|10 things I heard about Celtics||08.09.11 at 5:07 pm ET|
Even on a slower Celtics news day than normal, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 C’s links of interest we discovered over the past 24 hours …
10. Jeff Green‘s 26 points and last-minute 3-pointer helped seal the Nike D.C. Pro City championship in a 105-101, double-overtime victory on Sunday. Of course, his team also featured Pistons forward Greg Monroe (32 points), and their opponent was comprised of Georgetown’s incoming freshmen class.
As HoyaReport.com reported, “One of the best players in Pro City this summer, Green has had a penchant for playing well but not necessarily focused. He has used the league to work on his outside game and have fun. Sunday was different. It was clear he was dialed in.”
9. According to the Lawrence Journal, Paul Pierce is among a group of former University of Kansas players that could be playing in an NBA alumni weekend exhibition game in September. The other potential players: Grizzlies Darrell Arthur, Xavier Henry and Josh Selby; the Thunder’s Cole Aldrich and Nick Collison; Mario Chalmers (Heat); Drew Gooden (Bucks); Kirk Hinrich (Hawks), Darnell Jackson (Kings); Marcus Morris (Rockets); Markieff Morris (Suns); Brandon Rush (Pacers); and Julian Wright (Raptors).
“It’s something we’ve talked about,” Kansas head coach Bill Self told the paper. “That’s certainly something we’d consider doing. We have talked about a lot of things, and that is one of them. It’s certainly an option.”
Obviously, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has already signed for a similar exhibition game between the Dominican National Team and a bunch of University of Kentucky alumns (Rondo, John Wall, Tayshaun Prince, DeMarcus Cousins, Jodie Meeks, Nazr Mohammed, Eric Bledsoe and Keith Bogans). You can vote for Rondo as a starter for that team here.
8. A photographer recently captured a photo of Shaquille O’Neal and girlfriend Nicole Alexander. The 5-foot-2, 100-pound Hoopz really puts into perspective just how big the 7-foot-1, 325-pound former Celtics center was. Shaq’s jorts and slippers are a whole different matter. Here’s the photo: Read the rest of this entry »
|Celtics’ free agent options at backup small forward||08.03.11 at 2:14 pm ET|
A month into the NBA lockout, commissioner David Stern just declared war against the players, but can’t we still examine which free agents should be available to the Celtics for the (fingers crossed) 2011-12 season once Stern and players association executive director Billy Hunter kiss and make up? We’ve profiled the C’s biggest needs — at center and shooting guard — as well as another critical position (backup point guards), so we move to what coach Doc Rivers called a pressing concern during the 2010-11 season: Backup Small Forwards.
The Celtics began last season with starter Paul Pierce and only swingman Marquis Daniels to spare the nine-time All-Star from playing heavy minutes at the 3. Once Daniels went down in February with a season-ending spinal injury, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was forced to make a deal for depth behind Pierce. Enter Jeff Green, who remains a restricted free agent after the Celtics extended a $5.91 million offer in June.
As we’ve noted before, the Celtics have six players under contract in 2011-12 for a combined $64.3 million (Kevin Garnett, $21.2 million; Paul Pierce, $15.33 million; Ray Allen, $10 million; Rajon Rondo, $10 million; Jermaine O’Neal, $6.23 million; Avery Bradley, $1.53 million) and should match any offer Green receives.
The Celtics would be wise to pick up another player capable of spelling Pierce to ensure they aren’t handcuffed by the lack of depth at the position again, even if they re-sign Green. Obviously the C’s won’t be dedicating much more money beyond those two to small forwards, but they need to find as many inexpensive versatile options (2-3 or 3-4 guys) as possible to eat up minutes for their three aging stars.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the options that should be available to the Celtics at backup small forward (barring overseas exports), separating the current free agent players into four categories ‘¦ Read the rest of this entry »
|Jeff Green ‘not even thinking about’ where he’ll play||08.01.11 at 3:07 pm ET|
NBA.com’s David Aldridge caught up with Celtics restricted free-agent forward Jeff Green over the weekend. Like Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who plans to enroll at the University of Kentucky this fall, Green is taking classes at his alma mater. While Rondo left Kentucky after only one season, Green stayed at Georgetown through his junior year, and he actually only has four more classes remaining.
Of course, Aldridge and Green also talked basketball. While he is modeling parts of his game after NBA stars like Paul Pierce, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, he isn’t planning on playing overseas during the lockout — or even thinking about where he’ll end up once it ends. Here are the highlights … Read the rest of this entry »
|Try to like Celtics’ Jeff Green after this||at 10:14 am ET|
On Thursday, we posted a tongue-in-cheek blog entitled, “Try not to like Celtics’ Jeff Green after this,” detailing the Celtics restricted free agent forward’s commendable association with the Wounded Warriors Project’s basketball game on the White House’s south lawn last week.
Of course, we also noted that the Maryland native would participate in the Celebrity Soccer Challenge in Washington on Sunday — which he did, subsequently knocking host and soccer Hall of Famer Mia Hamm to the ground during a breakaway attempt. Needless to say, a healthy round of boos rained down on Green.
No word on how Hamm’s husband Nomar Garciaparra reacted. If only Green had done the same to Lakers guard Kobe Bryant — who also participated — the 24-year-old might have endeared himself to Celtics fans who grew frustrated with him after he arrived in Boston as part of the deal that sent Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder.
The Washington Examiner caught up with both Bryant and Green at the exhibition. While Bryant discussed the possibility of playing overseas during the NBA lockout following his platelet rich-plasma treatment, Green had some interesting things to say about where he will play next season: Read the rest of this entry »
|Try not to like Celtics’ Jeff Green after this||07.28.11 at 3:20 pm ET|
Celtics swingman Jeff Green and fellow Georgetown product Greg Monroe gave pointers to 10 Marines from the Wounded Warrior basketball program before their game on the south lawn of the White House on Wednesday. President Barack Obama also made an appearance, according to the White House blog.
No word on whether Obama challenged Green to a game of 1-on-1 (insert joke about how the Celtics would be better off with the President on their roster).
Green will also take place in the Celebrity Soccer Challenge in Washington D.C. on Sunday, hosted by former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and his wife Mia Hamm. Among the other celebrities are Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, U.S. Women’s World Cup star Alex Morgan and “Around the Horn” host Tony Reali. Wait, who?
Now, if only Green can slide tackle Kobe, he’ll finally ingratiate himself to Celtics fans.
|Mickael Pietrus: ‘Celtics are interested in me’||07.07.11 at 10:10 am ET|
Four months after the Celtics could have used his services — and possibly avoided trading Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green — Suns swingman Mickael Pietrus is claiming the C’s are interested in him, according to French newspaper L’Ãquipe (via HoopsHype).
Phoenix didn’t use me, but that’s their problem. I’m going to continue working. The only thing I care about is winning a title. … A lot of teams are interested in me, like the Lakers or the Celtics. This came from the best player in the world: Kobe Bryant. He told me two months ago that he would like to see me with the Lakers.
It’s unclear whether the curiosity coming from Boston is new or just an aftereffect from the rumors that circled around Pietrus and fellow Suns swingmen Grant Hill and Jared Dudley before this past NBA trade deadline.
|Celtics extend qualifying offer to Jeff Green, make him restricted free agent||06.30.11 at 1:56 pm ET|
The Celtics extended forward Jeff Green a one-year qualifying offer at $5.9 million, which will make the forward a restricted free agent. The move was procedural and gives the team the right to match any offer Green receives once the league opens — or rather re-opens — for business following a lockout that could start as early as midnight on July 1.
The team also announced that they have exercised the third-year option on Avery Bradley. For first round picks, the first two years of their contracts are guaranteed. The team has options on the third and fourth years before a player can become a restricted free agent like Green is now.
Green can still sign a long-term extension with the team once the new Collective Bargaining Agreement rules in place or he could return for the one-year offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Celtics could also let him walk if another team offers a huge deal, but that seems unlikely as they have maintained that he is a part of their long-term plans.
Yet the Celtics have also carefully planned to have as much cap space as possible after next season and it will be interesting to see how much they ultimately invest in his services. It wouldn’t be the worst thing for the franchise if Green simply came back for the one-year offer and kept the books clear for the summer of 2012. Of course all the roster speculation is premature until the new CBA rules are in place.
The question for the Celtics and Green — assuming he does return — is what kind of player will he be for them?
Green arrived from Oklahoma City in the Kendrick Perkins trade with the expectation that he would provide scoring and athleticism off the bench, as well as a solid backup for Paul Pierce. Green averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 26 games for the Celtics and while his minutes were cut from 37 in OKC to 23 with the C’s, that was essentially the same production he gave the Thunder. On the plus side his field goal percentage jumped from 44 to 49 percent, but his 3-point shooting dipped under the 30-percent line.
After four years in the league, Green seems to have settled in as a good but not great player, which doesn’t exactly translate into future franchise cornerstone. But the Celtics believe that he still has room to develop, particularly with a full training camp under his belt.
“I think Jeff played excellent,” team president Danny Ainge said in an end of the season media session in May. “Maybe the expectations were too high. We knew he wasn’t going to start. We knew he wasn’t going to play 35 minutes. We needed a veteran player, an experienced player, an athletic player. We know what Jeff Green is. He’s a highly efficient offensive player who plays good defense. That’s what we need and he’s young and I think he’s just going to get better because of his character and work ethic.”
The problem — as it was last season — is finding a role for Green. Ainge floated the idea of starting Green and using Pierce off the bench, which seems like a reach considering Pierce is one of the best players in franchise history and still playing at an All-Star level.
While Pierce’s minutes are likely to go down next season that’s still only about 15 minutes of action. Green also struggled defensively as a four-man, although that had a lot to do with whoever was playing center. When he was in the lineup with Pierce and Kevin Garnett for example, he did just fine. When he teamed with Glen Davis to form an undersized frontcourt, not so much. Adding legitimate depth at center behind Jermaine O’Neal and rookie JaJuan Johnson can only help Green.
The Celtics believe that they can contend for a championship again next season with their core players in place, provided they receive some help from free agency and their young players develop into contributors. But no player needs to help more than Green.
If Ainge is right that Green’s best years are ahead of him he can give the Celtics a dimension they’ve lacked since the big three era began. If this is as good as it gets then it doesn’t seem likely that Green will be enough to get them past Miami and Chicago.
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