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Celtics add Marcus Georges-Hunt, Damion Lee, Jalen Jones to training camp

The Celtics have signed guards Marcus Georges-Hunt and Damion Lee, as well as forward Jalen Jones to their training camp roster.

Georges-Hunt played in four contests for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2016 Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 2.8 points and 1.0 rebound in 13.3 minutes per game. As a senior at Georgia Tech, the 6’5” guard averaged 16.7 points while shooting 45.4 percent from the field, 3.4 rebounds and a team-high 3.3 assists per game. Georges-Hunt rose to No. 11 on Tech’s all-time scoring list (1,728 points) during the 2015-16 season after beginning the year as 35th.

Lee appeared in six games for the Miami Heat during the Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 10.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 21.3 minutes per game. The 6’6” guard played for the Louisville Cardinals during the 2015-16 season, where he averaged 15.9 points on 42.8 percent shooting from the field, 1.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 33.6 minutes per game. Prior to playing at Louisville, Lee attended Drexel University and was the nation’s fourth-leading scorer as a junior while averaging 21.4 points per game.

Jones played in five contests for the Toronto Raptors during the Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 3.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 8.8 minutes per game. During his senior year at Texas A&M, the 6’7” forward averaged 15.3 points on 42.5 percent shooting from the field and 7.2 rebounds. Jones earned first-team All-SEC honors from both the league’s coaches and the Associated Press for the 2015-16 season.

Celtics on national TV a lot next season

The Celtics last season were, for the most part, a team of role players (plus Isaiah Thomas). They were a well-coached, hard-working, hustling group of players who finished with a very solid 48-34 record. The team improved this offseason, adding highly-skilled big guy Al Horford, plus other talent. The result? More national TV appearances. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

With the release of the 2016-17 NBA schedule [on Thursday], the Celtics are slated to play 22 games on national television this season — 10 on ESPN, nine on TNT and three on ABC. They also have earned a spot on the NBA’s marquee day — Christmas. The Celtics will play the Knicks at noon at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 25.

The Celtics, who will feature newly acquired center Al Horford, can help themselves when they tip off the season on Oct. 26 against the Brooklyn Nets at the Garden. The C’s currently hold Brooklyn’s first-round pick in the 2017 draft and a victory will be a quick start to another possibly rough season for the Nets.

Celtics sign Tyler Zeller, Gerald Green, Jaylen Brown, Demetrius Jackson, Ben Bentil

The Celtics on Wednesday re-signed center Tyler Zeller and signed free agent guard/forward Gerald Green and 2016 draft picks forward Jaylen Brown, guard Demetrius Jackson and forward Ben Bentil.

Green, a 6’7” guard/forward, spent last season with the Miami Heat and averaged 8.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game. Originally drafted by the Celtics with the 18th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Green has appeared in 497 games during his nine year NBA career posting averages of 10.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist while shooting 36.1 percent from the three-point line. During the 2013-14 season with Phoenix, he posted his highest scoring output with 15.8 points per game while shooting 40.0 percent from three and finished fourth in the voting for the league’s Most Improved Player.

Zeller, a 7’0” center, averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game last season for the Celtics. The 17th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Zeller holds career averages of 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per contest. Zeller tied his career-high with 26 points against Milwaukee on April 8, 2016 to go along with a career-high-tying four blocks.

Brown was selected with the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He appeared in six games this summer for the Celtics split between the Utah and Samsung Summer Leagues in Las Vegas, averaging 16.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 29.0 minutes per game. He also attempted 10.2 free throws per game. Brown was named to the Samsung All-NBA Summer League Second Team in Las Vegas. The 6’7” forward from the University of California was selected to the five-player USBWA Freshman All-America team, was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was the lone freshman this season to make the All-Pac 12 First Team.

Jackson, a 6’1” guard from the University of Notre Dame, was selected with the 45th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft. He appeared in five contests for the Celtics during Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 4.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 15.8 minutes per game. Jackson also played in three matchups for the Celtics during the Utah Summer League and averaged 7.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.3 steals in 18.0 minutes per game. As a junior at Notre Dame, he was named to the 2016 NCAA East Region All-Tournament Team and to the Second Team All-ACC. Jackson, a two-time Notre Dame Outstanding Playmaker Award winner, tallied 16.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 steals, while shooting 46.3 percent from the field in 36.1 minutes per game during the 2015-16 season. For his career, he shot 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Bentil, a 6’9” forward, was selected with the 51st overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft. He played in five matchups for the Celtics during Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 1.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 7.4 minutes per game. Bentil also appeared in three contests for the team during the Utah Summer League and averaged 8.7 points on .533 shooting from the field and 4.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game. An Honorable Mention AP All-America, he led the Big East in scoring with 21.1 points per game, finished fourth in the league in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and shot 46.2 percent from the field during the 2015-16 season at Providence College. Bentil was also named Big East Most Improved Player and First-Team All-Big East in 2016.

Raptors sign Jared Sullinger

Raptors sign Jared Sullinger

The Raptors have signed free-agent power forward Jared Sullinger.

“We are delighted that Jared chose to join the Raptors,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He provides us with another experienced front court player that can rebound and score.”

Sullinger’s deal is reportedly a $5.6 million dollar contract, just for one year.

Sullinger, 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, averaged 10.3 points, a career-high 8.3 rebounds and 23.6 minutes in a career-best 81 games with Boston last season. He holds career averages of 11.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 24.9 minutes in 258 games, all with the Celtics. In the playoffs, Sullinger has averaged 8.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 16.1 minutes in 10 contests.

Sullinger was drafted 21st overall by Boston in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Jared Sullinger to join Raptors

The Raptors are adding some rebounding. Here’s the Toronto Star reporting:

Jared Sullinger to join Raptors

In another low-risk, high-reward gamble, Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri has dipped into the NBA freeagent pool.

Jared Sullinger, an intriguing big man with conditioning and health issues but talent that makes him an interesting addition to a team needing a power forward, announced his own signing with the Raptors on Monday afternoon.

The six-foot-nine, 260-pound big man, cut adrift Sunday by the Boston Celtics, will join Toronto on a one-year deal worth slightly under $6 million, a relatively cheap contract in this summer’s NBA free agent market.

Celtics sign Al Horford

Celtics sign Al Horford

The Boston Celtics signed free agent forward/center and four-time NBA All-Star Al Horford today.

“I am extremely excited to be joining the Boston Celtics family,” said Horford. “I look forward to working with Coach Stevens and the rest of our team towards our goal of bringing a championship back to Boston.”

Horford’s deal is reportedly a $113 million dollar contract over four years.

“We are very glad to welcome Al Horford and his family to the Celtics,” said Celtics Co-Owner and Managing Partner Wyc Grousbeck. “His burning desire to play basketball the right way reminds me of the great Celtics of the past. He is a four-time All-Star, a gifted shooter, playmaker and defender, and an outstanding person. He believes in Celtic Pride and we believe in him.”

In years to come, I feel like this will open the doors for many other big free agents,” Horford said Friday, according to Boston.com.

The 6’10” Horford appeared in a career-high 82 games (all starts) for the Atlanta Hawks last season where he averaged 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 blocks (17th in NBA) while shooting 50.5 percent from the floor and 34.4 percent from beyond the arc. Horford was one of three players in the NBA last season to record at least 1,200 points, 575 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 blocks. He is also one of 13 active players to record at least 8,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 1,500 assists and 675 blocks in their career.

“Al is a significant addition to our team and will make an immediate impact on both ends of the floor,” said President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “He is a proven veteran and leader, on and off the court, and we look forward to welcoming Al and his family to Boston and the Celtics organization.”

Selected with the third overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by Atlanta, Horford has career averages of 14.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. The nine year NBA veteran has been an All-Star four times (2015-16, 2014-15, 2010-11 and 2009-10). He was named to the 2007-08 NBA All-Rookie First Team and also was named to the 2010-11 All-NBA Third Team when he averaged 15.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 block per game. Born in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, Horford led the Hawks to nine consecutive playoff appearances to start his career.

Al Horford to sign with Celtics

Big move for Boston, landing a versatile, undersized but talented center with a nice outside shot, Al Horford. The Hawks will miss him, but they have Paul Millsap and new addition Dwight Howard up front and so it isn’t surprising that Horford is signing elsewhere. Here’s the Boston Herald blog reporting:

Al Horford to sign with Celtics

In certainly the most expensive free agent signing in franchise history, the Celtics will pay Horford $113 million over the next four years. According to Yahoo/The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Horford and the Hawks finished $6 million apart on a five-year max contract offer, and were unable to close the gap.

At 7:16 p.m. Horford posted on his Twitter page “CELTICS PRIDE!!!!!!” followed by a line of 18 shamrocks. Die-hards will clearly read into that number, since the Celtics are one NBA title away from that number of championships.

Horford also painted his Twitter page and avatar in Celtics green and added “Boston Celtics star Forward/Center” to his Twitter bio.

The Celtics have a 30-year-old All-Star center in his prime, and an entirely different look to what they can now do at both ends of the floor.

Expect Celtics to chase Kevin Durant

Every team in the league would love to add a star like Kevin Durant. And although the assumption is still that he’ll remain with the Thunder, there’s no guarantee that he’ll do so. And even if he plans to stay, it makes sense to hear what some other teams have to say. It doesn’t really make sense for him to jump to a team that would blatantly be worse than the Thunder, but what if some good teams find a way to add him and another difference-making star? I still think Durant winds up sticking with OKC. Anyway, here’s the ESPN Boston blog reporting:

Expect Celtics to chase Kevin Durant

If Boston Celtics fans were disappointed with the lack of a big-splash trade on draft night, it was maybe for this reason only: By not adding more established NBA talent, the Celtics seemingly failed to bolster their recruiting pitch for potential free agents looking for a surefire championship contender.

But make no mistake, there’s no shortage of positives surrounding this Celtics team. And part of the reason that Boston was hesitant to make a move on draft night was to maintain the sort of financial flexibility that would allow the team to make the strongest pitch possible to free agents like Kevin Durant.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Saturday that the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and incumbent Oklahoma City Thunder would be the first three teams to meet with Durant when free agency opens on July 1. The Vertical reported that Durant’s reps were working to solidify invitations from other teams, including the Celtics.

The 2016 Draft is tonight, and rumors will be flying around like crazy all evening. We’ll share the most interesting stories, and we especially like stories that tell a bigger tale even if the deal doesn’t happen — like what a team’s goals may be and what they hope to accomplish. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

The Philadelphia 76ers are increasing their efforts to acquire the No. 3 pick from the Boston Celtics in Thursday night’s NBA draft, league sources tell ESPN.

Numerous rivals described the 76ers as the most active team in circulation, with a trade involving Nerlens Noel looking more and more likely.

Isaiah Thomas recruiting Kevin Durant

The Celtics finished the regular season with a very impressive 48-34 record. They have excellent coaching, and players who compliment each others’ skills nicely. But that was probably their ceiling, as the current roster goes. The team is armed with a ton of draft picks, but most rookies have limited impact. Now, as for free agency, and really fun ideas and big goals, here’s the Boston Globe reporting:

Isaiah Thomas wants Kevin Durant on the Celtics

As Isaiah Thomas sat on his porch at home in Tacoma, Wash., last Monday after watching the Thunder lose Game 7 of the Western Conference finals to the Warriors, he had an idea.

The Celtics point guard knows, like everyone else, that Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant will become a free agent this summer. He also knows, like everyone else, that adding Durant to a roster would have a seismic impact.

And in that moment on that porch, be thought it might be a good time to spice up the Durant-to-Boston narrative, no matter how unlikely a prospect it might be. So he grabbed his iPhone, opened Twitter, and posted Durant’s No. 35 next to a green shamrock. It was simple, but not especially subtle.

“I just wanted the world to know, that’s who I’m trying to get,” Thomas said.

Kelly Olynyk undergoes shoulder surgery

Kelly Olynyk undergoes shoulder surgery

The Boston Celtics announced today that Kelly Olynyk yesterday underwent a successful right shoulder arthroscopy for recurrent subluxations. He will begin an immediate rehabilitation program and the time frame for his return to basketball activities has not yet been determined.

Olynyk, who completed his third year with the team, averaged 10.0 points, including shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.2 minutes per game during the 2015-16 regular season.

The 7’0” forward/center recorded a season-high 28 points on 11-21 (.524) shooting from the field, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block on December 11, 2015 against the Golden State Warriors.

Glance at upcoming Celtics offseason

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on a Celtics team that made the most of their roster this season and have a lot of help coming in the form of multiple first round draft picks:

Glance at upcoming Celtics offseason

Armed with eight picks in June’s draft, including the Brooklyn Nets’ lottery selection headlining three first-round picks, some intriguing young low-cost talent and salary-cap flexibility, Ainge knows there’s potential for the Celtics to bring in the impact talent necessary to leap to true title contender…

The Celtics are hopeful that a young team with a core that currently includes All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, along with a trusted young coach in 39-year-old Brad Stevens, can create a situation where elite free agents will desire to come to Boston.

The Celtics enter the offseason armed with tradable assets — including $18 million in nonguaranteed salary — that could help it start adding pieces on draft night, regardless of how the pingpong balls bounce on May 17. Adding talent in late June could help further persuade those who are intrigued by Boston’s situation when free agency opens on July 1.

This year’s unrestricted free-agent class is expected to be headlined by the likes of Kevin Durant, Al Horford and Hassan Whiteside.

Marcus Smart fined for flopping

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 3 of the Celtics’ Conference First Round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

The incident occurred with 4:32 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Celtics 111-103 victory over the Hawks last night at TD Garden.

Boston Celtics sign guard John Holland

Celtics sign John Holland

The Boston Celtics signed guard John Holland today.

The 6’5” guard has appeared in 37 regular season contests for the NBA Development League Canton Charge this year and has averaged 16.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 30.2 minutes per game. He shot 52.0 percent from the floor, 36.9 percent from beyond the arc and 85.2 percent from the free-throw line during the regular season. During the 2015-16 D-League Playoffs, Holland has averaged 28.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and shot 62.5 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from the three-point line.

Holland, the 40th Gatorade D-League call-up this season, was named the America East Conference Player of the Year as a Boston University senior when he led the Terriers to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He finished his collegiate career as just the second player in America East history with at least 2,000 points, 700 rebounds and 200 steals.

A native of the Bronx, New York, Holland has played professionally in France, Spain and Turkey, and was in training camp with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

Celtics sign Coty Clarke to second 10-day contract

The Boston Celtics have signed Coty Clarke to a second 10-day contract.

The 6’7” forward has appeared in two games for the Celtics since signing his initial 10-day contract on March 7. Clarke has totaled three points and one rebound in three minutes of game action, but the team seems to like him enough to at least keep him on the squad for another 10 days.

When Clarke was recalled from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League he was averaging 16.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.0 minutes per game. Clarke has also appeared in one game for the Red Claws on assignment from the Celtics where he recorded 18 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal in just under 20 minutes against Erie on March 10.

With a 39-29 record this season, the Celtics are tied with the Heat and Hornets for the 4th best winning percentage in the Eastern conference.

Unclear how long Jae Crowder will be out

In announcing that Jae Crowder will be sidelined by a high ankle sprain, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens suggested the fourth-year swingman would miss “a couple of weeks minimum.”

It’s the “minimum” part that left some Boston fans a bit uneasy. While even two weeks is a lengthy period for the team to navigate without possibly their best two-way player, a small sample of recent high-ankle sprains across the NBA suggests a recovery timeline that trends closer to 4-6 weeks.

– ESPN Boston

The Boston Celtics have signed Coty Clarke to a 10-day contract.

Clarke, a 6’7” forward, has appeared in 39 games for the Celtics’ NBA Development League affiliate Maine Red Claws this season and has averaged 16.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.0 minutes per game. Clarke, the 27th “call-up” from the D-League of the season, is currently shooting 50.8 percent from the floor, 38.8 percent from three and 79.2 percent from the free-throw line. Clarke was on the training camp roster for the Celtics prior to the start of the 2015-16 season and appeared in one game during the 2015-16 preseason.

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on pint-sized Celtics All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas:

Isaiah Thomas sits out practice with sore wrist

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas sat out Wednesday’s off-day practice because of soreness in his left (shooting) wrist, but said he expected to be in uniform for Thursday’s game against the visiting Milwaukee Bucks.

Thomas said his wrist swelled after he fell on it “a few times” during Monday’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Thomas didn’t seem himself during that game, struggling with his 3-point shot (2-for-7) and reluctant to drive at the basket (no free throw attempts). He finished with 18 points on 8-of-20 shooting overall.

The Celtics took Tuesday off and the team’s medical staff held Thomas out Wednesday as a precaution.

Celtics waive David Lee

Celtics waive David Lee

The Boston Celtics have waived little-used forward/center David Lee.

“We thank David for his contributions to our organization and wish him nothing but the best in the future,” said President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge.

Lee has appeared in 30 contests for the Celtics during the 2015-16 season and averaged 7.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 15.7 minutes per game over that span. He recorded a season-high 14 points, to go along with one rebound and one assist, in 15 minutes on November 18, 2015 against the Dallas Mavericks.

The 6’9” forward/center was originally acquired by the Celtics on July 27, 2015 and owns career averages of 14.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 725 regular season games.

Here’s MassLive reporting Danny Ainge’s comments from the 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich program in response to a rumor involving the Celtics and Hawks center Al Horford:

Danny Ainge comments on Celtics, Al Horford rumor

The Celtics have been rumored as a possible destination for Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford, but Ainge threw a bit of cold water on that idea. Despite a batch of recent reports saying the Hawks could consider drastic changes, Ainge said he believes they will keep their core intact.

“I will just remind you that ‘according to reports’ is the key phrase there,” he said. “There’s a lot of motivations that teams have. Sometimes it’s just to see what the value of their players are, and by leaking things like that you can find maybe what people are willing to offer. Typically when you do that and you leak out that you’re willing to move your team or break up your team and start over, you don’t really get — people are looking for bargains. They’re not going to give you the best deal. So my feeling is Atlanta will stay intact. They may make a trade or two but I don’t think they’re going to lose their key guys.”

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