Stiemsma must wait to learn fate


Stiemsma must wait to learn fate

ORLANDO, Fla. The Minnesota Timberwolves have moved one step closer to ensuring they will get little resistance from the Boston Celtics when they, as expected, present restricted free agent Greg Stiemsma with an offer sheet.
The Timberwolves have used their amnesty provision to waive Darko Milicic. In addition, there are reports that they are working towards buy-outs with Martell Webster and Brad Miller.
Even if Portland decides to not match the 45 million offer sheet Minnesota signed Nicolas Batum to recently, the Timberwolves will still be in good position to sign Stiemsma to more money than the C's can match.
Boston is over the cap and in all likelihood, would consider signing Stiemsma with their bi-annual exception which is worth 1.9 million.
However, Stiemsma's agent Mike Naiditch told that the C's have not offered that exception to his client, and that Stiemsma has yet to receive an offer sheet from Minnesota even though all indications are that they will move in that direction once the Blazers make a decision on whether to match the offer sheet.
According to, the Blazers have indicated that they will match the offer sheet which is reportedly worth 46.5 million.
Once the paperwork is submitted to the league office, Portland will have 72 hours from then to match.
So that means free agents -- Stiemsma among them -- will continue to wait for some of the dust to settle before their business begins.
His agent has no problem playing the waiting game."The moratorium is over. It's not the deadline for free agency," Naiditch said. "It's only the beginning. Everyone is in kind of a rush to have resolution on the (July) 11th. That's really just the beginning of free agency."

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

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Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

BOSTON – Avery Bradley doesn’t mind being a standout, but this is probably not what he had in mind. 

Injuries have ravaged the Boston Celtics’ starting five to the point where only one player, Bradley, has been with the first unit in all 22 games this season. 

Just like Bradley was looked upon to step his game up in the absence of Isaiah Thomas (right groin) at Orlando on Wednesday, he will once again be challenged to lead Boston (13-9) to victory tonight when the Thomas-less Celtics face the Toronto Raptors. 

Bradley’s emergence as a two-way talent this season has overshadowed at times what has been another season of elite play defensively. 

And he’ll need to be on top of his defensive game tonight against a Raptors All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. 

Both Lowry and DeRozan present a different kind of challenge for Bradley who will spend time defending each of them at various points during the game. 

Lowry has good size, strength and deceptive quickness in addition to an under-rated perimeter game that will keep Bradley on his toes for sure. 

This season he's averaging 20.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 7.6 assists while shooting 42.9 percent on 3's which is also a career mark. 

And DeRozan is having the kind of season that might get him a few league MVP votes. 

His 28.0 points per game ranks fifth in the NBA, but making his numbers even more impressive is that unlike most guards DeRozan doesn’t generate much offense from three-pointers.

DeRozan averages 1.8 three-point attempts per game which is the fewest attempts among any player ranked among the league’s top-25 scorers.

The 6-foot-7 All-Star is the master of the mid-range game which accounts for 31.5 percent of the points he scores. And when he’s not shooting the mid-range, he’s working a defender in one-on-one iso-situations. 

That helps explain why 76.4 percent of his two-point made field goals are unassisted. 

But here’s the thing about Bradley. 

As much as we give him props for what he does defensively, it’s his offense that has put him on the map as a potential All-Star this season. 

Bradley is averaging a career-high 17.9 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He’s also averaging a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game in addition to shooting a career-high 40.7 percent on 3's.

But for Bradley, individual accolades are only going to come his way by the Celtics winning games; preferably against above-average teams like the Toronto Raptors.

And that would make both Bradley and the Celtics stand out this season.