Archive for the ‘ Boston Celtics Blog ’ Category

Gordon Hayward undergoes surgery

Gordon Hayward undergoes surgery

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward has undergone bony and ligamentous stabilization surgery for the fracture dislocation of his left ankle sustained on Opening Night. The surgery was performed by Drs. Mark Slovenkai and Brian McKeon at New England Baptist Hospital, assisted by Dr. Anthony Schena, following consultations with Dr. David Porter of Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis.

No timetable has been set for Hayward’s return, but he is expected to make a full recovery, the Celtics say.

Just speculating, but unfortunately we don’t expect to see Hayward again for most, if not all, of this season.

Isaiah Thomas not happy with Danny Ainge

Some players really don’t want to be traded. They like where they’re at. Such was the case with former Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who on the one hand is surely now very content to be alongside LeBron James and the powerful Cleveland Cavaliers, but loved being a Celtic. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

Danny Ainge said yesterday that he loves Isaiah Thomas, even if the Celtics president of basketball operations tamped down his feelings long enough to include the beloved player in the August trade for Kyrie Irving.

And the now-Cleveland Cavaliers guard clearly isn’t in a forgiving mood, as evidenced by his interview with Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins. Thomas said that though his eventual return to Boston with the Cavaliers will be “all love,” that affection won’t be extended to the man who traded him as part of a league-shaking package for Irving.

“I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen,” Thomas told Jenkins. “I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.”

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The Celtics have a loaded, talented team. They’re contenders. Their present and their future looks bright. And guard Marcus Smart would like to remain a part of it. Will he receive a contract extension? Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

The Celtics have until next Monday to sign Marcus Smart to a rookie contract extension, something the guard would dearly love.

But there’s one problem. Smart confirmed last night that he hasn’t heard from the team on the matter. Should the Celts not extend Smart, he will become a restricted free agent next summer, and undoubtedly an in-demand restricted free agent.

Some teams are indeed wrapping up their rookie contract players. Philadelphia, for instance, yesterday signed Joel Embiid — he of the 31-game career — to a maximum extension worth $148 million over five years.

Smart can’t help but notice numbers like this.

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Even though he’s surrounded by talented teammates who will do the vast majority of the heavy lifting, many eyes will be on Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum this season. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on his first taste of NBA preseason:

Jayson Tatum is happy to have his first preseason game in the rearview mirror. His performance in the 94-82 win against Charlotte was very much a rookie’s exercise — from the 0-for-4 first-half shooting to the greatly improved work as the evening went along.

“It felt good,” Tatum said after the Celtics’ workout yesterday. “I was anxious and excited and nervous at first, but as the game progressed, I felt a lot better.

“I think it was mostly butterflies my first game. I was definitely nervous and excited when I first got out there.”

The hesitation was evident as he pulled up for an open 3-pointer and gave the ball a bit of a guided push, taking his first shot on a break about a minute and a half after he entered in the opening quarter.

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The Celtics are one of the most legendary franchises in sports, and there will always be some things that set them apart in the eyes of careful observers, whether it’s a look at history, experiencing the atmosphere, or something else. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on new Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, who already sounds quite at home:

The Celtics have held this annual open practice in the Garden for season ticket-holders since the latter part of the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett era, but the experience had a kind of newness for Kyrie Irving last night.

From the crowd, to the banners and the floor — even the nets as it turned out — had a special meaning for the Celtics guard.

“The energy. The energy, man,” said Irving, before going into intricate detail with a unique description of the Garden parquet.

“It has that vintage, intimate, kind of replicated vibe for what the Garden used to look like,” he said of the original Garden. “The misfit of the squares in where they’re placed on the floor. They’re going in opposite directions — the perpendicular one if you know what I’m saying. I just appreciate all that. And then the nets as well as the whole intimacy as well. I just like the whole aura of it.

“It’s nothing like it. It’s nothing like it,” he said. “Even the energy in here, I can feel it. All these fans about to pile in. It’s about to be a great day.”

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Celtics sign four additional players to training camp

The Boston Celtics have signed four rookies – Jonathan Holmes, L.J. Peak, Andrew White and Devin Williams – finalizing the team’s 20-player training camp roster that includes four returning players, three NBA All-Stars and 11 first-year players.

Holmes, 24, joins the Celtics after spending last season with the Canton Charge of the NBA G-League. In 30 games (20 starts), the forward averaged 12.8 points (44.0% FG, 37.2% 3-PT, 85.0% FT) and 6.5 rebounds in 28.4 minutes. The University of Texas at Austin product also competed in 10 games with FC Barcelona Lassa across the Euroleague and Spanish ACB, producing 5.9 points (52.6% FG, 45.0% 3-PT, 83.3% FT) and 3.0 rebounds in 14.4 minutes. Holmes previously donned a Celtics uniform as a member of the team’s 2015 Summer League squad. Competing in eight games (seven starts) between the Utah Jazz Summer League and Las Vegas Summer League, he tallied 10.0 points (48.1% FG, 46.4% 3-PT, 100% FT) and 5.0 rebounds in 20.2 minutes.

A three-year player at Georgetown University, Peak, 21, averaged 12.1 points (46.0% FG, 33.5% 3-PT, 76.4% FT), 3.1 rebounds 2.0 assists and 27.6 minutes in 98 collegiate games (76 starts). He averaged career highs in points (16.2 ppg), rebounds (3.8 rpg) and assists (3.5 apg) as a junior in 2016-17. Peak played in four games of the 2017 NBA Las Vegas Summer League as a member of the Houston Rockets, producing 7.3 points on 50.0% shooting (50.0% 3-PT, 100% FT) in 13.7 minutes.

White compiled 11.6 points (45.1% FG, 39.3% 3-PT, 78.6% FT), 3.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 22.6 minutes in 111 games (68 starts) between Kansas, Nebraska and Syracuse. The 24-year-old enjoyed a stellar year with the Orange in 2016-17, averaging a career-best 18.5 points (43.9% FG, 40.0% 3-PT, 83.7% FT) and 4.6 rebounds in route to earning Third Team All-ACC honors. In five Las Vegas Summer League games (one start) with Cleveland in 2017, White registered 7.0 points (36.4% FG, 50.0% 3-PT, 80.0% FT) and 2.4 rebounds in 12.6 minutes.

Williams, 23, spent 2016-17 competing both internationally with Melbourne of the Australian NBL, and with the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G-League. In 16 games with Melbourne, he recorded 3.2 points (46.5% FG) and 4.0 rebounds in 10.5 minutes. The three-year West Virginia product finished the year with the Swarm, where he contributed 2.9 points (71.4% FG), 3.3 rebounds and 8.3 minutes in eight games.

Listed in its entirety below, the Celtics’ Training Camp roster includes four returning players – Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart – from the team that logged the Eastern Conference’s best record and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016-17. Horford also joins newcomers Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving as the three players with NBA All-Star accolades on the current roster.

Marcus Morris (6 yrs.), Aron Baynes (5 yrs.) and Shane Larkin (3 yrs.) each boast valuable NBA experience entering the 2017-18 NBA season, while Kadeem Allen, Jabari Bird, Abdel Nader, Semi Ojeleye, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis and Guerschon Yabusele join Holmes, Peak, White and Williams as the 11 rookies on Boston’s Training Camp roster.

Isaiah Thomas hip injury lingers

Cavs guard Isaiah Thomas is still recovering from his hip injury, and the healing process will delay the start of play for his new team. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Isaiah Thomas hip injury lingers

While introducing their acquisitions from the summer’s blockbuster trade, the Cleveland Cavaliers were reluctant to discuss Isaiah Thomas’ health during a news conference Thursday.

“To be fair to Isaiah, we’re not going to address any specifics on his hip injury,” general manager Koby Altman said. “We’re also not going to put a timetable on it.”

Altman added: “We’re not going to rush it, at all.”

Altman intercepted a question directed to Thomas about his health and tried to steer the proceedings away from the subject, declaring, “This is not going to turn into the Isaiah Thomas hip press conference.”

While Altman was careful not to put any expectations on a return date, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue revealed that Thomas will miss the start of the season. That would mean the All-Star point guard still has at least five to six weeks of rehab ahead of him before he suits up for Cleveland. Altman said Cleveland will lean on free-agent signees Derrick Rose and Jose Calderon while Thomas is out.

Celtics will retire Paul Pierce jersey number on February 11, 2018

The Boston Celtics will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, February 11, cementing his 15-year Celtics legacy which includes countless accolades, significant milestones, and the 2008 NBA Championship.

“We teamed up with Paul from the beginning of our ownership and grew to be champions together,” said Celtics Co-Owner and Governing Partner Wyc Grousbeck. “He’s a great person and a great Celtic.”

Ten other Celtics players donned the number 34 prior to Pierce getting drafted by the team with the 10th overall pick in the 1998 draft. Now, after witnessing Pierce’s name skyrocket up a majority of the franchise’s historic leaderboards during his time in Boston, the 17-time NBA champions are raising his number among the other Celtics legends and champions.

“I will always be grateful for the sacrifices Paul made to help the Celtics be great,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “His love for the game was contagious and his talents and hard work were legendary. He was one of the greatest players of his era.”

“The moment I was drafted by the Celtics, I knew I was joining one of the most historic organizations in the NBA,” said Pierce. “For 15 years, I played at the Garden, looking up at the jerseys of some of the most iconic players in the game – Russell, Bird, and Cousy. To now be recognized alongside those names is such an honor. I have always said I would be a Celtic for life, and now it is really coming true.”

Pierce’s No. 34 will be ceremoniously lifted to the rafters of TD Garden less than 10 years after he helped raise the Celtics’ 17th championship banner up to the very same ceiling in 2008. Going head-to-head with the rival Los Angeles Lakers in his first career NBA Finals appearance, Pierce followed up a 22-point performance in a Game 1 victory with 28 more points on 9-of-16 shooting (4-4 3-PT) and eight assists in Boston’s Game 2 triumph. His 38 points in Game 5 of those Finals represented his second-highest scoring total in 26 postseason games that year.

Pierce was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player that year, making him the third Celtic to collect MVP honors in his first NBA Finals appearance (JoJo White – 1974, Cedric Maxwell – 1981). He averaged 21.8 points (43.2% FG, 39.3% 3-PT, 83.0% FT), 4.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.08 steals and 38.8 minutes in that six-game series en route to the Celtics’ first championship banner since 1986.

“Paul was a transcendent player, a great leader, and wonderful teammate; simply one of the great Celtics in every way,” said Celtics Co-Owner Steve Pagliuca. “His number in the rafters will forever remind us of the joy he brought to the game of basketball and his love for the fans and the city of Boston.”

While his role in the 2008 NBA Finals will forever be remembered as a key part of his Celtics legacy, it was a performance earlier that postseason that is widely remembered as one of his more iconic moments in green and white. Battling the Cavaliers in a decisive Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Pierce and LeBron James battled head-to-head in a back-and-forth scoring affair that saw both stars score over 40 points. The Celtics captain unloaded for a team-high 41 points (13-23 FG, 4-6 3-PT) to upend Cleveland, 97-92, and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Pierce’s 15 seasons in Boston from 1998-99 to 2012-13 trails only John Havlicek (16) for the most ever spent in a Celtics uniform. He produced 21.8 points (44.7% FG, 37.0% 3-PT, 80.6% FT), 6.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.44 steals and 36.6 minutes in his achievement-filled 1,102 career games with the franchise.

Earning his iconic nickname “The Truth” during his third NBA season in 2000-01, Pierce tops the franchise lists in three-point field goals (1,823), free throws (6,434) and steals (1,583), while also placing as the Celtics’ second all-time leading scorer with 24,021 career points. He currently ranks in the organization’s top 10 lists in games played (3rd – 1 ,102), minutes played (3rd – 40,360), field goals (3rd – 7,882), field goal attempts (2nd – 17,630), three-point field goal attempts (1st – 4,928), free throw attempts (1st – 7,979), offensive rebounds (8th – 1,008), rebounds (7th – 6,651), assists (5th – 4,305), and blocked shots (4th – 668).

Pierce’s No. 34, which was also retired collegiately at the University of Kansas on Jan. 25, 2003, will represent the 22nd retired number in Celtics franchise history. He becomes the first Celtic to have his number retired since Cedric Maxwell’s No. 31 was retired on Dec. 15, 2003.

Celtics face Cavs on NBA opening night

A Christmas Day home game, an international affair against a division rival and a slate of early season matchups against Eastern Conference competitors highlight the Boston Celtics 2017-18 regular season schedule, as announced today by the NBA.

The Celtics – whose 53-29 record topped the Eastern Conference a year ago – will make 25 total National Television appearances between ABC, ESPN and TNT. The first of those scheduled broadcasts coincides with the NBA’s Opening Night on Oct. 17, when Boston matches up against the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. Celtics forward and 2017 NBA All-Star Gordon Hayward will make his highly anticipated TD Garden debut alongside fellow All-Star teammates Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford the very next night on Oct. 18, when the Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks to tip off their 41-game regular season home schedule.

The Celtics’ home schedule expects to be highly competitive over the first month of the regular season, as Boston plays host to four different 2016-17 playoff teams in the first 31 calendar days of the NBA season. Among those four contests looms Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the defending NBA-Champion Golden State Warriors, who make their lone regular season appearance at TD Garden on Thursday, Nov. 16. The Celtics will host the Los Angeles Lakers the week prior on Wednesday, Nov. 8, giving Lakers guard Lonzo Ball and Celtics forward Jayson Tatum – the No. 2 and No. 3 selections in this year’s NBA Draft – a chance to experience the historic rivalry for the first time.

Highlighted by the franchise’s first home game on Christmas Day, the Celtics will have a recurring presence at TD Garden throughout the holiday season. Boston welcomes the Orlando Magic on Friday, November 24, the day after Thanksgiving, before stepping into the NBA spotlight on Christmas Day for a playoff rematch against the Washington Wizards. The Celtics will also host James Harden, newly acquired All-Star Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets on Thursday, Dec. 28, before challenging the Brooklyn Nets in a New Year’s Eve showdown on Sunday, Dec. 31.

Fans will have the opportunity to watch two showcases between the Celtics and Cavaliers at TD Garden this season. LeBron James and the reigning Eastern Conference champions represent Boston’s first opponent of the new year on Wednesday, Jan. 3, and will return the week before the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 11. There will also be ample occasions early in the season to witness Celtics basketball on their home court, as Boston will play a combined 18 home games in the months of November (8) and December (10). The Celtics’ longest homestand of the season is a five-game stretch against Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Milwaukee and Dallas from Nov. 27 to Dec. 6. Russell Westbrook – the NBA’s 2016-17 Most Valuable Player – and his new All-Star counterpart Paul George will guide the Oklahoma City Thunder to Boston on Tuesday, March 20 for their only regular season appearance at TD Garden.

The Celtics’ schedule also features an opportunity to play in front of their global fan base. The NBA announced on Aug. 10 that Boston would compete against the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA London Game 2018 at The O2 on Thursday, Jan. 11, marking the Celtics’ first regular season game in London.

The 53-win Boston Celtics got 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game from 5-9 All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas last season. A big payday is likely looming next summer. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

Isaiah Thomas aiming for max contract next summer

Thomas’ health is of the utmost importance as the Celtics try to ascend the next step up the NBA hierarchy, and he personally looks to climb on the pay scale. He has one year remaining on his contract. He hasn’t been shy about his desire to land a max contract next summer.

Team goals and winning a title come first, but Thomas still expects a big payday. The two may come hand in hand.

“Very confident,” Thomas said when asked how confident he is that he’ll get that max deal. “I deserve it. I put the work in, and you can put me down against any guard in the NBA. . . . My numbers are up there with the best players in the world, and my team is winning. So, I mean, you have to reward that.

“I’m just going to keep working though. My time is gonna come. I have a lot of faith in God, and I just have to keep working to get better.”

Celtics sign Daniel Theis

The Boston Celtics have signed rookie center Daniel Theis.

Theis (6-9, 243 lbs) has played professionally in Germany since 2010-11, most recently with Brose Bamberg which he joined at the start of the 2014-15 season. The Saltzgitter, Germany native played in 74 games across the Basketball Bundesliga League (BBL), Euroleague and German Cup in 2016-17. He averaged 9.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.24 blocks and 18.9 minutes in 41 BBL games, and was also named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Theis, who was eligible for the 2013 NBA Draft but went undrafted, also appeared in 30 games for Brose Bamberg during the 2016-17 Euroleague campaign where he averaged 9.6 points (41.0% 3-pt) and 4.6 rebounds in 19.7 minutes.

A three-time Beko BBL All-Star, Theis is the first German-born player to have signed a contract with the Celtics. Theis has appeared in 12 games for for the German National Team.

Celtics sign Guerschon Yabusele

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed 2016 first round draft pick Guerschon Yabusele.

Yabusele, selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, spent last season with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association and with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League. The native of Dreux, France started the season with Shanghai and appeared in 43 games where he averaged 20.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.35 steals and 1.05 blocks in 30.3 minutes per game. He also shot 52.7 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from three. After he appeared in 43 games for Shanghai he moved to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League on March 29 and appeared in a total of seven games for the Red Claws including their playoff run. During the five games of the 2017 G League Playoffs he averaged 12.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and shot 49.0 percent from the floor in 27.3 minutes per game.

The Celtics have signed rookie guard Kadeem Allen to a two-way contract.

Selected in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft, Allen averaged 9.8 points (45.3% FG, 42.7% 3-PT, 74.1% FT), 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 30.0 minutes over 34 games (33 starts) as a redshirt senior at the University of Arizona. The Wildcats guard spent his first two collegiate seasons at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, KA

The Second Team All-Pacific 12 Conference selection led the Wildcats with 53 steals, paving his way to a spot on the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. Allen, 24, demonstrated his offensive abilities throughout the season as well, scoring a collegiate career-high 18 points in back-to-back games against Colorado (Jan. 7) and Arizona State (Jan. 12).

Since being drafted last month, Allen participated on the Celtics summer league team in both the Utah Jazz Summer League and the MGM Resorts Summer League in Las Vegas.

Celtics sign Aron Baynes

Celtics sign Aron Baynes

The Celtics have signed free agent center Aron Baynes.

“We are thrilled to have Aron aboard,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “He’s a great teammate, a hard worker and provides us some needed strength and toughness on the interior.”

A five-year NBA veteran with San Antonio and Detroit, Baynes (6-10, 260 lbs) has averaged 5.2 points (51.4% FG, 81.1% FT), 4.1 rebounds and 14.1 minutes in 295 career games (24 starts). He’s averaged at least 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 offensive boards in each of the last three seasons.

In 75 games (two starts) with the Pistons in 2016-17, Baynes, 30, averaged 4.9 points (51.3% FG, 84.0% FT) and 4.4 rebounds in 15.5 minutes. He scored a season-high 20 points (8-13 FG) against Oklahoma City on Nov. 14, and hauled in a career-high 17 rebounds to go along with 13 points against Phoenix on March 19. The Washington State University product recorded two double-doubles last season.

Baynes has made four postseason appearances in his five-year NBA career, and was a member of the Spurs team that won an NBA Championship in 2013-14. He played in 14 playoff games that year, including a 10-point performance in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against Portland.

Celtics sign Semi Ojeleye

The Celtics have signed rookie forward Semi Ojeleye.

Taken by the Celtics in the second round (37th overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft out of Southern Methodist University, Ojeleye, 22, averaged 18.9 points (48.8% FG, 42.4% 3-PT, 78.5% FT), 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 34.1 minutes in 35 games in his lone season at SMU. The 2016-17 American Atlantic Conference Player of the Year and First Team All-AAC selection made at least three 3-pointers on 12 occasions this season, shooting at least 50.0% from beyond the arc in 10 of those contests and finishing third in the conference in three-point shooting percentage.

Ojeleye (6-7, 241 lbs), who was also named Honorable Mention All-American by the Associated Press this past season, spent his first two collegiate years at Duke University before transferring to SMU. He averaged 12.2 points (48.0% FG, 41.5% 3-PT, 78.5% FT), 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 assist in three total seasons at the NCAA level.

Since being drafted last month, Ojeleye participated on the Celtics summer league team in both the Utah Jazz Summer League and the MGM Resorts Summer League in Las Vegas.

Paul Pierce retiring from NBA as a Boston Celtic

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed 10-time NBA All-Star and 19-year veteran Paul Pierce to a contract, enabling him to retire as a member of the organization with which he spent his first 15 NBA seasons.

“We’re honored that Paul has chosen to retire as a Celtic. He is among the very best Celtics – a champion on and off the court,” said Celtics governor and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck. “We congratulate Paul on a Hall of Fame career, and look forward to seeing his number raised to the rafters of TD Garden.”

“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to once again call myself a Boston Celtic,” Pierce said. “The organization and city took me in and made me one of their own, and I couldn’t imagine ending my career any other way. I’m a Celtic for life.”

Drafted by the Celtics with the 10th overall pick of the 1998 NBA Draft, Pierce’s 15 seasons in Boston from 1998-99 to 2012-13 trails only John Havlicek (16) for the most ever spent in a Celtics uniform. He produced 21.8 points (44.7% FG, 37.0% 3-PT, 80.6% FT), 6.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.44 steals and 36.6 minutes in 1,102 career games (1,099 starts) in the green and white.

Pierce’s name will forever be a constant throughout the Celtics’ all-time leaderboards. The California native tops the franchise lists in three-point field goals (1,823), free throws (6,434) and steals (1,583), while also placing as the Celtics’ second all-time leading scorer with 24,021 career points.

Earning his iconic nickname “The Truth” during his third NBA season in 2000-01, Pierce also retires in the organization’s top-10 lists in games played (3rd – 1 ,102), minutes played (3rd – 40,360), field goals (3rd – 7,882), field goal attempts (2nd – 17,630), three-point field goal attempts (1st – 4,928), free throw attempts (1st – 7,979), offensive rebounds (8th – 1,008), rebounds (7th – 6,651), assists (5th – 4,305) and blocked shots (4th – 668).

Pierce’s knack for postseason success further cements his legendary status in a Celtics uniform. Boston qualified for the playoffs in 10 of Pierce’s 15 seasons with the team, ranking him seventh on the franchise’s all-time playoff leaderboard with 136 postseason games played. The crafty forward averaged 20.9 points (41.9% FG, 33.9% 3-PT, 83.4% FT), 6.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.32 steals in 39.8 minutes in his Celtics playoff career. Pierce – who owns the fifth most playoff points in franchise history at 2,843 – averaged north of 20.0 points in six separate postseason runs, including a playoff career-high 27.1 points over 10 games in just his second career playoff appearance in 2002-03.

One of Pierce’s greatest postseason accomplishments coincides with the Celtics’ most recent NBA title in 2008. Making his first career NBA Finals appearance, Pierce followed up a 22-point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers in a Game 1 victory with 28 more points on 9-of-16 shooting (4-4 3-PT) and eight assists in Boston’s Game 2 triumph. His 38 points in Game 5 of those Finals represented his second-highest scoring total in 26 postseason games that year. Pierce produced 21.8 points (43.2% FG, 39.3% 3-PT, 83.0% FT), 4.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.08 steals and 38.8 minutes in that six-game series, helping the Celtics raise their NBA-record 17th championship banner and their first since 1986. Named the Most Valuable Player of that 2008 clash, Pierce became the third Celtic ever to earn MVP honors in his first NBA Finals Appearance (Jo Jo White – 1974, Cedric Maxwell – 1981).

Spanning over his 19-year NBA career, Pierce averaged 19.7 points (44.5% FG, 36.8% 3-PT, 80.6% FT), 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.31 steals and 34.2 minutes in 1,343 games (1,285 starts) with Boston, Brooklyn, Washington and the LA Clippers. He ended the 2016-17 season as the only active NBA player with at least 25,000 career points, 7,000 rebounds and 4,500 assists.

The Boston Celtics have signed rookie forward Abdel Nader, and have waived guard Demetrius Jackson.

Nader, the reigning 2016-17 NBA G League Rookie of the Year, averaged a team-high 21.3 points (44.7% FG, 34.9% 3-PT, 79.4% FT), 6.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.00 steal, 0.83 blocked shots and 33.5 minutes over 40 games with the Maine Red Claws in his first professional season. The 23-year-old was originally selected by Boston in the second round (58th overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Nader (6-6, 230 lbs.) became the first internationally-born player to be named Rookie of the Year in the G League. The 2016-17 G League All-Star scored at least 30 points in five contests, including a 32-point, 10-rebound, 8-assist game against the Long Island Nets on Jan. 6.

Celtics signing of Gordon Hayward is now official

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed All-Star forward Gordon Hayward.

“Whether you’re talking about the team’s past, present, or future, the Boston Celtics are truly special,” said Hayward. “I can’t wait to be part of the winning culture of Boston, and to join my teammates and coach Stevens as we work together to bring Celtics fans Banner 18.”

Per multiple reports, Hayward’s contract is for four years and around $128 million.

“I’m very happy to welcome Gordon and his family to the Celtics organization and the city of Boston,” said Celtics governor and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck. “He has improved his game every year in the NBA, to an All-Star level. We have been patient during this rebuilding process, and hope to step forward and compete at the highest level.”

A first-time NBA All-Star in 2016-17, Hayward (6-8, 226 lbs.) logged career highs with 21.9 points (47.1% FG, 39.8% 3-PT, 84.4% FT) and 5.4 rebounds, while also adding 3.5 assists, 1.00 steal and 34.5 minutes in 73 games (all starts) with the Jazz last season. His 21.9 points per game scoring mark represents Utah’s highest single season scorer since Karl Malone averaged 22.4 points in 2001-02. The Indianapolis, IN native was also one of 10 NBA players to produce at least 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists while also shooting 47.0% or better from the field last season.

Hayward’s All-Star season culminated with a postseason run in which he averaged a team-best 24.1 points (44.1% FG, 41.2% 3-PT, 93.4% FT), 6.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 37.4 minutes in 11 playoff games for the Jazz. The versatile veteran scored 20 or more points in eight of those 11 contests – including a postseason career-high 40-point performance on April 21 vs. the LA Clippers – helping guide Utah to its first Western Conference Semifinals appearance since 2009-10.

“This is a big day in Celtics history,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “Adding Gordon as a current All-Star, in the prime of his career, to an already good group of players is reason for excitement.”

Continued Ainge: “Gordon brings a great work ethic and character along with his ability to shoot, pass, and create offense in the pick and roll. His athleticism, size and versatility will allow him to fit in perfectly defensively as well.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Gordon and his family to Boston,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “He’s a tremendous competitor and a great teammate who constantly seeks improvement, and consistently impacts winning. I am looking forward to working with him, once again, as we all continue to strive to compete for championships here in Boston.”

Originally selected with the ninth overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft by Utah, Hayward, 27, has posted career averages of 15.7 points (44.4% FG, 36.8% 3-PT, 82.0% FT), 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.02 steals and 31.3 minutes in 516 games played (408 starts) over seven seasons with the Jazz. Hayward’s scoring totals have improved each year since he entered the NBA out of Butler University, making him the only NBA player to have increased his scoring in each of the last seven seasons.

Hayward will wear number 20 for the Celtics.

Celtics trade Avery Bradley to Pistons for Marcus Morris

The Detroit Pistons have acquired guard Avery Bradley and a 2019 second-round draft choice from the Boston Celtics in exchange for forward Marcus Morris.

Bradley, 26, averaged career highs in points (16.3 ppg), rebounds (6.1 rpg), assists (2.2 apg) and minutes (33.4 mpg) over 55 games for the Celtics last season. He shot 46.3% from the field and 39.0% from three-point range. In 18 postseason games, he averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 35.8 minutes per game.

Drafted 19th overall by Boston in the 2010 NBA Draft, Bradley has averaged 12.1 points (.442 FG, .366 3FG), 3.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 28.1 minutes in 413 career NBA games. The seven-year guard has averaged 15.0 points and shot better than 35% from beyond the arc in each of the last four seasons. He was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team in 2013, the All-Defensive First Team in 2016 and finished sixth in the 2015-16 voting for NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

The 6-2, 180-pound native of Tacoma, WA, played collegiately for one season at the University of Texas where he averaged 11.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists and was named to the 2009-10 Big 12 All-Rookie Team. As a high schooler, he led Las Vegas’ Findlay Prep to the National High School Championship as a senior and was named the ESPNRISE.com High School National Player of the Year. Bradley was also a McDonald’s All-American, Jordan All-American and First-Team Parade Magazine All-American.

“It’s no secret that Avery had been one of my favorite players, and on behalf of our entire organization, I’d like to thank him and Ashley for all of their contributions on and off the court,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “Avery did a lot of the dirty work and often didn’t get the recognition that he deserved, but our coaches, staff, his teammates, and our fans who watched him play every night appreciated what a special player and person he is.”

Continued Ainge: “We are excited to add a high-quality player with the versatile skillset that Marcus possesses. He will be a great fit for our team.”

marcus morris

A six-year NBA veteran, Morris, 27, has averaged 10.8 points (42.8% FG, 35.5% 3-PT, 71.7% FT), 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 26.2 minutes over 416 career games (218 starts) with Houston, Phoenix and Detroit. He is one of 20 NBA players to have averaged at least 13.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and shoot at least 33.0% from beyond the arc in each of the last two seasons.

In 79 games with Detroit in 2016-17, Morris (6-9, 235 lbs) averaged 14.0 points (41.8% FG, 33.1% 3-PT, 78.4% FT), 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 32.5 minutes. The University of Kansas product and Philadelphia, PA native produced career highs in points (14.1 ppg), rebounds (5.1 rpg), assists (2.5 apg) and minutes played (35.7 mpg) with the Pistons in 2015-16. His 2,856 minutes played that season ranked fifth throughout the NBA.

Utah Jazz statements on Gordon Hayward

Utah Jazz free agent forward Gordon Hayward will reportedly be signing a deal with the Boston Celtics. Tonight, the Jazz issued some statements about his departure:

Gail Miller, Chairman of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies: “Gordon has been an important part of our Jazz family for the past seven years. While disappointed that he is moving on, we thank him for his contributions to the organization and wish Gordon, Robyn and their family well. We thank him for his play, his leadership and how well he represented the Jazz and the state of Utah.”

Steve Starks, President, Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment: “The Jazz made a compelling case for Gordon to stay and managed the process well. A foundation for success has been established here, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to bring a championship to Utah. From our renovated facilities to our dedicated ownership, we are building a winning culture that will make Jazz fans proud.”

Dennis Lindsey, General Manager, Utah Jazz: “We are proud of the player that Gordon developed into with the Jazz, and wish him and his family the best of luck. Despite his departure, we still have a tremendous coaching staff and very good young core of players in place as we move forward.”

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