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Wilcox said he played last season with torn ligament

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff August 28, 2013 10:49 PM

The Celtics dealt with a plethora of injuries last season, including a nagging thumb injury sustained by backup center Chris Wilcox last December in Chicago that cost him 19 games.

The injury was diagnosed as a strained ulnar collateral ligament and Wilcox wore a wrap around the thumb for the remainder of the season. Wilcox told the Globe on Wednesday that he discovered after the season that the ligament was actually torn and required surgery.

"It was tough, it never got better," he said. "I just thought I would give it some rest after the season and I would barely put my hand in a fist. It didn't get any better."

Wilcox wasn't effective after returning from the injury and his minutes were eventually taken by Shavlik Randolph, who provided defense and rebounding off the bench. Wilcox played just seven minutes during the playoff series against the New York Knicks and is now a free agent, looking for at least a training camp invite.

Wilcox missed most of the 2011-12 season after having surgery in March 2012 to repair an enlarged aorta. He said he never got into premium basketball shape following surgery. He is using this summer for that purpose.

"I have been working hard on my shape and to get back to there I was before," he said. "I still have a cast on my hand but I should be ready for the season. I just want to prove that I can still play."

Walter McCarty rejoins Celtics as an assistant coach

Posted by Globe Staff August 20, 2013 11:43 PM

Former Celtics forward Walter McCarty will rejoin the team as an
assistant coach, a league source confirmed to the Globe Tuesday night.

With the addition of McCarty, a 6-foot-10-inch forward who played for the
Celtics from 1997 to 2005, to new head coach Brad Stevens's staff,
Stevens, who has no NBA experience, gains the valuable perspective of
an ex-NBA player that should help ease Stevens's transition into the
league.

McCarty is also a product of the Kentucky Wildcats, as is Celtics
point guard Rajon Rondo. A league source had previously told the Globe
that the Celtics were looking to add a staff member "who can bond with
Rondo, someone he can relate to and trust."

McCarty spent three seasons as an assistant coach to Louisville coach
Rick Pitino, a former Celtics president and coach who coached McCarty
at Kentucky. McCarty also served as an assistant under former Indiana
coach Jim O'Brien, who coached McCarty in Boston.

Like Stevens, McCarty hails from Indiana. A former first-round draft
pick of the New York Knicks in 1996, McCarty was traded to Boston in
1997. He averaged a career-best 9.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in his
first season with the Celtics in 1997-98, but he was mostly a role
player with the Celtics, known for his defense, occasional corner
3-pointers and overall hustle that endeared him to Celtics fans.

Stevens, a former star coach at Butler University who at 36 is now the
youngest coach in the NBA, appears to have his coaching staff with the
Celtics finalized. It includes Jay Larranaga and Jamie Young, who were
with the staff last season; Ron Adams, Micah Shrewsberry and McCarty,
all new hires.

Celtics Mailbag: Gauging expectations

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff August 19, 2013 10:21 AM

greenscorer.jpg

The Celtics made a roster move last week, sending 2012 first-round pick Fab Melo and cash to Memphis for forward Donte Green. It was a sign that the Celtics had seen enough from the 7-foot Melo to cut ties with him. Melo has proven he can block shots at every level, but everything else about his game was a work in progress. Taken one pick after Jared Sullinger, Melo was always considered a project. Sometimes, projects don't pan out. The Celtics will get salary cap relief from the deal if they choose to release Green, and Melo will get another shot somewhere else.

Expectations are the focus of this week's Celtics mailbag, with your questions focusing on individual players as well as the team.

Based on this team's current roster, do you see them winning more than 30 games? This means last place in the East.
Larry, Tallahassee, Fla.

Have you seen the Bobcats play, Larry? In all seriousness, 30 is a good number to debate. Fans seem to be all over the place on where this team finishes, but I'm in the camp that the losses of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, as well as Rajon Rondo's recovery from knee surgery, leave the Celtics in a bad spot. Add in a new coach and a repetitive roster I'll go just over and say the Celtics win 31 games. That leaves them out of the playoffs but maybe ahead of the Bobcats.

Jeff Green is one of the Celtics' most versatile players. His natural position is small forward. But how much time do you think he'll play at power forward and shooting guard? And if he averages 36 minutes a game at small forward, which other Celtic or Celtics will play small forward when he doesn't?
Paul, Agawam

Green played a lot of power forward toward the end of last season with Garnett at center and Pierce at small forward. With those players gone and a glut of power forwards on the roster, the only time you might see Green play anything other than small forward is with Gerald Wallace in the game. As for shooting guard, I just can't see Green playing there.

Who do you think will lead the Celtics in PPG this season and around how many points do you think he'll average per game?
Matt, Brookline

This is a two-man race between Green and Rondo. If it were total points I'd go with Green, as he should play more minutes right from the start of the season. In an upset, I'll give the edge to Rondo. Teams will key in on Green all season, and everyone expects Rondo to pass. I'll peg Rondo for an average of 19.5 points per game, with Green just slightly under that.

With a younger Brad Stevens being a self-proclaimed statistics nerd (and whiz kid Drew Cannon joining) what if anything do you expect to see differently from the coaching staff using their newly found analytics? Are these guys "moneyball" enthusiasts?
Mike, Palo Alto, Calif.

The best insight into how Stevens used Cannon at Butler comes from Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel:

Cannon sends Stevens a 10-page e-mail breaking down and analyzing the numbers after every Butler game. The report takes 10 to 12 hours for Cannon to put together.

Cannon's greatest value is with lineup analysis, as Stevens terms his work "unreal." "It includes every player, pairs of players, groups of three, big lineups, small lineups, etc.," Stevens said. Cannon will also include the offensive and defensive efficiency of Butler's players from previous matchups with an opponent, which Stevens said, "Will help me determine probable sub patterns, late game lineups, etc."

With no salaries to worry about in college, Cannon was not operating on a "Moneyball" system, per se, but the idea of quantifying a player's value in measures other than points and rebounds is something Cannon and current Celtics numbers guru Mike Zarren are focused on.

Here's a list of the guys the Celtics have listed at center aside from Kendrick Perkins since 2008-2009:

Jason Collins
Fab Melo
Darko Milicic
Greg Stiemsma
Jermaine O’Neal (in the "bad knees" stage of his career)
Chris Wilcox
JaJuan Johnson
Ryan Hollins
Semi Erden
Chris Johnson
Nenad Krstic
Shaquille O’Neal at 38
Shavlik Randolph
Rasheed Wallace
Patrick O’Bryant
Mikki Moore

Here's my question for Danny Ainge: "Seriously?"
Bob, West Roxbury

You aren't wrong, Bob. It's a pretty terrible list, though I thought the Wallace and Jermaine O'Neal signings were at least good ideas that didn't pan out. You can look at this a couple of ways. With money tied up in the Big Three and Rondo, the Celtics didn't have the funds to go out and sign one of the better free agent centers on the market. You can also look at it as they never developed one. With Melo gone, that streak will continue for a little while.

Click the full entry button for more Q&A.

FULL ENTRY

Celtics trade Fab Melo and cash to Memphis for Donte Greene

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff August 15, 2013 11:55 AM

The Fab Melo Era in Boston is over, though it never really began.

The Celtics announced Thursday that they traded the extremely raw 7-footer and cash to Memphis for forward Donte Green. Melo's Celtics tenure began just 14 months ago when the team selected him in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft.

Though Melo was a low-risk gamble for the Celtics at the No. 22 overall pick, he made little progress in his rookie season. The Brazilian played sparingly in six games, scoring 7 total points, proving to be little more than a long-term project at best.

Beyond that, the deal could help the Celtics avoid the luxury tax if they choose to waive the 6-foot-11-inch Greene, whose contract of slightly more than $1 million is nonguaranteed. The Celtics right now are about $700,000 over the $71.8 million tax line for next season.

It makes little sense for the Celtics to be a tax-paying team heading into a rebuilding season, so it's likely that Greene will be waived -- either immediately or following training camp, which he must attend as a nonguaranteed player -- if only to help their bottom line.

Greene, like Melo a former Syracuse player, has appeared in 253 games in his five-year career, all with Sacramento, averaging 6.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game.

Greene didn't play last season after fracturing his foot the previous summer. He had been acquired by Memphis (the team that originally drafted him in 2008) in April.

Melo's exit follows an underwhelming stint in the Orlando Summer League, where he averaged 18.2 minutes in five games, with 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds.

"When you're going into your second year, and you're playing in summer league, and they're keeping you on the bench, something is really wrong," an NBA scout said of Melo.

Melo also famously sustained a concussion by walking into a door frame last season, an incident former Celtics coach Doc Rivers referred to as "Fab being Fab."

And in a game at Toronto in April, Melo picked up four fouls in three minutes.

Melo starred at times when he played in 33 games for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, averaging 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, and a league-high 3.1 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game.

In one game, against Erie, Melo had 15 points, 16 rebounds, and a D-League record 14 blocks. In the next game, against Idaho, he had 32 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 blocks.

But whatever flashes of talent he showed were brief and too often overshadowed by simple mistakes that revealed just how far Melo has to go to be an effective player.

Dealing Melo also helps clear up a crowded frontcourt that already includes 7-footers Kelly Olynyk, a rookie, and first-round draft pick, and Brazilian center, Vitor Faverani.

The Celtics now have 14 guaranteed contracts for a commitment of about $71.2 million.

Brad Stevens sends letter to former Celtics

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff August 14, 2013 10:41 AM

If there is a textbook that explains precisely how to conduct oneself upon becoming the head coach of a new team, then Brad Stevens has followed every step to a tee.

But if such a book doesn't exist, then Stevens is creating the blueprint for others to follow.

Since becoming the 17th head coach in the history of the Boston Celtics, Stevens, formerly the coach at Butler University, has said and done virtually all the right things.

He aced his introductory press conference by being remarkably humble as he spoke about the tradition of the storied franchise. He later flew to Louisville to meet with his star point guard, Rajon Rondo.

And, in another smart gesture, Stevens has sent letters to former Celtics players, inviting them to return to games and practices and to stay in touch with the franchise.

Minus the address and some contact information, here is the text of one such letter the Globe has viewed that Stevens had sent to former Celtics guard Kenny Anderson.

The letter itself is dated July 22, 2013, a few weeks after Stevens was hired as the Celtics' head coach.

"I am truly humbled and honored to assume the responsibilities of head coach of the Boston Celtics. The Celtics’ mystique, history, culture and tradition speaks for itself. There is nothing else like it in all of professional sports.

"At the press conference announcing my hiring, I was in awe looking up at the 17 championship banners. I am first and foremost a fan and admirer of the Boston Celtics and what has been accomplished by each of you.

"On behalf of the Boston Celtics management, staff and players, I write you to come around any time. Please know that you are cordially welcome to attend our practice sessions, home games at the TD Garden, games when we are on the road and Celtics events in our community.

"I look forward to meeting you in the near future. Continued success and well wishes."

It's unclear exactly how many former Celtics received these letters, or if any of them were personalized in any way rather than including this general message.

Still, for the 36-year-old coach who places a high value on culture, the kind act itself marks yet another inroad he has made as he establishes his own culture as the coach of the Celtics.

Paul Pierce: I didn’t want to be a part of rebuilding

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff August 8, 2013 11:56 AM

In an interview with SLAM Magazine, former Celtics star Paul Pierce said that he, Kevin Garnett, and Doc Rivers never wanted to be apart of a rebuilding team, and that the Celtics owners decided after the season that rebuilding the team was exactly what was needed.

Therefore, their departures -- Pierce and Garnett were shipped to Brooklyn in a blockbuster swap and Rivers left to join the Los Angeles Clippers -- were all mutual, Pierce said.

"Well, I know the insides with everything that’s going on," Pierce told SLAM in the interview that was published online Thursday. "A lot of stuff got blown out of proportion because of the media, but Doc has always said he didn’t want to be a part of a rebuilding situation. I’ve always stated that the past four or five years.

"After the season, the owners decided they wanted to go in that direction. It made Doc look like he was quitting but at the same time it was mutual—everything was mutual at the end. The trade, Doc leaving. I didn’t want to be a part of rebuilding; Kevin didn’t want to be a part of rebuilding; Doc didn’t want to be part of rebuilding. I think it was all mutual.

"We’ve done so much for the franchise that they wanted to help on our end. So Doc went to L.A., and they sent us to Brooklyn for a chance to win a championship.

"That’s pretty much the way it was. Nothing more, nothing less."

Pierce, the Celtics' second all-time leading scorer in franchise history, also talked about returning to TD Garden, which will take place during the regular season on Jan. 26, when the Nets visit the Celtics.

"Oh, it’s definitely gonna be emotional," Pierce said. "You spend almost half of your life in Boston, so a lot of emotions are gonna run deep, because of friends and the things you accomplished there. The fans there, the season tickets owners—I know a lot of them. I’ll see all those people."

Top 10 Celtics games to watch this season

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff August 7, 2013 04:30 PM

OK folks, we know the Big Three are gone and the Celtics are in apparent rebuild mode with new coach Brad Stevens. That doesn't mean the Celtics won't be an interesting team to watch, especially with a competitive team on the floor that includes Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and rookie Kelly Olynyk.

Here are 10 games to watch for the Celtics season:

OCT. 30 at Toronto (season opener) -- We will get the first regular-season look at the Stevens plan on opening night at Air Canada Centre and it will be fascinating to see the roster and whether the Celtics opt for a veteran-laden lineup or decide to go young. Also will Rajon Rondo be recovered from knee surgery by then?

NOV. 9 at Miami -- The Celtics-Heat rivalry was one of the NBA's best for the past five years but now it has lost its luster. Still, the Celtics will get a chance to face the two-time defending champions while Olynyk gets his first taste of facing Chris Bosh while the Celtics get a chance to gauge themselves against the league's best.

DEC. 10 at Brooklyn -- It will be an emotional two days for the Celtics as they face the Nets, with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, in the first of a back-to-back and then Doc Rivers and the Clippers come to TD Garden 24 hours later. The Celtics will get a chance to face the Atlantic Division favorites and it will be Rondo's first regular-season meeting against his two old mentors and pals.

DEC. 11 vs. Los Angeles Clippers -- Rivers comes back with the Clippers after his confusing and controversial exit from the Celtics. What type of reception will Rivers receive? Will the Celtics be in full tanking mode by then? Will Rondo and Chris Paul reengage their fierce rivalry? All interesting questions.

DEC. 22 at Indiana -- Celtics coach Brad Stevens returns to Indianapolis, where he led Butler University to two NCAA title appearances. Meanwhile, the Pacers should be a juggernaut and looking to notch another win against an inferior team. The Pacers will be one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference.

JAN. 17 vs. Los Angeles Lakers -- The rivalry renews but with difference characters. Kobe Bryant will likely be back in the Lakers lineup after tearing his Achilles tendon in the final days of the regular season. But Metta World Peace and others are gone. The Celtics will be the younger team but will does this matchup have any teeth left?

JAN. 26 vs. Brooklyn -- Get the tissue ready because it should be an emotional night at TD Garden. Rarely has the Celtics in-game operations team had to put together two tribute montages in one night but this is the night. Pierce and Garnett will be back in Boston and are sure to get a long standing ovation for their contributions to the Celtics. Pierce has already said he will be tearing up when he gets to the arena.

FEB. 20 at Los Angeles Lakers -- It's the Celtics-Lakers rematch but also the day after the trade deadline. Which Celtics will be former Celtics by then? Will Rajon Rondo still be in a Boston uniform and will Danny Ainge decide to deal all of his veterans with hopes or landing a favorable lottery pick? It will be an interesting night.

MAR. 12 vs. New York -- Carmelo Anthony and the crew come to Boston and will be looking to improve their playoff seeding with a retooled roster. The Celtics will return home from a tough road game at Indiana but they always seem to get up for the Knicks and the two teams always make for a good matchup.

APR. 16 vs. Washington -- It's the regular-season finale and will the Celtics be fighting for a playoff spot this late in the season? A lot of questions will be answered by then, but this could be critical game for playoff seeded or even lottery seeding. The Wizards are intent on making the playoffs this season.

Celtics announce preseason schedule

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff August 7, 2013 12:26 PM

The Celtics announced their 2013 preseason schedule Wednesday, and it features two games against the Brooklyn Nets, the team that acquired Celtics icons Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce this offseason in a blockbuster deal.

In the Nets' preseason schedule announcement in July, they trumpeted the Oct. 23 game at TD Garden as "the return of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Boston."

Here's the Celtics' preseason schedule:

Oct. 7 against Toronto at TD Garden. 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 9 against New York Knicks at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11 against Philadelphia at Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Delaware. 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 against New York Knicks at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 15 against Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 16 against Toronto at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. 7 p.m.
Oct. 20 against Minnesota Timberwolves at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. 6 p.m.
Oct. 23 against Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden. 7 p.m.

All Celtics preseason games can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet New England.

Celtics release 2013-14 schedule

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff August 6, 2013 05:56 PM


The Celtics have released their 2013-14 schedule and of course it reflects a team in rebuilding mode, no Christmas Day game, no TNT games and three ESPN games.


Notable games
Nov. 9 at Heat
Dec. 11 vs. Doc Rivers and the Clippers at TD Garden
Jan 17. vs. Lakers at TD Garden
Jan. 26 vs. Nets at TD Garden
Feb. 21 at Lakers


October

@ Raptors, Oct. 30 7:00 PM


November

Bucks, Nov. 1 7:30 PM
@ Pistons, Nov. 3 6:00 PM
@ Grizzlies, Nov. 4 8:00 PM
Jazz, Nov. 6 7:30 PM
@ Magic, Nov. 8 7:00 PM
@ Heat, Nov. 9 7:30 PM
Magic, Nov. 11 7:30 PM
Bobcats, Nov. 13 7:30 PM
Trail Blazers, Nov. 15 7:30 PM
@ Timberwolves, Nov. 16 8:00 PM
@ Rockets, Nov. 19 8:00 PM thre
@ Spurs, Nov. 20 8:30 PM
Pacers, Nov. 22 7:30 PM
@ Hawks, Nov. 23 7:30 PM
@ Bobcats, Nov. 25 7:00 PM
Grizzlies, Nov. 27 7:30 PM
Cavaliers, Nov. 297:30 PM
@ Bucks, Nov. 30 9:00 PM


December

Bucks, Dec. 3 7:30 PM
Nuggets, Dec. 6 7:30 PM
@ Knicks, Dec. 8 12:00 PM
@ Nets, Dec. 10 7:30 PM
Clippers, Dec. 11 7:30 PM
Knicks, Dec. 13 7:30 PM
Timberwolves, Dec. 16 7:30 PM
Pistons, Dec. 187:30 PM
Wizards, Dec. 21 1:00 PM
@ Pacers, Dec. 22 6:00 PM
Cavaliers, Dec. 281:00 PM
Hawks, Dec. 31 1:00 PM


January


@ Bulls, Jan. 2 8:00 PM
Pelicans, Jan. 3 7:30 PM
@ Thunder, Jan. 5 7:00 PM
@ Nuggets, Jan. 7 9:00 PM
@ Clippers, Jan. 8 10:30 PM
@ Warriors, Jan. 10 10:30 PM
@ Trail Blazers, Jan. 11 10:00 PM
Rockets, Jan. 13 7:30 PM
Raptors, Jan. 15 7:30 PM
Lakers, Jan. 17 7:30 PM
@ Magic, Jan. 19 6:00 PM
@ Heat, Jan. 21 7:30 PM
@ Wizards, Jan. 22 7:00 PM
Thunder, Jan. 24 7:30 PM
Nets, Jan. 26 6:30 PM
@ Knicks, Jan. 28 7:30 PM
76ers, Jan. 29 7:30 PM


February

Magic, Feb. 2 1:00 PM
@ 76ers, Feb. 5 7:00 PM
Kings, Feb. 7 7:30 PM
Mavericks, Feb. 9 6:00 PM
@ Bucks, Feb. 10 8:00 PM
Spurs, Feb. 12 7:30 PM
@ Suns, Feb. 19 9:00 PM
@ Lakers, Feb. 21 10:30 PM
@ Kings, Feb. 22 10:00 PM
@ Jazz, Feb. 24 9:00 PM
Hawks, Feb. 26 7:30 PM


March

Pacers, Mar. 18:00 PM
Warriors, Mar. 5 7:30 PM
Nets, Mar. 7 7:30 PM
Pistons, Mar. 9 6:00 PM
@ Pacers, Mar. 11 7:00 PM
Knicks, Mar. 12 7:30 PM
Suns, Mar. 14 7:30 PM
@ Pelicans, Mar. 16 6:00 PM
@ Mavericks, Mar. 17 8:30 PM
Heat, Mar. 19 7:30 PM
@ Nets, Mar. 21 7:30 PM
Raptors, Mar. 26 7:30 PM
@ Raptors, Mar. 28 7:00 PM
Bulls, Mar. 30 7:00 PM
@ Bulls, Mar. 31 8:00 PM


April
@ Wizards, Apr. 2 7:00 PM
76ers, Apr. 4 7:30 PM
@ Pistons, Apr. 5 7:30 PM
@ Hawks, Apr. 9 7:30 PM
Bobcats, Apr. 11 7:30 PM
@ Cavaliers, Apr. 12 7:30 PM
@ 76ers, Apr. 14 7:00 PM
Wizards, Apr. 16 8:00 PM

Celtics will open season with Raptors

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff August 6, 2013 12:05 PM


Two NBA sources told the Globe that the Celtics will open their 2013-14 season against the Toronto Raptors. The official NBA schedule is set to be released tonight at 6 p.m.

The opener against the Raptors will signal the beginning of the Brad Stevens era but also a sign that the Celtics -- without Paul Pierce, Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett -- are no longer a major television draw. They have usually opened the season with a high-profile, nationally televised game against teams such as the Miami Heat the past several years.

Celtics mailbag: Avery Bradley's offensive potential, Rondo's future

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff August 6, 2013 11:05 AM

ABmailbag.jpg

August is a boring time to be an NBA fan. The draft is done, free agency has slowed, and training camp is still weeks away. It's a good window for an NBA writer to sit on a beach somewhere.

Outside of the release of the 2013-14 schedule Tuesday night, there's little immediate news to share. That hasn't stopped your questions from flowing in. The Celtics are very much a team in flux, and interest remains high. Below are the latest missives sent into the Celtics mailbag. You can ask your question anytime.

Why in the world are people fixated on trading Rondo? He is one of the best point guards in basketball! Throughout the C's recent history they have searched for someone to man the point. This kid is primed to be the leader of a young team. All he has done is win an NBA championship....he didn't get enough credit for that happening.

Danny....please don't trade him...all the other moves were great....don't ruin them with this rumored move.
Dave, Ashland

I agree with you, Dave. Writers in other markets tell me that outside of Boston, the notion of trading Rajon Rondo for anything less than full value is absurd. They're shocked when they learn just how polarizing a figure Rondo is here, and they're even more shocked when they hear just how many fans want to run him out of town.

Rondo is the undisputed best player on the current Celtics roster. As much as he was aided by being a part of the New Big Three Era, he hasn't gotten nearly enough credit for his role in it. He's an electric talent, a dynamic personality, and a player who makes everyone around him better. He'll make it really interesting this season if he's healthy from Day 1. That being said, if the Celtics can get a combination of young players and choice draft picks for Rondo, of course they're going to take it. That doesn't mean he should be run out of town, though.

Does Avery Bradley have the potential to have a big season offensively? What would his point average, shooting percentage, and assist average be if he did have a big offensive season?
Paul, Agawam


Like this question, Paul. Here are Basketball Reference's projections for Bradley:

-- 12.4 points, 44 percent shooting, 2.6 assists, 34.3 percent 3-point shooting

Here's what I think a "big" season would look like:

-- 14.4 points, 48 percent shooting, 2.6 assists, 37.5 percent 3-point shooting

The key really is Bradley's shooting percentage. In 64 games during his sophomore season Bradley shot 49.8 percent from the field. He seemed poised for a breakout last season, but his shooting percentage plummeted to 40 percent. A little more accuracy should increase his scoring output. It should also give him more playing time. Bradley's defense will give him a chance, but his offense will make him indispensable. At just 22-yeas-old, I still think he has it in him to be a very good player.

One big I really like is DeMarcus Cousins, and it seems to me like he would be a good fit for the Celtics. He's young, athletic, and above all he needs a fresh start. What do you think the Celtics would have to give up to make it work?
Mitch, Sharon

With a stockpile of draft picks and young players like Rondo, Bradley, and Sullinger, the Celtics have what it takes to get Cousins. The question is: Do you want to build your team around DeMarcus Cousins? As talented as Boogie is, he's proven to be a headache for coaches and teammates. The Big Three Celtics might have absorbed a personality like that and taken the bad with the good, but a young, impressionable team is not the place for him.

Rebounding, particularly offensive rebounding, was one of the Celtics' biggest weaknesses last season. Without Kevin Garnett, but with several new centers and power forwards, how well do you think the Celtics will rebound this season?
Paul, Agawam

Rebounding has been a weakness for the team since the 2010-11 season. They ranked outside the top 20 in the stat the last two seasons. Part of that was due to personnel, and part of that was systemic. Garnett is a good defensive rebounder but rarely crashed the offensive boards. Jared Sullinger should help. Kris Humphries and Kelly Olynyk, too. Outside of Brazilian center Vitor Faverani, however, the Celtics don't seem to have any true centers who will crack the rotation. In addition, Jeff Green is undersized when playing power forward, and he figures to play a lot of minutes. It's hard to rebound by playing small. Rebounding could be a weakness again this season.

FULL ENTRY

Celtics cut Shavlik Randolph

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff August 1, 2013 12:56 PM
The Celtics have cut forward Shavlik Randolph, a move that trims their roster to the regular-season limit of 15 signed players and also saves them about $1.1 million.

The team had until Thursday to cut the 6-foot-10-inch Randolph or else his contract would have been fully guaranteed for the 2013-14 season.

Randolph's agent confirmed to the Globe that the Celtics informed Randolph that they won't be picking up the option on his non-guaranteed deal, thus ending his tenure with the team he joined in February after playing in China.

In 16 regular-season games with the Celtics, the 29-year-old Randolph, a former Duke standout, averaged 4.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 12.4 minutes.

But those numbers prorate to 17 rebounds per 48 minutes, good for the 16th-highest such output in the NBA during the 2012-13 season.

Randolph stood to make relatively little as compared with the $12 million Celtics forward Kris Humphries is owed next season.

But with the Celtics' desire to trim salary to stay under the tax line, and with a crowded roster especially heavy in the frontcourt with Humphries, Brandon Bass, Vitor Faverani, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and Fab Melo, Randolph was simply a victim of the numbers.

With Randolph off the books, the Celtics have 15 signed players -- the most a team can carry during the regular season -- with a salary commitment of about $72.5 million, which is still over the $71.75 million luxury tax line for the 2013-14 season.

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