Colton Iverson

Colton Iverson

Colton Iverson has signed a one-year deal with Spanish Euroleague power Laboral Kutxa Baskonia, according to his agent Ben Pensack.

“It’s a great opportunity for Colton to play at the highest level in Europe,” Iverson’s agent said of the Celtics‘ second-round pick in 2013. As for the 7-footer’s future with the team that drafted him No. 53 overall last year, Pensack added, “We will reassess after this season and will know more then.”

Iverson remains under the Celtics control until the team renounces his rights.

In 47 games for Besiktas in Turkey last season, Iverson averaged 7.2 points (53.5 FG%, 48.4 FT%) and 4.8 rebounds in 17.4 minutes. The 25-year-old Colorado State product returned to play for the Celtics in the Orlando summer league last month, producing 6.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 15.8 minutes over five games.

The trade for Tyler Zeller and Marcus Thornton along with a guarantee of Phil Pressey‘s contract this season meant the Celtics had the same number of guaranteed contracts as open roster spots (15). The presence of Zeller in addition to Vitor Faverani and Joel Anthony also pushed the number of centers on the C’s roster to three. While Faverani’s immediate future remains unclear pending his recovery from knee surgery and following his DUI arrest, the Celtics currently have no room on the roster as training camp approaches, even if Anthony’s $3.8 million expiring contract makes him surefire trade bait.

As a result, Iverson will continue to develop overseas, joining a team that made the competitive Spanish league playoffs last season and qualified for the Euroleague postseason in both 2011 and 2013.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Kelly Olynyk did not participate in Team Canada’s international friendly against Turkey. As a result, rumors circulated that the Celtics forward had injured his wrist and was headed back to Boston.

Olynyk did return to Boston and will not play in the final game of Canada’s European tour on Tuesday.

However, the Celtics media relations staff connected with Olynyk on Monday night regarding his scheduled visit to Canobie Lake Park with 30 kids from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and “he mentioned nothing about any injuries he may have.” He will attend the event as planned.

If Olynyk indeed suffered a wrist injury, it doesn’t appear serious enough to prevent “a day of rides and fun.”

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Mercifully, the Kevin Love drama has come to an end, and as expected in recent weeks he will not be wearing a Celtics uniform next season. Love will be donning wine and gold alongside fellow NBA All-Stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, and the Cavaliers will be really good for a really long time.

In exchange for the last two No. 1 overall picks — Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett – and a 2015 first-round pick, the Cavs acquired Love from Minnesota and received a commitment from the 25-year-old that he will sign a max contract next summer, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

There will be those who claim Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge facilitated the LeBron and Love pairing by dealing a trade exception for Tyler Zeller, Marcus Thornton and a first-round pick last month. And there will be those who say Love used his Boston visit to help the Timberwolves drive up the bidding war for his services. And they will not be wrong.

But once LeBron returned to Cleveland, nobody was stopping this trade. So, let’s not go around criticizing Ainge for acquiring three more assets and not offering enough to get a Love deal done. Once LeBron made the Cavaliers a destination attractive enough for Love to sign longterm and Wiggins became available in return, no combination of Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and No. 1 picks was going to convince Flip Saunders otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong. Love was Plan A for the Celtics. He was the fireworks they had hoped for this summer. That’s not happening, and that’s a bummer for Boston. The C’s have publicly declared their No. 1 priority is to pair a second star with Rondo and keep him in green when he becomes a free agent next summer, but as we detailed last week the list of game-changing 2015 free agents not named Love is a short one.

Privately, Ainge & Co. have to be weighing the fact a trio of All-Stars under the age of 30 — all of whom seem set on staying in Cleveland for the foreseeable future — makes the Cavaliers a favorite to win the East for the next five years. Even if you prefer a healthy Rondo to Irving (and I may be in the minority who do), there are no two players coming to Boston in the near future who can compare resumes with a four-time MVP and the NBA’s double-double leader two of the past three years. With that knowledge, the Celtics have to trade Rondo this season.

As we’ve seen this summer, things change pretty quickly in the NBA. Injuries, unforeseen trades and rising talent could alter the Eastern Conference landscape sooner rather than later, but how long can the Celtics sit around waiting for dumb luck during Rondo’s prime? Love isn’t walking through that door. It’s time for Plan B.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

The Celtics officially announced their eight-game preseason schedule. The C’s will face each Atlantic Division rival twice. Both their preseason debut and finale are scheduled 16 days apart this October at TD Garden.

The Celtics officially announced their eight-game preseason schedule. The C’s will face each Atlantic Division rival twice. Both their preseason debut and finale are scheduled 16 days apart this October at TD Garden. In between, the Celtics will also make New England stops in Connecticut (twice) and Maine.

Oct. 6: Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden (Boston, Mass.), 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 8: New York Knicks at XL Center (Hartford, Conn.), 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 10: Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre (Toronto, Ont.), 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: New York Knicks at Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, Conn.), 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 15: Toronto Raptors at Cross Insurance Arena (Portland, Maine), 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 16: Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, Pa.), 7 p.m.
Oct. 19: Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 3 p.m.
Oct. 22: Brooklyn Nets TD Garden (Boston, Mass.), 7:30 p.m.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

By most accounts, especially this one, Kelly Olynyk‘s footwork still needs improvement.

While Olynyk thankfully avoided the same fate Paul George suffered in a Team USA scrimmage last week, the Celtics big man found his foot in a bit of trouble a couple days later during Canada’s friendly against Serbia in Italy.

After getting his right foot stuck in a courtside billboard, Olynyk’s only injury was a bruised ego. He finished with 11 points (5-11 FG), nine rebounds and four assists in 22 minutes of a 78-73 loss. The Serbians will be among the 24 teams competing when the FIBA Basketball World Cup begins later this month. Canada did not qualify.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

If nothing else, the Celtics appear to have the league’s most likable rookie in Marcus Smart. (Unless, of course, you’re a Texas Tech fan.) He conducted a scavenger hunt for SportsNation during the NBA’s Rookie Photo Shoot, and the results are fairly hilarious. Let’s take a moment to appreciate a few of the highlights.

  • The pantsing of Oklahoma State teammate Markel Brown wasn’t bad, although that’s old hat to Celtics fans, since Ron Artest once pantsed Paul Pierce during a game.
  • I just like the idea of eating snacks with Shabazz Napier. That should be its own show.
  • Smart held his own in that arm wrestling contest with Mitch McGary for a bit.
  • The forehead alley-oop to James Young proves Smart is already learning from Rajon Rondo.
  • If I’m breaking down the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles powwow, Smart is Leonardo, since he’s leading this entire operation, Adreian Payne is Donatello (does machines), Gary Harris is Raphael (cool but crude) and Cleanthony Early is Michaelangelo (party dude). This isn’t up for debate.
Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

According to multiple reports out of Valencia, Spain, Celtics center Vitor F

Celtics center Vitor Faverani has reportedly been arrested for DUI. (AP)

Celtics center Vitor Faverani has reportedly been arrested for DUI in Valencia, Spain. (AP)

According to multiple reports out of Valencia, Spain, Celtics center Vitor Faverani has been arrested for driving under the influence (h/t CelticsBlog).

Faverani allegedly ran a red light and crashed his BMW hatchback into a bus. Nobody was injured.

According to police reports obtained by the media,  breathalyzer tests revealed as much as 0.86 milligrams of alcohol per liter of blood in Faverani’s system. That translates into a blood alcohol content of 0.18 — or three times Spain’s legal limit of 0.06.

Under Spanish law, Faverani faces a fine, community service and/or 3-6 months of imprisonment in addition to losing his license for 1-4 years.

The 6-foot-11, 260-pound Brazilian played in Valencia from 2011-13 before signing a three-year, $6.2 million contract with the Celtics last summer. His $2.2 million salary in 2015-16 is not guaranteed. Faverani averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 13.2 minutes over 37 games before undergoing surgery on a torn left meniscus in March. He’s been in Valencia rehabbing his knee this summer.

The Celtics did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Updates to follow.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach
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New Celtics Marcus Smart and James Young participated in the NBA’s rookie photo shoot over the weekend and neither of them collapsed into a folding chair a la Fab Melo, so there’s hope for them yet.

Once you’ve digested the photos above courtesy of the league’s various social media channels, let’s take a look at some of the highlights from Smart and Young’s contributions to the rookie class AMA on Reddit.

  • When asked who they believe will be Rookie of the Year , Smart said, “Me,” and Young added, “It’s hard to say since we haven’t played any games. But I would like to say myself.” Unfortunately, both can’t be right.
  • What will Young have to give up to succeed in the NBA? “Eating cheeseburgers daily.” His favorite food, of course, is a “bacon cheeseburger.” Somewhere, a single tear falls on Mike Sweetney’s empty burger wrapper.
  • “Mahcus Smaht” is pretty much the first thing Marcus Smart heard upon arriving in Boston.
  • Smart and Young believe their NBA 2K ratings will be 78 and 73, respectively. For the record, Goran Dragic and Klay Thompson were respectively rated 78 and 73 in NBA 2K14. Says Smart, “If I’m a 60 or below I’m going to be upset. Adds Young, “I’d be in a down mood if I were something like a 69. Ha.”
  • Smart’s favorite class: “Sociology.” In related news, his favorite part of Boston: “the fans.” Smart, indeed.
  • Young previously said he models his game after James Harden. Apparently, the Rockets guard is also who he’s most looking forward to facing. The non-Celtics player Young would most like to see on his team, though: “Kevin Durant. I play with him all the time in 2K.” Make it happen, Danny Ainge.
  • Smart says five teams will regret passing on him because of his “defense and playmaking ability.”
  • How will Rajon Rondo‘s presence affect Smart’s development? “It’s going to help me tremendously. He’s been playing in the NBA for a long time and knows what it takes to win a championship. I respect his strong defense and leadership. He has a commanding presence that you have to respect.” Young and smart is right.

In an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Smart reiterated his excitement about developing under Rondo, calling him “a premier point guard.” Smart also said he didn’t get comfortable in summer league until the penultimate game. In his final two summer league games, he shot 34.4 percent from the field. Don’t get too comfortable, apparently.

Speaking of comfort, the photo shoot marked the first time Smart donned an official Celtics jersey. It felt good.

“You’re not used to hearing Boston Celtics in the lottery, but it worked out perfect for me,” Smart told SiriusXM NBA Radio. “I’m able to go to a franchise that is at the top when you speak about basketball — 17 banners , the most retired jerseys — and it’s an honor to put on this Boston Celtics uniform.”

Enough about cheeseburgers. Let’s watch Smart and Young dunk and dance.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach