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Gerald Green coming back to Boston changed player, man 09.27.16 at 11:23 am ET
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Gerald Green

Gerald Green

When Gerald Green took part in his first professional Media Day, he was fresh out of high school in Houston, 19-years-old and a member of the Celtics. He was once again a member of the Celtics when he took the podium Monday, much different than the kid who took the podium 11 years ago.

“I was fresh out of high school so I didn’t really know any better,” said Green. “Now, this is my 12th season professionally so I’m very mature now. I still got a lot in the tank. Legs feel good, everything feels good about myself. I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself. I feel like I’m way better defensive player. I know I’m a way better defensive player than when I first came here. I know all the schemes and terminology. I just can’t wait for [camp to begin].”

Green exited Boston as part of the trade that brought Kevin Garnett to Boston after his second professional season. Since his departure, he’s become the epitome of a journeyman, playing for seven NBA different teams, along with a two-year stint in Russia.

“It’s a great feeling to be back. I’ve been telling everyone since I’ve been back that I never really had hard feelings. Shoot, I would trade myself for Kevin Garnett, too,” he said. “There’s never been any hard feelings at all. I don’t think I left on bad terms. For me to be back here to be playing for the city that has drafted me after all these years, after all of the years that I’ve learned, it’s good to finally be back.”

The stint in Russia took a toll on Green. While the situation geographically was not ideal, it was further affirmation that he was an NBA player, not someone with NBA experience that should be buried overseas.

Since his time in Russia, he has been a serviceable contributor, averaging 11.4 points per game with a 42.1 percent field goal percentage since coming back to the States in 2011.

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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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Read More: 2016 Celtics Player Preview, Gerald Green,
Brad Stevens ‘putting the pieces together’ for upcoming season 09.08.16 at 12:39 pm ET
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Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens

Despite the seemingly constant drama surrounding the Celtics this offseason, head coach Brad Stevens has been surprisingly quiet. At the ABCD Hoops for Hope event at the TD Garden on Tuesday, Stevens opened up about a number of things that defined this offseason.

And though he’s been quiet, it hasn’t stopped him from planning constantly and paying mind to the outlook of the upcoming season.

“I think as a coach, you get away a little bit, but at some point you’re antsy to get back at it,” Stevens told reporters. “So maybe re-writing the third version of what you’re doing? I don’t know. You think about it all year. I’m just going to be ready for September 27th. Ever since the end of July I’ve had a pretty good idea of what we’re going to look like as a team and who’s going to help us in what way. It’s just a matter now of putting the pieces together and hopefully playing well”

The Celtics that fell in the first round of the 2016 postseason, though similar, will have some major changes. There was the addition of big man Al Horford, former Celtic Gerald Green, as well as No. 3 draft pick Jaylen Brown. 

With such additions, there’s been incessant changes to the outlook of the roster and thus the approach the team will have to take.

“I think you’re always tweaking and changing and you’re always making adjustments,” he said, “But I think you have to put a lot of time and thought into what your new guys have done well, how that plays within what you’ve done or if you need to change some of what you’ve done to fit them better. You go through that, and you make sure you come up with a plan that fits everybody the best to bring out all of their best strengths.”

Defense was never an issue for the Celtics in 2015-16.

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Read More: Al Horford, Brad Stevens, Evan Turner, Gerald Green
4 candidates eager to grab Celtics’ 6th man role this season 08.26.16 at 10:11 am ET
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Apr 28, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) reacts against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Smart will look to fill Evan Turner’s role on the Celtics this season. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

One of the biggest questions the Celtics will have to answer at the start of the regular season is this: Who will emerge as the team’s sixth man?

 In a two-year span, Evan Turner (now with the Trail Blazers) flourished as the Celtics’ first option off the bench. He provided scoring and rebounding and was the team’s secondary ball handler. He averaged 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists last season, and his production surely will be missed.

Turner finished fifth in voting for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year and made game-deciding plays, so there’s certainly a void left behind. However, the Celtics have more than a few options off the bench — guys who have the potential to perform on both ends of the floor at a high rate and are very much capable of becoming the team’s newest sixth man next season. 

Here are their best options.

1. Marcus Smart 

Smart is heading into his third NBA season, and expectations are at an all-time high for him. Last season he carved out a role for himself as the team’s second-best backcourt defender (behind Avery Bradley), while also showing flashes of scoring prowess. Most notably there was a 26-point performance against arguably the best point guard in the league — Thunder star Russell Westbrook — as Smart made 9-of-14 shots from the floor, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc, and led the C’s to a 100-85 win at Oklahoma City. 

An impressive showing for the young guard, but what’s often frustrating about Smart’s offense is his lack of consistency — something Westbrook (who finished with 27 points that night) reminded us about Smart after the loss:

“[Smart] had a good game. But there’s 82 games I do this,” Westbrook said.

The following night, Smart finished with four points in 30 minutes against the Rockets — a big drop-off from what was the best scoring night of his career.

Although Smart’s suffocating defense helped limit Westbrook to 25 percent shooting (5-of-20), in order for him to slide into the team’s sixth man role he’s going to have to find consistency on both ends of the floor. If he can build off Game 4 of April’s playoff series against the Hawks — another fantastic performance from Smart — there’s a strong chance that Stevens will see his backup guard reach new heights next season.

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Read More: Gerald Green, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier
Celtics make Jaylen Brown, 4 other signings official 07.28.16 at 3:26 pm ET
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Wednesday evening the Celtics made five deals official — most notably the signing of No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown. Nearly all of the signings were previously reported, however were not made official by the team until Wednesday.

Though the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Brown is expected to be a big part of the Celtics immediate future, Brown was immediately a scoring threat during the summer league, averaging 16 points per game over 29 minutes. He also added 6.2 rebounds per game as well as 2.3 assists.

In his Pac-12 Freshman of the Year-winning 2015-16 campaign, the 6-foot-7 19-year-old averaged 14.6 points and 5.4 boards over 27.6 minutes per game.

Also signed from the draft were second-round picks Demetrius Jackson and Ben Bentil — deals that had been agreed upon earlier on Wednesday.

The two remaining deals included the re-upping of big man Tyler Zeller, as well as the return of Gerald Green, both of whom have agreed to deals, as WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia reported on Saturday.

The signings now set the Celtics roster at 18, leaving an interesting training camp ahead that will see three players not make the NBA roster.

Read More: Ben Bentil, Demetrius Jackson, Gerald Green, Jaylen Brown
Source: Celtics to re-sign Tyler Zeller (2 years, $16 million), ink Gerald Green (1 year, $1.5 million) 07.23.16 at 3:26 pm ET
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May 7, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward Gerald Green (14) reacts after scoring against Toronto Raptors during the third quarter in game three of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Gerald Green has agreed on a one-year deal to return to Boston. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)

The Celtics are trying to make the best of what’s left of the free agent market.

League sources confirmed Saturday to WEEI.com that the team will re-sign 26-year-old center Tyler Zeller for two years and $16 million, with the second year consisting of a team option. The news was first reported by the Boston Herald and later by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne

The Celtics are following through on their intentions after extending a $3.7 million qualifying offer in June to Zeller, who like Jared Sullinger was a restricted free agent. 

Sullinger left for bigger money in Toronto. 

Zeller, the 17th overall pick of the Mavericks (traded to Cleveland) in the 2012 draft, appeared in 60 games for the Celtics this season, just a season after starting 59. Zeller averaged 6.1 points and 3 rebounds over 11.8 minutes per game last season.

The Celtics are also going back to the future and signing 30-year-old Gerald Green. A league source confirms that Green and the team have agreed on a one-year deal for the league veteran minimum of $1.5 million, as reported by Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. 

Green was the No. 18 overall pick of the Celtics in the 2005 NBA draft. He played his first two seasons with Boston before being dealt to the Timberwolves as part of the Kevin Garnett deal in 2007. Green averaged 8.9 points per game in 69 games for the Heat last season, including 14 games as a starter.

Green, entering his 10th season, was a productive sixth man for the Heat in the first half of the season but mysteriously fell off and played little down the stretch and in the playoffs against Charlotte and Toronto. Green indicated publicly he had hoped to return to Miami. Green is a career 36.1 percent shooter from 3-point range. During the 2013-14 season with the Suns, Green shot a remarkable 40 percent on a career-high 510 attempts.

Per a league a source, the signings of Zeller and Green appear to be a “fall-back” position for the Celtics, should they want to enter the season with the roster they have constructed. There is still the possibility that these pieces, along with others, could be used in trades down the road, like for Jahlil Okafor of Philadelphia. Both the Herald and Globe have indicated from sources that it’s more likely than not that the roster will definitely be adjusted significantly before the start of camp in late September. 

The roster, after these two signings, will be at 17, including the non-guaranteed contract of John Holland and the guaranteed deal of No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown. The team must cut to 15 players by the start of the season. The Celtics already have freed up the spaces of Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic, both of whom will play overseas next season. 

Read More: Boston Celtics, Gerald Green, Tyler Zeller,
Reports: Celtics showing interest in Amir Johnson, Gerald Green, Tobias Harris 07.01.15 at 11:41 am ET
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NBA free agency has begun and the Celtics have reportedly already been connected to a few free agents.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweeted Tuesday that the Celtics are “expected to show interest” in power forward Amir Johnson and former Celtics shooting guard Gerald Green.

Johnson spent this past season with the Raptors, averaging 9.3 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and 0.8 blocks while posting a 57.4 field goal percentage and a 41.3 three-point field goal percentage.

Green, who played for the Suns in 2014-15 totaled 11.9 points per game, 2.5 boards and 1.2 assists. He also recorded a 41.6 field goal percentage and an 82.5 free throw percentage.

In addition, Shams Charania of RealGM reported forward Tobias Harris is looking for a maximum-level offer sheet as he enters free agency Wednesday, noting “several teams are believed to be open to preparing a near-max contract” for him, close to $15 million-plus per year. Charania also wrote that the Celtics and the Pistons are the frontrunners to give it to him.

Harris, who is just 22, put up 17.1 points per game for the Magic last season with 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists. The small forward registered a 46.6 field goal percentage, 36.4 three-point field goal percentage and a 78.8 free throw percentage.

For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.

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