Celtics roster: A work in progress


Celtics roster: A work in progress

WALTHAM As the Boston Celtics went about rebuilding their roster for this upcoming season, Jeff Green purposely stood to the side, soaking it all in.

His contract as well as the contract for another soon-to-be Celtic Jason Terry, remain unsigned.


Because Danny Ainge and the C's, while confident that they have enough pieces to make a serious run at Banner 18 next year, are continuing to explore ways to add one more impact player on the perimeter during free agency.

And the contracts of Green and Terry may help.

"We are still trying to work out the details, have some things we're working out with Jason and Jeff," said Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations. "We hope to resolve those sometime in the near future."

Ainge later added, "we're hopeful that it'll get done next week. We think that there's a good chance we get a deal done."

There's no doubt the C's are extremely confident that both players will don Celtics jerseys this year.

If there was any serious doubt, there's no way that Ainge and company would have had them at the practice facility in front of the media on Saturday, the day that the team announced re-signing Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox which was first reported by CSNNE.com.

Boston plans to sign Terry with a starting salary of about 5 million which is equal to the mid-level exception.

However, if Boston can work out a sign-and-trade with Dallas that will get Terry a comparable salary, Boston could then use the mid-level exception it had slotted for Terry, to add another player.

This all became possible because of Allen's decision to not return to Boston, and the opportunity that his exit created.

When Ray Allen decided to play for Miami and not return to Boston, his departure - and the 6 million salary Boston was willing to pay - both went away.

Because Boston had Allen's Bird rights, they could have exceeded the salary cap in order to re-sign him.

With the current commitments Boston has, they could not offer another player anything more than the bi-annual exception (1.95 million) or a minimum-salaried contract.

However, a sign-and-trade with the Mavericks for Terry could very well provide Boston with the kind of flexibility to go out and add another perimeter player. But if the Mavericks decided to renounce their rights to Terry, that would rule out a sign-and-trade scenario and thus force the Celtics to sign Terry via the mid-level exception.

Although both Courtney Lee and O.J. Mayo are players Boston has strong interest in, a league source told CSNNE.com that the C's have a much better shot at Lee who could potentially be signed with all or part of the C's mid-level exception if Boston could manage beforehand acquiring Terry via sign-and-trade.

And as far as this all impacting Jeff Green, his agent David Falk has indicated that his client has agreed to take slightly less than his fair market value in order to help the Celtics build a championship roster - something Green very much wants to be a part of this season.

Depending on what the final dollars look like with Terry and potentially another player acquired with the mid-level exception, that might result in some minor tweaking to Green's contract.

"Jeff had a life-changing situation," said Falk, referring to Green's season-ending heart procedure earlier this year. "For him being here, probably giving up several million dollars a year, to be here. My job is to understand that every client is different. I don't think one is right, one is wrong. I'm proud of him (Green) for having that kind of maturity, for not letting the money cloud your judgement. It's been a mutual love affair. They love having him here. He loves being here. So I'm thrilled; it makes my job easy."

If Boston fails to execute a sign-and-trade, they will look into lower-priced players to add to the roster. Former Celtic Mickael Pietrus is a potential candidate for the team's bi-annual exception or possibly be signed to the veteran's minimum.

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a CSNNE.com report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”