OFFSEASON

Friday FT's: Bronze statues and police applications

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Friday FT's: Bronze statues and police applications

Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that have not made the headlines but are still worth a read.
How do you make a larger-than-life sports star, well, even larger than life?

A 900-pound bronze statue sounds like a good idea.

On Thursday, Louisiana State University unveiled the enormous tribute to Shaquille ONeal in front of the LSU Tigers practice facility in Baton Rouge. Following the ceremony, O'Neal addressed the media, at which time he gave a shout out to Glen Davis and other LSU alum in the league, recalled being a 13-year-old eager to play ball, and shared that he is nearing the completion of his doctorate (he noted his dissertation is on the duality of humor and aggression in leadership styles.). Check out LSUsports.net for interview highlights and photos.

Another side of ONeal was also revealed this week in the form of a job application. After being traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Miami Heat in 2004, O'Neal applied to work for the Miami Beach Police Department. (He was sworn in as a reserve police officer in 2005.) The Miami New Times posted information from the application -- "Like any cop in Florida, O'Neal had a personnel file that is subject to a public records request, Gus Garcia-Roberts noted -- including:

- Asked about "special skills" or "equipment", Shaq simply wrote: "Laptop computer, binnochulars sic, master of surveillance"

- Shaq's character references are three neighbors from Star Island, including Gloria Estefan. The queen of Latin pop gave him a spotless reference, although indicated that she only knew him "somewhat".

- His weakest quality? sic "Don't express myself when he feels he should. His father was a drill sgt. who taught him to keep everything in."

- His police training appeared to have been penciled in around his existing schedule on a calendar, including games, his mother Lucille's birthday, and shooting an ad for Starter.

On the topic of LSU alumni . . . This summer NBA players have headlined basketball tournaments and leagues around the country. This weekend, Glen Davis will take part in the 2011 Baton Rouge Pro-Am Classic in his home state of Louisiana. Others slated to participate include Zach Randolph, Stephen Jackson, OJ Mayo, and Marcus Thornton. Also on the list Anfernee Penny Hardaway (Davis was seven years old when Hardaway made his NBA debut in 1993).

"For many of these players, this is an opportunity to give back to the community, but make no mistake: there's a lot of personal pride involved, particularly since they're all forming their own teams. Add in the fact that these players are seasoned professionals, and you have all the ingredients for a pretty spectacular show, BRCC Men's Basketball Head Coach James Rix told WAFB Channel 9.

The format of the tournament is double elimination, with 20 teams conisisting of current and former pro basketball players. The championship game will take place on Sunday, September 11. Proceeds will benefit the BRCC Men's and Women's Basketball programs.

Carlos Arroyo may have been a backup point guard on the Celtics this season, but he has played a leading role for Puerto Rico in the FIBA Americas Olympics qualifiers. Arroyo, who was a member of the Toronto Raptors during his rookie year, scored 26 points against Canada in a win on Tuesday. As Doug Smith of the TheStar.com pointed out, Arroyos play did more than just help win the game for Puerto Rico:

Carlos Arroyo has long been a bane of Canadas existence on the international basketball stage, but never more than the former Raptors point guard is right now. With one of his typically explosive offensive games, Arroyo may have single-handedly dealt Canada a death blow in its quest to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics . . . Hes been a major international player for a long time, Canadian head coach Leo Rautins said in a conference call. Down the stretch they spread the court and he made some tough shots.

Although his offense has not been as strong since that game, he will look to lead Puerto Rico (5-2) against Argentina (6-1) on Saturday in the semifinals. Arroyo tweeted his thanks to his fans earlier this week.

Shoutout to Popdust.com for finding a Paul Pierce reference in a promotion for the upcoming television show, "The X-Factor." At the 52nd second mark, music mogul and competition judge L.A. Reid tells a contestant, "You are the truth."

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@JaJuanJohnson: Can it get any better? lifeisgood
Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Stan Noszka, who played for the Celtics in the late 1940s, was born on September 9, 1920 (he passed away in 1991).

This Week in Celtics History
On September 6, 1985, the Celtics traded Cedric Maxwell and a 1986 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for Bill Walton. The draft pick would be used to select Arvydas Sabonis. Walton and Sabonis would go on to be inducted in the NBA Hall of Fame . . . On September 9, 1982, the Celtics traded Dave Cowens to the Milwaukee Bucks for Quinn Buckner. Three years later on September 3, 1985, they traded Buckner to the Indiana Pacers for a 1989 second-round pick.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCamerato

OFFSEASON

After flurry of moves, Celtics still aren't done

After flurry of moves, Celtics still aren't done

You’re probably thinking the summer fireworks are finished after the Celtics brought back Tyler Zeller, added ex-Celtic Gerald Green, and signed rookies Demetrius Jackson and Ben Bentil. It’s true, these moves do lower the likelihood of a multifaceted trade, but it doesn’t totally extinguish the odds of something seismic happening.

The Celtics still retain their flexibility, since none of these deals have actually been finalized. Even after they are, they’d still have the pieces required to make a deal work for a superstar like Blake Griffin. It’s not hard to make a valid trade for one player, but it is difficult if it’s a multi-step process like a Russell Westbrook renegotiate-and-extend trade.

“This is not necessarily what the team will be,” a source told the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. “There’s probably changes coming.”

Well, yeah. Changes have to come. The Celtics don’t really have a choice here.

Assuming Jaylen Brown is signed, they’ll have 18 players with at least partially guaranteed contracts. So at least three players will have to be exported before the season, since the NBA requires a maximum of 15 players on a roster.

Here’s a look at the Celtics’ current projected depth chart:

  STARTERS BENCH RESERVES ON THE BUBBLE
FRONT COURT Amir Johnson Kelly Olynyk Tyler Zeller  
Al Horford Jonas Jerebko Jordan Mickey Ben Bentil*
Jae Crowder Jaylen Brown* Gerald Green James Young
BACK COURT Avery Bradley Marcus Smart RJ Hunter John Holland*
Isaiah Thomas Terry Rozier Demetrius Jackson  

So, something has to happen. It’s just a matter of what. You can choose to believe the Celtics aren’t actually trying to make a blockbuster move. Or you can choose to believe the signals that have been firing off this month from the Celtics themselves indicating they’re “not done.”

It wouldn’t be difficult for the Celtics to get closer to 15 players by completing a blockbuster trade for a player like Griffin.
 
Perhaps some combination of veterans (Amir Johnson, Avery Bradley, and Jonas Jerebko) with youth (Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter, and James Young) and draft picks (2018 Nets pick) could bring in Griffin and Paul Pierce.

Saturday’s moves make sense regardless of any transactions to follow.

Zeller is a bargain at just $8 million as a steadying presence on both ends of the floor. But, if Johnson were dealt, he’d be able to slide right up the depth chart as the team’s backup center.

Green shot 37.2 percent on spot up threes, per SportVU, over the past three years, so he provides spacing as a scorer who can catch fire. Considering Brad Stevens’ track record of sapping every ounce of talent out of each of his players -- hello, Jordan Crawford! -- it’s possible the Celtics will be getting the Green who scored an efficient 15.8 points per game just two years ago in Phoenix, and not the subpar Green who struggled to stay on the court last year in Miami.

If one or two of Boston’s young wings were dealt, Green, on a mere veteran minimum contract, would have an even easier path to playing time as a spark off the bench.

It’s difficult to read into the signings of second-round picks Jackson and Bentil, but either way the should both spend the season developing with the Celtics’ D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

The Celtics haven’t made a move yet, but they also haven’t done anything to suggest they’re entirely done. These moves could be precursors to something significant, or not. But at the least they provide depth to an already impressive roster.

OFFSEASON

Report: Celtics agree to deals with Zeller and picks Jackson, Bentil

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Report: Celtics agree to deals with Zeller and picks Jackson, Bentil

On a busy Saturday for the Celtics, they have brought back center Tyler Zeller and agreed to deals with draft picks Demetrius Jackson and Ben Bentil, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported.

Earlier Saturday, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reported that the Celtics will sign guard Gerald Green. 

Himmelsbach reports that Zeller's is a $16 million, two-year deal with the second-year not guaranteed. Jackson, the point guard from Notre Dame who was the 45th overall selection in the draft, has a guaranteed deal and Bentil, the forward from Providence who was the 51st player drafted, has a partially guaranteed deal. 

Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald reported that the second-year of Zeller's deal is a team option and that Green agreed to a one-year deal at the $1.4 million veteran mininum based on his nine years of NBA service.

The 7-foot Zeller averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds in 11.8 minutes a game last season. 

R.J. Hunter, James Young, Bentil and John Holland are in position to fight for the final roster spot, Himmelsbach reports, pending more deals, which the Celtics are reportedly working on. A source told Himmelsbach, that while there are probably changes coming, "There is no big deal right now." 

Bulpett reported that Celtics' talks with the Philadelphia 76ers involving a deal for Sixers' big man Jahlil Okafor have, according to sources, grown "stale" and that the moves Saturday put 2014 draft pick James Young's roster spot in jeopardy.

With Green, Zeller, and No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown, the Celtics have has 15 guaranteed contracts and three partial or non-guaranteed deals. 

 

OFFSEASON

Report: Celtics to bring back Gerald Green with one-year deal

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Report: Celtics to bring back Gerald Green with one-year deal

The Celtics will sign free agent Gerald Green, the guard they drafted with the 18th overall pick back in 2005, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reported.

Green, 30, played for the Miami Heat last season and averaged 8.9 points a game. Deveney reports Green will sign a one-year guaranteed contract. 

Green has been well-traveled since being traded by the Celtics in the Kevin Garnett deal in 2007, the year he won the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest. He has played for seven other NBA teams and played two seasons in Russia. His best season was 2013-14 in Phoenix when he averaged 15.8 points a game for the Suns. 

Deveney also reports that sources around the league continue to indicate the Celtics are looking to make a trade for a "star-caliber type" player. Last week, he reported on their interest in the Clippers' Blake Griffin.