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Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the mindset of Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as trade possibilies are thrown around:

Celtics coach Stevens plays it cool with trade rumors

Former Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers calls it “silly season,” the time of year when trade rumors fly like 3-pointers at a Celtics game. Still two weeks out from this year’s deadline, the “quietly aggressive” Celtics have already found themselves linked to some big names, including Houston center Dwight Howard.

Current Celtics coach Brad Stevens admits that he occasionally checked with the team’s front-office staff to substantiate rumors during his first year on the job. Now a grizzled veteran — he’s an “elderly” 39 when you consider that recent in-season hires Tyronn Lue (38), J.B. Bickerstaff (36), and Earl Watson (36) are all younger — Stevens doesn’t pay much mind to the chatter.

“The guys that have been in the league longer probably feel a lot like I do. It’s like, we’re just all like listening and laughing and trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not, but not putting a lot of a stock into it until somebody knocks on our door,” Stevens said. “And that’s the way I feel about it. I probably followed up on every third rumor my first year. And I don’t think I’ve followed up on one yet. If [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] wants to talk to me about something, he knows where to find me.”

Here’s the Boston Herald on yesterday’s announcement that one of the 2016 All-Star game reserves for the East squad is Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who is averaging 21.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game this season:

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas makes All-Star team

Isaiah Thomas’ so-called chip — the one that has driven the Celtics guard ever since he lasted until the final pick of the 2011 NBA draft — has carried him to a new level.

The 5-foot-9 Celtics guard was named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team last night after a vote by the coaches.

A jubilant Thomas sent out a chain of tweets, including, “I am honored to be selected as an all star & represent the @Celtics, Joining the greatest of @Celtics who have played in the all star game.”

He also paid tribute to his teammates and Celtics fans, tweeting, “I’m VERY GRATEFUL for ALL the SUPPORT I have been given by the greatest fans in the world & of course the @celtics organization,” and, “This is a TEAM award, none of us succeed without our TEAMMATES & their support ON and OFF the court. So thanks to my TEAM and coaching staff.”

Celtics lose 4th straight game

The Boston Celtics lost 120-114 in New York to the Knicks last night. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

The Celtics weren’t able to win last night, despite the fact the Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony for virtually the entire second half and rookie star Kristaps Porzingis fouled out with the Celts ahead by one and 2:44 left in the game.

Anthony sprained his right ankle late in the first half when he stepped on referee Rodney Mott. He tried to start the second half, but the Knicks had to call a timeout to remove him 19 futile seconds in.

The Celts also weren’t able to win with Isaiah Thomas scoring 34 points. That gives him a combined 69 in the past two games.

“He’s playing awfully well,” Stevens said. “My concern is we’ve lost them both.

Celtics guard Avery Bradley (14.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg this season) is set to return for tomorrow’s game in Memphis against the Grizzlies. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

Avery Bradley set to return for Celtics

The Celtic offense has struggled of late, and Bradley believes the attack has tended too much toward individualism. He has the solution: “Just moving the ball; that’s the most important thing. You know, it’s not a bad thing, because we all want to win, but I feel like at times everybody wants to win the game so bad that they try to take the game over, take 3’s and taking shots that we can get at any time. It’s hard to figure that out sometimes when you’re a younger team or when things aren’t going well. Sometimes you play individual basketball. We need to play team basketball in order to be successful.”

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who paid a personal visit to a former player who is dealing with serious health issues:

Brad Stevens back after visiting Andrew Smith

Celtics coach Brad Stevens rejoined the team before its flight to Memphis on Saturday and led an afternoon practice at the University of Memphis.

Stevens traveled to Indiana on Thursday to visit with Andrew Smith, one of his former Butler players, who is battling cancer. Stevens missed the team’s loss to the Bulls.

Stevens told reporters in Memphis that the past few days have been, “Very challenging, certainly puts things in a lot of perspective.”

Brook Lopez’s size was too much for Boston’s smaller lineup.

The 7-footer scored a season-high 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 100-97 victory over the Celtics on Saturday.

“I did my best to make the right play every time, realizing that, and just tried to read the double teams,” said Lopez, who scored seven of his points in a key 9-2 run when Boston was making its charge with a smaller, trapping lineup…

Joe Johnson added 20 points, Thaddeus Young 16 with 10 boards, and Bojan Bogdanovic 13 points for the Nets, who won for just the third time in 11 games.

– Associated Press

No love between Cavs and Celtics

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, who will probably not be getting together for the holidays this year:

There were certainly no pleasantries as the teams met for the first time since a painful Sunday in April when Cleveland completed a four-game, first-round sweep with a win at the Garden. Kevin Love dislocated his left shoulder in a tangle with Kelly Olynyk, and Jae Crowder suffered a sprained left ACL when his knees buckled following a wicked elbow from J.R. Smith.

Crowder said Monday he was hoping for an apology, but no such gesture was made by Smith as the Cavs handed the Celtics a more-thorough-than-the-numbers-would-seem-to-indicate 89-77 defeat.

And clearly the Clevelanders didn’t stop competing when the game was finished. While Love and Olynyk have agreed the latter intended no harm, there is still ill feeling on the other front.

“No, I like it,” Smith said about the physical game that saw him give a couple of hard fouls. “It wasn’t chippy enough.”

The entire Boston Celtics organization and our ownership group are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Loscutoff, a Celtics Legend and seven-time NBA champion. Affectionately nicknamed “Loscy” and “Jungle Jim,” Loscutoff passed away on December 1 at the age of 85.

Upon the conclusion of his playing days in 1964, Jim and his wife, artist Lynn Loscutoff, founded Camp Evergreen, a children’s day camp where a wide range of programs are carried out to provide an enriching camping experience. Loscutoff’s nickname of “Loscy” was hoisted to the Boston Garden rafters on April 14, 1973 for his leadership and all-around excellent play. He is the only Celtics player to have his name, and not uniform number, retired.

We keep his wife Lynn, daughters Holly and Carol, son Jim, Jr. and his entire family in our thoughts at this time.

The Boston Celtics have assigned forward Jordan Mickey and guard/forward James Young to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League.

Mickey, a 6’8” forward, played in seven preseason contests with the Celtics this year and averaged 5.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 9.8 minutes per game. He was selected with the 33rd overall pick by the Celtics in the 2015 NBA Draft and in one regular season appearance with the team has recorded two points, two rebounds and one assist in two minutes of action in his NBA debut against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 28, 2015.

Young, who is in his second NBA season, appeared in seven preseason matchups for the Celtics this year and averaged 4.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game over that span. He played in 17 contests for the Red Claws last season and averaged 21.5 points, including shooting 44.2 percent from beyond the arc, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.9 minutes per game.

Celtics exercise contract options on Marcus Smart, James Young, Kelly Olynyk

The Boston Celtics have exercised their third-year options on guard Marcus Smart and guard/forward James Young, and their fourth-year option on forward Kelly Olynyk.

All of these moves were expected.

Smart, who is in his second NBA season, appeared in five contests for the Celtics this preseason and averaged 8.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steal in 24.2 minutes per game. The 6’4” guard played in 67 games during his rookie year and averaged 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 27.0 minutes per game. Smart was named to the 2014-15 NBA All-Rookie Second Team, named the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February 2015, and was selected with the sixth overall pick by the Celtics in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Young, who is also in his second NBA season, appeared in seven preseason matchups for the team this year and averaged 4.4 points, including connecting on 35.0 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, and pulled down 1.4 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game over that span. Young was selected with the 17th overall pick by the Celtics in the 2014 NBA Draft and is averaging 3.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game through 31 career contests.

Olynyk, who is in his third NBA season, appeared in six preseason games for the team this year and averaged 7.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 17.7 minutes per game. The 7’0” forward is averaging 9.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 21.1 minutes per game over his 134 game career. Olynyk was originally selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the 13th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft before the Celtics acquired him in exchange for the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira and two future second round picks on June 27, 2013.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have waived forward Perry Jones III and guard Corey Walden.

Jones, a 6’11” forward, was originally acquired by the Celtics on July 14, 2015 and averaged 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game in five appearances with the team.

Walden, a 6’2” guard was originally signed by the Celtics on September 25, 2015 and averaged .5 points, 1.5 rebounds and .8 assists in 6.9 minutes per game in four contests with the team.

The Celtics roster now stands at 15.

Celtics lineup notes

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics, who boast an interesting squad that isn’t particularly strong yet appears deep, and should be competitive:

While some try to speculate on which group of five the Celtics will be starting when the regular season begins a week from Wednesday, Brad Stevens is looking at how smaller groups harmonize.

The coach has already spoken of how well Isaiah Thomas works with someone like Jonas Jerebko, who spreads the floor, and now you can add Amir Johnson to the reciprocal complementary society.

“I think that’s been a good combination from Day 1,” Stevens said yesterday at the team’s practice facility.

The 6-foot-9 Johnson and 5-9 Thomas may appear to be an odd coupling when they walk down a street, but playing well together has come naturally.

Perry Jones hopes to stick with Celtics

Perry Jones hopes to stick with Celtics

For a rebuilding team that is expected to be competitive but not outstanding, the Boston Celtics boast a pretty deep roster. Here’s the Boston Globe reporting on an intriguing young talent who hasn’t solidified himself in the league just yet:

Perry Jones played in 143 games over three seasons for Oklahoma City, averaging at best 14.7 minutes and 4.3 points per game.

The Thunder traded the 6-foot-11-inch Jones to the Celtics for a conditional 2019 pick in a roster-clearing move in July. What’s more, the 2018 second-round pick the Celtics sent to Oklahoma City in return is protected from 31 to 55, meaning that if it falls in that range, the Celtics keep the pick.

So essentially, the Celtics get a fresh look at a player with considerable skills for a cash exchange. Nothing more. Jones has another opportunity to make an impression on a new team, a 24-year-old capable of playing multiple positions and adding to the team’s wealth of talented youngsters.

There is no guarantee Jones will make the roster. His situation will emerge as one of the more intriguing topics in training camp. Can coach Brad Stevens bring the best out of a player who has yet to show his best?

Celtics complete training camp roster

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed guards Levi Randolph and Corey Walden, as well as forwards Coty Clarke and Malcolm Miller. Each contract is likely non-guaranteed and just for training camp.

Randolph played in five contests for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals in 31.2 minutes per game. During his senior year at Alabama, the 6’4” guard averaged a team-high 15.4 points, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals, while also averaging 5.1 rebounds, in 35.3 minutes per game. Randolph was the first player in the program’s history to be named to the CoSIDA/Capital One First Team Academic All-District Team for three consecutive years. He was also named the 2015 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and second team All-SEC.

Walden appeared in two games for the Celtics during the Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 2.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.5 steals in 16.5 minutes per game. The 6’2” guard out of Eastern Kentucky averaged 18.6 points to go along with 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.1 steals in 34.6 minutes per game during his senior year. Additionally, Walden earned a spot on the Lou Henson All-America Team and the first team All-Ohio Valley Conference for the 2014-15 NCAA season.

Clarke, a 6’7” forward, spent the 2014-15 season playing for Hapoel Kazrin in Israel and averaged 19.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in 30.7 minutes per game over that span. As a senior at the University of Arkansas, he averaged 9.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in 22.3 minutes per game.

Miller appeared in seven games for the Celtics during summer league play and averaged 4.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game. The 6’7” forward was named to the All-Patriot League second team and averaged 14.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.6 blocks in 31.7 minutes per game during his senior year at Holy Cross.

Now this is a fun discussion. There’s no one right answer to who the greatest shooter in NBA history is, because it’s just an opinion. But even though Stephen Curry’s NBA career still has a very long way to go, many people are answering the question by pointing in his direction. Here’s WEEI.com reporting:

Danny Ainge spent nearly eight seasons alongside Larry Bird, the man many consider the greatest shooter in NBA history, so he doesn’t say the following lightly: Stephen Curry is the best shooter he’s ever seen.

Ainge made the observation on Twitter during the playoffs, which ended with Curry’s Warriors claiming the title, and he explained himself earlier this week in an interview with WEEI.com from his Waltham office.

“I think Larry was as good a shooter as I’ve ever seen before Steph. And Ray Allen is up there, too,” Ainge said. “If anybody were to come in and tell me, ‘Larry Bird‘s the best shooter of all time,’ I wouldn’t have much argument. Same with Ray. I probably wouldn’t argue. It’s really close.”

Celtics waive Zoran Dragic

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have waived guard/forward Zoran Dragic.

Dragic, a 6’5” guard/forward, was originally acquired by the Celtics along with a future second round pick and cash considerations from the Miami Heat on July 27, 2015. He appeared in 16 games split between the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat during the 2014-15 season and averaged 1.8 points in 4.7 minutes per game over that span. He posted a season-high 22 points on 9-17 (.529) shooting from the field, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 41 minutes of action against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 15, 2015.

Celtics sign first round draft picks Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed guards Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter.

Both players were selected in the first round of the Draft, and were therefore guaranteed to get signed to contracts. So, these signings are standard and were expected.

Rozier was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He appeared in five contests for the Celtics during the Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 12.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.0 steal in 27.6 minutes per game. Rozier recorded his best game in the Vegas Summer League on July 12 with 22 points, two rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block in 28 minutes of action against the Philadelphia 76ers.

He also played in three games for the Celtics during the Utah Summer League and averaged 12.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals in 28.3 minutes per game. Rozier tallied his best game in the Utah Summer League on July 9 against the San Antonio Spurs with 16 points, three rebounds, seven assists and one steal in 28 minutes.

The 6’1” guard out of University of Louisville ranked fourth in the ACC in scoring and was selected to the Second Team All-ACC. Rozier was named one of 17 watch list finalists for the 2015 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and a Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 candidate for the nation’s top player.

Hunter was selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He appeared in five games for the Celtics during the Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 15.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 24.4 minutes per game. Hunter tallied his best game in the Vegas Summer League on July 18 with 18 points on 7-14 (.500) shooting, five rebounds, one assist and one steal in 24 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs.

He also played in three contests for the Celtics during the Utah Summer League and averaged 6.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 19.0 minutes per game. Hunter recorded his best game in the Utah Summer League on July 9 with 18 points, including shooting a perfect 4-4 from the three-point line, one rebound and one block in 19 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs.

The 6’6” guard out of Georgia State was a two-time AP All-American Honorable Mention. Hunter was also the first player in school history to earn conference player of the year honors twice and three straight First-Team All-Conference honors. In just three seasons, he became Georgia State’s all-time leading scorer with 1,799 points, while also topping career lists for three-pointers made, three-point attempts, free throw percentage, free throws made and free throw attempts.

Celtics re-sign Jae Crowder

Celtics re-sign Jae Crowder

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have re-signed forward Jae Crowder.

“Jae epitomizes everything that we look for in a Celtic,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “His infectious energy on both ends of the court and his versatile skill set enabled him to win over both the coaching staff and our fan base after his acquisition last season.”

Crowder was acquired by the Celtics from the Dallas Mavericks on December 18, 2014. He averaged 9.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steal in 24.2 minutes per game in 57 contests with Boston.

The 6’6” forward tallied a season-high tying 22 points on 8-14 (.571) shooting from the field, seven rebounds and one block in 30 minutes of action on February 22 against the Los Angeles Lakers. For the duration of the 2014-15 season, Crowder appeared in 82 contests and averaged 7.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20.1 minutes per game.

He was originally the 34th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded on Draft night to Dallas, and has averaged 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 17.9 minutes per game on his career.

Heat trade Zoran Dragic to Celtics

Heat trade Zoran Dragic to Celtics

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have traded guard Zoran Dragic to the Boston Celtics, along with a 2020 second-round draft pick and cash considerations, in exchange for a protected 2019 draft pick.

Dragic appeared in 16 games split between the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat during the 2014-15 season and he averaged 1.8 points in 4.7 minutes per game over that span. He posted a season-high 22 points on 9-17 (.529) shooting from the field, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 41 minutes of action against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 15, 2015.

The 6’5” guard/forward was originally signed by the Phoenix Suns on September 29, 2014 before being traded to the Miami Heat on February 19, 2015. Before coming to the NBA, Dragic played two seasons with Unicaja Malaga of the Spanish ACB. During the 2013-14 season, he averaged 10.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 18.1 minutes in 29 ACB league games. He also appeared in 22 Euroleague games, where he averaged 10.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 22.5 minutes per game.

Warriors trade David Lee to Celtics

Warriors trade David Lee to Celtics

The Golden State Warriors have traded forward David Lee to the Boston Celtics in exchange for forward Gerald Wallace and guard Chris Babb, the team announced today.

“On behalf of the entire Golden State Warriors organization, we thank David Lee for his contributions both on and off the court over the last five years,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “Throughout his time with the Warriors, David was a great player, competitor and presence in our locker room as well as in the community and was a stabilizing force during a period that saw many positive changes within the organization. Most importantly, he leaves Golden State as an NBA champion. We wish him nothing but the best in the next chapter of his career.”

“We are excited to welcome David as a member of the Celtics family,” said President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “His proven skill set and experience on a championship team will add valuable depth to our frontcourt and a veteran presence to our locker room.”

According to the Boston Globe, “Before acquiring Lee, the Celtics had not made any significant steps forward improving their place in the Eastern Conference. They were being passed by teams such as Orlando, Charlotte, and Indiana, all of which made stirring roster upgrades over the past two weeks. Free agency didn’t work out the way Ainge and the Celtics wanted. The market value for players unexpectedly soared to the point where Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll goes to Toronto for four years and $60 million, Reggie Jackson re-signs with Detroit for five years and $80 million, and potential Celtics target Robin Lopez agreed with the Knicks for four years, $54 million.”

Lee, 32, played five seasons with the Warriors, averaging 16.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists over 327 regular-season games. He had his finest season with Golden State in 2012-13, averaging 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds in 79 games en route to earning Third Team All-NBA honors and a spot on the Western Conference All-Star squad. That season, the 6’9” forward became the first Warriors player to garner All-NBA recognition since Latrell Sprewell in 1993-94 and Golden State’s first All-Star representative since Sprewell in 1997. The University of Florida product also appeared in 26 playoff games with Golden State, making postseason appearances in each of the last three seasons, culminating in an NBA Championship this past season. Lee leaves the Warriors ranked sixth on the franchise’s all-time list in defensive rebounds (2,176) and tied for 10th, with Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, in field goal percentage (.513).

During his 10-year NBA career, Lee has averaged 14.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 695 regular-season games with the New York Knicks and Warriors. Originally selected by the Knicks with the 30th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, the 2010 Eastern Conference All-Star was acquired by the Warriors in a sign-and-trade deal on July 9, 2010, in exchange for Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph and Ronny Turiaf.

Wallace, 33, owns career averages of 11.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.44 steals and 29.7 minutes in 832 regular-season games (611 starts) over 14 NBA seasons with Sacramento, Charlotte, Portland, New Jersey/Brooklyn and Boston. Originally selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 25th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, Wallace earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors and was an Eastern Conference All-Star in 2009-10 with the Charlotte Bobcats when he averaged 18.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.54 steals. The University of Alabama product led the NBA in steals per game during the 2005-06 campaign, averaging 2.51 thefts per contest. Wallace has appeared in 33 playoff games (17 starts), holding career postseason averages of 7.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 20.9 minutes.

Babb, 25, appeared in 14 games with Boston as a rookie in 2014-15, tallying 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game. The 6’5” guard appeared in 45 games last season with the Celtics’ D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, averaging 15.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 34.7 minutes, earning All-NBA D-League Second Team honors. In 2013-14, the Iowa State product was named to the All NBA D-League All-Rookie Third Team with the Red Claws.

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