|Tune in to live broadcast of Sheed press conference||07.09.09 at 1:14 pm ET|
Tune in to WEEI on Thursday at 4pm for a live broadcast of Rasheed Wallace’s introductory press conference with the Celtics during The Big Show. Hear what Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, and Sheed himself have to say about the newest member of the Celtics. Check back to WEEI.com for reaction and analysis. Comcast SportsNet will also broadcast the press conference.
|Report: Hudson breaks finger||07.08.09 at 11:01 pm ET|
On Wednesday Celtics draft pick Lester Hudson broke his left ring finger at Orlando Summer League and will have to return to Boston, according to the Boston Herald. He may require surgery. The Herald reports Hudson suffered the injury as he tried to brace himself during a fall during the Celtics 12-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
‘It’s very tough because I want to show Danny (Ainge) and the coaches what I can do,’ Hudson told the Herald. ‘But I won’t be out there to do it now. I think I can still play right now, but I have to sit back.’
Celtics.com reports J.R. Giddens dislocated a finger on his left hand but stayed with the team.
|Celtics sign Rasheed Wallace||07.08.09 at 2:49 pm ET|
On Wednesday the Celtics announced the signing of free agent Rasheed Wallace. Terms of the deal were not disclosed per team policy. However the contract is reported to be two years worth the mid-level of approximately $5.7 or $5.8 million per season.
“We are ecstatic to be able to add a player the caliber of Rasheed Wallace to our team,’ said Celtics President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge in a team statement. ‘It is not every day that you can add a four-time All-Star and a player with championship experience.’
Update: The Boston Globe has reported Wallace signed a three-year contract with a third-year player option.
|Celtics hit with luxury tax||07.08.09 at 9:44 am ET|
The Boston Celtics have to pay up, according to a league memo obtained by ESPN.com.
The NBA released an official statement announcing the salary cap for the 2009-10 season has been set at $57.7 million with a tax level of $69.92 million. Teams will have to pay a $1 tax for every $1 their payroll surpasses the tax level.
The 2009-10 salary cap is down just under a million dollars from last season ($58.68M). The tax level is also down from $71.15M.
ESPN.com reported the Celtics are one of seven teams that owe luxury tax payments based on payroll from last season. The Cs owe $8,294,664 by July 22. The Knicks and Mavericks were hit the hardest, owing nearly $24 million apiece.
|Former Celtics O’Bryant, Wallace to play in Vegas||07.06.09 at 4:20 pm ET|
Former Boston Celtics Patrick O’Bryant and Brandon Wallace will participate in the upcoming Las Vegas Summer League, July 10-19.
O’Bryant will play for the Toronto Raptors. Last season the Celtics dealt him to the Raptors before the trade deadline.
Wallace will represent the Washington Wizards. He signed his first NBA contract with the Celtics two years ago at Summer League in Vegas. Last year he played for the Charlotte Bobcats summer squad along with former Celtic Orien Greene.
Boston College guard Tyrese Rice will also play for the Wizards.
|Giddens eager to prove himself||07.06.09 at 8:36 am ET|
J.R. Giddens wants to show the Celtics just how important he can be. As the team rebuilds its bench this summer, he is eager to capitalize on this opportunity.
This week he will make his case when the Celtics participate in the Orlando Summer League.
‘I just want to go out to Summer League and show the Celtics that I have an all-around approach to the game,’ Giddens said in a telephone interview. ‘I can defend and rebound and I can score. I can bring a lot of different things to the table, and I feel like it’d be beneficial for them if I can show them I can help them win ball games.’
Giddens, 24, understands the importance of a strong performance in Orlando as he looks ahead to his second season.
The 6-5 guard from New Mexico was drafted by the Celtics with the final pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. He experienced life as a rookie on a championship team, which meant stints in the D-League and more watching than playing. He recorded just eight minutes for the Cs.
Giddens has dedicated this summer to improving his game and continuing to adapt to the NBA. He has hit the gym every day for lifting and conditioning. The coaching staff, he says, has been pleased with this work ethic.
‘[I’ve been] working on my ball handling and my free throw shooting and just trying to extend my range and get used to that three-point line because it’s a lot deeper in the NBA than it is in college,’ Giddens said. ‘So just doing the little things that I need to tighten up on my game.’
Playing time is up for grabs next season and it’s not just reserved for free agent signings. There is basically one spot to fight for between Giddens and fellow sophomore Bill Walker. Giddens wants to be prepared if he gets the nod.
‘There’s a lot of opportunities and you have to realize basketball is a business,’ he said. ‘ A lot of changes are going to be made and you just have to be ready when your name’s called in any situation.’
|The need for Sheed||07.05.09 at 10:57 pm ET|
Once the Celtics interest in Rasheed Wallace became known, and once the other free agent prizes began to find teams, it became more and more apparent that the Celtics had to get a deal done with Wallace. Not because Cleveland traded for Shaquille O’Neal or because Orlando added Vince Carter, but because Wallace is exactly what the Celtics need, and there is no one else remotely like him available.
The Celtics came into this offseason with three identifiable areas of need: A backup point guard who can run the team competently when Rajon Rondo goes to the bench, a versatile swing man–preferably one who can guard at least two positions, make a jump shot and give Paul Pierce some real rest–and a big man. Already in luxury tax territory and armed with the mid-level exception the Celtics had one big play to make and to that end they wisely stayed out of the limited point guard pool and the big-money small forward arms race. In zeroing in on Wallace, the Celtics identified their biggest need and spent accordingly.
Wallace’s agent, Bill Strickland, made noises during the courtship that a selling point for Wallace was assurances that the Celtics were not done making moves. They still have the bi-annual exception (projected to be around $2 million) and if they can land someone like Grant Hill, that would represent the best-case scenario. But there are still a few solid veterans looking for new homes, like Marquis Daniels, Quinton Ross and Anthony Parker, as well as in-house options like Brian Scalabrine, JR Giddens and Bill Walker. The Celtics have options, in other words.
But landing a quality big man was always the top priority and in Wallace the Celtics not only get an intelligent, versatile veteran who has been on a championship team, they also get something they did not have at all last season: protection in case Kevin Garnett or Kendrick Perkins gets hurt.
Wallace is much more than an insurance policy, however. His offensive game may have gotten a little too perimeter-heavy last season, but his style of play fits perfectly in the Celtics system which rarely utilizes a low-post option. Additionally his ability to guard power forward and centers, particularly centers, is a huge addition for the Celtics who haven’t really had that player during the Big 3 era (except for PJ Brown’s playoff run), and they have had to ask undersized power forwards like Leon Powe and Glen Davis to play out of position.
The Celtics still need a backup point guard and seem content to try to lure one with the veteran minimum like maybe Ty Lue (one of Kevin Garnett’s best friends) and that small forward, but they just solved their biggest offseason problem with the addition of Rasheed Wallace.
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