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jerryd bayless

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have completed a three team trade with the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder in which they acquired guard Jerryd Bayless from Memphis and forward Ryan Gomes from Oklahoma City. The Celtics sent guard Courtney Lee and a 2016 second round draft pick to the Memphis Grizzlies. In a related transaction, the Celtics have waived forward Ryan Gomes. Memphis also traded a conditional 2017 second round draft pick to Oklahoma City.

Bayless, a 6’3” guard, has appeared in 30 games for the Grizzlies this season averaging 8.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game. The 11th overall pick in the 2008 Draft by the Indiana Pacers has a season-high of 22 points against the Celtics on November 27 when he was 6-of-10 from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Bayless has posted career averages of 8.2 points, 2.8 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game split between Portland, New Orleans, Toronto and Memphis. An early entry candidate into the 2008 Draft from the University of Arizona, Bayless averaged 19.7 points and 4.0 assists while earning All-Pac 10 Second Team and All-Freshman honors. He was the first freshman in Arizona history to lead the team in scoring as well as being the first freshman to win team MVP since Sean Elliot in the 1985-86 season.

Gomes, a 6’7” forward, has appeared in five games for the Thunder this season totaling six points and four rebounds in 34 minutes played. Playing in his eighth NBA season, Gomes was originally drafted by the Celtics with the 50th pick in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft. The former Providence College Friar has posted career averages of 10.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 487 games split between Boston, Minnesota, the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City.

Three-team trade sends Jerryd Bayless to Celtics, Courtney Lee to Grizzlies

Lee (6-5, 200) joins the Grizzlies with career averages of 9.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists on .446 shooting (.387 3FG shooting) in 25.9 minutes in 395 games (174 starts) with the Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics. The 28-year-old has averaged 7.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 16.8 minutes in 30 games (zero starts) with Boston this season, recording career-high shooting percentages both from three-point range (.442) and overall (.492). The Indianapolis, Ind. native scored a career-high 30 points on March 8, 2010 at Memphis as a member of the New Jersey Nets.

The six-year veteran was drafted by Orlando in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft following a successful four-year collegiate career at Western Kentucky University. Lee was named 2007-08 Sun Belt Player of the Year and earned First Team All-Sun Belt honors for three consecutive seasons (2005-08), starting in every game he played with the Hilltoppers.

By Jeff Lenchiner

Paul Pierce passes Allen Iverson on NBA all-time scoring list

Paul Pierce and the 11-21 Brooklyn Nets have not yet enjoyed the success this season that they hoped for, but Pierce did set an impressive personal milestone tonight in Brooklyn as the team hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Pierce tonight passed Allen Iverson to become the 19th leading scorer in NBA history. Iverson scored 24,368 points in his illustrious career. Pierce passed that during tonight’s game, which is ongoing.

Patrick Ewing is 18th on the NBA all-time scoring list with 24,815 total points. Jerry West is 17th with 25,192 points. Reggie Miller is 16th with 25,279.

Atop the list, with more points than anyone in NBA history is the master of the sky-hook, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with 38,387 total points.

Here’s the Boston Globe blog on Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who may finally suit up and play in the near future:

rajon rondo return date

Rajon Rondo said Thursday he is open to a rehabilitation stint with NBADL Maine and is getting “pretty close” after missing nearly a year following tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament.

“I’m better than last week when I talked to you guys,” he said, referring to his Dec. 22 meeting with the media. “I’m still getting my endurance but I’m getting pretty close, feeling good, feeling better. Like I said, I feel better than last week.”

Rondo, who has been traveled with the team and was cleared to practice three weeks ago, has been working out arduously to approach game shape, saying he does not want to return only to suffer another injury setback.

“A like a 12-minute quarter, straight,” he said when asked whether there is one sign that he’s ready to return. “I don’t want to go out there and get fatigued and cause another injury. I want to makes sure I’m ready to go and I’m in shape.”

The Houston Rockets are expected to trade Omer Asik soon. Here’s ESPN.com reporting some possibilities:

Boston Celtics reportedly have interest in Omer Asik

The day has arrived for the Houston Rockets to live up to their vow to trade disgruntled center Omer Asik.

The Rockets have been telling teams for two weeks that they will trade Asik by Thursday, and according to sources close to the process, they gradually continued to move in that direction Wednesday.

ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Boston Celtics had emerged as the strongest rivals to the Philadelphia 76ers in terms of Asik’s likely destination. Entering the final hours before the Rockets’ self-imposed deadline, sources said Houston officials spent much of Wednesday weighing the merits of Boston’s offer of forward Brandon Bass, guard Courtney Lee and a future first-round draft pick for the 7-footer from Turkey while also remaining engaged in talks with Philadelphia and leaving open the possibility that other teams could still join the bidding.

The Rockets, sources said, have been interested in prying veteran center Spencer Hawes away from the Sixers along with a future first-round pick, but they won’t know until Thursday whether Philadelphia is prepared to part with that much for Asik or whether Boston’s offer is the best available.

Here’s the Boston Herald on Doc Rivers, who returns to Boston as a visiting head coach tonight:

doc rivers

Nothing will be normal for Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers today in his return to the Garden to face the Celtics, and that unfamiliarity started when he walked into the building this morning.

“It will be strange. I’m used to going in the other doors and through the other side,” joked Rivers, who met with the media for about 15 minutes before the Pacific Division-leading Clippers prepared for their one and only trip to Boston this year. “I’m not used to having shootaround. (It’s) maybe my first shootaround ever at the Garden in the last 10 years. This is strange already.”

Rivers arrived in Boston yesterday and met with some friends for dinner before sitting down and watching the Brooklyn Nets and the Celtics kick off what is being dubbed “Reunion Week” for the Celtics with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and now Rivers all in different situations.

“It’s going to be a hard night,” Rivers said.

The Boston Celtics’ Jordan Crawford and the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 8.

Crawford led the Celtics to the East’s lone perfect mark on the week at 3-0, behind averages of 23.3 points (fourth in the conference) on .610 shooting from the field (sixth in the conference), 6.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds. Crawford connected on 12-of-23 three-point field goals on the week, including a career-high six makes from distance on Dec. 8, during a 114-73 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Aldridge led the Trail Blazers to a 3-1 week, including wins over the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder. He posted a point-rebound double-double in each of Portland’s four games, and averaged 26.3 points (third in the conference), 12.8 rebounds (fifth in the conference), 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals. On Dec. 4, Aldridge collected 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists during a 111-104 win over the Thunder.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Detroit’s Andre Drummond and Brandon Jennings, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Indiana’s Paul George and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant.

After trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics are building. Yet with a 9-12 record, playing without injured point guard Rajon Rondo, they have done better than expected. And currently lead the woeful Atlantic divison — for now. Here’s ESPN Boston with more good news for the team:

Kelly Olynyk may return soon for Celtics

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that rookie forward/center Kelly Olynyk went through an individual workout on Friday and could return to game action next week.

Olynyk suffered what Stevens had dubbed a “significant” sprain of his right ankle during a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 23. He was expected to miss two weeks, which would have put him back on the court for Friday’s visit from the Denver Nuggets, but needed additional time to heal. Olynyk will miss his seventh straight game on Friday, but Stevens said he could be back as early as Tuesday’s visit to the Brooklyn Nets.

Boston Celtics forward Gerald Wallace has been fined $10,000 for using profane language during his postgame media availability session following the Celtics’ 109-85 loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Toyota Center, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The New York Knicks season is off to a rough start. Even taking Tyson Chandler’s injury into consideration, and the assumption that J.R. Smith will play better soon, the team could be in need of a shakeup. One of their prime pieces to trade is young athletic guard Iman Shumpert. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on some interesting new developments:

rajon rondo

Iman Shumpert had a second left knee operation over the summer, the Daily News has learned and it is unclear if the unreported surgery could impact his trade value with the desperate Knicks trying to package Shumpert in a number of proposed deals including one for Boston’s Rajon Rondo.

According to a source, Shumpert had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last July that the Knicks never reported. In September, the Daily News reported that Amar’e Stoudemire had knee surgery over the summer which the Knicks also elected not to make public.

Shumpert originally tore the ACL and meniscus in his left knee against the Miami Heat during Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. Shumpert didn’t return until Jan. 17, 2013 and has experienced soreness on several occasions, including the Knicks second round playoff series against Indiana. In October, Mike Woodson cryptically said that Shumpert “battled this summer with some of his injuries” and added that Shumpert did experience knee pain but left it at that.

The Boston Celtics are off to a 4-5 start, which is better than what most expected of the rebuilding squad. Here’s ESPN Boston on a Celtic that’s playing well so far this season.

Jared Sullinger

Hey, Jared, how’s your back?

“I thought people forgot about my surgery; hardly anybody ever talks about it anymore,” replied Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger, who underwent season-ending lumbar disk surgery back in February and worked hard to get back on the court for the start of his sophomore campaign.

The reason his surgery has become a mere footnote is because Sullinger is playing so effectively. The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 11.3 points and 5.1 rebounds over 19.7 minutes per game in seven appearances.

Even as he works to ramp up his conditioning after a surgery that left him inactive for much of the summer, Sullinger has surprised even himself with how well he’s started the year…

According to Synergy Sports data, Sullinger leads the team in post-up chances and production. Over 26 plays in post-up situations, he has averaged 1.077 points per play (that ranks him in the 83rd percentile among all league players). For comparison’s sake, Brandon Bass has 24 post-up plays (second highest on the team), but that’s in nearly twice as many minutes of playing time as Sullinger (Bass is averaging 1 point per play, ranking in the 78th percentile).

Sullinger is trying to give the Celtics a little bit of everything. He has extended his range beyond the 3-point arc with a green light from Stevens to fire away. He’s only 2-for-10 thus far from downtown, having air-balled a shot or two, but he won’t shy away from an open look. His total rebound percentage (15) is below last season’s mark (17.5) but that should rise with more minutes and better conditioning.

Should the Boston Celtics give minutes to Kris Humphries, or instead focus in developing some of their younger talent? Here’s WEEI reporting:

Kris Humphries playing time under watch in Boston

The Kris Humphries Minutes Watch is one of the more interesting subplots of this Celtics season.

By sticking him on the end of the bench early this season, the C’s benefit twofold, accelerating the development of rookies Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani while improving the team’s lottery chances.

On the flip side, the Celtics might also benefit from increasing Humphries’ playing time. He’s a 10-year NBA veteran who’s averaged a double-double per 36 minutes over his career, so there’s little doubt he gives Brad Stevens a better chance to stay afloat until Rajon Rondo returns than Faverani. Meanwhile, showcasing him might actually increase his expiring contract’s trade value in the coming months.

The Boston Celtics are reconstructing themselves, and there are bound to be some growing pains in the process. Here’s NESN reporting:

Gerald Wallace

Wins do wonders to smooth frayed nerves.

A couple of hours after expressing exasperation with his role and frustration with being taken out of the starting lineup, Gerald Wallace changed his tune after the Celtics recorded their first win of the season with a 97-87 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. The 13-year veteran even joked a little about his 31-year-old body’s adjustment to the rigors of coming off the bench.

“My back tightened up coming in there,” Wallace said. “It’s a lot different coming off the bench, but other than that, it was a fun experience for me.”

Wallace scored nine points — his second-highest scoring total of the season — in 23 minutes as a reserve as the Celtics hung on after letting their 25-point lead get whittled down to six points in the fourth quarter.

Jared Sullinger

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have exercised a contract option on forward Jared Sullinger for the 2014-15 season.

This was an expected move. Sullinger is a talented young player and it makes sense to keep him around and see how he develops.

According to the Boston Herald, Sullinger will make $1,424,520 in the 2014-15 season.

Sullinger, a 6’9” forward, averaged 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game during the 2012-13 season. The second-year player only appeared in 45 games as a rookie for the Celtics before missing the final 37 games of the season due to lumbar disc surgery. Sullinger averaged 10.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steal in 20.6 minutes per game during the 2013 preseason. He notched preseason highs of 19 points and nine rebounds at Philadelphia on October 11.

Here is a statement from the Boston Celtics:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have suspended forward Jared Sullinger one game for his role in an incident that occurred on August 31, 2013. The suspension will be served during the team’s game at Toronto on October 30, 2013.

“Jared’s case was dismissed yesterday in Waltham District Court,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “While we are satisfied that this was the correct ruling, we are suspending Jared for one game because he failed to meet the high expectations we have for all Celtics employees.”

The team will have no further comment on this matter.

Charges against Jared Sullinger dropped

Good news for Boston Celtics big man Jared Sullinger, as charges against him have been dismissed. Here’s the Boston Globe:

jared sullinger

Forward Jared Sullinger practiced with the Celtics here Monday hours after domestic violence charges against him were dismissed in Waltham District Court.

The charges, which included assault and battery, destruction of property, and witness intimidation, stemmed from an altercation Sullinger had with his girlfriend in August at his apartment in Waltham…

The charges were dismissed after Sullinger’s girlfriend, Deann Smith, told authorities that she would not testify against him.

NBA preseason is a time for players who might be cut or perhaps make a squad but sit on the end of the bench to prove themselves worthy of respect and a bigger-than-expected role. One young Celtic appears to have done that. Here’s ESPN Boston:

One of the more promising developments of the preseason for the Boston Celtics was the play of undrafted rookie point guard Phil Pressey.

A strong showing as a summer league invite earned Pressey a three-year contract that included a fully guaranteed first season. But even being the only healthy pure ball-handler in camp this season didn’t guarantee the 22-year-old the chance to crack the rotation this year. His play this exhibition season might have.

“[Pressey has] shown a ton,” said Stevens. “I think at times that we’ve played our best basketball with him on the floor. At other times, he hasn’t been as good, and that’s to be predicted. He’s a young guy. But I’ve said this at the start, the guy works at his game. He wants to be good. It’s not an accident that he’s here. He is a good player. He’s a hard worker. He cares. He’s an easy guy to coach. All that stuff adds up at the end of the day. You can see it in the exhibition games.”

Here’s Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald:

The Celtics, as expected, cut their roster down to 14 yesterday with the release of forwards Damen Bell-Holter and DeShawn Sims, and guards Chris Babb and Kammron Taylor.

Though Babb was one of the team’s best 3-point shooters — a stat that Stevens cherishes — even a rookie minimum contract would have pushed the Celtics over the luxury tax threshold. They are now approximately $200,000 under the line with every intention of not adding payroll.

Don’t be surprised if Babb starts the season with the NBADL’s Maine Red Claws.

But the Celtics do have two important decisions to make by Thursday. They have until that date to reach agreement with Bradley on an extension. Though both sides have indeed been in negotiations, as of this weekend nothing is imminent.

They also have until Thursday to pick up the option on MarShon Brooks for next season, when the shooting guard would make approximately $2.2 million.

boston celtics

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have waived forwards Damen Bell-Holter and DeShawn Sims and guards Chris Babb and Kammron Taylor. The Celtics roster stands at 14.

Bell-Holter, a 6’9” forward, appeared in three games for the Celtics during the preseason totaling one rebound in five minutes of action.

Sims, a 6’8” forward, averaged 2.3 points in 4.0 minutes per game while appearing in three games during the preseason.

Babb, a 6’5” guard, appeared in five games for the team during preseason while totaling 16 points, four rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes of action.

Taylor, a 6’2” guard, appeared in three games for the Celtics during preseason and scored two points in seven total minutes of action.

It’s just NBA preseason, but still, credit goes to players who want to set a winning tone early:

Gerald Wallace

Gerald Wallace called out his new team for its sub-standard effort following Sunday night’s loss to the Timberwolves in Montreal, and the Celtics forward backed up those words following today’s practice.

Coach Brad Stevens supported those Sunday critiques from Wallace and Jeff Green, saying today that the result was one of the best practices of training camp.

But, according to Wallace, the coaches have asked him to rein in his words a bit.

“I’m getting fussed at by the coaches every time,” said Wallace. “They’re trying to tell me to relax and ease up. But the main thing is I want the guys to compete. If we lose all 82 games, but we lose them going down fighting and competing hard. I can live with that. I can’t live with losing and we didn’t compete, we didn’t give our best effort and we just gave the game away. I don’t want that for these guys and this team.”

Reported by Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald

Can’t knock a player for trying to make sure his squad competes, even in preseason.

Gerald Wallace brings hustle to Celtics

The Boston Celtics are probably in for a rough year. But one thing they do know is that Gerald Wallace is going to outwork a lot of the opposition:

Gerald Wallace

Asked Saturday about the reasons for Boston’s inability to put together 48 consistent minutes this preseason, Gerald Wallace suggested some of his young teammates might not be familiar with the necessary level of intensity needed on the floor, dubbing the team’s effort “lackadaisical” at times this preseason.

Lackadaisical is one adjective that will rarely be associated with Wallace. Slotted in a starting role on Sunday in Montreal, Wallace injected the first unit with a jolt of energy. He finished with a team-high 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go along with 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 rebounds while working up a regular-season sweat over 26 minutes.

Wallace couldn’t save the Celtics from absorbing a 104-89 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Bell Centre, their sixth defeat in seven tries this preseason, but he gave another glimpse of the relentless energy and effort that he’ll bring to the team during the 2013-14 season.

Reported by Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston

Rebuilding or not, the Celtics are still worth watching.

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