Boston Celtics

What's Green worth?

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What's Green worth?

While Jeff Green's contract with the Celtics is still officially unofficial, Danny Ainge reiterated yesterday in Vegas, that the C's and Green have agreed on a four year deal worth 36M.

It's a contract that many in the basketball world feel is absurd for a relatively-unproven, soon-to-be-26-year-old who missed all of last season after heart surgery.

And I agree.

On one hand, I understand why the Celtics made signing Green a priority. It's the same reason they traded for him in the first place: Because they desperately needed another small forward and Green was the best available and most versatile option.

He also fits in well with the changing face of this team. You can already see him running back and forth with Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley, while the out-of-breathe opposition thinks to themselves: "Holy crap. What the hell happened to the Celtics?"

That's the best case scenario. And you know that's what Danny Ainge and the Celtics are banking on. They believe that Green was put in an awful position two seasons ago. That he was never comfortable within Boston's system. They believe that his time shadowing the team last season will help the chemistry, and that a fresh start will lead Green to realize a level of potential that many deny even exists.

But anyway you cut it, 36M is a lot to gamble on potential. It's only fitting that Ainge made the announcement in Las Vegas.

Speaking of which, David Falk (Green's agent), was in Las Vegas as well. And according to this story in the Herald he had a message for all those who believe Green's unworthy of the new deal:

I had a (team personnel executive) that I met with last week who had told me that if we took a dime less under 13 million dollars a year for Jeff Green he should fire us, Falk said.

He continued: The truth is I think Jeffs market value was several million dollars more (over the course of the four years) than what he signed for . . . he accepted a deal that I think is very fair, but I dont think is as much as he could have gotten.

Hmm . . . it's up to you how much you're willing to believe the words of an agent. Especially when he's talking about one of his own clients. But who knows? With the ridiculous deals and moronic GMs that exist in this league, maybe it's possible that someone out there was actually willing to give Green 13M a year.

But here's the point: It doesn't matter now.

Regardless of whether andor why he accepted less money to play for the Celtics, Green still has to prove that he's even worth what he "settled" for. No one in Boston will have sympathy for him turning down 13 million if he plays like a guy who deserves six.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Horford: 'Trying to figure out the best way to help' after Hurricane Maria

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Horford: 'Trying to figure out the best way to help' after Hurricane Maria

CANTON, Mass. –  Hurricane Maria ravaged a number of Caribbean Islands, including the Dominican Republic – the home of Boston Celtics big man Al Horford.

“My immediate family is OK,” Horford told CSNNE.com during Boston’s Media Day on Monday. “But we look at everything in the big picture. We were very lucky in comparison to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, a lot of smaller islands.”

Hurricane Maria hit the Dominican Republic with heavy wind and rain but delivered a much more powerful punch to other islands.

Puerto Rico has been devastated by the storm which has knocked out most of the electricity on the island along with heavy flooding.

The U.S. Virgin Islands was hit hard as well.

While the Dominican Republic wasn’t hit quite as hard as some other islands, they too are going through what’s likely to be an extended recovery period.

“We do have a lot of flooding,” Horford said of the Dominican Republic. “There’s a lot of need.”

Horford intends to address that need in some capacity.

“Right now, we’re trying to figure out the best way to help down there,” he said. “We want to make sure whatever we do as far as money and help-wise, it’s going to the people in need.”

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Stevens says new challenges haven't changed Celtics' expectations

Stevens says new challenges haven't changed Celtics' expectations

CANTON, Mass. – There is no way around it.

When conversations shift towards the best teams in the NBA, the Boston Celtics are one of the first teams talked about.

With that elevated status comes increased expectations, the kind that will kick into full gear when the team begins practice.

But within those expectations is the reality that despite the increased talent pool Brad Stevens will have to work with this season, there will still be an adjustment period.

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Increased expectations and maintaining a sense of urgency while being patient with the team gelling, will be among the biggest challenges awaiting Boston this season.

But head coach Brad Stevens doesn’t believe it will be an issue his team will contend with this season.

“Our expectations haven’t changed so there’s no balance,” Stevens said. “You do what you do, work every day to try to be the best you can be. We know what goal is in Boston; that’s stated pretty clearly with the banners that hang above us. Ultimately that has nothing to do with how good we become tomorrow and the next day. We just focus on the process.”

And that process begins in earnest on Tuesday with the first day of training camp.

“We’re looking forward to getting to work as a full team,” Stevens said.

Despite having a team with 10 new players, the expectations have not been any higher than they are now for Stevens who is entering his fifth season as Boston’s head coach.

He has a roster that includes a trio of All-Stars in Al Horford (4), Gordon Hayward (1) and Kyrie Irving (4), with a combined nine All-Star appearances among them.

Boston also has a talented but youthful roster outside of their Big Three that includes second-year wing Jaylen Brown and first-round pick Jayson Tatum not to mention returners Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier who will both be competing for prominent roles in the Celtics’ rotation this season.

The additions made by Boston should help balance out an offense that will continue to look for ways to score.

“We have a lot of new pieces,” said Boston’s Al Horford. “But I feel like we’re moving in the right direction as a team.”

Part of that progress involves not only getting the new guys up to speed, but also internal growth from among the handful of players back from last season’s squad.

The most talked about returnee on Monday was Marcus Smart, who comes into training camp having lost nearly 20 pounds.

Smart said he weighed 223 points after having weighed himself earlier on Monday, which is down from his playing weight of last season which hovered around the 240-pound mark.

Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, said the organization talked to Smart about the need for him to lose weight this summer.

Smart agreed.

The added weight began to bother him during the playoffs, leading to increased back pain and sleepless nights.

“I remember times putting on my shirt and tucking my stomach in because I didn’t like how it looked,” Smart said. “And that pain was causing me, I was always tired, I wasn’t as explosive and I was exerting so much energy to go out there every day and do the things I been doing my whole life. I wasn’t too fond of that. I knew I had to change.”

And when it comes to the Celtics heading into this season, change is indeed an appropriate description for this team.

But for newcomer Kyrie Irving, dealing with change is nothing new.

When LeBron James returned to Cleveland three years ago, it was expected to usher in a wave of victories from the outset.

Instead, the Cavs opened the season with a 5-6 start before getting on track and advancing to the first of three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.

“It definitely, definitely attributes to figuring out how patient you are at that moment,” Irving said when I asked him about that slow start in Cleveland. That takes a while. You have to be very patient in your approach. I speak on that pretty often. So it’s not trying to figure out one thing or a few things in one day or after one game. It’s going to come in waves, man. These ups and downs we’re about to face as a team, as a collective group it’s going to be fairly interesting.  It’ll really echo in terms of our identity, how we respond. I’m looking forward to that aspect.”

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