Boston Celtics Rumors

Eastern Notes: D-League, Jenkins, Magic

October 31 at 7:31pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Chris Babb, Tim Frazier, Rodney McGruder and Christian Watford are joining the Celtics D-League affiliate, the team announced (Twitter links). The Celtics are using their ability to retain the D-League rights to up to four camp cuts to keep Frazier, McGruder and Watford out of the D-League draft, but they don’t have to do so with Babb, since he played for Boston’s D-League team last season.

Here’s more from the east:

  • The Magic‘s D-League team has signed Seth Curry, Peyton Siva, Kadeem Batts and Drew Crawford, the club announced, meaning Orlando used all four of its available spots to keep the D-League rights to the foursome, whom the Magic waived during camp last week.
  • The first two years of Anderson Varejao‘s extension with the Cavs are fully guaranteed with the third year being a team option, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link).
  • Varejao will make $9,638,554 the first year; $10,361,446 the second year of the deal, with $9.36MM guaranteed; and the third season is set at $10MM,  Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). If Varejao is on the Cavs‘ roster past August 1st, 2017 then $4.5MM of the third year will become guaranteed, adds Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • John Jenkins admitted he’s upset that the Hawks decided to decline his rookie scale team option for 2015/16, but he called it “part of the game” and a potential blessing in disguise, observes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • While it’s still a bit too early in the season for any coaches to truly be on the hot seat just yet, Fran Blinebury of NBA.com takes a look at eight coaches who are under the most pressure this year, including David Blatt (Cavs), Mike Budenholzer (Hawks), and Derek Fisher (Knicks).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Hornets, Celtics, D-League

October 29 at 10:33pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The contracts of Alonzo Gee (Nuggets) and James Ennis (Heat) both became fully guaranteed today, and a partial guarantee of $250K has kicked in for Dewayne Dedmon (Magic), since both Dedmon and Ennis were on their teams’ respective rosters come opening night, and Gee was still on his team’s roster past October 29th, as is shown on our schedule of contract guarantee dates.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Celtics look to improve upon their 25-win season of a year ago, and began their quest at home tonight with a 121-105 victory over the Nets. In his season preview, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com believes Boston’s outlook has improved, and Rajon Rondo will have a strong season as he looks to silence his doubters and maximize his value heading into next summer.
  • In a separate article, Blakely looks at the top five players who changed teams and donned new uniforms this summer. Blakely also examined the five best rookies making their debuts this season, including Elfrid Payton, Jabari Parker, and Marcus Smart.
  • Hornets owner Michael Jordan believes that the addition of Lance Stephenson gives his team a legitimate shot to contend in the Eastern Conference, the Associated Press reports. Jordan especially likes Stephenson’s “fight,” saying, “One of the reasons why I admire his game is he takes on challenges. For us to get any place in the East, we need someone to challenge LeBron. He challenged LeBron.”
  • Former Sixers coach Larry Brown slammed the organization’s rebuilding through “tanking” plan, John N. Mitchell of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “I hate what’s going on in Philly,” Brown said. “They don’t have a basketball person in the organization. It makes me sick to my stomach.”
  • Malcolm Turner of Wasserman Media Group has been hired as the president of the NBA D-League, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link).
  • Roger Mason has been hired as the NBPA’s director of player relations, Howard Beck of Bleacher Report tweets. It is unclear if accepting this position would prevent Mason from continuing his playing career. The 34-year-old Mason made 25 appearances for the Heat last season, averaging 3.0 PPG in 10.4 minutes-per-game.

Celtics Pick Up 2015/16 Options For Three

October 29 at 9:21pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

OCTOBER 29TH, 9:21pm: Boston has officially exercised the options for all three players, the team announced.

OCTOBER 22ND, 6:00pm: The Celtics will exercise their team options to keep Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk on their rookie scale contracts through 2015/16, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com reports (Twitter link). These moves have been widely expected, as Blakely suggests. Zeller’s $2,616,975 salary for that season is the most expensive of the group. Sullinger is set to make $2,269,260, and Olynyk will collect $2,165,160, as our Rookie Scale Team Option Tracker shows.

Picking up these options increases Boston’s guaranteed salary commitments to approximately $33.5MM for the 2015/16 campaign, with Jeff Green also holding a player option for $9.2MM, which he is likely to exercise. Also not factored into that cap figure is Rajon Rondo, who becomes a free agent next summer, and it’s unclear as to whether the Celtics will attempt to re-sign him or deal him prior to the trade deadline. Rondo currently makes approximately $12.9MM, and will most likely seek an increase on that amount in his next contract.

Zeller was selected with the 17th overall pick by Dallas back in 2012 before being dealt to the Cavaliers. During his two years in Cleveland, Zeller averaged 6.9 PPG and 4.9 RPG while logging 21 minutes per night. He was acquired by Boston on July 10th of this year in a three-way deal involving the Celtics, Cavs, and Nets.

The 7’0″ Olynyk was chosen with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 draft, also by Dallas, but his draft rights were traded that night to the Celtics for Lucas Nogueira and two second-rounders. During his rookie campaign last season, Olynyk appeared in 70 contests, including nine starts, averaging 8.7 PPG and 5.2 RPG. After a strong training camp Olynyk is expected to be a major offensive contributor on a rebuilding Celtics squad.

Sullinger was drafted by Boston with the 21st overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. The 6’9″ big man out of Ohio State has been held back by injuries in his young career, but appears to be healthy entering his third year in league. His career numbers are 10.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG, and his career slash line is .440/.268/.771.

Celtics Waive Will Bynum

October 27 at 3:51pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Celtics have waived point guard Will Bynum, the team announced via press release. The move had appeared likely since shortly after Boston acquired him via trade from the Pistons, though the Celtics made attempts to move his guaranteed salary rather than simply release it. The Celtics will be on the hook for Bynum’s nearly $2.916MM salary for this season unless another team claims him off waivers. Boston also announced the waiver of five other players in its press release, so the team is at the 15-man regular season roster limit.

Bynum has spent the past six seasons with Detroit, primarily as a backup point guard. He figured to be the third-stringer behind Brandon Jennings and D.J. Augustin this year, and there wasn’t much room for him on the Celtics, either, with Rajon Rondo and lottery pick Marcus Smart around, among others.

The C’s appeared to acquire Bynum in large measure to reduce the amount of guaranteed salary they would have to eat, as Joel Anthony, who went to the Pistons in that trade, will make $3.8MM this season, about $900K more than Bynum. Boston had been carrying 16 fully guaranteed deals all preseason, but it seems there wasn’t a trade to be had that could fix that logjam and save the C’s from releasing one of those contracts.

Celtics Waive Jarell Eddie

October 27 at 3:44pm CDT By Cray Allred

MONDAY, 3:44pm: The move is official, the team announced.

SUNDAY, 5:53pm: Boston has indeed waived Eddie, as is shown on the RealGM transactions page.

SATURDAY, 6:26pm: The Celtics are waiving Jarell Eddie, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Pincus indicates that the move has already taken place, though the team has yet to make an official announcement. The undrafted rookie was claimed off of waivers by Boston Thursday after the Hawks released him from their training camp roster.

His one-year contract was non-guaranteed, so Boston merely inherited his D-League rights and no actual costs by claiming and waiving the small forward. Of course, another team could still claim Eddie off waivers from the Celtics, which would remove those D-League rights from Boston. Eddie spent time with the Wizards summer league team, and he impressed Atlanta brass in his preseason tenure there.

C’s Waive McGruder, Murphy, Frazier, Watford

October 27 at 3:43pm CDT By Chuck Myron

MONDAY, 3:43pm: The Celtics have officially waived McGruder, Murphy, Frazier and Watford, the team announced via press release.

SUNDAY, 10:22pm: In addition to the previously mentioned trio, Frazier has now also been waived, according to the RealGM transactions log. The team has made no formal announcement yet.

10:25pm: The Celtics have waived McGruder, Murphy and Watford, according to the RealGM transactions log, though the team has yet to make a formal announcement. Frazier has not been waived yet, though all indications are that he will be tomorrow, as Marc D’Amico of Celtics.com tweets.

TUESDAY, 10:59am: The Celtics will waive Rodney McGruder, Erik Murphy, Tim Frazier and Christian Watford, coach Brad Stevens told reporters, including Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). All are on non-guaranteed contracts, except for Murphy, whose deal is partially guaranteed for $100K. The moves will leave the Celtics with 16 players, all of whom have fully guaranteed pacts, with one more cut to come before opening night.

Murphy is the only one of the trio with NBA regular season experience, having appeared briefly in 24 games last season with the Bulls, who drafted him 49th overall in 2013. He was nonetheless an afterthought in a series of cap-related moves that began when the Jazz claimed him off waivers from the Bulls late last season. Utah sent him to Cleveland in a three-for-one swap in July, and the Cavs shipped him to the Celtics in their Keith Bogans trade. McGruder, who went undrafted in 2013, was in an NBA training camp for the second autumn in a row after spending last October with the Thunder. Watford also went undrafted that year, though he signed a pair of deals with the C’s this year as Boston waived him to accommodate the Bogans trade, then brought him back. Frazier has had a more conventional tenure with Boston after going undrafted this past June.

The moves still leave president of basketball operations Danny Ainge with a decision to make with Monday’s opening-night roster deadline looming. Will Bynum appeared at one point this weekend to be the guaranteed contract set to go, but the Celtics have yet to commit to parting ways with him.

Eastern Notes: Bosh, Celtics, Smith

October 26 at 7:54pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Heat’s roster is still full of talent, post LeBron James, but it will take time for all the new pieces to come together, writes Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald. Chris Bosh, who signed a five year, $118,705,300 contract this offseason, understands that the circumstances this season will be different.

“It’s a process, and every time we step out on the floor we’re used to being extremely successful and for things to come a little easier,” Bosh said. “We haven’t had this process in a very long time. We’re used to the same guys coming back, and we know our rotations and it’s just a matter of getting in shape. We’re used to knowing where the ball is going to go. We knew everything and now is a time when we have to really be patient with it because even though we’re out there playing, we have to remember that we’ve only played eight preseason games together and we’re not going to be where we need to be.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck says that he has received “two serious offers” to sell the team in the last two weeks, writes Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe.  However, he and Steve Pagliuca have no interest in selling, and Grousbeck would not say if those offers came with dollar amounts attached to them.
  • Former Knicks guard Chris Smith has entered the D-League draft with the hope of getting another opportunity to play in the NBA, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.  The younger brother of J.R. Smith says that he has drawn interest from some D-League teams as well as clubs overseas.
  • Even with LeBron James returning to Cleveland, the Heat will still be one of the better teams in the East, as A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes in his preview of the Southeast Division.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Raptors, Stiemsma, Celtics, Sixers

October 26 at 8:42am CDT By Chris Crouse

The Raptors are one of 13 teams in the league without a one-to-one setup with a D-League affiliate, as our table of affiliations shows. Toronto GM Masai Ujiri said that it’s difficult to establish their own D-League affiliate because it’s difficult to find a suitably close location, Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun reports (Twitter links). Ujiri also said that it was a mid-term goal and not a priority, notes Wolstat. For now, the franchise will continue to utilize the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, which is the only D-League team that’s not in a one-to-one partnership at this time.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Raptors like Greg Stiemsma for his ability to block shots, Wolstat writes in a separate piece. Stiemsma, who won the team’s 15th and final regular season roster spot, has blocked 2.8 shots per 36 minutes over his three year NBA career.
  • Although many would call the Celtics’ strategy rebuilding, GM Danny Ainge doesn’t refer to it as anything besides progress and believes coach Brad Stevens is right man to lead the inexperienced team, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “We don’t really look at it as rebuilding or changing direction, we’re trying to build a championship,” said Ainge. “We have some really nice players and I know Brad is really understanding the NBA game and all the things that come from making the transition to coaching in college. I couldn’t be happier with Brad and his staff. I think he’s done a great job of communicating to all the players.”
  • While the rest of the league may look down upon the Sixers‘ rebuilding plan, GM Sam Hinkie only cares about winning an NBA title and isn’t worried about the perception of the team, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It is really important, I think, not to take your eyes off what matters,” Hinkie said. “And what matters is not feeling great about yourself the third of March, but to give yourself a chance to feel good about yourself on the third of June.” 

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Eddie, Vandenberg, Birch

October 25 at 10:25am CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Celtics intend to take a good look at Jarell Eddie prior to the beginning of the regular season, Tom Layman of The Boston Herald writes. “He’s a player that we watched in college at Virginia Tech. He’s a player that we watched in his exhibition games with Atlanta and he’s always been a player that has been intriguing to us,” Boston GM Danny Ainge said. “We are going to evaluate him before training camp ends.” The Celtics claimed Eddie off of waivers from the Hawks on Friday.

Here’s more from the east:

  • Jordan Vandenberg‘s minimum salary deal with the Knicks includes a partial guarantee for $27K, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). Vandenberg was signed with an eye on sending him to the NBA D-League, as Pincus also notes.
  • The Celitcs‘ preseason roster count currently sits at 17, meaning the team still has to waive a minimum of two players prior to the deadline. The staff over at CSNNE.com analyze Boston’s frontcourt situation, including where each player fits in the current rotation.
  • With Josh McRoberts and Chris Andersen slowed by injuries, Khem Birch could have the advantage for the Heat‘s 15th and final regular season roster spot, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel opines (Twitter link). Miami’s preseason roster count currently sits at 16 players.

Celtics Claim Jarell Eddie Off Waivers

October 24 at 11:23am CDT By Chuck Myron

FRIDAY, 11:23am: Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has confirmed the move, according to the team’s official Twitter account.

THURSDAY, 9:37pm: Boston has indeed claimed Eddie off of waivers, as is reflected in the RealGM transactions log. No announcement from the Celtics has been made yet.

5:34pm: The Celtics have claimed small forward Jarell Eddie off waivers from the Hawks, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). Boston takes over Eddie’s one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the minimum salary, and the move ups Boston’s roster to 18 players, though that figure includes Tim Frazier, whom the Celtics are poised to release.

Boston has guaranteed contracts with 16 of its players, so it seems that the team will probably turn around and waive Eddie before opening night, though that’s just my speculation. The C’s have the ability to retain his D-League rights, an asset the Hawks lose as a result of the waiver claim, so I’ll also speculate that Boston is making the move with the D-League chiefly in mind.

The 6’7″ Eddie averaged 2.7 points in 13.1 minutes per game across three preseason appearances with Atlanta after going undrafted out of Virginia Tech in June. He posted 13.3 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 32.6 MPG as a senior with the Hokies last season.