|C’s bring back Delonte||09.01.10 at 4:21 pm ET|
The Celtics have finished off their roster with a nod to their past by reaching agreement with free agent guard Delonte West, the team announced.
West played three seasons with the Celtics, averaging 12.2 points in 2006-07, his final season with the team. He was then traded to Seattle in a draft-day deal that yielded Ray Allen and Glen Davis. West was subsequently moved to Cleveland in a mid-season deal where he spent the next two and a half seasons.
In 2008-09, West started 64 games with the Cavs, but he was involved in an incident just prior to the start of last season where he was arrested on weapons charges during a traffic stop. West, who has said that he suffers from bi-polar disorder, pleaded guilty in July to weapons charges and was sentenced to eight-month home detention, probation and psychological counseling. The terms of the sentence allow him to travel for away games.
In August the NBA announced that he will be suspended for the first 10 games of the upcoming season.
On the court, this has a chance to a solid fit for the Celtics. While visions of Portland’s Rudy Fernandez may have danced through fans heads, West offers a versatile guard who can handle the ball and defend multiple positions. West is also a decent shooter, although his 3-point percentage took a tumble to 32 percent last season.
With West’s arrival the Celtics now have 15 players under contract and two more on non-guaranteed deals, meaning that the roster is essentially set barring a trade. The key thing to note is the flexibility players like West, Von Wafer and Marquis Daniels offer. This is how it looks:
PG: Rajon Rondo, Nate Robinson, Avery Bradley, Oliver Lafayette (non-guaranteed)
SG: Ray Allen, Delonte West, Von Wafer
SF: Paul Pierce, Marquis Daniels, Luke Harangody
PF: Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis, Tony Gaffney (non-guaranteed)
C: Kendrick Perkins, Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal, Semih Erden
|Ainge: Sheed will be resolved soon||08.10.10 at 2:06 pm ET|
One question that has continued to hover around the Celtics this offseason, is what will they do with Rasheed Wallace? The veteran has two years left on his contract, but he indicated through his agent and to the team that he will retire.
The Celtics have tried to trade his contract this summer but have not found the right deal. Danny Ainge said the situation will be resolved soon. “We have looked at trade possibilities throughout the summer,” Ainge said. “We’ll continue to do that. I would say it will all be resolved soon and you guys will all hear how we’ve resolved it shortly.”
At this point it seems unlikely that they will find a trade partner for Wallace and will try to work out a buyout agreement for the final two years of his deal. If the Celtics are able to settle with Wallace that would clear a roster spot.
“One more piece is possible,” Ainge said. “But I like the team we have at this stage. There are different scenarios but I would say the most likely scenario [to signing another player] is the veteran minimum.”
|Shaq signs with the Celtics||08.04.10 at 4:46 pm ET|
The Celtics announced on their team website that they have come to terms with Shaquille O’Neal.
“It is not every day that you can add a player of Shaquille’s caliber to your team,” Danny Ainge said in the release. “His past experience speaks for itself and we believe that he is a great fit for our roster.”
And here’s the Shaq quote:
“I am honored to be joining the Celtics. I have played against Paul, Ray, Kevin, Rajon, and Jermaine for many years and it will be great to be able to call them my teammates. I cannot wait to get to Boston to get started in pursuit of another championship.”
According to the report O’Neal will wear No. 36.
|Source: Shaq to Boston close, not done yet||08.03.10 at 4:43 pm ET|
Shaquille O’Neal is close to signing with the Celtics according to a source, but the deal is not done yet.
It’s a move that has been gathering momentum in recent days. Shaq went on Jimmy Kimmel Monday night and suggested that he and the Celtics would make a good match.
Unless the Celtics can work out a sign-and-trade with the Cavaliers, O’Neal would have to agree to sign for the veteran minimum of $1.4 million. Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Brian Windhorst indicated on Twitter that the two teams were not in sign-and-trade talks. If that’s the case then credit the Celtics for waiting him out while his price drops.
O’Neal has maintained that he wants to sign with a contender, but considering that Orlando, Miami and the Lakers were never real possibilities that left Shaq looking at the Celtics, Spurs and Hawks as viable destinations and both San Antonio and particularly Atlanta have cooled on the idea.
Even at age 38, Shaq would give the Celtics insurance while Kendrick Perkins rehabs from knee surgery. In a recent interview with Dime Magazine, Perkins said that doctors told him that he was ahead of schedule and was looking at a mid-February return. If Perkins is able to come back by then, he would still miss more than half the season and need to work his way back into playing shape.
The Celtics added Jermaine O’Neal for the full mid-level exception and without Perkins the center depth is O’Neal and untested rookie Semih Erden. Getting Shaq, even at age 38, would be a huge upgrade at the spot.
Since the 2004-05 season, Shaq has played more than 2,000 minutes just once (in 2008-09 with Phoenix) and he missed 29 games with the Cavaliers last season. But he can still score (12 points in less than 24 minutes a game) and his rebounding-rate numbers have held steady. He would also give the Celtics their best low-post scoring option by far.
Where he struggles is with pick and roll defense, but he can still hold his ground in the low post and the Celtics would be better-equipped to scheme around his deficiencies than most teams.
There’s also the notion of Shaq’s outsized personality. He had issues with the Celtics three biggest rivals — Miami, Orlando and Los Angeles, which would only add to the hype surrounding those matchups. Over the years, however, the Celtics have not shied away from adding outspoken veterans; Sam Cassell, Stephon Marbury and Rasheed Wallace to name three.
The free agent market has been picked clean at this point and so have opportunities for joining the true contenders. Shaq and the Celtics may just be a match whose time has come.
|C’s officially sign Wafer||at 1:57 pm ET|
The Celtics made it official, signing Von Wafer for the 2010-11 season. Terms were not announced, but it is believed to be for one season for the veteran minimum. (Here’s a more in-depth look at Wafer).
Wafer gives the Celtics 13 players under contract with second round pick Luke Harangody expected to be the 14th player once he reaches agreement on a contract.
The current Celtics roster is as follows:
PG: Rajon Rondo, Nate Robinson, Avery Bradley
SG: Ray Allen, Von Wafer
SF: Paul Pierce, Marquis Daniels
PF: Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis
C: Kendrick Perkins, Jermaine O’Neal, Semih Erden, Rasheed Wallace
Non-guaranteed: Oliver Lafayette, Tony Gaffney
Second round pick: Luke Harangody
|What Von Wafer does for the Celtics||07.29.10 at 8:28 pm ET|
Von Wafer is a 6-5 shooting guard who does one thing well: shoot 3-pointers, and according to Hoops World he will be doing it for the Celtics this season. Wafer made 39 percent of his 3′s with the Rockets in 2008-09 when he appeared in 63 games and played over 1,200 minutes. Wafer also made 45 percent of his 3′s in his one extended season in the Development league in 2007.
He was drafted by the Lakers in 2005 and has had cameo NBA appearances in each of the last five seasons (Dallas signed him to a 10-day contract this past season but he didn’t see any action). After his breakthrough season with the Rockets, which included scoring 14 points and making a late shot to beat the Celtics — Wafer signed with Olympiakos Piraeus in the Euro League.
Wafer was bought out of his contract only a few months into the deal and he appeared headed back to the NBA, but he reportedly failed physicals with the Grizzlies and Rockets. He spent the summer training in his hometown of Louisiana and declared himself healthy. It’s still unclear what caused Wafer to fail his physical, but he has had back issues in the past.
Wafer also clashed with Rockets coach Rick Adelman about playing time and was sent to the locker room during a playoff game, for which he later apologized.
All of that makes this an interesting addition for the Celtics. His shooting ability will certainly be a plus for a bench that could use some. If he can accept his role and do it without complaint then this move has solid potential. If not, then it’s still a reasonable low-cost gamble for a player with an obvious skill.
Wafer gives the Celtics 13 players under contract with second round pick Luke Harangody expected to become the 14th shortly. They also have Tony Gaffney and Oliver Lafayette on non-guaranteed deals. Counted in those 13 contracts players is Rasheed Wallace, whose situation remains in limbo.
|What Nate Robinson’s return means for the Celtics||07.16.10 at 2:02 pm ET|
As late as May 27, the notion that Nate Robinson would return to the Celtics seemed far-fetched. Danny Ainge’s trade deadline acquisition had fallen so far out of the rotation he was spending more time with Marquis Daniels on the bench than with Paul Pierce or Ray Allen on the court.
But then on the night of May 28, Rajon Rondo went down hard on the floor in Game 6 of the conference finals against the Magic and all of Celtics fandom held its breath. Enter Nate Robinson.
In a little over eight minutes Robinson scored 13 points and the Celtics were on their way to averting disaster and en route to the NBA finals. The X-factor had finally arrived.
“I told him I loved him, and I told him at some point this was going to happen,” Doc Rivers said after Game 6. “It was all up to him to stay engaged, and he did. I get no credit for this. Nate Robinson stayed focused in 30-straight whatever games without playing. To me that’s more important than anything he’s done tonight.”
Once Robinson delivered on the court, Rivers kept him in the lineup and he provided valuable backup assistance to Rondo against the Lakers. Still, while Robinson had finally found a niche with the 2010 Celtics, there was some debate as to whether he would still fit with the team going forward.
Then Tony Allen spurned the Celtics to sign with the Grizzlies and re-signing Robinson became a higher priority. To be sure Robinson and T.A. have very little in common as players, but as Ainge looks to fill out the bench with only the veteran minimum to offer, quality players at any position have become a premium.
Now Robinson is back in the fold and that’s good news for the Celtics. Here’s what he has to offer. Read the rest of this entry »