OFFSEASON

West pushes for mid-January return

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West pushes for mid-January return

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - As the Celtics lose player after player to the injury bug, one is optimistic for his return.

Delonte West believes he could be back out on the court next month.

"I might be back a lot sooner than people think," he told CSNNE.com following the Celtics-Hawks game. "I'm pushing for mid-January."

West has been sidelined since breaking his right (non-shooting) wrist on November 24 against the New Jersey Nets.

Even though there is no timetable set for his return and there were initial projections that West could miss the majority of the regular season, West believes he will be back sooner than that.

"I feel wonderful, first and foremost," he said. "I use a bone stimulator for 10 hours a day. I get this cast off in two weeks, but I've already started conditioning, shooting jumpers and working out already."

He says there are no medical restrictions to the number of shots he can take. There is, however, a signal of when he should stop . . . and it isn't pain.

"I can shoot as much as I want to," he said. "It's just that the more I sweat, the more my hand starts to stink, so I try to keep it at a minimum. But as soon as I get this cast off it's all about rehabilitation from there, seeing how weak the hand actually is."

The next steps in West's recovery process will be determined after his current cast is removed. There is no question he would like to get back on the floor, but he has to think with his head and not with his heart.

West had played in just five games this season after serving a 10-game suspension from a guilty plea to weapons charges stemming from last season. He was averaging nearly seven points in 18 minutes before his injury and was a critical spark off the Celtics bench.

But he isn't the only one sidelined - the Celtics were down to nine players by the end of Thursday's game. Even though the team could use more bodies, West knows he can't rush his recovery. A premature return could result in more problems down the road.

"It'd be more than the perfect Christmas gift," he said of a mid-January return, "But I can't get ahead of myself. The most important thing is the longevity. I know all the guys would love to have me back and I want to be back, but I don't want to rush it and hurt myself again. It still time remains to see what it feels like when I take this cast off."

Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:www.twitter.comjcameratonba

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 agreed to a deals to bring back center Tyler Zeller and 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. 

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." 

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. 

 

OFFSEASON

Celtics are anything but "a middle of the road team"

Celtics are anything but "a middle of the road team"

Charles Barkley said Friday that the Boston Celtics are a "middle of the road team in no man's land." Kevin O'Connor joined Greg Dickerson on Sports Tonight and explained just how foolish of a statement that is.

Make sure you watch the video above, but here are some of the key stats O'Connor mentions regarding the state of the Celtics.

Competitive teams rarely select at the top of the draft, but the Celtics have already done it before and could again in 2017 and 2018. Over the last 40 years, only 10 teams have won at least 45 games and used a top five pick in the draft. Here’s the list:

PLAYER TEAM WINS YEAR PICK
Greg Ballard Washington 48 1977 4
Mychal Thompson Portland 58 1978 1
Magic Johnson LA Lakers 47 1979 1
Kevin McHale Boston 61 1980 3
James Worthy LA Lakers 57 1982 1
Charles Barkley Philadelphia 52 1984 5
Sam Bowie Portland 48 1984 2
Len Bias Boston 67 1986 2
Darko Milicic Detroit 50 2003 2
Jaylen Brown Boston 48 2016 3

Two of those teams won a single championship (Washington and Detroit). Two became dynasties (Boston and the Lakers). Four of the players are Hall of Famers (Johnson, McHale, Worthy, Barkley). You’ll also find Jaylen Brown, who could be a cornerstone even if we don’t know it yet.

If they play their cards right and the Nets struggle as much as everyone expects them to, they’ll be right back in the conversation for another star next season. Due to their tremendous flexibility, that could happen through the draft, the trade market, or free agency.

For more on this topic, click here.