Archive for the ‘ Boston Celtics Blog ’ Category

Celtics happy to land Isaiah Thomas

Celtics happy to land Isaiah Thomas

The Boston Celtics, who thanks to a weak Eastern conference are still in a position to compete for a spot in the NBA playoffs, are happy to add talented guard Isiah Thomas to their mix. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

Celtics happy to land Isaiah Thomas

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made Isaiah Thomas one of his primary targets at the start of free agency this past summer. Four months later, he finally got his man.

The Celtics obtained Thomas from the Phoenix Suns at Thursday’s trade deadline in exchange for Marcus Thornton and Cleveland’s 2016 first-round pick. Boston is hoping Thomas can inject the sort of offensive spark the team needs while building toward a brighter future.

The 26-year-old Thomas, who signed a modest four-year, $27 million contract in July, joins rookie Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley in a primary three-guard rotation. The Celtics hope Thomas’ ability to create scoring opportunities in the pick-and-roll — something they sorely lack at the guard position — will invigorate an offense that ranks 23rd in offensive rating this season.

The 5-foot-9 Thomas has potential to give Boston’s offense a big-time jolt. In his final season with Sacramento during the 2013-14 campaign, Thomas averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists over 34.7 minutes per game. Despite playing only 25.7 minutes per game this season in Phoenix’s overstocked backcourt, he still averaged 15.2 points on four fewer shots per game and his 3-point percentage climbed to a career-best 39.1 percent.

Suns trade Isaiah Thomas to Celtics

Suns trade Isaiah Thomas to Celtics

isaiah thomas

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired guard Isaiah Thomas from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for guard Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round draft pick, previously acquired from Cleveland.

Thomas, a 5′9″ guard, has appeared in 46 contests for the Suns this season and is averaging 15.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.0 steal in 25.7 minutes per game. He recorded a season-high 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the field, three rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes on January 21 against Portland. During the 2013-14 season, Thomas averaged a career-high 20.3 points to go along with 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.29 steals in 72 games with Sacramento. He was one of six players in the NBA last season to average at least 20 points and six assists, joining LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Stephen Curry. Thomas was originally selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and is averaging 15.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.0 steal in 28.5 minutes per game on his career.

“Isaiah is a dynamic offensive player whose scoring and playmaking abilities add to an already well-rounded backcourt with Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “We are excited to welcome Isaiah to the Celtics family.”

The Boston Celtics have also acquired forwards Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for forward Tayshaun Prince. As part of this transaction, the Celtics created a $7.7 million trade exception.

Jerebko, a 6’10” forward, has appeared in 46 contests for the Pistons this season and is averaging 5.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 15.3 minutes per game. He tallied a season-high 13 points, including shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, and two rebounds in 13 minutes on December 17, 2014 against the Mavericks. Currently in his fifth season, Jerebko is averaging 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 19.9 minute per game. Jerebko was born in Kinna, Sweden and was selected with the 39th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Pistons.

Datome, a 6’8” forward, has appeared in three contests for the Pistons this season and is averaging 3.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game over that span. Datome is averaging 2.5 points and 1.4 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per game over his two-year NBA career. Prior to joining Detroit for the 2013-14 season, Datome played professionally in Italy from 2003-13 and in his last season Acea Virtus Roma in 2012-13 he was named the Italian League Most Valuable Player, where he averaged 16.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 45 games.

Celtics may want guard Isaiah Thomas

Celtics may want guard Isaiah Thomas

As Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline approaches, here’s CSNNE reporting on the Celtics and Suns:

Celtics may want guard Isaiah Thomas

When the Boston Celtics pulled off a pair of blockbuster deals to land Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in 2007, both were available for reasons that the Celtics had no control over but were in position to take advantage of.

A similar situation might be brewing with the Phoenix Suns, who are likely to unload one of two point guards — Goran Dragic or Isaiah Thomas — by Thursday’s trade deadline.

If Suns management decides to unload Thomas, the Celtics will be among the teams to look closely at swinging a deal for the 5-foot-9 guard, a league source told on Tuesday.

Playoffs remain possible for Celtics

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics, who certainly weren’t expected to compete for a playoff spot, but they play in the Eastern conference:

The Celtics begin the stretch run with a game in Sacramento on Friday, and despite a 20-31 record, talk of the playoffs persists.

They are one loss out of both the seventh and eighth playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference. The weakened state of the East considered, the Celtics have a very good chance of remaining within reach of the postseason. The most telling sign of improved play is their 7-5 record over the last five games.

The trade deadline arrives on Thursday, and with it, more stability for coach Brad Stevens. He started the season with a plan based on the talents of Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, and once those two players were traded, had to reconfigure his entire strategy.

It’s difficult for a young coach to work on the fly like this, but to Stevens’ credit, his players continue to buy into the plan.

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.

Basketball blog