Agent: Celtics have shown interest in Pargo

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Agent: Celtics have shown interest in Pargo

HOUSTON Free-agent guard Jannero Pargo is among the players the Celtics have discussed as a possible roster addition.

"Yes, we have talked," Pargo's agent, Mark Bartelstein, told CSNNE.com. "But I know Danny (Ainge, Boston's president of Basketball Operations) is weighing a lot of different options right now, looking for what works best for them. We're doing the same thing, too."

Despite winning eight of its last nine games heading into the all-star break, Boston's roster has been decimated by season-ending injuries -- all within the last three weeks.

Those setbacks have really hit the C's hard in the backcourt where guards Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL) and Leandro Barbosa (torn left ACL and strained MCL) are both out for the season. In addition, the C's are without rookie forward Jared Sullinger who had season-ending back surgery.

It's clear that while the C's need talent in the worst way, there is a certain sense of urgency for them to add another player in the backcourt.

If Boston decides to pick up a guard via free agency, Pargo would easily be on the Celtics' short list. The 6-foot-1 guard recently completed a second, 10-day stint with the Atlanta Hawks and has appeared in 14 games this season -- seven with Atlanta and seven with the Washington Wizards.

Prior to Boston's 71-69 win over Chicago on Wednesday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the C's will be in no rush to add another player even with a roster that now stands at just 10 healthy players -- among them Fab Melo who has appeared in just two games this season.

For now, Boston has just three guards on its roster -- Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. When Bradley got into early foul trouble against Chicago, the C's inserted Jeff Green -- the team's 6-9 backup small forward -- into the lineup at "shooting" guard.

It didn't create a huge mismatch for the Celtics, with Green guarding Chicago's Richard Hamilton who is 6-7.

But against teams with significantly smaller backcourts, there's the potential for it to become a major problem for the C's defensively.

Pargo would certainly help in that capacity.

But the benefit of adding Pargo or any player for that matter, might be even greater served in what they provide from a practice standpoint.

In the C's preparation for the Bulls, Paul Pierce said assistant coach and former NBA guard Tyronn Lue had to participate in the walk-through because of the team's lack of perimeter players.

"We have to have a guard, maybe another big man," Pierce said. "I think it's going to be necessary just to have some depth. Hopefully maybe they can contribute in a game."

Pargo has proven himself to be a solid NBA backup, having appeared in 443 games and another 40 in the playoffs.

Bartelstein said his client would ideally like to find a situation where he had a chance to play steady minutes, but added that's not the only thing he's interested in.

"He'd also like to be with a playoff team," said Bartelstein, who added that he has had ongoing conversations with a number of teams. "But really, it's about finding the right fit, the right situation for him."

Although Pargo has bounced around since entering the league undrafted in 2002, his brightest moment as a pro came in the 2008 playoffs when given an opportunity to play steady minutes.

Then with the New Orleans Hornets, Pargo filled in for an injured Chris Paul and put quite a scare in the San Antonio Spurs, who needed seven games to move on from their Western Conference semi-final matchup.

In that seventh game, Pargo had 18 points which included a trio of three-pointers. Prior to that, he had a 30-point game in New Orleans' first-round series against Dallas.

He became a free agent that summer and had a number of NBA suitors, but eventually signed a one-year, 3.8 million deal with Moscow Dynamo.

"He's definitely not afraid of the big moment, or taking the big shot," Bartelstein said. "But like I said, we're talking with some teams and hopefully we'll have something done soon for the rest of the season."

Celtics waive guard/forward John Holland

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Celtics waive guard/forward John Holland

BOSTON –  The Boston Celtics moved one step closer towards trimming down its overcrowded roster with the waiving of John Holland.

The 27-year-old would have gone into training camp with a very slim shot at making the roster. He signed a two-year deal that would have been worth $874,636 for the 2016-2017 season.

However, the contract was non-guaranteed and would have more than likely been used as part of a potential trade.

But no such deal materialized.

So rather than have the 6-foot-5 guard/forward in training camp with the odds heavily stacked against him making the team, Boston waived him now so that he has enough time to either go to training camp with another NBA team or sign with a team overseas.

Holland, who starred at Boston University, has already played overseas in France, Spain and Turkey in addition to having played with the Development League’s Canton Charge last season.

He played in one game for the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics now have 18 players in training camp, 16 of which have guaranteed contracts.

Celtics’ Jaylen Brown voted most athletic by fellow rookies

Celtics’ Jaylen Brown voted most athletic by fellow rookies

The NBA’s 38 rookies had their annual photo shoot and were polled by NBA.com with a couple of questions about their class. When asked which rookie was the most athletic among them, the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, the No. 3 pick overall last June, won in a landslide.

Here are the results of that question:  

1. Jaylen Brown, Boston -- 38.7%

2. Brice Johnson, L.A. Clippers -- 16.1%

3. Marquese Chriss, Phoenix -- 9.7%

T-4. Malik Beasley, Denver -- 6.5%

Kay Felder, Cleveland -- 6.5%

Gary Payton II, Houston -- 6.5%

Providence guard Kris Dunn, No. 5 pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves was the freshman class’ pick to win rookie of the year honors, with 29 percent of the vote, followed by No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram of the Lakers and No. 1 pick Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Click here for the complete poll. 

 

Mickey has to prove to Celtics he has more than just potential

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Mickey has to prove to Celtics he has more than just potential

Every weekday until Sept. 7, we'll take a look at each player at the Celtics roster: Their strengths and their weaknesses, their ceiling and their floor. We continue today with Jordan Mickey. For a look at the other profiles, click here.

BOSTON – Jordan Mickey admittedly came to Boston with a chip on his shoulder.

Selected by Boston with the 33rd overall pick, Mickey felt he should have been a first-round pick.

The Celtics felt the same way.

That's why they signed the 6-foot-9 forward from LSU to a four-year, $5 million contract, a deal that made his annual average salary higher than fellow rookie R.J. Hunter, who was taken in the first round by Boston with the 28th overall pick.

While Mickey landed a deal comparable to what a player selected in the first round would make, he still has to prove that he’s more than just a player with potential.

The ceiling for Mickey: Regular rotation

Mickey didn't have the kind of breakout summer that he and the Celtics were hoping for, primarily because of a left shoulder injury that limited his availability.

Mickey did not play for Boston's summer league entry in Salt Lake City because of the injury, but did see action with the Celtics' summer league squad in Las Vegas. 

He appeared in five games, averaging 9.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in 25 minutes, to go with 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. Mickey also shot 56.3 percent from the field. 

It was a decent showing, but for Mickey to have the kind of continued growth both he and the Celtics are seeking, he’ll need to become a more consistent defender in addition to continuing to expand his offensive game. 

Like most big men in the NBA, Mickey is doing his best to show that he can help space the floor with his perimeter shooting that extends beyond the 3-point line.

It was something you saw him work during pregame shootarounds with the assistant coaches. In summer league, Mickey was 1-for-3 on 3s.

But Mickey understands he is in the NBA because of what he can do defensively and around the rim. He was the nation's leader in blocked shots per game (3.6) in his final year at LSU. 

And it was among the many areas in which Mickey stood out this past season in his time with the Celtics' Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Of course, college and D-League success don’t always result in similar results in the NBA.

But when it comes to Mickey, he has shown himself capable of doing some impressive feats defensively in a very small and limited role in the NBA.

Although he only appeared in 16 NBA games as a rookie, Mickey was the only player who held opponents to less than 50 percent shooting in the restricted area (48.9 percent), in the non-restricted area in the paint (46.2 percent) and mid-range (44.4).

In addition, opponents shot 16.7 and 18.8 percent from the left corner on 3s and above-the-break 3s, respectively.

Mickey finding a way to continue improving as an offensive player while providing the same level of play defensively will go far in him solidifying a place for himself in the Celtics’ regular rotation.

The floor for Mickey: Roster spot

The Celtics have too many players in training camp and someone with guaranteed money has to go, but don’t look for it to be Jordan Mickey. The Celtics didn’t sign him to a four-year deal worth end-of-the-first-round money to not at least see what he can do given more of an opportunity to play. He spent most of his rookie season with the Maine Red Claws. 

And his time there was indeed well spent. 

He appeared in 23 games for the Red Claws and was named a D-League all-star before finishing the season averaging a double-double of 17.4 points and 10.3 rebounds along with a league-best 4.4 blocks per game. In addition to shooting 53.1 percent from the field, Mickey showed he had some range as well while connecting on 35 percent of his 3-point shots.

Mickey has shown the kind of promise that the Celtics want to see more of before making a decision on his long-term future. 

That is why worst-case scenario for Mickey this season, barring him being traded, is for him to be another available body on the Celtics bench.