Celtics take gambles, add size with questionable players

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Celtics take gambles, add size with questionable players

BOSTON The Boston Celtics used their two first-round picks to add a pair of questionable players who they believe will be the answer to what has ailed the C's frontcourt for years.

Jared Sullinger, a top-10 talent from Ohio State that slipped into the latter part of the first round after being red-flagged for having back problems, was scooped up by the Celtics with the No. 21 pick.

An inconsistent effort on a number of nights led to Fab Melo, a 7-foot defensive standout at Syracuse, being available for the taking at No. 22.

"We needed to address size," said C's coach Doc Rivers via a teleconference call from Newark, N.J. where his son, Austin, was drafted with the No. 10 pick by New Orleans.

Of the two, clearly the addition of Sullinger was considered the bigger haul.

"The fact that Jared Sullinger fell to us, is just fortunate," Rivers said. "Last year he would have been a top-5 pick and all this year, he was a top-10 pick. The fact that he just kept falling to us it gives us a rebounder, high IQ player, great passer and a very good shooter from the outside."

As far as Sullinger's back, Rivers said the C's have talked with a number of medical officials prior to feeling comfortable with selecting the 6-foot-9, 280-pound forward.

"We feel pretty good about it," Rivers said, referring to Sullinger's back. "Obviously we're going to have to watch it and make sure he gets the right treatment all the time. But I played 13 years with a bad back, and I was OK and I think he will too."

Rivers added, "All of the doctors that we talked to, gave clearance. That's fine by us."

As for Melo, it's clear that his selection was more about developing a player with potential, then adding an immediate impact player.

"He has size. We needed size. This gives us a chance to work with him," Rivers said. "We think he could be a good player."

Sullinger, who left Ohio State after two seasons, averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and was a first-team All Big Ten performer each of his two seasons for the Buckeyes.

Melo, who also left college after two seasons, was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year this past season. Along with his 7.8 points per game, he also averaged 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks while shooting 56.6 points per game.

Twitter reacts to Isaiah Thomas' cryptic eyeball emoji tweet

Twitter reacts to Isaiah Thomas' cryptic eyeball emoji tweet

Isaiah Thomas didn't have to tweet any words to set Twitter ablaze in Boston. The Boston Celtics guard tweeted a eye emoji on Monday night.

And that was enough to spark trade speculation and jokes -- lots of jokes.

With New England on edge following the DeMarcus Cousins trade, Boston fans and many members of the media responded on twitter.

They reacted to Thomas' tweet featuring eyeball emoji with thoughts a trade for Jimmy Butler may be in store.

Be sure to check out all the hilarious tweets below.

There was the rational approach.


The playful response.


The not-so rational response.


And perhaps the most important tweet from Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren

What Celtics have to offer in potential trade

What Celtics have to offer in potential trade

BOSTON – Between now and Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, the Boston Celtics are going to have conversations involving most if not all their assets. 

Here’s a look at what the Celtics have to offer as part of a potential trade, broken down between draft picks and the rights to players.

DRAFT PICKS

2017

-Own first round pick (have the right to swap for Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick)

-Own second round pick (top-45 protected; will be conveyed to Brooklyn if Celtics swap first-round picks with the Nets this year).

-Minnesota Timberwolves’ second round pick

-Cleveland Cavaliers’ second round pick

-Los Angeles Clippers’ second round pick

2018

-Own first round pick

-Brooklyn’s first round pick

-Own second round pick (top-55 protected; if it falls outside of that range, will be conveyed to Oklahoma City).

2019

-Own first-round pick

-Memphis Grizzlies' first round pick*

-Los Angeles Clippers' first round pick (top-14 protected; pick can only be conveyed to Boston two years after the Clippers convey a first-round pick to Toronto which is likely to happen this year).

-Own second round pick (top-55 protected; if it falls outside of the top-55, pick will be conveyed to Memphis).

-Detroit Pistons' second round pick

2020

-Own first round pick

-Memphis' first round pick*

-Clippers' first round pick (top-14 protected; conveyed this year if it wasn’t sent Boston’s way in 2019).

-Own second round pick

-Miami's second round pick

2021

-Own first round pick

-Memphis' first round pick*

-Own second round pick

2022

-Own first round pick

-Memphis' first round pick*

-Own second round pick

-Clippers' second round pick (If first round pick not conveyed to Boston by 2020, Clippers will send the Celtics their 2022 second round pick).

*This pick from Memphis will be conveyed to Boston two years after the Grizzlies send a first-round pick to Denver. The pick is top-6-protected in 2017 and 2018, and is unprotected in 2019. The pick Boston will receive from Memphis is top-9 protected in 2019, top-7 protected in 2020 and unprotected in 2021.

RIGHTS TO PLAYERS

Guershon Yabusele

Size, position: 6-foot-8 power forward

How acquired by Boston: Drafted by the Celtics in the first round of the 2016 NBA draft, 16th overall.

Statistics this season: Yabusele is playing with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. He is averaging 21.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

Ante Zizic

Size, position: 6-foot-11 power forward/center

How acquired by Boston: Drafted by the Celtics in the first round of the 2016 NBA draft, No. 23 overall.

Statistics this season: Playing for Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul led by ex-NBA coach David Blatt, Zizic has averaged 10.3 points and 67.3 percent shooting from the field. 

Abdel Nader

Size, position: 6-foot-8 shooting guard/small forward

How acquired by Boston: Drafted by the Celtics in the second round of the 2016 NBA draft, 58th overall.

Statistics this season: Playing for Boston’s Gatorade-League affiliate the Maine Red Claws, Nader was named to the G-League’s all-star team in large part because of his 22 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game average this season.

Marcus Thornton

Size, position: 6-foot-4 shooting guard

Status: Drafted by the Celtics in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft, 45th overall.

This season: Playing for Consultinvest VL Pesaro in Italy-Serie A, Thornton is averaging 11.9 points, 1.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds.