OFFSEASON

15 things to know about Terrence Williams

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15 things to know about Terrence Williams

A week after leaving the Guangdong Southern Tigers of China, forward Terrence Williams has signed a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics. Williams, 25, entered the NBA in 2009 and has been looking to establish himself in the league since then. Get to know Williams with these 15 factoids.

1. The 6-6 wingman is from a close-knit circle of Seattle-area basketball players, which includes current Celtics Avery Bradley and Jason Terry.

2. Williams attended Rainier Beach High School, the same school as former Celtic Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, and Doug Christie.

3. A standout at the University of Louisville, Williams averaged 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 5.0 assists his senior year. He was featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated 2009 NCAA Tournament preview issue.

4. The Nets selected Williams with the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. His name was called after Brandon Jennings and before Gerald Henderson.

5. On October 28, 2009, Williams posted a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double in his NBA debut. He played 31 minutes off the bench against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

6. Williams' second season with the Nets was rocky. He was inactive for games and was also sent to the NBA Development League's Springfield Armor.

7. Williams was involved in a three-team trade between the New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Lakers in 2010 that ended up having ties to the Celtics. In December of 2010, the Nets traded Williams to the Rockets. As part of the the same deal, the Lakers sent a 2011 first round draft pick to the Nets. Six months later, the Nets used that pick to select JaJuan Johnson 27th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, and then traded him to the Boston Celtics along with a future second round pick in exchange for MarShon Brooks.

8. The Celtics will be Williams' fifth NBA team. He has been a member of the Nets, Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and Detroit Pistons (chronologically). Williams has averaged 7.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 20.2 minutes during his NBA career.

9. This season Williams played 29 games for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of China. He averaged 17.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 27.0 minutes.

10. Williams competed in 140 games (4,510 minutes played) during his four years at Louisville. Since being drafted in 2009, he has played in 129 games (2,604 minutes) in the NBA.

11. Celtics guard Courtney Lee has already suited up with Williams. Lee and Williams were teammates with both the Nets and the Rockets.

12. While in college, Williams listed LeBron James as his favorite NBA player and the Miami Heat as his favorite NBA team on his Louisville player page. (If he could update that today, he probably would.)

13. Williams is featured in the online series "Poor Hungry Driven" about his life. He tattooed the abbreviation "PHD" on his arm (can you find it?).

14. Remember the phrase "wordaapp" Nate Robinson helped make popular while on the Celtics? Williams played a big part in it.

15. Social media savvy, Williams is on Twitter @TheRealTWill and Facebook.

OFFSEASON

Yabusele, Zizic may not be able to play in Summer League for C's

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Yabusele, Zizic may not be able to play in Summer League for C's

BOSTON –  The Boston Celtics turned quite a few heads when they used two of their three first-round picks on international players.

They were part of a record-setting night for international players, with 15 being selected in the first round – the most ever in NBA history.

But like many international draft picks, it is far from a given that you’ll see either Guershon Yabusele and Ante Zizic, who were selected with the 16th and 23rd picks, respectively, next season.

While it’s not uncommon for teams to draft international players in the first round and do so with the plan being to keep them overseas for another year or two, the potential hold-up for Boston’s two international picks has more to do with coming to terms on a buyout amount with their current teams.

“We’ve had initial discussions with their representatives,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, when I asked him about it during the team’s press conference to introduce the newest Celtics on Friday. “We have not concluded anything yet. We’re still in that discussion. And I’m not sure about summer (league).”

While it remains an option, a league source told CSNNE.com that it’s unlikely that either player will participate in either of Boston’s summer league squads which will play in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

Ainge agrees that there are a number of positives one can take from drafting an overseas player in the first round.

But the decision by Boston to draft Yabusele and Zizic in the first round had a lot to do with one thing – talent.

“The reason that these two guys are here . . . is because they’re good players,” Ainge said. “The fact that they have people that want them on their teams on the international top level competition, tells you how good players they are. They could easily find jobs overseas at the top level. They’ve earned that reputation. They’re both very productive. Guerson very productive and Ante very good rebounding  . . . now we’re trying to figure out the best way they can help us for their development. We’re working with their representatives on that plan.”

Yabusele, a 6-foot-8, 275-pound power forward, averaged 11.5 points, 6.8 rebounds in 28.7 minutes with Rouen Metropole Basket in the LNB Pro A league in France. While appearing in 34 games last season, he grabbed 10 or more rebounds 11 times while tallying eight double-doubles.

Zizic, a 6-11, 250-pound center, distinguished himself as one of the better players in the Adriatic League this past season. He was voted by fans, media and coaches as the Adriatic League’s Top Prospect after averaging 12.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 24.8 minutes while shooting an impressive 60.7 percent from the field.

OFFSEASON

If not this year for Durant-to-Celtics, then next?

If not this year for Durant-to-Celtics, then next?

BOSTON – The Celtics are considered long shots at landing Kevin Durant during free agency, which begins next week.

Still, if they come up short this summer, league sources tell CSNNE.com that the Celtics will be on a “watch list” of sorts by Durant’s camp when the former league MVP is expected to hit the free agent market once again in the summer of 2017.
 
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Durant will have teams meet with him in New York beginning next week. In addition to the Celtics, his current team Oklahoma City will sit down with him, as well as Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs.
 
Durant can re-sign with the Thunder for as many as five years with the total value of his contract worth slightly more than $150 million.
 
However, by signing a one-year deal or a two-year pact with a player option for the second season, Durant would make a projected $25.9 million for the 2016-2017 season and can then hit the free agent market again in 2017 when the salary cap is expected to cross the nine-figure threshold.
 
And at that time, if he decides to stay with the Thunder, he can ink a five-year deal that, when combined with his salary in 2016-2017, would be more than $230 million over six years – that’s about $80 million more than he would get by re-signing a long-term deal with the Thunder now, and would more than double what he would make by signing a maximum-salaried four-year deal with another team.
 
That’s why it makes a lot of sense for him to sign a short-term deal now and better position himself for a bigger payday the following summer when his starting salary will likely be on the north side of $35 million.
 
For the Celtics, Durant going through free agency back-to-back years affords coach Brad Stevens and the Celtics one more opportunity to continue their ascension up the Eastern Conference standings while still being a team that’s clearly in need of adding at least one additional All-Star talent to play with Isaiah Thomas.

In his three seasons as the Celtics coach, Stevens has improved the team’s win total each season.
 
However, they have failed to win a playoff series after having been knocked out in the first round each of the past two seasons.
 
While Durant is the team’s No. 1 priority on the free agent market, the Celtics will quickly pivot their attentions to other highly-regarded players as well with Atlanta’s Al Horford being among their targets.

Depending on how quickly Durant’s free agency gets taken care of, the Celtics might be able to turn their attention towards potentially re-signing Evan Turner, who was sixth in the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year voting last season.

OFFSEASON

Celtics' Isaiah Thomas continues recruitment of Durant with tweet

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Celtics' Isaiah Thomas continues recruitment of Durant with tweet

With the Celtics reportedly in the running in the Kevin Durant Derby, C's guard Isaiah Thomas is continuing his recruiting pitch with this playful tweet.

Thomas said in a radio interview earlier this week that the Celtics "definitely have a shot" at landing Durant and a few months ago, Thomas' essay in the Players Tribune is perhaps his best sales job of all.