Q&A with newest Celtic JaJuan Johnson

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Q&A with newest Celtic JaJuan Johnson

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn BOSTON Comcast SportsNet's Kyle Draper had a chance to catch up with JaJuan Johnson moments after he become the latest member of the Boston Celtics.

Johnson, who starred at Purdue, was acquired by the Celtics on Thursday night when the C's traded Providence's high-scoring guard, Marshon Brooks, to New Jersey for the Nets' first round pick -- Johnson -- along with a 2014 second-round pick.

Here's a glimpse at some of the topics covered by Johnson in his phone interview with Comcast Sportsnet:

On playing with the Big Three:
"It's an honor just to be able to learn from those guys. I'm just going to be a sponge. I'm going to take in all I can and really learn from those guys."

On his ability
"I'm long, athletic, I love to run, I can jump. And my ability to shoot has improved every year that I've been in school."

On his talk with Celtics head coach Doc Rivers
"He really didn't say anything about my role. He just congratulated me on getting selected. Obviously we got some work to do and I'm ready to put in the work."

On going to the C's with college teammate E'Twaun Moore, who was selected by the C's in the second round
"I texted him. He called me and we talked about how crazy it was we were on the same team again because we definitely didn't expect it."

On what he knows about Boston
"Not much. I know the Patriots are there and I'm a huge Colts fan. I've seen the battles they've had over the years, but that's all I'm familiar with."

On playing with Kevin Garnett
"It's a dream come true. Growing up and watching him, he was my favorite player so learning from him is going to be good."

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

NBA's a global game, and the Celtics are all in

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NBA's a global game, and the Celtics are all in

BOSTON – The NBA has become more of an international game as teams scour the globe in search of the next big basketball talent.

While some franchises such as the San Antonio Spurs have been poaching talented international players for years, other franchises have been more locked into adding American-born ballers.

The Boston Celtics have paid close attention to the best international players for several years.

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But more often than not, additions to their roster through the draft have come from the college ranks with an occasional international player added via free agency.

This season's team will definitely have a certain international flavor to it with overseas additions coming by way of players they drafted and signed as free agents to bolster what should be one of the deeper teams in the East.

Boston has six rookies with guaranteed contracts for this upcoming season, four of which were born outside of the United States.

And of those four rookies, three of them – Guerschon Yabusele (16th overall pick); Ante Zizic (23rd overall pick) and Abdel Nader; 58th overall pick) – were selected in the 2016 draft but didn't join the team immediately. 

Yabusele who is originally from France, spent most of last season in China and came to the States and played briefly with the Celtic’s Gatorade League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. He will be among the bevy of young players competing for minutes off the Celtics bench. 

Zizic, born in Croatia, spent last season playing in his native country as well as in Turkey. The 7-foot center will come into training camp competing for playing time, possibly as Boston’s starting center.

And then there’s Nader, a G-League all-star as well as the G-League’s rookie of the year last season. The Egyptian-American wing player showed promise in each of the last two summer leagues which is in part why the Celtics signed him to a four-year, $6 million deal with only the first year fully guaranteed. 

They each have different strengths that only add value to a Boston squad that’s being built to play just about every style of play imaginable.

But the Celtics didn’t limit their pursuit of international talent to just the draft.

Boston has also signed German Forward Daniel Theis. 

Unlike the international players drafted by Boston, Theis is a bit of a mystery to most Celtics fans.

Last season he averaged 10.7 points and 4.6 rebounds for Brose Bamberg of Germany, while shooting 41.0 percent from 3-point range and 59.8 percent from the field.

And that season ended with a German championship, just like the previous two seasons for the 6-9, 243-pound forward who is expected to come in and compete for playing time off the bench for a Celtics team that’s looking for