Celtics training camp taking shape

Celtics training camp taking shape
December 8, 2011, 9:28 pm
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C E L T I C S  P L A Y O F F  P I C T U R E 
in Eastern Conference

WALTHAM The Boston Celtics' training camp is just about complete with the addition of three big men to the roster. Michael Sweetney, Jamal Sampson and Greg Stiemsma have all been invited to camp which is scheduled to begin Friday afternoon.

For Sweetney, this will be his second training camp with the Celtics. He was with the C's two years ago, but was cut shortly before the season started. The former lottery pick spent two seasons with the New York Knicks before being traded to Chicago, which is where he played for another two seasons.

His size (6-foot-8, 275) is certainly somewhat intriguing to the C's, but the issue with him has always been -- and will continue to be -- his level of conditioning. If he comes into camp in good shape and proves to be productive, he has a very good shot of sticking.

Sampson is just 28 years old, but the former second-round pick definitely qualifies as an NBA journeyman having played five seasons with five different teams. The nephew of former Houston Rockets great Ralph Sampson, Jamal left Cal after one season and has never found his niche in the NBA. In 72 games, he has averaged 2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

Stiemsma is the one camp invitee that few outside of the Celtics scouting department, have ever heard of.

A 6-foot-11 center who played at Wisconsin, the 26-year-old center has never played in the NBA.

However, he has proven to be a better-than-average rebounder in the D-League.

In two seasons with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, he averaged 8.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.5 blocks while appearing in 46 games.

In addition to the six players the Celtics had under contract heading into this season (Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Avery Bradley and Jermaine O'Neal), Boston also plans on having their rookie draft picks Jajuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore as well as undrafted rookie Gilbert Brown. Training camp will also welcome the return of Marquis Daniels, who has agreed to a one-year deal with the C's. That bring the Celtics' training camp total to 13, with players likely to be added and subtracted between now and the season opener at New York on Christmas Day.