Celtics officially sign Pavlovic

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Celtics officially sign Pavlovic

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM As expected, the Boston Celtics announced Thursday the signing of Sasha Pavlovic.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, confirmed to CSNNE.com after Wednesday's 115-103 win over Phoenix that the Celtics had come to terms with the 6-foot-7 forward.

By adding Pavlovic, the C's now have 14 players with guaranteed contracts on the roster.

Boston also has center Chris Johnson, whose 10-day contract is set to expire this weekend.

Pavlovic participated in his first Celtics practice on Thursday.

"I'm happy to be here," Pavlovic said. "I talk to Danny Ainge. I talk to coach (Rivers). They like me be here. Whatever they ask me to do, I'm going to do it."

The 27-year-old swingman will be called upon to provide added depth at the shooting guard and small forward positions.

As far as playing time, it's unlikely that he'll garner major minutes.

But with Delonte West (right ankle) and Glen Davis (left knee) out until sometime next week, the C's will dig a little deeper into their bench for players to contribute.

That might result in opportunities for Pavlovic, who has appeared in 466 NBA games and has career averages of 5.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.

One of Pavlovic's strengths that's seldom talked about, is his size.

He's 6-7, but weighs about 235 pounds - about five pounds heavier than Paul Pierce.

That size combined with a decent amount of athleticism, allows Pavlovic the ability to defend players with size at the small forward or shooting guard positions.

"I think I do pretty good defensively, and I can fast break, shoot open 3s," Pavlovic said. "But like I said, I'm going to keep it simple. There's a lot of great players on this team."

The addition of Pavlovic is another player head coach Doc Rivers has to figure out how best to utilize.

"One of the things we've always liked about him, is he's a competitive defender," Rivers said. "He doesn't back down from any guys. I think he can fit in well with us. He's a skilled player as well. I think he can fit in that way as well."

The addition of Pavlovic gives the C's added depth at the shooting guard and small forward positions. He appeared in 14 games this season, 10 of which were with the Dallas Mavericks.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told CSNNE.com that Pavlovic is "a very solid player."

In his eighth NBA season, Pavlovic has appeared in 466 career games with Utah, Cleveland, Minnesota, New Orleans and Dallas.

He is expected to be in uniform on Friday against Golden State, and said he will wear jersey number 77.

"When they called and told me what numbers are available, it wasn't too much," Pavlovic said. "So I took 77. There is no meaning to it."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

WALTHAM, Mass. – No matter how an NBA team’s season ends, change is inevitable.
 
And while there’s no doubt that the Celtics are on the right track in terms of their ascension in the NBA, it's too soon to tell how many players on the Celtics’ 15-man roster that Danny Ainge, the president of basketball operations, will bring back next season.

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“One thing I do know. He’ll make the best decisions for the team and if players don’t end up being back here, I wish the best for them,” said Avery Bradley.  “Those are my brothers. We all had a special year. I appreciate everything, all the time I had with them. I’d love for all those guys to be back. We’ll see.”
 
And with Boston coming off its first trip to the Eastern Conference finals since 2012, adding just any player won’t cut it.
 
The Celtics’ mindset now isn’t just to improve, but get good enough to where they can better compete with the likes of Cleveland, which just ended the Celtics’ season with a Game 5 thumping.
 
The most significant move made by the Celtics last offseason was the signing of Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract.
 
Like most of his Boston teammates this season, Horford is eager to see what changes are in store this summer.
 
“We just have to wait and see,” Horford said. “We had such a good year. A lot of positive things. It’ll be interesting to see what Danny, the organization feels is going to be the next step.”
 
Multiple league sources have told CSNNE.com in recent weeks that the Celtics are focused on landing an All-Star caliber talent in the frontcourt.
 
That makes sense when you consider how guard-dominant the Celtics were this season and how that had a negative impact on the team’s rebounding and, to a lesser degree, their defense as a whole.
 
Gordon Hayward has emerged as a target, but all indications – for now at least – point toward him returning to Utah.
 
The Celtics may pursue Los Angeles Clippers big man Blake Griffin. Although like Hayward, he too is expected to re-sign with his current team for a max contract (for Griffin that would be five years, $175 million).
 
While trades are certainly in the cards for Boston, at this point the Celtics seem more inclined to improve their overall talent base via the draft and free agency.
 
“It’s always a good thing when you have the opportunity to add value to your team and don’t have to change your team too much,” said Celtics’ reserve Gerald Green, who will be a free agent this summer. “I’m going to be very interested to see what they do as far as building a team. We’re in a good place right now as far as being where we want to be organization-wise. I feel like we’re one or two steps away from actually being at the Finals. I think Danny has some things to think about, but I’m sure he’s going to do the job. I’ve seen Danny go to work in these situations. He always makes the team better. I’m pretty sure he’s got something planned that, at the end of the day, is going to make this organization better.”
 
Indeed, the Celtics could very well strengthen their position for next season by simply locking up some of their core players who may hit the free agent market soon.
 
Boston may look to work out an extension with Isaiah Thomas before the start of this season. Because if he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, he will be poised to command a salary that in year one would be worth more than the entire four-year, $27 million deal he signed with Phoenix in 2014.
 
“Boston’s changed my career, changed my life,” Thomas said. “I would love to be here long-term and win championships here. But as you guys know, it’s a business and anything can happen. I know that and understand that. But I would love to be here. This has been everything to me. This city, this organization … it’s been good.”

It was still a banner year for Celtics, according to Bleacher Report tweet

It was still a banner year for Celtics, according to Bleacher Report tweet


Minutes after the Celtics were eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, the folks at Bleacher Report tweeted a video that celebrated the C’s one victory in the series. 

Ouch. 

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There are 17 Celtics championship banners that actually exist and hang at TD Garden. You won’t be seeing one for being a “finalist” or celebrating an actual sweep, such as Spurs over Cavs in the NBA Finals.