing with 26 points on 9-of-15 shots and four blocks. It proved to Stevens that he always has a backup plan in Zeller — a player who can score in double figures on any given night.

Projected role in 2016-17

Behind Al Horford, Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk, there aren’t a whole lot of minutes for Zeller this season. However, when opportunities are present Zeller will provide instant offense. There’s a reason the Celtics signed him to a two-year, $16 million deal this past summer. He may be an insurance policy for Johnson and Olynyk (who is expected to miss the start of the regular season after having surgery on his right shoulder) but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of taking on big minutes. There just aren’t enough minutes for Zeller. His offense is inferior to Olynyk’s and Johnson is a much better defender — thus making Zeller the Celtics’ third-string center this season.

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Kevin Garnett announces retirement via Instagram, ending storied 21-year career that included title with Celtics 09.23.16 at 7:52 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

After 21 years, Kevin Garnett’s NBA career is over.

The 40-year-old announced his retirement via an Instagram video on Friday, hours after accepting a buyout from the Timberwolves, which was first reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Had Garnett returned this season, he would’ve become the only player in league history to play 22 seasons.

Garnett’s career ends after a second stint with the T-Wolves, who drafted him fifth overall out of high school in 1995. He spent 12 years in Minnesota before being traded to the Celtics in July of 2007 as part of the C’s formation of the Big Three with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

He won the only championship of his career with the C’s in 2008, memorably screaming, “Anything’s possible!” in the moments after the win.

His career took a disappointing turn, however, when he was dealt to the Nets with Pierce prior to the 2013 season. He spent 1 1/2 seasons with Brooklyn before waiving his no-trade clause and heading back to Minnesota.

The 15-time All-Star left quite an impression with the Celtics, earning All-Star honors all but one season in Boston while averaging 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds with a stellar 52 percent mark from the field in his 396 games over six seasons.

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Celtics Player Preview: Damion Lee 09.23.16 at 3:01 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.

DAMION LEE

2015-16 season

30 games with Louisville: 33.6 minutes, 15.9 points, 42.8% FG, 2.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals

In his first and only year as a graduate student, fifth-year transfer with Louisville after playing with Drexel during his undergrad years, Lee played a big part in Louisville’s success, but he never made it to the NCAA tournament due to the Cardinals’ self-imposed postseason ban. He was far and away the Cardinals’ top scorer and was named to the All-ACC second team. The Celtics signed him earlier this month after he went undrafted.

Projected role in 2016-17

Lee has the potential to be an explosive player, but don’t expect to see that explosiveness in the NBA this season, as he’ll likely be destined for the D-League.

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