Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge isn’t insisting on a development-focused approach from Brad Stevens, who’s instead doing what he can to help the team win now and grab a playoff berth, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald details. So, soon-to-be free agent Gigi Datome has taken 2014 first-rounder James Young‘s place in the rotation, Bulpett writes. That leads right into other news from Boston, as we detail:
- Datome says he’s having a “fantastic” time as a member of the Celtics, who’ve given him the sort of playing time he never saw with the Pistons, observes Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. Datome is set for restricted free agency this summer.
- Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga wouldn’t leave the Celtics for a college job, but he’ll consider interviewing for George Mason’s open head coaching position out of respect for the program, which used to employ his father in that job, a source tells Murphy for the same piece. The school had yet to reach out to Larranaga by midday Monday, a source told Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link), and both Bulpett and Mannix hear that Larranaga is happy in Boston. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported early Monday that the school was eyeing him for the gig.
- The Celtics pulled off a steal when they landed Tyler Zeller from the Cavs this past summer, opines Jimmy Toscano of CSNNE.com. Boston gave up only a protected second-round pick that the team is unlikely to ever have to actually convey to Cleveland, and the C’s also took back Marcus Thornton and a first-rounder, which they flipped to the Suns at the deadline for Isaiah Thomas, further sweetening the deal. Zeller scored a career-high 26 points Monday.