Melo ready, willing to learn from Garnett

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Melo ready, willing to learn from Garnett

ALLSTON, Mass. Training camp is months away, but the Kevin Garnett School for Big Men is already in session.

Shortly after the Celtics drafted Syracuse University center Fab Melo with the No. 22 pick in last months NBA draft, Garnett wasted no time reaching out to him.

I want to learn from him. Hes an energy guy. I have a lot of energy for the game, too, said Melo, who along with the Celtics other two draft picks (Jared Sullinger and second-round pick Kris Joseph) was at the Jackson MannHorace Mann Education Complex. With my passion and his passion for the game, I think well do great things.

Garnett, a free agent this summer, has agreed to a three-year deal worth about 34 million.

His return to the floor bodes well not only for the Celtics this season in terms of what he brings to the floor. It also benefits the next generation of Celtics players -- players like Melo who for now at least, is receptive to Garnetts teachings.

In recent years, Boston has added a number of big men who have all bought into Garnetts teachings.

Its not a coincidence that a player like Semih Erden for example, never had quite as much success elsewhere as he did with the Celtics.

KG, he helped me a lot when I was in Boston, Erden told CSNNE.com. He talk. He teach. He helped me become a better player.

Erden was traded in the middle of his rookie season to Cleveland. With the Cs, he averaged 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds while appearing in 37 games (7 starts). With the Cavs, both his scoring and rebounding numbers were down despite being with a weaker team.

And while Melo has yet to have his first practice with Garnett, he has been warned about how quickly Garnett tunes young players out if theyre not ready to listen and work hard because in Garnetts mind, the two go hand-in-hand.

Celtics second-year forward JuJuan Johnson heard similar warnings after the Celtics drafted him in the first round last year.

Johnson made a point of trying to soak in any and all of Garnetts teachings.

And KG responded by sharing tips on and off the court, on bus rides to the various arenas and on plane rides from city to city.

KG has been great for me, Johnson told CSNNE.com near the end of this past season. He says a lot of really good things, but he doesnt just talk. He goes out there and puts in the time to get better. You see a guy as good as he is, still trying to get better, it makes you want to work that much harder. You want to do well for yourself, but you dont want to let him or any of your teammates down, either.

Melos departure from Syracuse was anti-climatic with him being suspended for the Oranges postseason run which ended at the hands of Ohio State and the Cs other first-round pick, Jared Sullinger.

For Melo, that is in the past now, a situation he can do nothing to change.

Now, the focus is on trying to become the best professional player he can be. And a big part of that process begins with listening to Garnett, who is already in the rookies ear.

Im ready, Melo told CSNNE.com. Im ready for it. I cant want to be out there with my new teammates, learning from KG. Its going to be fun.

He says that now . . .

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum was all smiles after hearing his named called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number 3 pick by Boston in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

And as he made his way towards the commissioner and put on the customary Celtics hat, a bright future surely awaited him.

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But is it going to be in Boston?

CSNNE.com confirmed an earlier report by Yahoo Sports! the Vertical that the Celtics were indeed engaged in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is no stranger to taking chances that most GMs would not consider or take a pass on.

Trading for George, who informed the Pacers that he would not re-sign a long-term deal with them and would instead prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers when he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, is a huge risk.

While the particulars of the possible trade are still being discussed, Boston will likely have to include the number three pick – Jayson Tatum – in a deal for George.

Ainge appears willing to gamble that a season in Boston will be enough to convince George to re-sign a long-term deal in the summer of 2018 which would be a win-win in terms of bolstering their chances to compete with Cleveland for Eastern Conference supremacy, and keep him away from the Lakers.

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Celtics draft pick Jayson Tatum will go from one highly regarded coach to another, and he said shortly after being drafted that Mike Krzyzewski had nothing but good things to say about Brad Stevens. 

Tatum said Coach K’s praise for Stevens came after the Celtics traded the first overall pick, thus establishing they would not be selecting Markelle Fultz. 

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“He called me and talked about that Boston was wanting me to come up there for a workout. He was just ranting about how great of a person Brad Stevens is, and [that] Coach K would love the opportunity if they would pick me and he really wanted me to go up there and work out for them,” Tatum said. “I was all for it. It worked out. I had a great time up there on my visit and obviously they enjoyed me.”

Krzyzewski and Stevens coached against each other in the 2010 national championship, which Duke won by two points when Gordon Hayward’s potential game-winning half-court shot nearly went in, but hit the rim. Hayward and Stevens could be reunited this offseason given that the veteran forward will be a free agent.

Tatum spent one year at Duke, averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.