Pacers beat Celtics in NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinals

Per the Boston Herald:

Aaron Nesmith took a transition pass from Tyrese Haliburton and dunked over Al Horford. The former Celtic galloped around the court and chest-pumped Myles Turner as the rest of his Pacers teammates flooded the court to celebrate an imminent victory.

The Celtics proved they cared about the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament with how they handled their final group stage game last week. They showed that mentality during stretches of Monday’s first ever quarterfinal game of the tournament. But ultimately, the moment meant more for the upstart Pacers.

In a playoff-like atmosphere, the C’s couldn’t get the job done on Monday night in Indiana. Jayson Tatum scored 32 points and Jaylen Brown added 30, but their worst habits haunted them again. They laid another dud in the third quarter. Too many turnovers piled up. And then the Pacers – led by rising superstar Tyrese Haliburton – raised their game to another level in the second half, as they handed the Celtics a 122-112 loss and sent them home from the In-Season Tournament.


Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis to miss In-Season Tournament quarterfinals game

Per the Boston Herald:

Kristaps Porzingis will miss the Celtics’ In-Season Tournament quarterfinal game against the Pacers in Indiana as he continues to nurse his left calf injury, the team announced.

Porzingis initially suffered the ankle injury on Nov. 24 in the Celtics’ loss to the Magic, when he left the game in the third quarter and didn’t return. Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said last Monday that he would be re-evaluated in a week.


Celtics squeeze out close win vs. Grizzlies

Per the Boston Herald:

As chaos hit its climax in the final seconds, Kristaps Porzingis kept his cool. With the Celtics leading the Grizzlies by two during a wild sequence, the ball found Ziaire Williams, whose desperation game-tying shot found Porzingis’ hand.

Porzingis stood in satisfaction of the moment and seemed to send some trash talk in Williams’ direction as he lay on the court. His Celtics teammates swarmed him. And they all stood there for a moment to ensure the victory was secured.

Somehow, the Celtics survived.

For a second consecutive game, the Celtics were not at their best. Against an inferior Grizzlies team missing eight players, they were caught in another rockfight. It was emotional, physical, frustrating and sloppy, a game deserving of Marcus Smart, who was sitting on the Memphis bench all night due to an injury. But once again, the C’s found a way. Porzingis’ sixth block of the game clinched a gutsy 102-100 victory in Memphis.


Celtics sign Nathan Knight, waive Jay Scrubb

The Boston Celtics have signed forward/center Nathan Knight to a two-way contract.

In a corresponding roster move the Celtics have waived guard Jay Scrubb.

Knight (6-10, 253) has appeared in 108 career games (two starts) with the Atlanta Hawks (2020-21) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2022-23). He owns career averages of 3.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 7.8 minutes per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the field.

The Syracuse, NY native was a three-time Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American (2018, 2019, 2020) during his four-year colligate career at William & Mary, where he averaged 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 125 games. During his senior year, Knight was named the Lou Henson National Player of the Year by, which is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I mid-major player. He was also selected as the Basketball Times National Mid-Major Player of the Year and 2020 CAA Player of the Year.

Knight attended Nottingham High School in Syracuse, New York and finished his high school career at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire.

Celtics sign guard Payton Pritchard to contract extension

The Boston Celtics have signed guard Payton Pritchard to a contract extension.

Pritchard’s deal is reportedly a 4-year, $30 million extension.

“In addition to his great skill, Payton brings toughness, resiliency, and diligence that collectively elevate the room,” said Brad Stevens, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “We are excited that he chose to extend with the Celtics and look forward to what’s ahead.”

Pritchard has played in 185 games (nine starts) for the Celtics, averaging 15.7 minutes per game, 6.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. He has a career field goal percentage of 43.0 percent and a three-point percentage of 40.0 percent. In each of his three seasons with the team, the West Linn, Oregon native has helped the Celtics get to the playoffs.

When Pritchard recorded a triple-double with at least 30 points against Atlanta on April 9 of last year, he became the ninth player in the team’s history to do so. He finished with a career-high 30 points (10-21 FG, 9-16 3FG), 14 rebounds, and 11 assists. Pritchard is one of only two NBA players, along with James Harden, to have made at least nine three-pointers while also tallying a triple-double.

Pritchard played four years of collegiate basketball at the University of Oregon before being selected by the Boston Celtics with the 26th overall choice in the 2020 NBA Draft. He was named the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year, making him the first player in Oregon history and the second in Pac-12 history to receive the honor.

Celtics sign Wenyen Gabriel

The Boston Celtics have signed forward Wenyen Gabriel.

Gabriel (6-9, 205) has played in 145 career games (eight starts) over four NBA seasons (2019-23) with the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, and Sacramento Kings. Last season, Gabriel made 68 appearances (two starts) with the Lakers and averaged 5.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game while shooting a career-high 59.6 percent from the field.

Gabriel also played three seasons in the G League and saw action with the Stockton Kings (2018-2020) and the Wisconsin Herd (2021-22), the affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks. He played in 57 career games (21 starts) and averaged 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.4 blocks in 22.3 minutes per game.

The Khartoum, Sudan native played two collegiate seasons at Kentucky (2016-2018) where he led the Wildcats to back-to-back SEC Tournament Championships. He appeared in 75 career games and averaged 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game. During his sophomore season, he led the Wildcats with 40 blocked shots and finished second on the team with 42 made three-pointers before declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft.

Gabriel attended Trinity High School in Manchester, New Hampshire and finished his high school career at Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.

Trail Blazers trade Jrue Holiday to Celtics for Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III and draft picks

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired center Robert Williams III and guard Malcolm Brogdon, Golden State’s 2024 first round pick and a 2029 first round pick in a trade with the Boston Celtics for guard Jrue Holiday, it was announced today by General Manager Joe Cronin.

“We are excited to see Jrue in a Celtics uniform. He plays the game with a great competitive character and his impact on and off the court has been felt everywhere throughout his career. We are overjoyed to welcome Jrue, Lauren, and the entire Holiday family to Boston,” said Brad Stevens, Celtics President of Basketball Operations.

Holiday (6’5, 220) has played in 906 career games (825 starts) over 14 NBA seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks (2020-23), New Orleans Pelicans (2013-20), and Philadelphia 76ers (2009-2013). Holiday owns career averages of 16.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in 33.1 minutes per game, while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from the three-point line. Among all active NBA players, Holiday ranks sixth in total assists (5,868), 11th in steals (1,346), and 18th in points scored (14,876), and also owns the sixth-most rebounds among league guards (3,702).

Last season, Holiday earned his third-consecutive and fifth career NBA All-Defensive team selection after averaging 19.3 points, 7.4 assists (9th in NBA), and a career-high 5.1 rebounds in 67 games (65 starts). He was also named a 2023 NBA All-Star, marking the second All-Star selection of his career after being selected in 2013, which is the longest gap between All-Star selections in NBA history.

Holiday helped lead the Bucks to the 2021 NBA Championship title by averaging 17.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 8.7 assists in 23 postseason contests (all starts). Less than a month after winning the 2021 NBA Finals, Holiday won a Gold Medal with Celtics’ guard Jayson Tatum and Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics where he averaged 11.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game.

Holiday has won the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award in three of the last four NBA seasons. The award recognizes him as the best teammate based on selfless play and dedication to his team, as well as leadership on and off the court as a mentor and role model to other players as voted on by his peers.

In his first season with Milwaukee, Holiday won the 2020-21 NBA Sportsmanship award, which honors a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, and was a finalist for the inaugural Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award.

Jrue and his wife Lauren Holiday won the 2023 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian ESPY Award for their community efforts. The Chatsworth, California native earned Pac-10 All-Freshman Team Honors in his one collegiate season at UCLA before being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

“It’s been our pleasure to have a front row seat to Rob’s career since he joined us on draft night 2018. He has grown into a wonderful basketball player and teammate. We thank him for his many contributions on and off the court in his five years in Boston and we wish him and his family all of the best as they move on,” said Stevens.

Williams, originally drafted by the Celtics with the 27th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, appeared in 209 career games for the franchise where he averaged 7.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 20.5 minutes per game.

“Malcolm had a great season last year culminating in the tremendous honor of receiving the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award. We wish him and his family nothing but the best moving forward,” said Stevens.

Brogdon averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 44.4 percent from three last season for the Celtics en route to winning the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.

Boston Celtics sign forward Lamar Stevens

The Boston Celtics have signed forward Lamar Stevens.

Stevens (6-6, 230) has appeared in 165 career games (38 starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2020-23 and owns averages of 5.3 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 46.7 percent from the field. During the 2022-23 season, Stevens played in 62 games (25 starts) and averaged 5.3 points along with a career-high 3.3 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game.

Stevens recorded his second career double-double with a season-high 18 points on 8-for-15 (.533) made field goals and a career-high tying 11 rebounds, along with two assists in 38 minutes on December 14 at Dallas. It marked the third time in his career he scored at least 18 points, and the second time grabbing 10-plus rebounds.

The Philadelphia native played three seasons at Penn State, and led the team to a 2018 NIT Championship title in his sophomore season. He was named NIT Most Outstanding Player after scoring 96 points over five postseason contests (19.2 ppg). He stands fifth on Penn State’s all-time scoring list with 1,660 points, and joined select company as one of only six Nittany Lions with 1,500 career points and more than 600 rebounds.

Celtics sign Svi Mykhailiuk

The Boston Celtics have signed forward Svi Mykhailiuk.

Mykhailiuk, 6-7/205, split time between the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks last season where he appeared in 32 games (eight starts) and averaged 6.9 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 14.6 minutes per game while shooting a career-high 42.4 percent from three.

The Cherkasy, Ukraine native has played in 252 career games (54 starts) and has also suited up for the Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Toronto Raptors during his five-year career. He owns career averages of 6.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while shooting 40.3 percent from the field. Mykhailiuk was selected with the 47th overall pick by the Lakers in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Kansas product appeared in 136 collegiate games (70 starts) in four seasons with the Jayhawks, averaging 8.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. Mykhailiuk set the KU single-season three-point field goals made record with 115 threes and earned All-Big 12 honors his senior year.

Celtics sign Jaylen Brown to massive contract extension

The Boston Celtics have agreed to a contract extension with All-NBA forward Jaylen Brown.

Brown signed the contract at MIT’s Media Lab where he was hosting his 7uice Foundation’s Bridge program.

The deal is reportedly a five-year contract extension worth $304 million.

“I appreciate the investment and commitment from the Celtics and from the rest of the community. That investment and commitment will be felt in return from me here in Boston, on and off the floor, but also hopefully soon, around the world,” said Jaylen Brown. “The Bridge program students being here is special for me today; you guys represent the next generation, you represent the future, and everything I do is try to make this world a better place.”

“Jaylen Brown brings passionate energy and excellence to whatever he does, on the court and in the community,” said Wyc Grousbeck, Boston Celtics Lead Owner. “Jaylen is absolutely key to our relentless drive to win Banner 18. I’m very glad to be celebrating this partnership with him today.”

Brown was selected to his first All-NBA team last season when he was named to the 2022-23 Kia All-NBA Second Team after he appeared in 67 games (all starts) and made his second-consecutive All-Star game. The Georgia native averaged career-highs of 26.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, as well as his best field goal percentage (49.1) and free-throw percentage (76.5).

“We are thrilled that Jaylen has decided to extend his contract and remain a Celtic for a long time,” said Brad Stevens, President of Basketball Operations. “In addition to his individual accolades, Jaylen has been one of the NBA’s winningest players in both the regular and postseason over the past seven years. I’ve been so impressed with how he has attacked every day with a relentless work ethic, a desire to improve, and a competitiveness to help his team win. Equally as impressive is his continued commitment to making a difference in the community.”

The seven-year NBA veteran was originally drafted by Boston with the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and is the longest tenured Celtic entering this year. In 470 career games (363 starts), Brown has averaged 17.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.0 steals in 29.7 minutes per game, while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from three-point range.

Brown ranks fifth in franchise history in made three-point field goals with 883 threes and moved into 17th on the Celtics’ all-time scoring list with 8,428 points. Brown became the seventh Celtic since 1994 to reach 1,000 career assists before turning 27 years old when he dished out a season-high nine assists on March 6, 2023 (26 yrs, 133 d).

Brown has led the Celtics to the playoffs in each of his seven seasons, including five Eastern Conference Finals appearances and a trip to the 2022 NBA Finals. Brown is tied for the 14th-most playoff appearances in franchise history with 105 games and ranks 11th in scoring with 1,911 points in the postseason.