OFFSEASON

Friday FT's: Kobe vs. Shaq (Again); Delonte works

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Friday FT's: Kobe vs. Shaq (Again); Delonte works

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA

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. In spite of the NBA lockout, there are still plenty of hoops to talk about.
Shaquille ONeal may have retired from basketball this summer but that doesnt mean Kobe vs. Shaq talk has come to an end.

Let's set the scene: Kobe Bryant is currently in Italy as part of a Nike promotional tour. According to Sportando.net, Bryant was asked about his former teammate O'Neal during a radio interview, to which Bryant responded, "I like players who work out. I used to do that 67 hours per day. I cannot stand players who practice for 30 minutes. I need to say something to them."

On Thursday, O'Neal tweeted a video of himself singing Sade's "No Ordinary Love" to ... a basketball I'm gonna miss the game.

No Doubting Wests Work Ethic
While many NBA players pondered finding employment overseas during the lockout, Delonte West announced he had applied for a job at Home Depot. This week he tweeted that he is now an employee of Regency Furniture Showrooms, and he has been sharing photos from his application to his first days on the job on his Twitter account, @CharleeRedz13:

Applied at Regency Furniture, need a 2nd job to stay afloat during the lockout.

I am now an official employee of Regency Furniture.. Check me out on my first day.

"Me and the crew at Regency. It's been a long day."

Just finished a big moving job.

Another on the job pic. This is the last one, don't wanna get fired.

Before he started his new job, West hosted the Delonte West Charity Weekend in Washington, D.C. to benefit several organizations, ranging from senior citizens to children. Check out photo (below) of West playing bingo with senior citizens at the Magnolia Garden Nursing Home. He was also at the Casino Royale benefit event with Baltimore Raven Ray Rice.

Rondo Confident One-on-One

Last weekend Rajon Rondo headed to Alcatraz in San Francisco for the final round of the Red Bull King of the Rock Tournament. Dime Magazine was there to talk to Rondo about the tournament, the NBA lockout, and one-on-one basketball. Check out a few excerpts from the interview, where Rondo is always in game mode:

Dime: If the Celtics held a 1-on-1 tournament, who would win?
RR: Probably me. I mean, we play a little 1-on-1 sometimes. Pauls pretty good hes probably the best 1-on-1 player we have cause he can score inside and outside, and he can check guards and bigs. So I could say Paul, or I could say Id win.

Dime: What about a 1-on-1 tournament with just NBA point guards. Who wins?
RR: Me.

Dime: Okay, so who would you beat in the finals?
RR: Whoever gets there.

Rondo also tweeted a photo of himself playing a game of H-O-R-S-E against fans at Alcatraz here.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@paulpierce34: Today's game in Allen Field house brought back so many memories I couldn't have scripted the game today any better Best fans n the world

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Celtics 1997 first round draft pick (3rd overall) Chauncey Billups turned 35 on September 25. Billups played 51 games for the Cs during his rookie year before being traded to the Toronto Raptors . . . Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo, who appeared in 20 games for the Celtics during the 1978-79 season, turned 60 on the same day. He was traded to the Detroit Pistons in September of 1979 . . . Brad Lohaus turned 47 on September 29. He was drafted by the Celtics with the 45th overall pick in 1987 and played over two seasons with the C's before being traded to the Sacramento Kings along with Danny Ainge . . . Chuck Cooper, broke the NBA color line when he played four seasons for the Celtics during the 1950s, was born on September 29, 1926. He passed away in 1984 . . . Ruben Wolkowyski, who played seven games for the Celtics during the 2002-03 season, turned 38 on September 30.

This Week in Celtics History

On September 30, 2005 the Celtics traded a 2006 second-round pick to the New OrleansOklahoma City Hornets in exchange for Dan Dickau. The guard was the last player to don number 20 for the Celtics before Ray Allen began wearing the jersey in 2007.

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

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 to bring in two, 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 back 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 done. These moves could be precursors to something significant, but at the least they provide depth to an already impressive roster.

OFFSEASON

Report: Celtics agree deal with Zeller and picks Jackson, Bentil

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Report: Celtics agree deal 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.