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
How closely is Rajon Rondo watching Tony Parker's contract negotiating skills? (AP)

How closely is Rajon Rondo watching Tony Parker‘s contract negotiating skills? (AP)

Tony Parker inked a three-year contract extension with the Spurs for an estimated $43.3 million, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, but does it have any bearing on Rajon Rondo‘s current status with the Celtics?

In roughly the same salary situation — Parker will make $12.5 million to Rondo’s $12.9 million this season — the former chose the max extension available to him right now, a presumed 7.5 percent annual increase averaging $14.3 million from 2016-18.

Rondo can accept a similar deal now or wait until next summer, when he could max out at an estimated $20.9 million annually from 2015-20. It’s easy to see why Rondo has stated his intention to fulfill the final year of his deal and become a free agent in 2015.

Parker, 32, is four years older than Rondo and will have already made $107.5 million when his extension kicks in next year. He’s also quite comfortable in San Antonio, where he has won four NBA titles and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has created an atmosphere that keeps stars coming back for below market value.

Of course, Rondo also inked a team-friendly deal when the Celtics were winning, signing a five-year extension worth $55 million in 2009, but he doesn’t quite have that same motivation to stay in Boston now.

Even if he won’t consider an extension now, one reason Rondo should at least think about it is his ability to play his way into another big payday at age 32 — as the Spurs point guard just did. In 2018, Rondo would be eligible to receive as much as a third of the salary cap two years after the new TV deal sends the league’s figure soaring. If he signs a four- or five-year deal next summer, he’ll be pushing 34 after the deal and more likely facing a pay cut.

There’s also an argument that Rondo won’t fetch a max contract next summer. Only Chris Paul ($20.1 million), Deron Williams ($19.8M) and Derrick Rose ($18.9M) will make more this season than the $18.2 million Rondo is expected to seek in 2015-16. If his agent believes he won’t fetch more than $15 million annually on the open market, Rondo might be wise to accept a Parker-esque extension now. Unless, of course, he plans to obliterate the league in his first full season since ACL surgery and vault himself back into conversations that include Paul and Rose.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach