Amir Johnson‘s production fell off last season with the Raptors, but the Celtics regard their free agent signee as a steal, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is enamored with his versatility and the way he can complement any of the team’s other big men, as Forsberg notes. Johnson is just as sold on his new home.
“I like the vision, I like that we are young, and I like what they did last season coming into the playoffs,” Johnson said. “I felt like they were doing their best to get better. Just talking to [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] and [coach Brad] Stevens, I love what they got going on here.”
See more on the Celtics amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:
- Stevens distanced himself from roster decisions, but he complemented Perry Jones III, who’s on the chopping block as the Celtics must offload at least one fully guaranteed salary to trim to the 15-man regular season roster limit within the week, relays Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. “I think the biggest thing for Perry is, Perry has a chance to be a very, very good multi-positional defender, and he’s got a chance to be a guy that can play off closeouts, make shots or post switches,” Stevens said. “So being able to do those things regularly is a huge key. But I’ve been impressed with what Perry can do, what he has done, especially in practice.”
- Knicks draft-and-stash prospect Guillermo Hernangomez wants to play for Real Madrid of Spain for many years before considering a move to the NBA, as he said to Emilio V. Escudero of ABC.es (translation via HoopsHype). An earlier report indicated that the Knicks were planning to sign him before the 2016/17 season. New York acquired the NBA rights to the 6’11” center via trade after the Sixers selected him 35th overall in June.
- The Sixers‘ rebuilding process is enduring criticism, but even though GM Sam Hinkie has presided over three offseasons, it’s still too early to judge the success of his plan because so many of the assets he’s acquired are for the future, opines Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News.