The Celtics wrapped up the preseason with a 100-86 victory over the Nets at the TD Garden Wednesday night (check out the box s

The Celtics haven’t ruled out All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo for the Oct. 29 season opener against the Nets in Boston.

The Celtics haven’t ruled out All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo for the Oct. 29 season opener against the Nets in Boston. C’s coach Brad Stevens told reporters before Monday’s practice that a scan of Rondo’s left metacarpal, which he broke at home late last month, showed enough positive signs to consider his early return a possibility.

Asked whether he expected to be back for the opener, Rondo simply told reporters, “I don’t know.”

While he hasn’t been cleared for contact, Rondo has been ably catching and dribbling with his left hand and running the offense in practice. An Oct. 29 return would come just less than five weeks after he suffered the injury and roughly 10 days ahead of the team’s original estimated timetable of 6-8 weeks.

Meanwhile, Celtics rookie James Young (hamstring) has been cleared for practice and is expected to be in uniform in Wednesday’s preseason finale against Brooklyn at TD Garden.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

With four more minutes, the Celtics may not have pulled out their fourth preseason victory in seven tries, but Jared Sullinger’s extraordinary effort helped the C’s stave off

Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger

With four more minutes, the Celtics may not have pulled out their fourth preseason victory in seven tries, but Jared Sullinger’s extraordinary effort helped the C’s stave off the Nets in the NBA’s experimental first 44-minute game.

Sullinger finished with 21 points and 19 rebounds in 29 minutes in the 95-90 win.

The Celtics trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half, but they outscored Brooklyn 33-14 in the 11-minute third quarter. Jeff Green scored 10 of his 14 points playing as a power forward in the frame.

Brandon Bass (16 points, 6 rebounds), Marcus Smart (13 points, 4 boards, 3 steals) Avery Bradley (12 points) and Marcus Thornton (10 points) all added double figures.

Evan Turner had the worst performance of his brief Celtics career, shooting just 1-of-9 from the field while collecting just three points and one assist against three turnovers. Likewise, Kelly Olynyk had just four points on 2-of-7 shooting to go along with six rebounds.

While Brad Stevens started Turner at point guard, the Celtics coach swapped Smart in for the third quarter, pushing Turner to the wing. To start that 33-point third quarter after a 40-point first half, Avery Bradley at shooting guard, Green at the 4 and Sullinger at center.

Smart converted 3-of-8 attempts from 3-point range, making 4-of-11 field goals overall. As a team, the Celtics shot just 37.8 percent form the field, sinking just nine of their 29 3-point attempts.

Gerald Wallace returned from his bone bruise injury, but finished scoreless in just five minutes.

Kevin Garnett sat out for the Nets with a stomach virus. Fear not, KG faithful, for the Celtics face Brooklyn again on Wednesday and in the regular-season opener on Oct. 29.

For the record, the NBA’s first 44-minute game lasted 1 hour, 58 minutes — finishing roughly a half-hour quicker than an average game.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

I think we can all agree the Celtics won’€™t be raising banner 18 in the immediate future, and more likely than not the 2014-15 NBA season will result in another lottery pick come June, regardless of how ardently Rajon RondoAvery Bradley & Co. argue the contrary. It’€™s been a year since Danny Ainge traded Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets, launching the process of stockpiling draft picks and cap-friendly contracts. Since the Celtics failed to cash in those commodities in exchange for fireworks this summer, this season’€™s preview will have a Wyc Grousbeck theme, focusing on the hodgepodge of C’€™s pieces in a series we’€™ll call Asset Management. Next up: Phil Pressey.

Phil Pressey

Phil Pressey

With the trade for Will Bynum completed, Phil Pressey is now the fifth-best point guard on the Celtics roster. Whether or not Bynum is long for Boston, the second-year floor general’s minutes — and possibly his roster spot — are in serious trouble.

Since joining the Celtics as an undrafted junior out of Missouri last year, Pressey has remained in green longer than most expected. The 23-year-old actually started at the point 11 times as a rookie and appeared in more games than everybody but Brandon Bass and Jeff Green in 2013-14. In July, The C’s guaranteed Pressey’s $816,482 contract for this season after he submitted 36-minute averages of 6.8 points, 7.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals in 75 appearances.

At 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, Pressey may never be a great scorer, particularly among the trees and especially if he can’t improve his outside shot. As a rookie, he ranked as a below average shooter from everywhere on the floor but the straightaway 3-pointer, where he still only made 7-of-21 attempts. Pressey shot 40.0 percent on 85 attempts in the paint, 25.8 on 62 tries from mid-range and 26.4 percent on 106 triples. Still, he proved a capable playmaker — submitting a 2.77 assist-to-turnover ratio that ranked among the league’s best backup point guards — and a willing defender.

Still, the Celtics already have a better starting playmaker in Rajon Rondo and a superior defensive backup in Marcus Smart. Should Bynum stick around, he’d bring veteran stability and superior (albeit not great) shooting as a third-stringer, and let’s not forget Evan Turner has started at the point in Rondo’s absence each of the past two preseason games.

All of that leaves Pressey as the odd man out. After starting the C’s first three summer league games in July, he watched Smart assume the starting role in the last two games in Orlando and the first four games of preseason. Pressey didn’t see playing time until the final 15 minutes of Thursday’s exhibition game, when the Celtics already owned a 20-point lead.

The Celtics like Pressey’s competitiveness, even as they understand his inability to score at the NBA level seriously limits his ceiling. Yet, three months after guaranteeing his contract, they’re faced with his redundancy on the current roster. Pressey’s minimum salary makes him a relatively easy roster trimming possibility — either by release or a trade to a team in need of back-end point guard depth. Even then, the return would be a heavily protected second-round pick with little chance of ever bearing fruit.

Asset Rating: D-

This has been another edition of Asset Management. Check out more Celtics player valuations below.

ASSET MANAGEMENT: Avery Bradley | Jeff Green | Kelly Olynyk | Marcus Smart | Jared Sullinger | Marcus Thornton | Evan Turner | James Young | Tyler Zeller

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

The Celtics are finalizing a trade for veteran Pistons point guard Will Bynum in exchange for little used center

The Celtics are finalizing a trade for veteran Pistons point guard Will Bynum in exchange for little used center Joel Anthony, a league source confirmed on Friday. ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg first reported the deal.

The swap of Anthony’s expiring $3.8 million contract for the final year of Bynum’s two-year, $5.7 million deal gives the Celtics an extra $900,000 of wiggle room below the NBA’s luxury tax level. According to Basketball Insiders salary cap-ologist Eric Pincus, the C’s are currently just $1.19 million under that line.

Bynum, 31, who averaged 8.7 points (50.2 TS%), 3.9 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 18.8 minutes off the bench in Detroit last season, has proven a more productive player than the 32-year-old Anthony, who has played a total of 30 minutes in Boston’s five preseason games.

Of course, the Celtics will still have 16 players under guaranteed contract — one more than the league maximum once the regular season begins later this month — and an already crowded field at point guard. Second-year floor general Phil Pressey is already finding it difficult to crack a rotation that will feature Rajon Rondo and Marcus Smart. Additionally, Evan Turner has started at point guard in Rondo’s absence each of the last two preseason games.

As a result, the Celtics will evaluate Bynum’s future in Boston over the next few days, according to the source.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Nothing like a preseason game against the 76ers to feel good about the Celtics.

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk

Nothing like a preseason game against the 76ers to feel good about the Celtics. In a collective effort, they raced to a double-digit lead in the first five minutes, and never looked back in a 111-91 victory over the tank-tastic Sixers.

The starting lineup of Evan Turner, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk obliterated Philadelphia, bringing the C’s (3-3) back to .500 in exhibiton. Turner contributed six points, five rebounds and 10 assists (albeit against eight turnovers). Bradley dropped 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Green added 18, even if it took him 15 shots to get there. Sullinger collected 21 points (8-10 FG), eight rebounds and five assists. And Olynyk amassed 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks.

OTHER REASONS TO CARE AOBUT CELTICS-RAPTORS:

– Off the bench, Zeller followed up Wednesday’s impressive performance against the Raptors with 14 points and seven boards in 23 minutes.

– Marcus Smart’s shooting woes continued, as the rookie point guard finished scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting from distance in 28 minutes. He recorded six assists against four turnovers. As is his custom, though, Smart still managed to make an impact defensively, snatching three steals.

– Local products Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel did not play in the game, so, again, temper your excitement over a third 20-point victory of the Celtics preseason.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach