Celtics rookies Melo, Joseph assigned to D-League

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Celtics rookies Melo, Joseph assigned to D-League

BOSTON The news came as a shock to no one.

With little to no chance of playing anytime soon for the Boston Celtics, the C's announced on Wednesday that rookies Fab Melo and Kris Joseph were being assigned to the team's Developmental League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Melo was on the inactive list for all seven of the Celtics' games this season. He did appear in all eight of the C's preseason games and averaged 1.3 rebounds in 5.9 minutes of action per game. Boston selected the 7-footer out of Syracuse University with the No. 22 pick in last June's NBA draft. With the Orange, Melo averaged 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks prior to declaring for the draft after his sophomore season.

Joseph appeared in one game for the Celtics this season, tallying one rebound and an assist in the C's home-opening loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 2. Like Melo, he also appeared in all eight preseason games for Boston in which he averaged 4.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 10.8 minutes per game.

Prior to the announcement, Joseph anticipated at some point he would be with the D-League team in Maine.

"I just want to do whatever I can to just keep getting better, growing as a player," Joseph told CSNNE.com. "I'm willing to go wherever that takes me."

Boston drafted Joseph in the second round of last June's draft with the 51st overall pick. As a senior at Syracuse, Joseph led the Orange in scoring with 13.4 points in addition to chipping in 4.7 rebounds per game.

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

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“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”