The Celtics re-signed guard Keyon Dooling Tuesday and announced the signings of veteran free agent center Jason Collins, plus guards Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith, who played for the team in the NBA Summer League.
The Celtics will open their much-anticipated regular season on Oct. 30 against the Miami Heat and will also face the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day as their 82-game schedule was officially released Thursday night.
Here is the complete schedule:
Tuesday, Oct. 30 @ Miami Heat 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/TNT/WEEI
November 2 Milwaukee Bucks 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 3 @ Washington Wizards 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 7 Washington Wizards 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 9 Philadelphia 76ers 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 10 @ Milwaukee Bucks 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 12 @ Chicago Bulls 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 14 Utah Jazz 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 15 @ Brooklyn Nets 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 17 Toronto Raptors 12:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 18 @ Detroit Pistons 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 21 San Antonio Spurs 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 23 Oklahoma City Thunder 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 25 @ Orlando Magic 6:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 28 Brooklyn Nets 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
November 30 Portland Trail Blazers 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 1 @ Milwaukee Bucks 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 5 Minnesota Timberwolves 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 7 @ Philadelphia 76ers 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 8 Philadelphia 76ers 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 12 Dallas Mavericks 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 14 @ Houston Rockets 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 15 @ San Antonio Spurs 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 18 @ Chicago Bulls 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 19 Cleveland Cavaliers 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 21 Milwaukee Bucks 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 25 @ Brooklyn Nets 12:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 27 @ Los Angeles Clippers 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 29 @ Golden State Warriors 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
December 30 @ Sacramento Kings 6:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 2 Memphis Grizzlies 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 4 Indiana Pacers 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 5 @ Atlanta Hawks 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 7 @ New York Knicks 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 9 Phoenix Suns 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 11 Houston Rockets 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 14 Charlotte Bobcats 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 16 New Orleans Hornets 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 18 Chicago Bulls 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 20 @ Detroit Pistons 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 22 @ Cleveland Cavaliers 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 24 New York Knicks 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 25 @ Atlanta Hawks 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 27 Miami Heat 1:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
January 30 Sacramento Kings 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 1 Orlando Magic 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 3 Los Angeles Clippers 1:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 6 @ Toronto Raptors 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 7 Los Angeles Lakers 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 10 Denver Nuggets 6:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 11 @ Charlotte Bobcats 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 13 Chicago Bulls 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 19 @ Denver Nuggets 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 20 @ Los Angeles Lakers 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 22 @ Phoenix Suns 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 24 @ Portland Trail Blazers 6:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
February 25 @ Utah Jazz 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 1 Golden State Warriors 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 5 @ Philadelphia 76ers 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 6 @ Indiana Pacers 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 8 Atlanta Hawks 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 10 @ Oklahoma City Thunder 12:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 12 @ Charlotte Bobcats 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 13 Toronto Raptors 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 16 Charlotte Bobcats 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 18 Miami Heat 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 20 @ New Orleans Hornets 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 22 @ Dallas Mavericks 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 23 @ Memphis Grizzlies 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 26 New York Knicks 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 27 @ Cleveland Cavaliers 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 29 Atlanta Hawks 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
March 31 @ New York Knicks 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
April 1 @Minnesota Timberwolves 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
April 3 Detroit Pistons 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
April 5 Cleveland Cavaliers 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
April 7 Washington Wizards 6:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
April 10 Brooklyn Nets 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
April 12 @Miami Heat 7:30 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
April 13 @Orlando Magic 7:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
April 16 Indiana Pacers 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
April 17 @Toronto Raptors 8:00 p.m. CSNHD/WEEI
The 2012-2013 NBA schedule is out.
The Celtics will open the 2012-2013 NBA regular season with an 8 p.m. game at the Miami Heat on Oct. 30. The home opener will be Friday, Nov. 2 vs. Milwaukee at 7:30 p.m. The Celtics will play in Brooklyn against the Nets at noon Christmas Day.
Some other important dates:
Thunder at Celtics on Nov. 23
Heat at Celtics, Jan. 27
Lakers at Celtics on Feb. 7
Celtics at Lakers on Feb. 20
David Falk, the agent for Jeff Green, said Wednesday that his clients contract is still not done but he and the Celtics are working out "minor contract details" and that the deal is "imminent."
The two sides have agreed to the framework of a four-year, $36 million deal to return to the Celtics and Green participated in a press conference nearly two weeks ago, but Falk said they are still negotiating issues dealing with the new collective bargaining agreement.
"I expect it will be done imminently," he said. "Just some collective bargaining issues that changed. Just some details stuff, nothing serious."
Green missed all of last season after surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm but has been cleared to return to the NBA. Falk said Green was grateful for how the Celtics treated him during his recovery process and it was his top priority to return to Boston.
An NBA source confirmed Keyon Dooling has agreed to a one-year deal with the Celtics, according to Boston Globe reporter Gary Washburn.
Dooling has played for the Clippers, Heat, Magic, Nets, and Bucks. The Celtics acquired the guard from the Bucks in December 2011.
Last season, he played in 46 games for Boston, scoring 182 points and making 51 assists.
The Celtics are expected to be the defending champion Miami Heat's first regular-season game as the two teams will face off on Oct. 30 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel received a copy of the Heat's schedule, expected to be officially released in early August, and reported the Celtics are the opening game. An NBA source confirmed that the retooled Celtics will be the first opponent for former Celtic Ray Allen and the Heat.
The two teams have created an intense rivalry over the past few years, with the Heat rallying from a three games to two deficit to win the Eastern Conference Finals in June before beating the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games for the championship.
The Celtics have added re-signed Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox and added Courtney Lee and Jason Terry to face the Heat, who signed Allen on July 6 after five years with the Celtics.
LAS VEGAS -- Center Jason Collins and guard Jamar Smith have agreed to contracts with the Celtics and will join the team for training camp, according to team sources.
Collins played for Atlanta last season and Smith, who is with the Celtics’ summer league entry, played in the Czech Republic last season after performing for the Maine Red Claws in the D League.
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo joined the team Saturday night, sitting behind the bench as an observer for an NBA Summer League game against Milwaukee.
The Celtics had a 6-2 Summer League record before the game.
LAS VEGAS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed restricted free agent Greg Stiemsma to an offer sheet Saturday to an amount the Celtics will be unable to match.
The offer is a multiyear deal believed to be near $3 million per season, meaning the Celtics would have to create that much salary cap space to match the offer. The Celtics are knocking on the door of the $74.3 million cap limit and only have the teams biannual exception -- beginning at $1.95 million -- to offer.
The Celtics were reluctant to offer Stiemsma, who briefly became a league sensation after joining the team as a training camp invite, that valuable exception and team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday that Stiemsma was "a free agent still exploring his options. We're just waiting to see what happens."
With the re-signing of Chris Wilcox at the league minimum, the Celtics felt like they were solid at backup center and want to save their biannual exception for perhaps one of the remaining free agents whose market value may drop over the next few weeks.
Stiemsma was a defensive sensation when he first began getting minutes in the early season, even making a start against the Washington Wizards on Jan. 2 where he scored 13 points with 7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. The emergence of Wilcox cost Stiemsma playing time but he return when Wilcox was declared out for the season with an enlarged aorta and Jermaine O'Neal needed wrist surgery.
But Stiemsma struggled at times guarding the pick-and-roll and the Celtics were completely reliant on he and Ryan Hollins as backups during their critical playoff run. Hollins outplayed Stiemsma in throughout the playoffs and got key minutes in the series against the Miami Heat.
The Timberwolves targeted Stiemsma since free agency began and the University of Wisconsin alumni had nearly 100 family and friends when the Celtics played the Timberwolves in March.
Brandon Bass played the role of Doc Rivers Friday night at Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion.
“He would say I did a terrible job,” said Bass, who signed a three-year, $20 million deal this offseason to remain a Celtic. “It was all in fun. I think the fans got a real good kick out of it.”
Boston was Ball Up's sixth stop on its second season touring the country in search of the next best streetballer.
Bass said the recent acquisition of guard Courtney Lee helps the second unit by supplying defense and toughness.
“After the injuries went down to Jeff Green and [Chris] Wilcox, I think that our second group didn’t really get too much consistently,” Bass said. “We had times, even in the playoffs, where our second group played big for us, but I think we need a more consistent effort from the second group and I think that’s what we’re going to get this year.”
Bass said he agreed to coach the opponents of the Ball Up All-Stars, who were handpicked from a tryout earlier in the day, because he used to watch The AND1 Mix Tape Tour growing up. He also had a streetball background growing up in Baton Rouge, La.
“When I was young playing in my friend’s backyard to the parks in my neighborhood,” Bass said. “That’s the reason for my physicality, and me being able to play through fouls, playing tough out there.”
He also helped pick the game’s two MVPs, who will compete in a combine in Atlanta next week.
“I wanted to stay out of that part,” Bass said. “To me, I wanted all of them to have the opportunities to play for the Ball Up team. I was once one of those kids trying to play on my high school, my middle school team.”
LAS VEGAS -- The Celtics have finalized the Courtney Lee trade with the Houston Rockets, acquiring and signing the shooting guard to a four-year deal, according to a team source.
The Celtics traded forward JaJuan Johnson, center Sean Williams, guard E'Twaun Moore and a second-round pick to Houston and forward Sasha Pavlovic to Portland in the deal. The Trail Blazers will also get a second round pick. It is uncertain what Portland will send to Houston or the Celtics in the deal.
Lee announced on Twitter that he signed the contract this morning, giving the Celtics a strong defender, another younger player (age 26) and solid 3-point shooter off the bench. Lee could be the team's starting shooting guard on opening night if Avery Bradley misses regular season time after shoulder surgery.
The Rockets are expected to waive Williams and Moore while Johnson, who has a guaranteed contract, is not expected to have a prominent role. Pavlovic also has a non-guaranteed deal and is likely to be waived by Portland.
LAS VEGAS -- The Celtics had little to offer in the second half, allowing the Kings to make a 16-2 run over the third and fourth quarters in a 91-82 Thursday at Thomas & Mack Center. Dionte Christmas again led the Celtics with 19 points but they shot just 39 percent and outrebounded 52-37.
The Celtics are now 6-2 overall in summer league, 2-1 in Las Vegas.
Boston was without E'Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson and Sean Williams, who were held out because of a potential trade with the Houston Rockets to acquire Courtney Lee, limiting the Celtics to nine players.
Johnson was not present at Thomas & Mack Center while Moore and Williams arrived dressed but both were told about the deal and sent back to the hotel.
Jared Sullinger again struggled from the field (2-for-7) and lost his matchup to Final Four foe Thomas Robinson, one of five Kings in double figures with 15 points along with 16 rebounds. Sullinger experienced trouble in the post against the bigger Robinson, the same issue he faced during Ohio State’s matchup with Kansas in the Final Four.
Sullinger was getting visibly frustrated for non-calls during his post moves and summer league coach Tyronn Lue said he has made it a priority to keep Sullinger’s emotions in check.
“I talked to him after the game and said ‘you can’t get frustrated, you can’t drop your head and pout if things don’t go your way,’” Lue said. “We’re trying to post him. I told guys if he’s open we want to get the ball to him in the post. You can’t pout, you can’t drop your head and mope around. They’ll be plenty of time in the game where, you might not post at all with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and (Rajon) Rondo on the floor. You might not get one post-up.”
Center Fab Melo was the victim of a vicious Robinson attack of the basket, bruising his left hand trying to block the dunk attempt. Melo left the game in the third quarter and a club spokesman said the injury is day-to-day. Melo said he will undergo X-rays as a precaution.
LAS VEGAS -- The Celtics continued to bolster their bench Thursday, nabbing their No. 1 free-agent target, Courtney Lee, in a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets, according to a source. The source confirmed that second-year forward JaJuan Johnson is headed to Houston as part of the deal. Fellow second-year player E'Twaun Moore and backup center Sean Williams are also headed to the Rockets along with a 2013 second-round pick that was originally Charlotte's.
Lee, 26, had been No. 1 on the Celtics' list after Ray Allen signed with the Miami Heat, but the Celtics did not have enough salary cap space to sign Lee outright. Lee was seeking in the $5 million per season range, and the Celtics have apparently put together some contracts and draft picks that enticed the Rockets to sign Lee to a deal and then send him to the Celtics.
Johnson, the Celtics' first-round pick in 2011, never found a role with the club and his lack of development privately bothered some team officials. He struggled in stretches during summer league and with the signings of Chris Wilcox, Jeff Green and the drafting of Jared Sullinger, his role this season was likely minute.
Lee averaged 11.4 points per game last season for the Rockets, who decided not to give him a qualifying offer, making him a free agent. Lee is a career 38.6 percent 3-point shooter who is also an above-average defender. He dined with Celtics coach Doc Rivers on July 7 and expressed a desire to play with the Celtics -- at the right salary.
He said there was as many as eight teams interested, but when the Mavericks signed O.J. Mayo, the market began drying up for Lee.
The Celtics have a scheduled 6:30 p.m. summer league game with the Sacramento Kings. Johnson is not expected to play.
LAS VEGAS -- The Celtics improved to 6-1 in summer league and 2-0 in Las Vegas with a 79-74 victory over the Chicago Bulls as Boston took the lead early in the second quarter and never trailed again.
E'Twaun Moore produced his best game of the summer, tallying 25 points on 10-for-19 shooting with 7 rebounds and 2 assists in 33 minutes. Moore won his matchup with Kentucky rookie Marquis Teague, who finished with 8 points on 4-for-17 shooting and six turnovers.
"It's a great sign," Celtics summer league coach Tyronn Lue said about Moore's development. "He's trying to become a point guard but he's a natural scorer. So I just want him to be aggressive and it's a fine line between the two but we know we can score and attack but with Jared (Sullinger) shooting 3 for 15 tonight, he had to step up and score and that's what point guards do."
Although Sullinger continues to struggle from the field -- 24 for 68 (35.2 percent) during the summer league -- he grabbed 14 rebounds in 28 minutes. He grabbed three rebounds in one sequence but missed three putbacks.
Rookie Kris Joseph hyperextended his left knee in the first half and was held out of the second half for precautionary reasons but Lue said the injury is not a concern.
The Celtics are off Wednesday but finish their summer league slate with three more games in Las Vegas -- Thursday against Sacramento (6:30 p.m. ET), Saturday against Milwaukee (10:30 p.m.h ET) and Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers (6 p.m. ET).
LAS VEGAS -- Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe late Tuesday that the club plans to sign Jason Terry using the mid-level exception and not through a sign-and-trade deal with the Dallas Mavericks. Terry is in Las Vegas with his daughter’s AAU basketball team and may sign the deal as early as Wednesday. Celtics tried to use the sign-and-trade agreement to free up their mid-level to pursue free-agent guard Courtney Lee but now have only the biannual exception that starts at $1.95 million.
“We were trying to sign Jason today,” Ainge said. “I was just trying to call him because I was hoping to play golf with Jason. We used our mid-level exception, so we have a hard cap at $74.3 million.”
Terry, 34, agreed to a three-year deal beginning at $5 million per season. Teams only can use the mid-level exception once per season.
Because the Celtics used their mid-level exception, they are not allowed to go above the $74.3 million limit. They are now limited to using the biannual exception and minimum contracts to sign players.
LAS VEGAS -- According to an NBA source, Celtics center Greg Stiemsma has yet to receive an offer sheet from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Stiemsma is a restricted free agent and the Celtics can match any offer from another club but are over the salary cap, meaning they would have limitations in matching any offer above the biannual exception that begins at $1.95 million per season.
The Timberwolves have a $46 million offer sheet to Portland’s Nicolas Batum that the Trail Blazers are expected to match. If that occurs, the Timberwolves will have the cap space to likely make Stiemsma an offer the Celtics could not match. The Trail Blazers have told Batum to report for a physical, indicating they plan to match the offer.
"Greg is waiting patiently through the process," agent Mike Naiditch said. "And we believe he will get a contract of fair-market value."
The Celtics have had talks with representatives of free-agent swingman Mickael Pietrus but have made no offer. With O.J. Mayo and Grant Hill committed to new teams, the market may open up for Pietrus, who is coming off right knee surgery.
A team source said the Celtics continue to work on a sign-and-trade for Jason Terry, although it remains unlikely. The Celtics are trying to free up the midlevel exception to pursue free-agent guard Courtney Lee.
LAS VEGAS -- Working towards making a comeback after undergoing Orthokine therapy on both knees in Germany, Jermaine O'Neal said it was difficult to accept his limited role in his the Celtics offense the past two seasons.
O'Neal worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday at Impact Basketball Academy and spoke with the Globe following the session.
"I had a fantastic time in Boston with the city, the fans were phenomenal, the organization was phenomenal, I just don’t know if the playing situation was right to be quite honest," said O'Neal, who said his surgically repaired wrist is '95 percent'. "The hardest thing for me was to not be able to do some of the things I have been quite comfortable with doing all my life. I accepted the challenge. I accepted the role. (I didn’t want) 10 shots a game, but it was hard to be told not to worry about (scoring)."
After averaging at least 10.6 shots per game – and a career-best 19.4 in 2004-05 – for 12 consecutive seasons, O’Neal attempted 4.5 in 2010-11 and 4.8 in ’11-12.
“When I was asked about (offense), I tried to be as professional about it as possible but it’s hard,” he said. “You put any player in that position and ask them how that’s going to pan out for them; it’s hard mentally because you’re fighting against yourself every single day. And it’s not like you’re getting the reps, even in practice, because they’re gonna stay away from that in practice because they don’t want you to start leaning towards that in games. It was really rough. The things that kept me going was the guys on that team, (team president of basketball operations) Danny Ainge and just the passion of that city. No one wants it to end the way it ended, but it did. I was never really healthy mentally.
“It took everything in my mind, body and soul to be professional about it. When that’s said to you in front of a team, it bothers you.”
The Celtics were 95-53 in O’Neal’s two seasons in Boston and 24-25 in games he played.
When contacted by the Globe, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said: "I’m disappointed that he didn’t enjoy his Celtics experience. Hopefully he can find somewhere where they’ll let him be involved in the offense."
O’Neal carved a niche defensively with the Celtics by taking charges and grabbing rebounds but his first season was cut short by left knee surgery. And a hard fall taking a charge from Dallas’ Dominique Jones ended his final year because of a damaged wrist.
"I don’t have regrets for that because I had a great time,” he said. "I had a great time with the guys that were out there, it helped me get from day to day. And Danny Ainge, I can’t speak enough about his position as president of the team.
“Listen, I don’t want to confuse anybody doing this interview. I’m not saying by any means I can go for 18, 20 a night. But I know I’m still good enough to go for 20 on any given night, if given the opportunity. I wasn’t given the opportunity post up at all. Not even in practice."
LAS VEGAS -- Five Celtics scored in double figures, including Jared Sullinger and Kris Joseph with 14 points, and Boston improved to 5-1 in the summer with an 87-69 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Cox Pavilion on Monday afternoon. The Celtics fell behind 11-5 before a 44-20 run to end the half to take control.
Jamar Smith (Southern Indiana) and Jonathon Gibson (New Mexico State) combined for 21 points off the bench as the Celtics looked sharp in the second and third quarters after two days off.
Fab Melo finished with 7 points and five rebounds.
"I thought today was the best first half he's played the whole summer league," coach Tyronn Lue said. "He's getting better and better. He took a charge, blocked a couple of shots. I thought he was in the right spot a lot in the first half."
Those looking for JaJuan Johnson to show those skills that encouraged the Celtics to take him in the first round are still waiting. He finished with 6 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes, going 1-for-4 from the field. Celtics summer league coach Tyronn Lue has pushed Johnson to be more aggressive, especially in such an important stretch for his career, but he is fifth on the team in shot attempts.
So far in six summer games, Johnson is 19-for-44 shooting, 14 of 24 from the free throw line with 34 rebounds. He is averaging 8.6 points.
Former Celtics guard Ray Allen, who is now on the Miami Heat, sent a message to fans in Boston this morning via a full-page ad in the Globe.
“I don’t feel like we lost Ray, I feel like Ray left us to go to Miami,” Ainge said. “We appreciate all that Ray’s done, all that him and (wife) Shannon have done in our community. We tried to get Ray back – he chose to go to Miami.
“No one player makes a team, and players choose not to come here all the time. So, there’s 30 good basketball teams out there and it’s a very competitive league and there’s other teams outside of Boston. And we knew Ray had this option and this opportunity and he chose to go that direction.”
Asked about Allen’s contention that the Celtics did not recruited him as strongly as Miami in recent days, Ainge replied: “You’ll have to ask Ray. I’ve talked with Ray a lot over the last five years. I’m a fan of Ray and, like I said, I’m grateful for what he’s done. He’ll always be a part of that 2008 championship and the success we’ve had since then, as well. But I have a feeling that it wasn’t one thing, I think it was an accumulation of lots of things, including the lure of Miami. And I’ll just leave it at that.”
Ainge said he was “not surprised” by Allen’s decision to accept Miami’s offer.
“I will say that I was hoping that he would make another decision,” Ainge said. “But I was not surprised.”
The Celtics lost Chris Wilcox and Jeff Green, who both underwent heart procedures during the season. Green and free agent Jason Terry attended Saturday’s press conference, but have not finalized contracts.
“Things are moving forward,” Ainge said of negotiations. “I’ll just say I won’t give any more information on contract negotiations. (Off-season signings) have been a longer process than I’d like. But our results to this stage, our hopes in the weeks to come, I’m satisfied. We’ll be a very competitive team and we’ll be a deep team this year.”
ORLANDO -- Chris Wilcox confirmed Friday afternoon that he will return to the Celtics after having his 2011-12 season ended prematurely by an enlarged aorta.
Wilcox had surgery to repair the issue and is beginning basketball activities. Expected to serve as a backup at forward and center, Wilcox agreed to a 1-year deal believed to be at the league's minimum.
"I am just excited and ready to get out there on the court," he said. "I'm ready, just training now and trying to get my body back right, where I can help. Hopefully I can pick up where I left off."
Wilcox was plagued by injuries early in his first season with the Celtics but then found a niche as a reserve sparkplug off the bench, throwing down alley-oops from Rajon Rondo and giving the club energy with his rebounding. He averaged 7 points and 5.4 rebounds over a 17-game stretch before a heart exam detected the abnormality in March and he was required to have surgery later that month.
WIlcox said he has been given full clearance to return to the NBA and always had targeted a return to Boston. He attended two Celtics games following his surgery.
"It's going to be a big year for me and a big year for the team," he said. "I think I'm ready for it. Like I said, just trying to get into basketball shape. It will be good for me, at the same time Jeff (Green) will be back so I think it will be a great opportunity for me and just to come back and try to pick up where I left off."
Wilcox had been told in previous years that aorta issues could develop but it did not surface until his 10th NBA season. Like Green, who underwent surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm, Wilcox feared he may never play in the NBA again.
"I think it's a blessing to have the surgery like we did and be able to come back in the same year," he said. "That's just God working in our favor. I thank Boston for giving me the opportunity to come back. I just got to take advantage of the situation and hopefully things will work out."
Wilcox said he will continue to workout in Houston this summer and should be ready to fully participate in training camp.
ORLANDO -- The Celtics completed their Orlando portion of summer league with a sparkling 4-1 record after a 94-73 win over the host Orlando Magic on Friday morning at Amway Center.
Dionte Christmas, making a bid for a training camp invite, led the Celtics with 21 points while E'Twaun Moore added 18. Fab Melo turned in his best game of the week with 5 points and 10 rebounds. Larry Owens added 14 off the bench.
Jared Sullinger did not play, getting a break as the Celtics open their Las Vegas summer slate Monday against the Atlanta Hawks.
Christmas, a 6-foot, 5-inch guard, averaged 12.2 points over the five games and he finished Friday with 3 steals, 4 assists and 5 rebounds. He enjoyed a stellar career at Temple and has played in Europe the past three seasons.
"I thought it was a pretty good week," he said. "As far as me individually, I think hopefully I've opened up a couple of eyes. I've been getting great feedback, teams have been saying I'm doing great out here and I just want to continue that today."
In this episode of Globe 10.0, Bob Ryan and Dan Shaughnessy discuss why Ray Allen left the Celtics for Miami.
MIAMI -- Ray Allen was introduced as a member of the Miami Heat on Wednesday, much to the chagrin of Celtics' fans who desired his return. His explanations about his departure were rather cloudy, and he spent most of the press conference at American Airlines Arena reflecting on his past five years with the Celtics.
Allen was pointedly asked about his relationship with Rajon Rondo and he said while there were differences between the two, he said it wasn't a major contributing factor to his departure.
"I haven't spoken with (Rondo) at all," said Allen. "When I came down here, I texted Paul (Pierce) and Kevin (Garnett), those are the guys I talked quite a bit with over the years and we shared a lot of similar philosophies, those are the guys when we came into Boston together, a lot was put on our shoulders as to whether or not we were going to win, so I look back at all our times spent in Boston and we played, we've had a lot of disappointments, we shared a lot of thrills and a lot of that is off the court.
"It is sad to me, knowing I'm not going to be with those guys anymore, but I'm looking forward to what we can do here in this organization, being a teammate of LeBron's (James), being a teammate of Dwyane (Wade), Chris Bosh. Those guys are all excited to have me here."
And he added more on Rondo: "I can't say that it factored into my decision. I think as teammates we were brothers, I am around them more than I am around my own family. There's differences. We all have differences. That's just part of who we are as individuals and at the end of the day, we have to buy into what the coach believes is best for us. As players we have to put our differences aside."
-- Allen on why he chose Miami: "I looked at the situation and I thought about what would be best for my kids, my wife, me personally being able to go out and help this team win with the talent I know that I have."
-- Allen on when he made the decision: "I think it was July 6 if I have my dates correctly, there was a moment where I just had to decision, going throughout the course of a season, with me going forward offensively how I was going to be able to contribute, I just felt as though I contributed a great deal to the organization in Boston and they have been so good to me and my family that we got to the position now whereas I'm thinking about is Miami going to be a good fit for me.
"I talked to the people that are around me, that have watched me, followed me forever, they just said 'change is not bad, you have to consider this and think about whether this organization is going to be beneficial to you playing basketball the way we know you play basketball. It was that moment going forward that we said 'hey this is going to be a great opportunity for me.' "
-- Allen on his conversations with Garnett through the process: "When I was actually leaning toward Miami, I actually sent a text out to Kevin, just to let him know. I remember this process in '08 when (James) Posey left us, he left and we just really wanted him back and he went to New Orleans. We didn't get a chance to get Danny (Ainge) to try to get him a little something extra. I didn't want that to be the case with me in this situation and so I text Kevin and told him, 'hey I'm leaning this way, I just want you to know, without getting into the finite details.' He said 'Danny, he'll step up to the plate and do whatever you need him to do.' I was like, 'we'll see.' And that was some of the discussion we had. I just wanted them guys to know that I appreciated everything they've done for me and they was a joy and a pleasure to play with."
And when he was asked about coming back to Boston as a member of the Heat, Allen said. "Forever, I'll always be a Celtic, no matter what. I seen Big Baby (Glen Davis) down here during the playoffs watching (Game 5 vs. Miami) and I looked at him as a brother. We played against Perk (Kendrick Perkins) during the year, it doesn't change. Posey came in the locker room once we lost Game 7 here and he's forever a Celtic. Eddie House played down there (in Miami) and he came in the (Celtics) locker room every time he got the opportunity. In my mind, it never changes. I don't care what people say about me, I'll always stay true to the city of Boston and the fans there. They've been great to me. I'll always consider that place home."
Ray Allen met the media in Miami Wednesday afternoon as a member of the Heat, though many questions were about leaving the Celtics.
ORLANDO -- Free-agent guard Courtney Lee attended the first day of the Orlando Summer League Monday at Amway Center, and he said his meeting with Celtics coach Doc Rivers went well and that his coming to Boston is a matter of an agreeable contract.
The Celtics do not have the salary cap space to sign Lee to a contract for his worth, so the next best option is a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets, the team that just pulled Lee's qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Lee, who averaged 11.4 points per game last season for the Rockets, said he is interested the Celtics.
"Me and Doc, we've always had a relationship since I've been in the NBA," he said. "I'm a friend of both of his kids, Austin and Jeremiah. We work out together, always see each other. Me and Doc always speak. There's interest there but there was no verbal agreement or anything, just hearing each other out. He expressed his interest. I expressed my interest. It's not basketball-wise that needs to be discussed, it's the front office and my agent that needs to communicate and go from there."
When asked of his most important priority, Lee said: "I want to win. I got a taste of the playoffs and going all the way to the Finals my rookie year (with Orlando in 2009). I want to get back there. Boston, everybody knows their record and what they've accomplished over the years especially with Doc and having KG (Kevin Garnett) and Paul (Pierce), (Rajon) Rondo's still there. So that's a team I feel will win and continue to win. That's one factor in the decision."
Lee, 26, has played four NBA seasons after a storied career at Western Kentucky but was dealt after his rookie season in Orlando to New Jersey in the Vince Carter trade and then was sent to Houston in a four-team deal two years ago. He's a career 38.6 percent 3-point shooter and has come off the bench in 152 of his 287 career games.
He said he is aware the best way to get to Boston is by trade.
"You know Houston and (general manager) Daryl Morey, he loves draft picks, that's one thing that you can do, a sign-and-trade," Lee said. "With having Houston loving draft picks and Boston not having money to be able to pay a player, that could be an option for both teams."
Lee said more than eight teams are interested, including the Dallas Mavericks.
Sometime this week, Ray Allen will be introduced as a member of the Miami Heat. Allen didn't just leave Boston; he went to the most hated team in the NBA. He left for less money. He left to buddy up with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The pictures James has been posting on Twitter are enough to make you sick. Just imagine the shots you'll see of James, Wade, and Allen -- medium ice tea in hand -- partying in South Beach if the Heat win it all again next season.
The immediate reaction to Allen's decision has been harsh. Among hardcore Celtics fans, there has been little public sympathy. Some of it is pure anger (Good riddance), some of it is denial (Avery Bradley's better, anyway). But no matter what you think of James and the Heat, this is not the time to rip Allen. Going down that road goes against everything Allen and this recent group of Celtics has stood for since 2007, when the team traded for the then-32-year-old shooting guard. It's the worst kind of reactionary fandom.
The Celtics -- you remember them, that too-old, no-good team that makes it to the conference finals almost every year -- did pretty well with Allen. After five years of the New Big Three era, we can say with certainty that the combination of Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett worked. Three superstars can blend together successfully. The Celtics won it all in their first season together, and the rest of the league has been trying to replicate that formula ever since.But now it truly is over, and it's time to turn up the house lights and go home. A run that started with a draft-night trade to get Allen and saw 11 playoff series victories, two NBA Finals appearances, and one title, has come to an abrupt end.
Abrupt is an odd word to describe the end of a three-year window that went on two years too long, but that's exactly what it feels like. When Garnett re-upped for three more years, there was a sense of relief. The Celtics weren't completely starting over. There would be some semblance of continuity from a team with a championship pedigree.
Allen was very much a part of that continuity, even as the third of three superstars. He averaged 16.7 points in five years here. He made 40 percent of his 3-pointers and 91 percent of his free throws. No other Celtic took the job of playing basketball more seriously, and that's saying something considering Garnett is on the team.
The first time I got to TD Garden way too early for a game and saw Allen going through warmups, I thought it may have been an aberration. Allen's work habits were legendary, but I assumed he didn't come to every single game more than four hours before tip-off. I assumed the routine might vary somewhat. Life would get in the way. I wasn't always able to get to the games so early, so I'd ask security guards or ball boys if he'd already warmed up "A while ago," would be the response. "You missed him."
Speaking of life, it came down hard on Allen during the 2008 NBA Finals. With the Celtics up, 3-2, on the Lakers and on the brink of an NBA title, Allen was dealing with perhaps the most difficult moment he'd had to face off the court. His young son, Walker, was sick, and the Allen family didn't know why. Tests were being conducted on Walker to figure out what was going on while the Finals were being conducted on two coasts. It was a trying time.
If there's a time when a creature of habit might crack, it's when his routine has been shattered. But rather than use the disruption as as an excuse, Allen used his prior hard work as a crutch. Even though he'd arrived to the arena for Game 6 at 5:50 p.m., well after he usually does, Allen put in a performance for the ages, tying a then Finals record for 3-pointers in the game. He hit four threes in an eight-minute span to start the fourth quarter as the Celtics opened the floodgates in a 131-92 victory over the Lakers that gave Boston banner No. 17.
"I just stayed in my preparation," Allen said that night. "I didn't change one thing I did. I know teams were trying to take me out of the offense, but I wanted to make sure that I did everything to make this team better."
There were other great moments. Allen set the NBA Finals record all by himself by making 8 of 11 3-pointers in Game 2 of the 2010 Finals in Los Angeles. He scored 51 points in a playoff game against the Bulls in 2009. He was asked to take a back seat in Boston, but Allen often picked the biggest moments to step up. When you think of Allen in a Celtics uniform, you think of him coming around a screen and nailing a 3-pointer to tie a game or give the Celtics the lead in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.
Allen wasn't always a good soldier. He could be a sneaky diva, and evidence of the difficulties of working with him have surfaced in multiple reports over the years. Of the Big Three, he gave up the most to come to Boston. He took seven fewer shots and averaged nine fewer points in his first year with the Celtics than he did in his last year in Seattle. Used to being the best player on his team, Allen took a back seat. He was an All-Star. He was a movie star once. It could not have been easy.
But Allen left us with more good memories than these last 48 hours could ever sour. Allen missed 1,477 3-pointers during his time in Boston, but you'd have a hard time remembering any of them. He was the ultimate team player, and the fact that he's now being called a traitor is a shame. The immediate comparison fans made to Allen was Johnny Damon, who left the Red Sox for the Yankees in free agency. There are some parallels to Damon, but only because of the vitriol reserved by fans for his destination. What about comparing Allen to Pedro Martinez? How about comparing Allen to a once-great Boston player who, in the twilight of his career, probably left at the right time. Damon left the Red Sox for more money. Allen is leaving for less, but for a better shot at a championship. Ray Bourque did the same and rode back into Boston with the Stanley Cup as a conquering hero. Allen will never get that chance, nor should he, but his legacy on his way out the door deserves to be somewhere between the legacies of Martinez and Damon.
The Celtics were entering the sixth year of a three-year window. They were becoming the butt of jokes, and Danny Ainge was being mocked for letting an old team get older. Did you really want to be looking at three more years of the same Big Three? Would you have been overjoyed to hear the news that Allen was coming back?
Allen is a great fit in Miami, where he doesn't have to carry the load of a star, but where he'll be a welcome reprieve from the so-so shooting of Mike Miller. The Celtics twice tried to trade Allen, then sent him to the bench in favor of a second-year player. It's likely that pride -- that being appreciated -- had a lot to do with Allen's decision. He's made enough money. Still, for a person who thinks and over-thinks every little detail, the decision to leave must have been agonizing.
The Celtics can now go about the business of replacing Allen. Maybe they'll find a younger player who will be a good fit. Maybe they really can begin to rebuild without blowing the whole thing up. Maybe, in the end, this is better for all parties.
The club could potentially work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Heat, meaning they would sign Allen to potentially a three-year $18 million deal and then trade him to Miami for perhaps a player or draft picks, allowing Allen to earn more money and the Celtics to get a player back.
According to Celtics coach Doc Rivers, that is not likely to happen.
"I doubt it," Rivers said. "I don't know if they have anything to give us. I doubt it. I mean if they want to give us (Dwyane) Wade, then yeah."
In other free agent news, Mike Naiditch, the agent for Greg Stiemsma, said his client did not receive a $3 million offer sheet, as had been reported. He was scheduled to meet with Minnesota again today, but no offer has been made.
Bradley had surgery to repair repeated separations in his left shoulder in June and needed to wait for that to heal properly before undergoing a more minor surgery on the right shoulder. It will take weeks for both shoulders to completely heal, and that would take Bradley into the regular season.
Bradley missed the entire series vs. the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals because of the troublesome shoulders and without Ray Allen, the Celtics may be with a brand new shooting guard on opening night.
"I have no idea, I really don't," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said as the summer league entry practiced. "I hear the beginning of the year he'll be back, [or] until mid-December, probably somewhere in between."
Bradley was limited during his rookie season after left ankle surgery and played in just 31 games. He experienced a breakout second season, averaging 7.6 points.
WINTER PARK, Fla. -- Doc Rivers was tanned and refreshed after a few weeks of golf following the NBA season. His bright smile could not hide his disappointment in losing Ray Allen to the Miami Heat. Rivers was candid Saturday evening when talking about losing one of the Big Three to an arch rival.
"I'm just disappointed; he should have stayed," Rivers said before the Celtics' summer league entry began practice at Rollins College. "We recruited him just as hard (as Miami). We talked (after he agreed with the Heat). It was a good talk. You know how I am, when a guy makes his mind up, I am not going to try to change it. I respect him for all he did for us, but I thought he should have stayed with us."
Allen accepted what is being reported as a two-year deal at about $3 million per season to play with the Heat. The Celtics offered twice as much money, but Allen relayed to Rivers the issues he had this past season, and that made the difference.
"No I didn't (have confidence Allen was going to stay), I didn't know one way or the other," Rivers said. "I just knew financially we were in a better position. But he had his reasons for leaving and I'm sure he'll express those with you guys."
When asked if agreed with Allen's reasons for signing with Miami and leaving the Celtics, Rivers said: "No. But that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what i think. I just wish we could have found a way (to keep him) and we didn't. I'll always put (the blame) on us, that's easier."
Rivers hinted that perhaps the Celtics' courting of Kevin Garnett to return may have irritated Allen, who may not have felt like a priority.
"I thought we did that," Rivers said. "Danny (Ainge) in particular did exactly what he should have done. Kevin Garnett was our focal point and he should have been. If that got anyone ruffled then that's probably too bad. We did everything that we're supposed to do.
"He had his reasons. I think emotionally he probably got bent sideways a little bit by us courting Kevin for some reason. I don't know honestly. Listen, he was great for us when he was here and that's all we can say for it. Clearly we would have liked him to stay with us. But I respect Ray and that will never go away."
The Big Three was together for five years, and Allen's departure breaks up one of the more memorable eras in Celtics history.
"Listen, it was going to happen eventually," Rivers said. "Ray expedited it. It was going to happen at some point. So (it was going to happen) sooner or later and it did. It doesn't change what we're gonna try to do next year at all. The show goes on. We're going to be right back where want to be next year and we'll be ready."
The Celtics and Jeff Green have reached agreement on a multiyear deal, agent David Falk, and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said told the Globe it will be official Wednesday.
Green, 25, missed all of last season after surgery to repair an aortic root but spent considerable time in Boston rehabilitating and even sat on the bench during some home games. That treatment and the fact the Celtics signed Green to a one-year $9 million deal before the injury and did not give him the $5.9 million qualifying offer and then allowed him to be an unrestricted free agent was critical in Green's return.
"We've reached agreement in principal for him to return," agent David Falk said. "You see a situation like Jeff's where there's a tremendous level of goodwill that been built up over the last year and half. I've got a long memory. I remember people who treat me well and I remember people who don't."
When asked if Green was official, Ainge told the Globe: "It's looking good. We intend to sign him. We anticipate it being (official) by Wednesday."
Green averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 26 games after coming over to the Celtics in the controversial trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City.
Celtics vice president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Saturday he would not comment on the departure of Ray Allen to the Miami Heat until the league's moratorium on signing free agents ends July 11. That doesn't mean he isn't hard at work trying to replace Allen with another shooting guard.
"Obviously we need to fill the void, we need another shooting guard, of course," he said. "There are a lot of good players left. We're limited to what we can do with the biannual exception we need to wait and see."
Because the Celtics are over the salary cap, they cannot just shift the $6 million per season offered to Ray Allen to another player. The Celtics do have their biannual exception -- which begins at $1.95 million per season -- to offer a free agent.
Ainge said the team has been in contact with representatives of Mickael Pietrus, who had been somewhat of an afterthought.
"We have been in contact with the whole list of guys you would look at," Ainge said. "I don't want to mention names but we have been in contact with them. We'll continue to find the best player we can."
While the Celtics will lose the consummate professional in Allen, Ainge said the team will move forward.
"We've added a couple of great professionals in Jeff Green and Jason Terry and we drafted three guys that I think are very professional and add to the locker room," Ainge said. "Talent is a hard thing to find but we put a great deal of value into what goes on in the locker room also."
Ainge said he would not comment on an apparent Allen rift with Rajon Rondo.
Meanwhile, at the Celtics summer league practice at Rollins College, there was a rather stunned reaction.
"I was shocked, I see Ray as a Celtic," summer league head coach and Celtics assistant Tyronn Lue said. "In this business you have to do what's best for you and I guess he thought Miami was best for him. I just wish him well. But seeing him change uniforms is pretty big, seeing him around here so long."
The news that guard Ray Allen decided to leave the Celtics and join the Miami Heat took Twitter by storm. Everyone from Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to NBA insiders and prominent media members weighed in on the move.
Some of the most interesting:
Gotta take a break from my teammates Re Wedding anniversary to say WELCOME!!! #HeatNation continues to grow..— Dwyane Wade (@DwyaneWade) July 7, 2012
And lastly, a prediction from Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports that seems very much in the realm of high probability.
I'm sure we will see the champion Heat open the 12-13 season with Ray Allen on their roster at home against the Celtics.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 7, 2012
Allen agreed late Friday to join the Miami Heat with a three-year contract, according to NBA sources. Heat owner Mickey Arison let the NBA world know of the news through Twitter, making Allen’s departure from the Celtics painfully official.Allen will go to Miami for half the money the Celtics were offering, choosing the sunnier weather, chance to play with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and a fresh start with a new team. Allen was visibly unhappy during his final season in Boston, again placed on the trade block because of his expiring contract and then having to approach Doc Rivers about moving to the bench when murmurs became louder that the team wanted to start second-year guard Avery Bradley.
The Celtics attempted a late run at Allen, offering $6 million per season for two years and promising a more defined role. But the team’s signing of Jason Terry, another 3-point marksman, clouded Allen’s status if he returned.
On Thursday, Allen met with Heat president Pat Riley, coach Erik Spoelstra and team executive Alonzo Mourning but left without agreeing to a contract. He returned to Boston Friday and informed the Heat of his decision in the evening.
For the Celtics, it marks the end of the Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Allen, who joined forces in 2007 and won an NBA title, lost in the seventh game of another and reached the Eastern Conference Finals just last year against the Heat.
Allen only started in that series because Bradley was out after shoulder surgery and his played with bone spurs in his right ankle, limiting his effectiveness. Allen underwent surgery to remove the spurs and the Celtics believed he would be ready to begin the season.
Danny Ainge told the Globe last Sunday that Allen’s return was his No. 1 priority after Kevin Garnett agreed to a three-year deal to return. But by then Allen was already considering other options. His meeting with the Los Angeles Clippers was canceled when they agreed to terms with Jamal Crawford, leaving the Heat as the Celtics’ primary competition for Allen.
With Mike Miller a likely candidate to have his contract removed with the amnesty clause, the Heat were in search of another shooter. James publicly lobbied for Allen to join the Heat while the Celtics were helpless in his free-agent pursuits.
The Big Three Era was one of the grandest in Celtics’ history, starting the current trend of three all-stars coming together to attempt to win a championship. With Garnett’s grit, Pierce’s midrange stroke and Allen’s long-range prowess, the Celtics instantly became one of the top teams in the NBA.
It appeared after that Game 7 loss to the Heat that the era was over, but Garnett re-signed for three more seasons and Ainge made the decision to reload. But one of those reloading decisions was to sign Terry to a three-year deal and Bradley is also expected to come back healthy in perhaps December, leaving Allen to ponder whether his situation would improve.
Ray Allen has decided to accept an offer to join the Miami Heat.
Heat owner Micky Arison sent a tweet that confirmed the news.
Its 2:30am in London and I was just woken up with great news.Welcome to the family #20!!— Micky Arison (@MickyArison) July 7, 2012
Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears has also reported that "multiple league sources" have told him of Allen's decision.
Celtics restricted free-agent center Greg Stiemsma will meet with the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday as continues to explore the free-agent market.
The Celtics, who made Stiemsma a $1.1 million qualifying offer, have the right to match any offer to Stiemsma but Minnesota postponed its meeting because of the financial impact of Thursday's contract agreement with Brandon Roy and its pursuit of Portland swingman Nicolas Batum.
Timberwolves general manager David Kahn told Stiemsma's agent, Mike Naiditch, that they needed to get a better grasp of their salary cap capabilities before making an offer.
"They have some things to straighten out, so we'll meet with them tomorrow and go from there," Naiditch said. "Greg is just waiting the process out and he's going to make the best decision."
Stiemsma has said he wants to return to the Celtics, but Boston management is allowing him to test the waters knowing they have the option to match any offer. Naiditch is potentially seeking the bi-annual exception at just begins at $1.95 million a season for Stiemsma, but the Celtics are not certain to offer that exception if they use either the mini mid-level at $3 million per season.
The Celtics used that exception on Chris Wilcox last season. They used their full mid-level exception on Jason Terry.
"The Celtics are in no hurry but I anticipate they will have the money to sign Greg unless they bring back Ray Allen and then it may become complicated," he said. "There is no urgency for either side. The process is playing out."
"I'm confident it'll get done," agent David Falk told SI.com. "I guess (Boston) got (Brandon) Bass' (contract) done, which is great. Jeff is trying to get a sense of what the team looks like first before he makes a commitment, but I expect he'll be there and I expect it'll be done by the 11th."
The NBA's moratorium on free agent signings ends on July 11.
The SI report also said Green's deal could be as much as four years and $40 million. Green missed last season because of a heart condition. Falk indicated there was interest in Green from other teams.
Meanwhile, the Miami Heat have been courting Ray Allen. A Miami television station erroneously reported Thursday a deal was done to bring the shooting guard to Miami.
According to the Miami Herald, Allen met with Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra, and had dinner with those two and other team officials on Thursday.
The Celtics have agreed to a contract extension for Brandon Bass, according to his agent, Tony Dutt, who would only said it was a "multiyear" deal. It is believed to be a three-year deal.
Bass turned in a sparkling first season for the Celtics after being acquired from the Orlando Magic for Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Von Wafer. Bass opted out of the final year and $4.25 million of his deal to become a free agent but the Celtics were focused on bringing him back.
Bass averaged 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds, both career highs, last season in 59 games, 39 as the starting power forward.
"When you are as good as Boston's been, the key is to try to bring the show back," Dutt said. "It was a little give or take on every deal and every situation, so it's not like one or two guys are way overpaid. What Danny (Ainge, team president of basketball operations) is trying to do is fit everybody in at a fair number."
The Celtics are still seeking to sign Ray Allen, and his choices have come down to the Miami Heat and Celtics, according to an NBA source.
The Los Angeles Clippers have canceled their scheduled visit with Ray Allen. The Clippers intend to enter into contracts with guards Jamal Crawford and Chauncey Billups, meaning they don't have room for Allen.
Allen, who is an unrestricted free agent, must now decide between the Celtics and the Miami Heat. The 36-year-old reportedly has offers from both teams.
The Celtics continue to shore up their roster for another title run in 2012-13 by agreeing to a three-year contract with former Dallas sharpshooter and Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry for the full mid-level exception of $5 million.
Terry, 34, was offered a two-year deal for more money to return to the Mavericks but decided on the extra year. Terry is the off-the-bench scorer the Celtics have been seeking, averaging 15.1 points in just 31.7 minutes per game as a reserve last season. After starting most of his first eight seasons, Terry became one of the league's top bench players, burning teams with his long-range shooting.
The Celtics remain interested in Ray Allen, who while the all-time leading 3-pointer shooter, was never comfortable with scoring in volume off the bench. Terry likely would fill a different role than Allen if Allen is retained.
Terry agreed to the deal while at an AAU basketball tournament in Orlando, Fla., where his daughters were participating.The 10th overall pick in the 1999 draft, Terry spent his first five seasons with the Atlanta Hawks before being traded to the Mavericks in Aug. 2004 in a deal that included former Celtic Antoine Walker.
Terry is fourth in league history with 1,788 3-pointers, trailing only Allen, Reggie Miller and former teammate Jason Kidd.
The Celtics and free agent guard Jason Terry have agreed to a three-year deal that will bring Terry to Boston, an NBA source tells the Globe's Gary Washburn. The source says the Mavericks offered Terry more money but could only offer a two-year deal.
Terry told FOXSports NBA writer Chris Tomasson that he'd like to play in Boston.
"I just love that they have a championship pedigree," said Terry. "And I think their point guard (Rajon Rondo) is the best in the business at controlling both ends of the floor. And they’ve got Hall of Famers.’’
Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears first reported that Terry and the Celtics were close to a deal. According to Spears' report, the deal will pay Terry the Celtics' mid-level exception. Spears also reports that the Celtics would like to sign both Terry and Ray Allen despite the two players having similar roles as shooters, report confirmed by NBA.com's David Alridge.
Terry told Tomasson he'd be OK with both him and Allen playing in Boston.
"That wouldn't hurt,'' Terry said.
Free agents can't be signed officially until the end of the NBA's moratorium on July 11. Terry averaged 15.1 points and 3.6 assists for the Mavericks last season. As Dallas' sixth man, Terry played 31 minutes per game off the bench. He is 34.
Celtics center Greg Stiemsma has withdrawn from the USA Select Team because of the plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The USA Select Team practices against Team USA in Las Vegas and is the entry team for the U.S. Olympic Team program.
Stiemsma, a restricted free agent, did not practice or participate in shootarounds because of the plantar fasciitiis in the left foot and a bone bruise in the right foot. The Celtics have the right to match any offer for Stiemsma.
There's a hand-drawn sign on the wall of the Jackson/Mann School in Allston -- site of today's introductory press conference for the three Celtics rookies -- which reads, "Jackson Mann: A perfect place to learn." It's a motto that could also apply to Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo, and Kris Joseph, who were chosen by the Celtics in last week's NBA Draft.
The press conference was held at the school to promote the organization's community outreach, but there will be plenty of learning for the three rookies in the coming weeks.
Melo has the most to learn. At seven feet, he looks like an NBA player. But Melo will need to adjust not only to NBA basketball, but to adult life in a country to which he is new. The 22-year-old moved from Brazil to Florida when he was 17. He'd only started playing basketball two years earlier. On top of learning the game, he's had to learn English and navigate the potentially treacherous path of a rising NBA prospect.
Melo has faltered along the way. He was declared academically ineligible in March and was forced to sit while his Syracuse teammates played in the NCAA tournament.
At one point during the press conference, Melo introduced his business adviser, whose name is Rodrigo. Making light of Melo's academic troubles at Syracuse, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge asked, "Is Rodrigo your academic adviser as well?"
Ainge said he was trying to lighten the mood of the press conference, and Melo took the joke well. He came off as earnest and willing to learn during the press conference. His eyes lit up when a young girl at the school began speaking Portuguese, the language of his native Brazil, to him.
"I'm a very coach-able guy," said Melo. "I think if they show me what to do, I will do it. I think my reaction is pretty good. I can protect the basket. I'm not worried about that. Just show me how to do it and I will do it."
Melo said he received calls from both Kevin Garnett and Celtics coach Doc Rivers. He said Garnett was excited to teach him, and that Rivers told him his first practice would be hell. Melo and his former Syracuse teammate, Joseph, will need to adjust to playing man-to-man defense after playing a 2-3 zone in college.
"I've definitely played man in my lifetime," said Joseph. "I know the basics."
Said Sullinger, "We've got to remember that there's three seconds on defense now, too,"
Sullinger is the rookie most likely to make an impact on the team this season. Ainge said he would put all three rookies on a crash course to get them up to speed and ready to play as soon as possible. He said he expected Sullinger to play both power forward and center.
Sullinger said he was excited to be facing man-to-man defense in the NBA because it will allow him to show off more versatile aspects of his game.
"With the collegiate defense you can pack it in," said Sullinger. "I really had to go with what the defense gave me by forcing me to the double-team a lot. Pretty much all I had was back-to-the-basket because there really was no place for me to move. I can shoot the outside shot, I can face up."
A likely top-five pick last season, Sullinger's stock slid in the draft over questions about his size -- he is 6-9 -- and questions about a bad back. Sullinger was asked about his slide down to the 21st pick.
"I don't have any back problems," said Sullinger. "It is what it is. I'm just playing basketball. I finally have a job. Now it's time to take the next step and just get ready to play.
"I think it's a blessing in disguise, honestly. If you consider me dropping to the Boston Celtics a drop, then I'll do it all over again, without a hesitation. It's been like that all my life. When I was younger, everybody said I was too big, Going into high school, they said I wouldn't be able to play that fast. Going into college, they said I wouldn't be able to keep up. It's just the way I live my life."
Joseph, Syracuse's leading scorer, said he would use his second-round pick as motivation.
"Where I landed in the draft is where I landed," said Joseph. "Nothing I can do about it now besides get better."
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said today he was confident Jeff Green would be back in a Celtics uniform next season.
"I feel good about Jeff and where he's at," said Ainge. "He wants to be back and we want him back ... We're going to enter a contract with him, hopefully by the end of the moratorium."
NBA free agents cannot sign contracts until the end of a moratorium on July 11, and Ainge said he expected Green would sign with the team at that time. Green missed the entire 2011-12 season after doctors discovered he had an aortic aneurysm that required surgery. He's now working out and working his way into basketball shape. Green was seen with the team several times after the surgery even though the Celtics had voided his contract and he was technically not a part of the organization.
"When he got traded to the Celtics he loved his experience," said Ainge. "He wanted to prove that he's a better player than he played when he got here. He really wants to make it work. Through the whole discovery, to his surgery and his rehab, it was something that was motivating him to continue. He wanted to go back to Boston."
When asked what his top priority was, Ainge sounded like he was assuming Green was a done deal, mentioning Ray Allen and Brandon Bass as Boston's top targets.
"Those are the two guys we would like to see back," said Ainge. "We're working toward that."
Ainge also said that he intends to work on deals with role players such as Mickael Pietrus and Keyon Dooling, but that his priorities are with front-of-the-rotation players for now.
"You have to work on your best five to seven players first," said Ainge.
Ainge said the Celtics are trying to use the full mid-level exception to sign a player, which would put the Celtics at a hard salary cap of $74 million. He wouldn't comment on a report that the team is interested in free-agent center Marcus Camby.
If Allen were to return, the Celtics' Big Three of Allen, Garnett, and Paul Pierce would be entering their sixth season together. Many gave them a three-year window. Ainge had said in the past that he didn't want to repeat the mistake that the Celtics made by not breaking up the original Big Three of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish in the early 90s. Ainge went back and addressed those comments today.
"These guys have proven that they still can play," said Ainge. "And then you look at the alternatives. The reason we haven't made trades isn't because we haven't looked at possible opportunities to re-tool our team in the future. Those opportunities aren't there. And our guys continue to show how good they are on the court. So we're going to let it keep going.
"Never have I doubted if they could play. And never have I doubted whether they can contribute. I think the only question is, can they contribute to the level that they once were? I think we all can look at our Big Three and say if they went to play with some of the top teams in the league, how good they would be, and how much they would help those teams. The only question in Boston is, can they carry a team? So we need help. We need Jeff Green to be a good player. We need Rajon Rondo to be what he is. So as those guys, as their roles evolve from playing 38 minutes to 25 minutes, they can contribute like that."
After a day of silence, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed Sunday morning that Kevin Garnett would return to the team with a contract extension.
"Kevin will return," he said. "The deal is not done but Kevin will return, yes. I'm certain Kevin will return. It eliminates a lot of contingency plans."
Yet, there was something more pressing on Ainge’s mind and that was the perception the Celtics are willing to let Ray Allen sign with another team. Ainge said he was on the phone with Allen's representatives after midnight Saturday and wants the shooting guard to return.
"We want Ray back in the worst way," Ainge said. "I think Ray knows we're interested in him. I don't know (about the competition) but he very well could (have competition). But we really want Ray back."
The Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat are among the teams expected to pursue Allen. A source told ESPN's Chris Broussard that the Celtics are willing to give Allen a deal worth $12 million for two years. The most Miami can offer Allen is a one-year contract for $3 million.
Ainge said Allen underwent successful surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and there were more spurs that initially thought.
"It was amazing that Ray was even able to play at all throughout the playoffs," Ainge said. "We feel like he will fully recover shortly. I think he'll be playing basketball within the next few weeks, be able to be back in the gym, shooting."
Ainge said he believes because the Celtics were able to negotiate with Garnett -- who was coming off a three-year contract extension -- before the July 1 deadline and not Allen gave the perception they were not interested in Allen. Ainge said because Garnett was coming off a contract of three years or more, he was able to speak numbers with the Celtics before July 1.
Allen was coming off a two-year extension and was not eligible to take financial specifics until Saturday at midnight.
"We've been talking to Kevin for the last week," Ainge said. "With every one of our other free agents, we can't."