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Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the Celtics:

Celtics could make moves before trade deadline

The Celtics will reconvene for practice on Wednesday evening in Sacramento. The biggest question is whether the same group on the court that day will be on the floor for a second offday workout after the trade deadline passes on Thursday.

After Boston traded away Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green earlier in the season, many expected Danny Ainge to move the rest of the team’s veterans before the deadline. But with Stevens and his players making a public pitch for continuity, it makes you wonder if Ainge might take the cautious approach. Now, if a team comes along offering a first-round pick for Brandon Bass or Marcus Thornton, Ainge should run not walk to the checkout line. But there seems little reason at this point to settle for a mid-to-late second-round pick when the Celtics are likely to have to take back salary to complete a swap.

With a couple of potential lingering logjams, it could benefit Boston to move one of their veterans. And it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Tayshaun Prince, who has acknowledged from the time he arrived here that all options remain in play with his future.

Celtics sign Andre Dawkins to 10-day contract, and send him to D-League

Celtics sign Andre Dawkins to 10-day contract

The Boston Celtics have signed guard Andre Dawkins to a 10-day contract, and have assigned him to the Maine Red Claws in the NBA Development League.

Dawkins, a 6’5” guard, appeared in 11 contests for the Sioux Falls Skyforce this season and averaged a team-high 22.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 36.5 minutes per game, while connecting on .510 (53-104) of his shot attempts from beyond the arc. He tallied a game-high 42 points, including shooting .800 (12-15) from long range, four rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes against the Texas Legends on December 20. Dawkins is the 22nd Gatorade Call-Up from the D-League this season.

Dawkins appeared in four games with the Miami Heat this season and totaled three points, two rebounds and one assist in 22 minutes of action.

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has acquired forward Quincy Pondexter and a future second round draft pick from the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a three-team deal including the Boston Celtics. In exchange, New Orleans has traded guard Austin Rivers to Boston and guard Russ Smith to Memphis. As additional components of the trade, Boston has acquired forward Tayshawn Prince and a future first round draft pick from Memphis, and Memphis has acquired forward Jeff Green from Boston.

“The New Orleans Pelicans are thrilled to welcome back a high character person like Quincy Pondexter to our organization,” said Dell Demps, General Manager of the Pelicans. “Quincy is a two-way player, a multi-position defender that will add toughness along with an offensive skill set that we anticipate will help the Pelicans win games.”

“It was difficult to trade Austin Rivers and Russ Smith”, said Demps. “Russ was only with the team for a short time while Austin is an intense competitor that is continuing to improve. We will miss Austin and Russ on and off the court. We thank Austin and Russ for their contributions and wish them success in the future.”

According to Yahoo Sports, “Green gives the Grizzlies a versatile veteran who can score and defend both forward positions. He is averaging 17.6 points and 4.2 rebounds this season. Green makes $9.2 million this season and holds a player option of $9.2 million in 2015-16 – the final year of his contract. The Celtics are unloading assets – they traded forward Brandan Wright to the Phoenix Suns for a future first-round draft pick earlier Friday – and gathering assets for a rebuild. With this trade, Boston will have accumulated 11 first-round picks over the next four drafts.”

Green (6-9, 235) has averaged a career-high 17.6 points to go with 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 33.1 minutes in 33 games (all starts) with Boston this season, shooting .434 from the field, .305 from three-point range and a career-best .840 from the free throw line. He has scored 10+ points 29 times, 20+ points 10 times and 30+ points twice, including a season-high 35 points on Nov. 3 at Dallas, and has posted one double-double.

Drafted by Boston in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft and traded to the Seattle SuperSonics on draft night, Green joins Memphis with career averages of 14.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32.8 minutes in 511 games (395 starts) with Seattle/Oklahoma City and Boston. The seven-year veteran has career shooting percentages of .440 from the field, .340 from three-point range and .788 from the free throw line. Green netted a career-high 43 points on March 18, 2013 vs. Miami.

The 28-year-old owns career postseason averages of 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 31.2 minutes in 21 playoff games (12 starts) for Oklahoma City and Boston. Green posted 20.3 points on .435 shooting (.455 three-point shooting) in six games in the Celtics’ first round series against New York in the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

A native of Hyattsville, Md., Green averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 33.2 minutes in 102 games over three years (2004-07) at Georgetown University. Serving as the Hoyas’ co-captain in his junior season, Green led Georgetown to its first NCAA Final Four appearance since 1985 and was named the 2007 Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA East Regional and was selected as the 2007 Big East Player of the Year and Big East Tournament MVP.

Prince, a 6’9” forward, has appeared in 26 contests for the Grizzlies this season and is averaging 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 24.2 minutes per game, while shooting 15-33 (.455) from beyond the arc over that span. He scored a season-high 20 points, including shooting a perfect 4-4 from long range, five rebounds and two assists in 33 minutes on December 5 against the San Antonio Spurs. Prince was the starting small forward for the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in four consecutive seasons (2005-08). For his career, Prince is averaging 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 32.3 minutes per game.

Rivers, a 6’4” guard, has appeared in 35 games for the Pelicans this season and is averaging 6.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 22.1 minutes per game. He recorded a season-high of 21 points, including shooting 11-12 (.917) from the foul line, two rebounds, three assists and one steal in 33 minutes on December 20 against the Portland Trailblazers. Rivers was selected as the 10th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by New Orleans and is averaging 6.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 21.4 minutes per game for his career.

Pondexter, 6-6, 225, Washington, appeared in 30 games this season with Memphis, holding averages of 4.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. This will be Pondexter’s second stint with New Orleans, as he spent his rookie season with the franchise during the 2010-11 season, appearing in 66 games and averaging 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds. In his five seasons, Pondexter holds career averages of 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 234 games.

Smith, 6-0, 165, Louisville, was acquired by New Orleans in a draft night trade this past June after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 47th overall pick. The rookie guard appeared in six games this season for the Pelicans, averaging 0.8 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists.

Grizzlies may trade for Jeff Green

The Boston Celtics keep making moves. A few minutes ago they sent Brandan Wright to Phoenix for a draft pick. Now they are in talks to move Jeff Green to Memphis. Nothing official yet. Here’s Yahoo Sports reporting:

Grizzlies may trade for Jeff Green

In a move to strengthen themselves for a push into the Western Conference playoffs, the Memphis Grizzlies are finalizing a deal to acquire Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Memphis will send Tayshaun Prince and a first-round draft pick to the Celtics, league sources said. The protected pick likely won’t be available until 2018 or ‘19, sources said.

The Celtics and Grizzlies are awaiting final authorization from a third team involved in the deal to complete the trade, league sources said.

Celtics trade Brandan Wright to Suns

Celtics trade Brandan Wright to Suns

Celtics trade Brandan Wright to Suns

The Phoenix Suns have acquired forward Brandan Wright from the Boston Celtics in exchange for a protected 2015 first round draft pick via Minnesota.

The Suns have also waived forward Tony Mitchell. Mitchell was acquired by Phoenix in a trade with the Detroit Pistons on December 24 last month.

Phoenix dealt to Boston its right to Minnesota’s protected 2015 first round pick. The pick is top-12 protected in 2015 and 2016, and if the first round pick has not been conveyed by 2016, Minnesota will instead convey its second round picks in 2016 and 2017.

“I have known Brandan since he entered the NBA in 2007,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “He is a person of the highest character who will fit perfectly into our burgeoning Suns culture. We look forward to welcoming him to Phoenix.”

“We are excited to add Brandan to our roster,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “His length, athleticism and finishing ability make him a great fit for our style of play. He is one of the most efficient scorers in the league and his shot blocking ability will help anchor our defense.”

The 6-10, 210-pound Wright is averaging 7.5 points on 72.4 percent shooting, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 35 games with the Celtics and Dallas Mavericks in this his seventh NBA season. In 58 games with Dallas last season, Wright averaged career-highs of 9.1 points, 67.7 percent shooting (224-of-331), 4.2 rebounds and 18.6 minutes. Wright’s 67.7 percent mark from the field in 2013-14 was the highest mark in the NBA among players with at least 100 field goal attempts for the season.

The eighth overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft out of the University of North Carolina, Wright holds career averages of 7.1 points on 60.9 percent shooting, 3.6 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 15.8 minutes in 320 games with Golden State, New Jersey, Dallas and Boston. Wright played in eight games with the Celtics after being acquired in a trade with Dallas on December 18 last month.

With Wright (3.82 blocks per 48 minutes in 2014-15) and center Alex Len (3.77 blocks per 48 minutes), the Suns now have two of the league’s top five in blocks per 48 minutes this season among players who qualify for the blocks per game leaderboard.

The Suns’ roster remains at 15 players.

Here’s reporting on former Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who now plays for the Dallas Mavericks:

rajon rondo

Prior to his season-high 29-point performance Friday night against the Celtics, former team captain Rajon Rondo admitted to the media that his defense hadn’t been there during the last two years of rebuilding in Boston.

While addressing a question about the Mavericks’ improved defense since his arrival in a trade in mid-December, Rondo acknowledged what many Celtics fans had seen lately: his defensive effort was not his focus most nights in green.

“I haven’t played defense in a couple of years,” Rondo explained. “I’ve been able to hide it a lot with Avery Bradley on the ball. He’s helped me out, the young guy. But here [in Dallas] they expect me to play defense. And in the West, if you don’t play defense you’ll get embarrassed every night at the point guard position. I took it as a challenge [for] myself.”

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on a young Celtic:

Celtics rookie James Young making progress

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens continues to suggest that rookie James Young has made the sort of progress that could help him fight his way into the team’s already overcrowded rotation sooner than later.

Young was back with the team Thursday after scoring 25 points during his latest one-game stint with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League. The No. 17 pick in June’s draft has been slowed at times this season by injuries — whether it was the pre-draft car accident that kept him out of summer league, a hamstring injury that kept him out of most of the preseason, or a shoulder injury that recently shelved him for two weeks. But Stevens said Young is making progress behind the scenes and positioning himself for potential playing time. Now he just needs an opportunity.

“I think that he’s really getting better,” said Stevens.

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the post-Rajon Rondo Celtics:

With Rondo gone, Marcus Smart gets first start for Celtics

Boston Celtics rookie Marcus Smart drew his first career start in Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat.

Three days after the Celtics traded All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, Smart shuffled into the starting role. Evan Turner, who started Friday’s game, will come off the bench, where coach Brad Stevens thinks he can better utilize Turner’s versatility.

Smart has appeared in only 11 games this season while battling ankle and Achilles injuries.

Celtics trade Rajon Rondo to Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have acquired four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo and center Dwight Powell from the Boston Celtics in exchange for center Brandan Wright, forward Jae Crowder, guard Jameer Nelson, a 2015 first round pick and a 2016 second round pick.

Rondo (6-1, 186) is an eight-year guard who has spent his entire professional career with the Celtics. In addition to being a four-time NBA All-Star (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Rondo has been named All-NBA Defensive Team four times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), All-NBA Third Team (2012) and was the starting point guard on Boston’s 2008 NBA Championship team. He has played in 527 career games (474 starts) and holds averages of 11.0 points, 8.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 32.9 minutes per game.

The veteran point guard also has extensive postseason experience having competed in two NBA Finals and starting each of his 92 career Playoff games. Rondo holds postseason career averages of 14.5 points, 9.2 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 38.5 minutes per game.

Rondo currently leads the NBA in assists with 10.8 assists per game. He led the league in that category in both 2011-12 (11.7 apg) and 2012-13 (11.1 apg). He also holds several Celtics’ franchise assists records including single-season total with 794 assists (2009-10), assists per game with 11.7 apg (2011-12) and assists in an NBA Playoff game with 20 (2011).

The Louisville, Ky., native was originally the 21st pick of the 2006 NBA Draft after declaring as an early-entry candidate out the University of Kentucky. In just his freshman season as a Wildcat, Rondo set Kentucky’s all-time single-season steals mark with 87 steals in 34 games.

Powell (6-11, 240) is a rookie center who hails from Toronto, Canada and has seen action in five games this season with averages of 1.8 points, 0.2 rebounds and 1.8 minutes per game.

A former Stanford University standout, Powell was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 45th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He was originally traded from Charlotte to Cleveland before being acquired by the Celtics in a late-September trade that landed him in Boston, along with John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy, while Keith Bogans was sent to the Cavaliers.

As a senior at Stanford, Powell was named All-Pac-12 First Team while averaging 14.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He was also named Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Here’s ESPN Boston with a Celtics report:

Celtics rookie James Young dealing with shoulder issue

Boston Celtics rookie James Young was undergoing testing Thursday to determine the severity of a right shoulder subluxation sustained in an NBA Development League appearance Wednesday night with the Maine Red Claws.

Young injured the shoulder after absorbing contact from Drew Gordon while trying to corral a pass near midcourt late in the third quarter of a game against the Delaware 87ers. Young was attended to by a trainer on the court before walking off the floor while still clutching the right (non-shooting) shoulder.

Rajon Rondo brushes off criticism

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the Celtics:

Rajon Rondo brushes off criticism

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo offered a local pigskin comparison when asked about individual criticism that he’s heard as part of his team’s fourth-quarter struggles this season.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” said Rondo. “I’ve been here longest, I’m the team captain, and I’m the point guard, so, just like in football, in the beginning they blamed [quarterback Tom] Brady a lot [when the New England Patriots struggled]. It’s part of it. It’s not weighing on me at all.”

With Wednesday’s loss in Charlotte, the Boston Celtics fell to 4-9 this season in games in which the team was within five points in the final five minutes of play. The Celtics’ team defensive rating in those “clutch” situation balloons to 116.4 points per 100 possessions, the second worst mark in the league. What’s more, Boston, which actually ranks near the top 10 in turnover percentage for the season, plummets to 23rd overall in frequency of giveaways during crunch time situations.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have assigned forward Dwight Powell, guard Marcus Smart and guard/forward James Young to the Maine Red Claws.

Powell has appeared in one game for the Red Claws this season, an 81-80 win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on November 17, and recorded 21 points on 9-16 (.563) shooting and a game-high 17 rebounds in 38 minutes of action. He scored six points in four minutes for the Celtics against the San Antonio Spurs on November 30 and is averaging 2.7 points in 2.3 minutes per game in three appearances with the team this season.

Smart has appeared in six games for the Celtics this season averaging 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 17.7 minutes per game. Smart returned to the court against the Detroit Pistons on December 3 after missing the previous 10 games with a left ankle sprain and recorded two assists in just under five minutes of action. He netted a season-high of 12 points against Toronto on November 5.

Young has appeared in two contests for the Red Claws this season and is averaging 21.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 block in 34.9 minutes per game. He recorded six points, one rebound and one block in six minutes for the Celtics against the Houston Rockets on November 1 and is averaging 2.8 points in 4.0 minutes per game with the team this season.

Celtics assign James Young to D-League

Celtics assign James Young to D-League

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have assigned guard/forward James Young to the Maine Red Claws.

Young has appeared in one game for the Red Claws this season, an 81-80 win over Fort Wayne on November 16. The rookie scored 21 points and pulled down five rebounds in 36 minutes of action.

He made his NBA debut against the Houston Rockets on November 1 and has averaged 3.0 points in 3.9 minutes over three appearances this season.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have recalled rookies Dwight Powell and James Young from the Maine Red Claws.

In the Red Claws 81-80 win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Sunday, Powell recorded 21 points on 9-16 (.563) shooting and a game-high 17 rebounds in 38 minutes, while Young scored 21 points and pulled down five rebounds in 36 minutes of action.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have assigned rookies Dwight Powell and James Young to the Maine Red Claws.

Powell, a 6’11” forward out of Stanford, appeared in six contests for the Celtics during the preseason and averaged 1.7 points and 1.2 rebounds in 9.0 minutes per game over that span.

Young, a 6’6” guard/forward out of Kentucky, appeared in two games for the team during the preseason and averaged 7.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.0 steal in 22.7 minutes per game. He made his NBA debut against the Houston Rockets on November 1 and has averaged 4.5 points in 4.7 minutes over his two appearances this season.

Celtics assign Dwight Powell to D-League

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have assigned forward Dwight Powell to the Maine Red Claws.

Powell, a 6’11 forward, appeared in six contests for the Celtics during the preseason and averaged 1.7 points and 1.2 rebounds in 9.0 minutes per game over that span.

The Celtics, who are rebuilding their team and not expected to compete for a spot in the playoffs, are off to a solid start, compiling a 3-3 record in the season, which began less than two weeks ago.

While winning their season opener tonight, Boston Celtics exercised contract options on Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller

Celtics exercise contract options on Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller

The Boston Celtics have exercised their third-year option on forward Kelly Olynyk, and their fourth-year options on forward Jared Sullinger and center/forward Tyler Zeller.

The Celtics started their regular season in style this evening at home, beating the Brooklyn Nets 121-105. Point guard Rajon Rondo, who has some serious heal-from-injury skills, had 13 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists in the win.

Olynyk appeared in seven games for the Celtics this preseason and averaged 8.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 blocks in 25.2 minutes per game. He is averaging 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game through 70 career contests. 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.

Sullinger appeared in eight preseason matchups for the team and averaged 14.9 points, including shooting 15-30 (.500) from beyond the arc, 10.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 21.9 minutes per game over that span. Sullinger was selected 21st overall by the Celtics in the 2012 NBA Draft and is averaging 10.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 24.6 minutes per game over his 119 game career.

Zeller appeared in eight preseason games for the Celtics and averaged 7.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game off the bench. He is averaging 6.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.7 blocks in 21.0 minutes per game on his career. Zeller was originally selected 17th overall by Dallas in the 2012 NBA Draft. Boston acquired him from Cleveland as part of a three-team trade on July 10, 2014.

The Boston Celtics today waived guards Will Bynum, Tim Frazier and Rodney McGruder, forwards Erik Murphy and Christian Watford, and guard/forward Jarell Eddie.

Bynum, a 6’0” guard who was acquired from Detroit in a trade on October 17th, appeared in 56 games for the Detroit Pistons last season where he averaged 8.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 18.8 minutes per game.

Frazier, a 6’1” guard, appeared in four contests for the Celtics during preseason, totaling three points, four assists and two steals in 23 minutes.

McGruder, a 6’4” guard, appeared in three games for the team and totaled six points and two rebounds in 15 minutes.

Murphy, a 6’10” forward, appeared in four matchups and totaled two rebounds in 12 minutes.

Watford, a 6’9” forward, appeared in three games and saw seven minutes of action on the court.

Eddie, a 6’7” guard/forward who was claimed off of waivers by the Celtics on October 23rd, appeared in three contests for the Atlanta Hawks during the preseason and averaged 2.7 points in 13.0 minutes per game over that span.

The Celtics roster now stands at 15.

The Boston Celtics aren’t counting on Gerald Wallace for much this season. The veteran averaged 24.4 minutes per game last season yet scored just 5.1 points per outing. And he’ll probably play fewer minutes in 2014-15. Still, better healthy than not. Here’s ESPN Boston with an update:

Celtics: Gerald Wallace has bone bruise in knee

Celtics veteran swingman Gerald Wallace underwent an MRI Sunday that revealed a bone bruise in his knee. After sitting out Saturday’s game against the Knicks, he’s expected to miss both of this week’s preseason games as well.

“We were going to sit him anyway on Saturday and, actually, he mentioned it to [trainer] Ed [Lacerte] in the pregame … he has a little knee swelling,” said Stevens. “So they did an MRI [Sunday], he’s got a small bone bruise. So he’s going to be out, definitely the two games this week and I think he’s looking at it week-to-week right now.”

The Celtics have been thin on available swingmen. Rookie James Young strained his left hamstring before the team’s exhibition opener and is still considered week-to-week. “James Young is the same,” said Stevens. “Progressing well, but still probably a week away.”

The Boston Celtics are in a transitional period. They’re rebuilding, and their best player, guard Rajon Rondo, is injured yet again, and may wind up being traded later this season. On the brighter side, they have some nice young talent. And they have Avery Bradley, who is proud to play super-aggressive defense, and aims to be an even better defender this season. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

Avery Bradley hopes to make all-defense first team

Coming off the best offensive season of his career, one that helped him secure a lucrative long-term extension, Boston Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley said his primary goal for the 2014-15 season is reestablishing his reputation as a defense-first player.

“I want to be on the first team all-defense,” Bradley said Thursday when asked about his individual goals for new season. “I made the second team two years ago. That’s my No. 1 goal this year, but obviously I want to improve in every part of my game.”

Bradley averaged a career-best 14.9 points per game last season and shot nearly 40 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. At times, he was maybe Boston’s most aggressive shooter as reflected in a career-high 13.8 shots per game (up four attempts per game from the previous season). Maybe due in part to a new system and a rebuilding team, Bradley’s advanced defensive numbers — among the glitziest in the league two years ago — eroded a bit and he wasn’t the sort of shutdown presence that he’s shown he can be.

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