Jae Crowder

Jae Crowder

Phil Jackson has made a lot of mistakes as president of the Knicks, with a list going on and on from botched trades to swing-and-miss free agent signings and draft picks to regretful decisions in choosing coaches.

This has all lead the Knicks to an abysmal 49 combined wins over the two full seasons he’s been in charge.

That said, there is certainly a lot of regrets he could choose from — and his biggest gaffe involves one of today’s most prominent members of the Celtics.

Speaking to Today’s Fastbreak’s Charley Rosen, Jackson discussed when he could’ve had Jae Crowder, but instead took a chance with a draft pick instead.

“I don’t consider hiring [then-head coach Derek Fisher] a mistake because he worked hard and got the guys to stay as positive as possible while the losses piled up,” Jackson said. “I think the biggest mistake I made was actually this…One of the first deals I engineered when I came back to New York was to trade Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert, plus a second-round pick that the Mavs owed to the Celtics. In talking with Boston, I was given the option of taking that pick or else taking Jae Crowder. I liked Crowder but I thought he wouldn’t get much of a chance to play behind Carmelo, so I took the pick which turned out to be Cleanthony Early. While Cleanthony has missed lots of time in the past two seasons with us, he still has the potential to be a valuable player. Even so, I should have taken Crowder.

The 70-year-old added: “Anyway, for all of us, making mistakes are part of the learning process.”

The Knicks president does bring up a valuable point, however, that Crowder would have been in a tough spot to find playing time behind Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony. However from a production standpoint, Crowder would have been more valuable coming off the bench behind Anthony than Early has ever been in his NBA career.

After Jackson passed on Crowder, the small forward made his way to Boston via the Rajon Rondo trade that the troubled point guard to the Mavs during the 2014-15 season. Crowder finagled his way into the Celtics starting lineup during the 2015-16 season, starting every game he appeared in, and he’ll likely do the same this season.

To put it in perspective, Jackson ended up with someone who has spent quite a bit of time in the D-League and even played in the summer league this summer. He was also sidelined for most of the second half of 2016 after being shot in the knee outside of a strip club.

In that timeframe, Crowder became a quasi-star in Boston, playing in 73 games alone in 2015-16 (to Early’s 56 career NBA games) and averaged 14.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game over 31.6 minutes per game.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Jae Crowder

Jae Crowder

Phil Jackson has made a lot of mistakes as president of the Knicks, with a list going on and on from botched trades to swing-and-miss free agent signings and draft picks to regretful decisions in choosing coaches.

This has all lead the Knicks to an abysmal 49 combined wins over the two full seasons he’s been in charge.

That said, there is certainly a lot of regrets he could choose from — and his biggest gaffe involves one of today’s most prominent members of the Celtics.

Speaking to Today’s Fastbreak’s Charley Rosen, Jackson discussed when he could’ve had Jae Crowder, but instead took a chance with a draft pick instead.

“I don’t consider hiring [then-head coach Derek Fisher] a mistake because he worked hard and got the guys to stay as positive as possible while the losses piled up,” Jackson said. “I think the biggest mistake I made was actually this…One of the first deals I engineered when I came back to New York was to trade Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert, plus a second-round pick that the Mavs owed to the Celtics. In talking with Boston, I was given the option of taking that pick or else taking Jae Crowder. I liked Crowder but I thought he wouldn’t get much of a chance to play behind Carmelo, so I took the pick which turned out to be Cleanthony Early. While Cleanthony has missed lots of time in the past two seasons with us, he still has the potential to be a valuable player. Even so, I should have taken Crowder.

The 70-year-old added: “Anyway, for all of us, making mistakes are part of the learning process.”

The Knicks president does bring up a valuable point, however, that Crowder would have been in a tough spot to find playing time behind Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony. However from a production standpoint, Crowder would have been more valuable coming off the bench behind Anthony than Early has ever been in his NBA career.

After Jackson passed on Crowder, the small forward made his way to Boston via the Rajon Rondo trade that the troubled point guard to the Mavs during the 2014-15 season. Crowder finagled his way into the Celtics starting lineup during the 2015-16 season, starting every game he appeared in, and he’ll likely do the same this season.

To put it in perspective, Jackson ended up with someone who has spent quite a bit of time in the D-League and even played in the summer league this summer. He was also sidelined for most of the second half of 2016 after being shot in the knee outside of a strip club.

In that timeframe, Crowder became a quasi-star in Boston, playing in 73 games alone in 2015-16 (to Early’s 56 career NBA games) and averaged 14.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game over 31.6 minutes per game.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

The tumultuous Colten Iverson era appears it will end before even seeing him in green.

Per The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, the Celtics elected to renounce the rights of the 2013 second round pick and “give him a shot to make a roster elsewhere.”

Taken 53rd overall out of Colorado State by the Pacers and promptly traded to the Celtics, Iverson prolonged the NBA limbo he sat in since being drafted by remaining stiff in contract negations. Each year, he declined a contract with the Celtics that would enable him to be brought to camp to instead play overseas.

In fairness, the likelihood was high the now 27-year-old 7-footer would not make the Celtics roster, subsequently being waived and thus relinquishing the Celtics draft rights on him and placing Iverson in free agency.

However, the move for the Celtics to let him go now was a process that could’ve been circumvented many years ago. Speculation has been prevalent the past three offseasons if he would take a run at the NBA, and if he does (even with age now becoming a factor and his opportunity slipping by the day) it doesn’t appear it will be with the Celtics.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk

How much have the Celtics changed over the past four years?

Think of it this way: entering his fourth year of NBA service, all with the Celtics, center Kelly Olynyk is currently the second-longest tenured member of the team after Avery Bradley.

“That’s pretty crazy. I think from the year I got here, me and Avery are the only people still from that team. We had 15 guys when we came in here, and there’s only two of us surviving,” Olynyk said at his annual trip to Canobie Lake Park with children from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children as part of the Shamrock Foundation on Wednesday. The 25-year-old jokingly added, “So it’s either me or Avery, one of us has got to go.”

The trip was later than usual as a result of the shoulder surgery Olynyk underwent on May 16 due to recurrent subluxations in response to his Feb. 10 collision with Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.

And with Celtics training camp set to begin in a month on Sept. 26, things are looking up in the 7-footer’s recovery

“My shoulder’s doing alright, man. I should be ready to rock,” he said. “It’s good. Still got about a month or so left, which you can put a lot of work in in a month, get it stronger. It’s coming along, motion’s pretty good, need to get it stronger, give it time to heal.

“We’ll get everybody together and just see how not only if it’s ready, but when it’s the best time to ease into it and gradually improve it and kind of roll things out.”

Olynyk has been a consistently valuable asset off the bench since being taken 13th overall by the Mavericks and promptly traded to the Celtics in the 2013 NBA draft. Appearing in 69 games in 2015-16 — starting just 8 — he averaged 10 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per game. He also shot 45.5 percent from the field., and for a big man was not afraid to pull the trigger from downtown, averaging three attempts a game with a team-leading 40.5 shooting percent from three.

 

With all that in mind, he’s still got his work cut out for him. The Celtics still have Tyler Zeller and Amir Johnson at their disposal, as well as newly-acquired Al Horford.

Horford does address multiple needs for the Celtics, and for Olynyk, who was on the team’s private plane en route to court then-free agent Kevin Durant when President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge received the call Horford chose them, it will do nothing but help the team improve.

“It was awesome. We were just super happy Al was going to join us. A player of his caliber and of his talent level and of his character is huge. It’s something that we kind of wanted and needed and we’re really looking to him coming to us and him helping us get to where we want to be,” Olynyk said.

“He’s a great player and he’s so good because he can play with a lot of different guys. He’s really skilled, he can make things happen offensively he can play defensively, he can fly around. His length and his ability to guard different spots, and play different spots on the floor, really helps us and our versatility.”

One void that will rear it’s head this season is the loss of sixth man Evan Turner, who departed for the TrailBlazers this offseason. That hasn’t stopped Olynyk from corresponding with his former teammate.

“I did talk to Evan, he came to my camp, actually. Unbelievable guy, it’s too bad that he had to go, but it was good for him, really good for him. It’s tough anytime, the business is different. You’ll see over the years you get close to guys and you have great teammates like Evan and, you know, they’ve got to do what’s best for them.”

For the full interview with Olynyk on Celtics.com, click here.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

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.

Smart, who finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals in that game against the Hawks, delivered in the fourth quarter by scoring eight consecutive points (including back-to-back 3’s), pulling down crucial rebounds and making critical defensive stops against the best player on the floor — Paul Millsap — toward the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime. The C’s tied the series with that win, and Smart finished with a game-high plus-24 rating.

He also earned himself a few All-NBA Defensive Team votes, and it’s only a matter of time before we see Smart on one of the All-Defensive Teams. As an elite defender with a career average of 8.4 points, he’s a lock in Stevens’ rotation. But if can shoot at a higher level, he’ll undoubtedly become the Celtics’ newest sixth man (if he’s not starting).

The ceiling still is very high for Smart and maybe this upcoming season ought to be the year we see him make humongous strides.

2.  Jaylen Brown

At 19, Brown was one of the youngest players selected in the 2016 NBA draft and already is considered to be one of the most unpopular first-round picks in recent Celtics history. With that in mind, Brown entered summer league with a chip on his shoulder and proved to his naysayers how valuable he can be for the C’s in his rookie season.

Brown, who was projected to be drafted outside of the top five by most experts, fared well this summer against the two draftees who were selected before him — Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram.

2016 summer league stats 

Ben Simmons: 10.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists

Brandon Ingram: 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists

Jaylen Brown: 16.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists

Brown displayed athleticism, quickness and the ability to initiate contact and get to the free throw line. He scored 20-plus points in back-to-back games and got to the charity stripe 36 times in three games — easily his most impressive stat of the summer. His ability to attack the hoop certainly is what he does best.

However, if he’s going to become a vital piece for the Celtics next season, it’s going to be his one-on-one defense that’ll get him there. Brown finished with a combined seven steals in his last two summer games against the Cavaliers and Blazers. He applies his quickness and great footwork on the defensive end by staying in front of his opponent and clogging the passing lanes.

So, what’s his biggest flaw?

Shooting.

Brown is not an effective shooter and is going to have to develop a jump shot during his rookie season. As Jae Crowder’s backup, Brown is expected to be a nice spark off the bench, and if he happens to develop a jumper to complement his speed and aggressive defense, it could be enough for him to become the sixth man for the C’s.

3. Terry Rozier

As he heads toward his second NBA season, Rozier has every reason to feel good about himself.

After playing meaningful minutes in the playoff series against the Hawks, he followed that up by becoming the Celtics’ best player this summer — averaging a team-high 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Although NBA summer league stats don’t always (OK, almost never) translate the same in the regular season, Rozier’s confidence definitely is one thing he will carry into the 2016-17 season. He’s a secondary facilitator — a role that was very important for Turner and the Celtics last season. Rozier also is an above-average defender — an attribute that will keep him on the floor.

He also proved he can score at the rim and has improved on his outside touch — something the Celtics are always looking for. If Rozier is able to make the leap and put together an over-the-top performance in preseason, he’ll have a shot at becoming Stevens’ first option off the bench.

4. Gerald Green

The Celtics’ 2005 first-round pick returns to Boston, where his NBA journey began at 18 years old. The former dunk champion will look to rekindle his production of two years ago when he was able to put together the best season of his nine-year career.

Green has suited up for seven NBA teams since he last played for Boston, making stops with the Timberwolves, Rockets, Mavericks, Nets, Pacers, Suns and Heat (while also playing two years in Russia).

An NBA Sixth Man of the Year candidate in 2014 with Phoenix, Green shot 44.5 percent from the floor, including a career-high 40 percent clip from deep. He eventually became a starter for the Suns the following season before playing for the Heat in 2015-16 — when he only averaged eight points in 22.6 minutes a night. By the the start of the postseason, he was behind Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson on the depth chart and his playing time dipped to 9.2 minutes a night.

After finishing last season as one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league, the Celtics hope Green can recapture the outside touch he had in Phoenix. He’s a 36.1 percent career shooter from behind the arc but is going to have his work cut out for himself in trying to jump in front of Smart, Rozier and Brown — three candidates who are eager to become the team’s sixth man for the 2016-17 season.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart

It’s a big year for Marcus Smart.

With the departure of Evan Turner, the 22-year-old’s role on the Celtics will organically be stepped up, not to mention the pressure that will be put on him to up his offensive game to match his solid defensive skill.

After Smart was thrust into a big spot when Avery Bradley went down in the first game of last season’s playoff series against the Hawks, suffice to say Brad Stevens will need to lean on Smart quite a bit this season.

And the third-year pro seems to be ready for that challenge.

“Becoming more aggressive. Becoming more of an offensive threat,” Smart said when asked how he will raise his overall game in an interview with Celtics.com. “I’m improving and trying to improve every aspect of my game. Trying to become more of a second to third, fourth option on the team in scoring, assists and everything. Just anything I can do to help my team on the offensive end.”

Added Smart, “My defense, I know I’m going to be there with it. That’s one thing I don’t have to worry about, my teammates don’t have to worry about. But I think it’s time for me to step up on the offensive end.”

In 27.3 minutes per game last season, Smart averaged 9.1 points and 3.0 assists per game with 1.5 steals. He was seventh on the team in points, behind then-fellow shooting guard Turner, who finished fourth on the team, and Bradley, who finished second.

More concerning, however, was the inconsistency of his shooting. He shot a mere 34.8 percent from the field — a decline from his rookie season in which he shot 36.7 percent — and just 25.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Even with his underwhelming offensive numbers his first two seasons, his defensive-minded nature has made up for it, and the tenacity he brings to the game has been apparent in his service to the C’s.

“When people hear my name or say my name, I want them to make the face, make the ‘ugh’ sound, like, ‘I don’t want to play against this guy just because I know he goes so hard and I know it’s going to be a long night,’ ” Smart said.

Smart said part of the reason he has such a strong drive defensively is because he was the youngest of four boys growing up. 

“You’ve always got to fight for what you want in the house, so I think that was installed in me early,” he said.

With a season that showed so much promise last season, only to be shot down in six games to the Hawks, there’s an even higher expectation for the Celtics to go deep into the postseason. But with the season not yet underway, the sting of the early exit still resonates with Smart.

“We just couldn’t figure it out in the end. We played a really good team with really good players, and they made the right plays at the right time and we couldn’t,” Smart said. “We can be our own worst enemy, but we can be our own hero. But one thing that everyone can take from us is we are going to play hard every game.”

Smart now is the third-longest-tenured member of the Celtics after Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk. And though there have been acquisitions of natural leaders like Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and now Al Horford, Smart is ready to take the next step and be an integral part of the C’s leadership core.

“I’m ecstatic about it. This is a great opportunity for anybody, and there’s a lot of people who would die to be in the situation I’m in, so it’s a blessing and I’m ready to step up, like I said. I’m ready for more responsibility, especially as a leader and that role and that aspect. It’s crazy because being able to say that this is a guy who is a leader on the team and it’s only his third year, it’s incredible.”

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

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 fulfill Evan Turner’s role on the Celtics next season (Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports)

One of the biggest questions the Celtics will have to answer the start of the regular season will be; ‘who will emerge as the team’s sixth man?’

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

For a guy who finished fifth in voting for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award and made game-deciding plays at the end of games, there’s certainly a void left behind. However, the Celtics do 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 the best options:

1. Marcus Smart 

Heading into his third NBA season, expectations are at an all-time high for Smart. Last year, he carved out a role for himself as the team’s second-best back court defender (behind Avery Bradley), while also showing flashes of his scoring prowess. Most notably, a 26-point performance against arguably the best point guard in the league — Russell Westbrook — Smart made 9-of-14 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”

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 limited Westbrook to shoot only 25 percent (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 last season’s April playoff series against the Hawks — another fantastic performance from Smart — then there’s a strong chance that Stevens will see his backup guard reach new heights next season.

Smart, who finished with 20 points, 8 rebounds, five assists and two steals against the Hawks — delivered in the fourth quarter by scoring eight consecutive points (including back-to-back 3’s), pulling down crucial rebounds and made critical defensive stops against the best player on the floor — Paul Millsap — towards the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime. The C’s tied the series, 2-2, and Smart finished with a game-high plus-24 rating.

He also earned himself a few All-NBA Defensive Team votes and it’s only a matter of time before we see Smart on one of the All-Defensive Teams in the near future. As an elite defender with an 8.4 point-career average, he’s a lock in Stevens’ rotation but if can shoot at a higher level, he’ll undoubtedly become the Celtics’ newest sixth man.

The ceiling is still very high for Smart and maybe this upcoming season ought to be the year we see him make humongous strides.

 

2.  Jaylen Brown

At 19, Brown was one of the youngest players selected in the 2016 NBA Draft and is already considered to be one of the most unpopular first round picks in recent Celtics history. With that in mind, Brown entered Summer League with a chip on his shoulder and proved to his naysayers how valuable he can be for the C’s in his rookie season.

Brown — who was projected to be drafted outside of the top-5 by most draft experts, fared well this summer against the two draftees that were selected before him — Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram.

2016 Summer League Player Stats 


Ben Simmons: 10.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists

Brandon Ingram: 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists

Jaylen Brown: 16 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists

Brown displayed athleticism, quickness and the ability to initiate contact and get to the free-throw line. He scored 20-plus points in back-to-back games and got to the charity stripe 36 times in three games — easily his most impressive stat of the summer. His ability to attack the hoop is certainly what he does best.

However, if he’s going to become a vital piece for the Celtics next season, it’s going to be his one-on-one defense that’ll get him there. Brown finished with a combined seven steals in his last two games against the Cavaliers and Blazers — he applies his quickness and great footwork on the defensive end by staying in front of his opponent and clogging the passing lanes.

So, what’s his biggest flaw?

Shooting.

Brown is not an effective shooter and is going to have to develop a jump shot throughout his rookie season. As Jae Crowder’s back up, Brown is expected to be a nice spark off the bench and if he happens to develop a jumper to complement his speed and aggressive defense, it could be enough for him to become the sixth man for the C’s.

 

3. Terry Rozier

As he heads towards his second NBA season, Rozier has every reason to feel good about himself. After playing meaningful minutes for Stevens in last April’s playoff series against the Hawks, he followed that up by becoming the Celtics’ best player this summer — averaging a team-high 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Although NBA summer league stats don’t always (almost never) translate the same in the regular season, Rozier’s confidence is definitely one thing he will carry into the 2016-17 season. He’s a secondary facilitator — a role that was very important for Turner and the Celtics last season. Rozier is also an above-average defender — an attribute that will keep him on the floor.

He also proved he can score at the rim and has improved on his outside touch — something the Celtics are always looking for. If Rozier is able to make the leap and put together an over-the-top performance in preseason, he’ll have a shot at becoming Stevens’ first option off the bench.

 

4. Gerald Green

The Celtics’ 2005 first round pick returns to Boston — where his NBA journey began at 18 years old. The former dunk champion will look to rekindle his production of two years ago when he was able to put together the best season of his nine-year career.

As a journeyman, Green has played for six teams since the last time he played for Boston — including stops with the Rockets, Mavericks, Pacers, Suns and the Heat.

As an NBA Sixth Man of the year candidate, Green shot a career-high 45 percent from the floor in 2014, including a 40 percent clip from deep. He eventually became a starter the following year before playing for the Heat last season — where he only averaged eight points in 22.6 minutes a night. By the the start of the postseason, he was behind Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson in the depth chart and his playing time dipped to 9.2 minutes a night.

After finishing the 2015-16 season as one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league, the Celtics hope Green can recapture the outside touch he had in Phoenix. He’s a 36.1 percent career shooter from behind the arc but is going to have his work cut out for himself in trying to jump in front of Smart, Rozier and Brown — three candidates who are eager to become the team’s newest sixth man throughout the 2016-17 season.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

It appears it’s time to put all of the Abdel Nader question marks to rest, for now at least.

According to Nader’s agent Cervando Tejada, the Celtics’ 58th pick in this year’s draft will sign with the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics’ D-League affiliate.

According to The Vertical’s Shams Charania, Nader did receive a “lucrative offer” from an unnamed European club.

 

Nader is an interesting situation for Boston. The former Iowa State forward was expected to head straight overseas, but that changed after a stellar summer league performance that saw him average 10 points per game while shooting 36.3 percent from behind the arc and 49 percent from the field.

The problem is if he went to Celtics training camp and did not make the roster — the most likely outcome — the Celtics would lose his draft rights. This signing will circumvent that process, allowing the Celtics to retain his rights regardless of what happens at camp.

Though not officially invited to camp, Nader would serve as the 20th and final member of the training camp roster should the team extend the invitation. In any case, the C’s would have to cut the roster to a maximum of 15 by the beginning of the season.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

The Celtics added another body to their backcourt, signing former Georgia Tech guard Marcus Georges-Hunt, per multiple reports.

The 22-year-old went undrafted in June but played four summer league games with the Nets, averaging 2.8 points and one board in 13.2 minutes of work.

As a senior, the All-ACC player averaged 16.9 points, 2.4 boards, 3.3 assists and 0.9 steals per game. He was a four-year starter for the Yellow Jackets.

Though the signing is small, the ripple is much larger, as it brings the Celtics training camp roster to 19 of 20 available spots. (For more on the Celtics roster and how training camp rosters work, click here). All things considered, Georges-Hunt is not a likely candidate to crack the opening day roster and will be on a fast-track to the D-League.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder does not bring anything to the table that does not already exist, and as for the gaping hole that still remains with the Celtics — 3-point shooting — Georges-Hunt shot a mere 32.9 percent from beyond the arc in his college career, including 34.2 percent as a senior.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Isaiah Thomas finally took some time for himself during his action-packed summer, marrying his longtime girlfriend Kayla Wallace in Seattle. The C’s All-Star point guard noted via Instagram it was “by far the best day of my life.”

 

My beautiful wife and kids #ThomasFamily

A photo posted by Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) on Aug 21, 2016 at 4:04pm PDT

 

 

My life is complete now! #Blessed

A photo posted by Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) on Aug 21, 2016 at 3:53pm PDT

However, it was a later post on the photo-sharing website that caught the eye of Celtics fans.

 

I ride for my squad Ima champion… Appreciate my guys coming out! #CsUP #SullyStillACelticAtHeart lol

A photo posted by Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) on Aug 21, 2016 at 7:59pm PDT

Right to left, there’s Jordan Mickey, R.J. Hunter, Amir Johnson, Thomas, Terry Rozier, Jae Crowder and Jared Sullinger. The Sullinger appearance was complete with a hashtag of SullyStillACelticAtHeart.

Sullinger, set to begin his first season as a member of the Raptors, did not exactly burn bridges when he departed Boston, but there was not much love loss when the oft-criticized big man moved on to Canada.

Also in attendance was new Bucks guard Jason Terry — who has never been teammates with Thomas in the NBA but is a Seattle native — as well as Jamal Crawford and controversial boxer Floyd Mayweather.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen