OFFSEASON

Celtics cut Stephane Lasme, Mario West

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Celtics cut Stephane Lasme, Mario West

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - The Celtics trimmed their roster Wednesday by waiving training camp invitees Stephane Lasme and Mario West.

Lasme, a University of Massachusetts alum, emerged as a fan favorite during the preseason. The Gabon native had been en route to Russia this summer but returned to the United States in order to maintain his residency and be with his wife and family. After giving up a contract overseas, he earned a spot on the Celtics' preseason roster. Lasme wasted no time, scoring 12 points in his first outing.

Now the forward is focused on staying in the game.

"I'm just going to sit around with the family and see what happens. I'm sure my agent is going to call me with something, and go from there," he told CSNNE.com following the Celtics' game against the New Jersey Nets.

"I feel pretty confident about myself. I talked to a couple of the vets. They reassured me that I deserve to be in the league, that I'm an NBA player. I talked to Doc Rivers. He likes me a lot. We had a long talk in his office. After what he said, I'm pretty confident I'll be somewhere."

Lasme is open to the option of playing for the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics' NBA Development League affiliate. And if he does, there is the chance he could be joined by West.

The Red Claws still have the rights to West, a guard who played the last three years in the Atlanta Hawks organization. In the meantime, West will return home to Georgia and work on improving his offensive game. He sees himself developing into a player like Bruce Bowen or Raja Bell, one who focuses on defense first and then finds his niche offensively.

"I have things I need to work on but I think they were, overall, pleased with the effort I gave," West told CSNNE.com. "I was just grateful for the opportunity, to be honest. Any time you get an opportunity to come in with a championship-caliber team, I took a lot of pride in putting on that jersey and practicing with those guys. I feel like I made life-long brothers in this locker room."

The Celtics roster stands at 16, including the recent addition of Tiny Gallon.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA.

OFFSEASON

Hawks adding Howard could lead to Celtics signing Horford

Hawks adding Howard could lead to Celtics signing Horford

BOSTON – It’s a toss-up as to which was celebrated more by Boston Celtics fans: Dwight Howard coming to terms with the Atlanta Hawks, or the fact that it significantly improves Boston’s chances of landing one of their top free agent targets Al Horford.

A league executive texted CSNNE.com that Howard being off the market and going to Atlanta, should make the Celtics the favorite to land Horford.

Acquiring Horford, a four-time all-star, would be the biggest free agent signing in the Danny Ainge era. Boston is scheduled to meet with Horford tonight and is expected to offer him a four-year, $113 million max contract.

But as much as the Celtics want Horford, their primary target remains Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant who may be more inclined to seriously consider Boston if they were to acquire Horford.

OFFSEASON

Turner: Ainge 'seemed confident' about Celtics chances of signing Horford

Turner: Ainge 'seemed confident' about Celtics chances of signing Horford

After signing with the Blazers, Evan Turner has been making the rounds showering praise on the Celtics organization and fans. He also left a farewell gift for those excited about free agency: Turner told the Boston Globe that Danny Ainge “seemed confident” at the Celtics’ chances of signing free agent center Al Horford.

Previous reports indicated that the Celtics plan to make a max-contract offer to Horford when they meet him Friday night in Atlanta. The Rockets are the only other team that has reportedly met with the former Hawks All-Star, and Houston's situation isn’t nearly as attractive as Boston’s.

If the Celtics do manage to land Horford on Friday, they’d obviously be adding a former All-Star who’d immediately help the team on both ends of the floor. Immediately, though, Horford would give them another recruiter. Horford and Durant reportedly would like to play with each other, so having him enter the room might help their chances at luring Durant to Boston during Saturday's meeting.

As for Turner, he told the Globe that Ainge expressed he would like him back, but would've had to take a pay cut and a reduced role.

"I liked Boston a lot, bro. The organization, and it’s just a sports city and the city is super nice," Turner told the Globe. "If you put money and everything aside, I would play in Boston every single day of the week. Seeing all those Hall of Famers come back and everything, that’s a real franchise."

The Celtics will likely be saying singing a similar tune to both Horford and Durant this weekend.