|4 candidates eager to grab Celtics’ 6th man role this season||08.26.16 at 10:11 am ET|
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?
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.
|Celtics make Jaylen Brown, 4 other signings official||07.28.16 at 3:26 pm ET|
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.
|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|
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.
|Reports: Celtics showing interest in Amir Johnson, Gerald Green, Tobias Harris||07.01.15 at 11:41 am ET|
NBA free agency has begun and the Celtics have reportedly already been connected to a few free agents.
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.
|Trade rumor roundup: Pacers shopping D.J. Augustin, Gerald Green, Tyler Hansbrough||02.21.13 at 12:12 pm ET|
Here’s a roundup of the rumors that are making their way around the web midday Thursday, hours before the 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline.
The Pacers are dangling D.J. Augustin, Gerald Green and Tyler Hansbrough, according to the Indianapolis Star. While they are 33-21 and owners of the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Pacers are looking to strengthen their roster as they look toward the playoffs.
Augustin ($3.5 million) and Hansbrough ($3.05 million) are on expiring contracts. Augustin will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, while Hansbrough will be restricted.
Green, the athletic former Celtic, signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal last offseason but has struggled to find his niche.
‘¢ Magic guard J.J. Redick, who becomes a free agent this offseason, is said to be receiving plenty of interest. Redick makes $6.19 million this season but reportedly wants close to $10 million per year for his next deal, leading to the Magic taking calls. Redick is averaging a career-best 15.2 points and 4.4 assists in 31.6 minutes per game. The Spurs are one of the teams rumored to have an interest.
‘¢ Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Raptors have emerged as the frontrunners to land Suns guard (and onetime Celtic) Sebastian Telfair, crediting league sources. Telfair’s minutes have dropped since the Suns made a coaching change last month (hiring Lindsey Hunter to replace Alvin Gentry).
‘¢ The New Orleans Time Picayune reports that the Hornets are offering guard Eric Gordon. One option has Gordon going to the Warriors for Klay Thompson, although Golden State apparently isn’t very interested in that deal.
|Five worst Celtics draft day moves of Danny Ainge era||06.27.12 at 7:20 pm ET|
When Danny Ainge was hired as Celtics president of operations in 2003, he inherited a team on the upswing that had just come off of a pair of playoff exits following six straight seasons missing the playoffs.
Nine years later, Ainge has become known across the league for his bold decision-making, something that has helped the Celtics rise back to the elite of the NBA over the last five seasons. But despite the success, it hasn’t gone without some controversy and questionable moves.
As Ainge enters his 10th NBA draft in the Celtics front office, here’s a look at the top five worst draft day moves Ainge has made and how they’ve panned out.
5. J.R. Giddens, 30th pick, 2008 ‘ Heralded as one of the best scorers in the 2008 draft class, Giddens simply just never panned out in the NBA. Considered to be a potential replacement for Tony Allen, who eventually left the Celtics in free agency, Giddens couldn’t live up to the defensive standards that Doc Rivers stresses and never received much playing time.
It didn’t begin well for Giddens, who declined to participate in minicamp after being drafted because he hadn’t agreed to a contract. After finally signing, the 6-foot-5 guard was put on assignment with the Utah Flash of the NBA D-League before getting called up to the Celtics in February 2009. He saw very limited action and saw eight minutes during the season.
In 2009-10, Giddens saw an increased role but still didn’t see much playing time. He played 4.7 minutes per game in 21 appearances, which even included a start on Jan. 2, 2010. He scored a career-high 10 points and posted nine rebounds against the 76ers on March 19, 2010, as a member of the Knicks after being traded by the Celtics. For his career, Giddens averaged 1.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and 6.5 minutes per game.
Where is he now?: On Feb. 18, 2010, Giddens was traded by the Celtics as part of a deal that sent him, Bill Walker and Eddie House to the Knicks in exchange for Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry. He saw an increased role with the Knicks but chose to leave the NBA after the season to pursue a career overseas. He spent 2010-11 in Poland before signing with PAOK Thessaloniki, in Greece, where he currently plays.
|Irish Coffee: When will Celtics develop a scorer?||02.29.12 at 12:17 pm ET|
Whether it’s Gerald Green‘s glorious return to the NBA, the sight of Semih Erden facing them as a starting center or the team’s woeful offensive production, a number of factors led me to this question: When is the last time Celtics president Danny Ainge or coach Doc Rivers has either drafted or developed a scorer?
Clearly, Rajon Rondo is the best player cultivated under the Ainge-Rivers regime, but I don’t think anybody would argue Rondo has markedly improved in the scoring department. His scoring averages per 36 minutes in his rookie season (9.9 points) and last season (10.3) are nearly identical, and we all know about that jump shot.
The best scorer drafted by Ainge has to be Al Jefferson, but even his 36-minute averages didn’t improve much under Rivers, crawling from 16.3 as a rookie to 17.2 in his final Celtics season. Not until he was traded to the Timberwolves did those averages climb into the 20s. Of course Ainge and Rivers deserve credit for molding Big Al into bait to land Kevin Garnett, but the fact remains Jefferson made a leap offensively once he left the Celtics.
The same goes for Tony Allen, Ryan Gomes, Leon Powe and Bill Walker, all of whose 36-minute scoring averages barely budged in either direction on the Celtics, and then saw those numbers rise once they left Boston.
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