Boston Celtics Rumors

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.

Eastern Notes: Heat, Hawks, Knight, Ware

October 23 at 3:30pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Heat front office wasn’t deflated when they learned that LeBron James and his talents were returning to the Cavs, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. Miami’s brass looked at the departure as a new opportunity and a fresh chapter, notes Zillgitt. The team wasn’t interested in a long rebuilding process, and Zillgitt points to the team bringing back Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, as well as signing Josh McRoberts and Luol Deng as proof that the team still intends to be contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Here’s more from the east:

  • The Hawks have hired Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports to help facilitate the sale of the franchise, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link).
  • With 16 players remaining on their preseason roster the Celtics have at least one more personnel move to make prior to the regular season commencing. A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com hands out his preseason grades for the players and notes where each currently fits in Boston’s plans.
  • New Bucks team owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry face their first major franchise decision, Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times writes. The two have to decide the contract future of Brandon Knight, whom they have until October 31st to work out an extension with or else he is eligible to become a restricted free agent next summer, notes Woelfel. Knight’s numbers and age compare favorably with Eric Bledsoe‘s, but many around the league feel that the Suns overpaid when the re-signed Bledsoe to a five year, $70MM deal, so Knight may be hard pressed to duplicate Bledsoe’s near $14MM per season average, the Journal Times scribe relays.
  • The Sixers still have 20 players on their preseason roster and a number of decisions to make before Saturday’s deadline to waive players so that they’re off the team by the time opening-night rosters are set on Monday. Casper Ware is in camp on a non-guaranteed deal, but has a very real shot to stick with the team, Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com writes. “I feel good about it,” Ware said. “I don’t know what they have planned, I just control what I can control and play hard.”

Celtics Likely To Waive Will Bynum?

October 22 at 6:48pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

WEDNESDAY, 6:48pm: Mark Bartelstein, Bynum’s agent, told A Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com that a decision regarding Bynum will be made by this weekend. “They like Will as a player,” Bartelstein said. “They value him as a player. They just don’t have a roster spot. If they could do something to create an opportunity (to keep him), they would look at that. But right now, they don’t have a roster spot open. So we’ll see what happens in the next couple days.” Bynum is still more likely to be waived than dealt, Blakely notes.

TUESDAY, 11:36am: The Celtics are seeking a trade partner who would take Bynum, but finding one would be a long shot, tweets Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. It’s more likely the point guard hits waivers than winds up in a trade, Murphy adds.

SATURDAY, 2:55pm: Mark Bartelstein, Bynum’s agent, says he and Ainge have been in ongoing talks regarding Bynum’s future, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). Bartelstein also said that both sides plan to “take a deep breath” before finalizing a decision, Stein adds.

2:08pm: Bynum won’t play in Boston’s final two preseason games, and the Celtics are exploring other possible moves before they would waive Bynum, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald reports (Twitter links). This could include trading another player in order to keep Bynum, Bulpett adds.

12:45pm: The Celtics are expected to waive newly acquired guard Will Bynum, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reports. GM Danny Ainge is scheduled to meet with the player today, Washburn notes, and the likely outcome is that Boston places Bynum on waivers. Boston still has 20 players on their preseason roster, with 16 fully guaranteed deals, including Bynum’s $2.9MM pact. Bynum is expected to garner interest on the free agent market once he clears waivers, Washburn adds.

The 6’0″, 31-year-old out of Georgia Tech has been in the league for seven seasons, and has averaged 8.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, and 3.3 APG thus far in his career. Bynum has played in a total of 353 games, including 29 starts, and has logged an average of 18.5 minutes-per-contest.

Bynum wasn’t a good fit for the Celtics’ rebuilding roster, and with the team focusing on developing first-rounder Marcus Smart to take over for Rajon Rondo, Bynum didn’t figure to see major minutes once Rondo returns to action from his hand injury.

Celtics To Pick Up 2015/16 Options For Three

October 22 at 6:00pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

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.

Eastern Notes: Pierce, Vucevic, Stephenson

October 22 at 12:37pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Paul Pierce figures coach Jason Kidd‘s departure from the Nets helped dampen the team’s enthusiasm to re-sign the forward to a new deal this summer, as Pierce tells reporters, including Andy Vasquez of The Record. Pierce cites Kidd as one of the primary reasons he encouraged the Celtics to trade him to Brooklyn in 2013, as Vasquez notes. There’s more on key figures who changed places as well as one who’s committed to stay where he is among the news from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Nikola Vucevic is careful to point out that he hasn’t put pen to paper on an extension with the Magic, but he nonetheless made it clear that he’s ecstatic about the agreement that agent Rade Filipovich and the team have reached, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel details.
  • Representatives for Lance Stephenson urged the Pacers to offload other players to find room for the shooting guard under the tax line this summer, with the names of Luis Scola and Donald Sloan arising in the talks, but Indiana held firm against doing so, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. The Alberto Ebanks client has said he cried when he told the Pacers he was signing with the Hornets instead, but Stephenson tells Charania that he hasn’t spoken to Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird since he made up his mind to join Charlotte.
  • Charania also hears from a source who confirms that Jason Maxiell is the leading contender for a regular season roster spot among the Hornets camp invitees, as the RealGM scribe writes in the same piece. Coach Steve Clifford seems in favor of keeping Maxiell, writes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
  • Christian Watford will play for the Celtics‘ D-League affiliate assuming he clears NBA waivers, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). That means the C’s are following through on their plan to keep Watford’s D-League rights, though Pick hears that the power forward turned down many offers from European teams to instead go to the D-League.
  • Phil Jackson shared his scouting report on every Knicks player with Charley Rosen, writing for ESPN.com. The coach-turned-executive admits camp invitees Langston Galloway and Travis Wear are destined for the D-League.

C’s To Waive McGruder, Murphy, Frazier, Watford

October 21 at 10:25pm CDT By Chuck Myron

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.

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: Harris, Celtics, Barganani

October 21 at 7:59pm CDT By Alex Lee

Here is a look at what is going on in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday night:

  • After locking up Nikola Vucevic earlier tonight, the Magic will continue to work on reaching an agreement with forward Tobias Harris, who is also entering his fourth season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). While the Magic are reportedly eager to extend Harris, Wojnarowski cautions that the sides are not close on the terms.
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders checks in on last week’s Pistons/Celtics trade that sent Will Bynum to Boston and Joel Anthony to Detroit. According to Pincus, the Celtics utilized the $4.25MM trade exception they received in July’s Kris Humphries deal to take on Bynum’s $2.9MM salary, reducing the exception to approximately $1.3MM. They received a new trade exception of $3.8MM for Anthony. Because these exceptions expire a year after the trade in which they’re acquired, Boston essentially downgraded their trade exception by about $450K in return for three months of additional time with which to use it (Pincus Twitter links here).
  • Any hope that Derek Fisher and the triangle offense could salvage last summer’s trade for Andrea Bargnani has been temporarily derailed by a preseason hamstring injury, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. There was talk that Phil Jackson and the Knicks were trying to move Bargnani this offseason, but his bloated $11.5MM salary for this season made that impossible.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Celtics, Teletovic, Sixers

October 21 at 4:03pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Sixers have company in their opposition to draft lottery reform, but it looks like change is inevitable. That figures to make a long season even longer in Philadelphia, but in the meantime, there’s news on the Sixers amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • Greg Stiemsma would seem the favorite for the 15th regular season roster spot on the Raptors based on Toronto’s needs at center, writes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, but Jordan Hamilton and Will Cherry are making strong cases for themselves, as Wolstat examines. Each has a partial guarantee of $25K.
  • The Celtics signed Tim Frazier, Rodney McGruder and Christian Watford with the intention of keeping their D-League rights, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com. Boston is set to release the trio, as well as Erik Murphy, from its NBA roster soon.
  • Mirza Teletovic plans to listen to offers from the Nets as well as other teams when his contract expires after the season, as he said this week to Avaz, a newspaper in his native Bosnia and Herzegovina, as Robert Windrem of Nets Daily translates. The Nets can make Teletovic a restricted free agent, though their right of first refusal wouldn’t apply if he chose to go back overseas.
  • JaKarr Sampson has been especially impressive, as Sixers coach Brett Brown told reporters this week as he discussed the team’s players fighting for a regular season roster spot, observes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Atlantic Notes: Garnett, Knicks, Sixers, Wallace

October 20 at 9:14pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Kevin Garnett, who’s gearing up for his 20th NBA season, is entering the final year of a deal that will pay him $12MM, and Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders lists the Nets big man as one of ten players he thinks will be retiring sooner rather than later. Taylor thinks that Garnett’s age and expiring contract more than likely mean this is last season The Big Ticket will play in the league. Here’s more from the Atlantic..

  • Knicks second-rounder Thanasis Antetokounmpo turned down lucrative offers from overseas in order to display his skills stateside with New York’s D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. His younger brother, Giannis Antetokounmpo, originally thought heading to Europe might have been the more sensible decision, as Marc Berman of the New York Post details. “I was the first one to tell him: ‘Maybe it’s better for you to go overseas and get some money,’” Giannis said. “He said no. His dream is to play in the NBA, stay here. I’m happy with that.’
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown mentioned the possibility of the D-League when asked about Ronald Roberts Jr., tweets Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Roberts is with Philly on a partially guaranteed pact, so Brown’s comments might indicate the team is interested in waiving the injured 23-year-old before the season begins to preserve his D-League rights.
  • At 32 years old, it’s safe to say Gerald Wallace is past his prime, but he’s interested in playing whatever role the Celtics need him to, observes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. “Whatever the team needs me to do,” Wallace said. “Whatever coach (Brad Stevens) needs me to do. We’ve already talked about it. I’m in a position where I’m comfortable with it.” Boston was rumored to have been shopping Wallace last season around the trade deadline, but he’s reportedly happy to be hanging around in green.

Eastern Notes: Bradley, Celtics, Harkless

October 19 at 12:31pm CDT By Chris Crouse

Avery Bradley credits the D-League as a huge factor in his success playing for the Celtics, explains Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. “I was able to learn a lot up [in Maine],” says Bradley. “I didn’t take it as punishment at all. That’s one thing I do remember. At first I was disappointed, and being a young guy, it’s kinda overwhelming at first [in the NBA] seeing all the superstars, all the guys you watch watch on TV, and now you’re practicing and I had the injury. I got down on myself a lot, but the D-League gave me a chance to get that confidence back.” Bradley hopes to take his game to new heights after signing a new four year, $32MM deal this offseason.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • While many experts have picked the Celtics to finish near the cellar of the Eastern Conference, Jeremy Gottlieb of Boston.com sheds some optimism on Boston’s upcoming season. While Gottlieb admits that the idea of the Celtics contending for a playoff berth is far-fetched, he cites the presence of coach Brad Stevens, the potential financial motivations of some of the players on the roster, such as Rajon Rondo and Evan Turner, and the weakness of the Eastern Conference as reasons not to underestimate this team.
  • Although the Celtics were never in contention to acquire Kevin Love due to a lack of an ability to create a package that Minnesota coveted, co-owner Wyc Grousbeck is confident that GM Danny Ainge will turn the franchise’s assets into a winning team, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.  “I’ve got confidence that with all these picks and these young guys and our willingness to spend money that we can get there,” said Grousbeck. “We’re a patient group. We will take a multiyear plan if that’s what it takes. But I think this June there could be some fireworks. I think this June we’ve got so many pieces to this puzzle that we might be able to shake loose a real piece or two for this team going forward. So, I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later.”
  • Magic forward Maurice Harkless is playing with more confidence this year, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Coach Jacque Vaughn has praised Harkless for his continued development. “There’s some areas that he’s improving, and he still can improve some more. But overall his confidence and feel on the floor has definitely grown,” said Vaughn.