OFFSEASON

Ainge: Injuries may alter short-term plan

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Ainge: Injuries may alter short-term plan

BOSTON Danny Ainge was already searching high and wide for ways to bolster the Boston Celtics' roster.

Now with Jared Sullinger out for the season following back surgery, it's basically a matter of what type of deal he's able to pull off prior to the Feb. 21 trading deadline.

The Celtics have been sifting through the list of players they suspect might be available to trade for as well as players still without a team.

Although the best player available mentality is still in play, the focus now has to shift almost exclusively towards adding a big man.

"It (Sullinger's injury) might have some affect on what we do now," admitted Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations. "But it's not going to have an affect on what we do long term."

In other words, teams looking to give up talent attached with a toxic (read: long and bloated) contract are not realistic options under consideration by the Celtics.

Instead, look for the C's to focus their sights on players with expiring deals, or contracts with a decreasing value attached to them after this season.

Ainge wouldn't rule out adding a player or two that's currently a free agent as well.

One free agent option that remains available is Kenyon Martin. However, league sources indicated on Friday that the C's have not expressed any interest in adding the former all-star recently and even with Sullinger's injury, it appears that's not going to change.

And while Ainge's focus remains on doing what he can to bolster the Celtics roster, he remains confident that the C's have enough to continue winning games.

Despite the injuries to Sullinger and Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL), the C's have won three in a row.

"I'm not ready to cave in yet? You kidding?" Ainge said. "It's going to take more than that. We'll just have to win in a different way. Jared's our best rebounder. We don't have to play that way. We're going to have to win in a different way without Jared and without Rajon. We'll see what we have."

OFFSEASON

Who will make the Celtics roster?

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Who will make the Celtics roster?

BOSTON – Regardless of what the Celtics do in the offseason, there will always be position battles in training camp.

But when the players arrive in a few weeks, a handful will have more at stake than just a roster spot.

Boston currently has 18 players with full or partially guaranteed contracts, a number that has to be pared down to 15 or less by the time the regular season begins.

The math is pretty cut and dry. Barring a trade, at least three players have to be let go.

But who will they be?

That’s for Brad Stevens and the rest of the Celtics brass to figure out.

In the meantime, here’s a look at five Celtics who, barring a trade, are likely to be among the pool of players Boston will be picking from for what should be the last couple of roster spots.

OFFSEASON

Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

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Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

New England fans will get their first glimpse at the 2016-2017 Boston Celtics when they kick off their preseason schedule on October 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers at UMass-Amherst’s Mullins Center.

That game will feature two of the top three picks in last month’s draft as Ben Simmons, the top overall pick, will face Jaylen Brown, who was drafted by the Celtics with the third overall pick.

Boston’s 7-game schedule features no back-to-back games, but they do face the Charlotte Hornets in their second and third preseason games on Oct. 6 (in Greensboro, N.C.) and Oct. 8 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Here’s a look at Boston’s full preseason schedule:

DATE               OPPONENT                  LOCATION                                                        TIME
Oct. 4               Philadelphia 76ers         UMass-Amherst Mullins Center (Amherst, MA)     7:00 p.m. ET
Oct. 6               Charlotte Hornets          Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 8               Charlotte Hornets          Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT)                  3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 13             Brooklyn Nets               Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)                          7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 15             New York Knicks           Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 17             Brooklyn Nets               TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 19             New York Knicks           TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET