A strong majority among ESPN’s Summer Forecast panel believes this season’s Celtics have no greater reason for optimism than the presence of Brad Stevens, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. That doesn’t suggest much confidence in the team’s offseason acquisitions of David Lee, Amir Johnson and others, but it’s nonetheless more affirmation of the team’s decision to sign Stevens, untested beyond his experience with college mid-major Butler, to a six-year, $22MM deal in 2013. See more from Boston here:
- A. Sherrod Blakely of CSSNE.com tabs four Celtics he believes to be the most likely candidates to go before opening night, and while Kelly Olynyk seems a curious inclusion, he’s available via trade for the right price, just like all of his teammates, Blakely hears. Still, the C’s aren’t aggressively shopping him, Blakely cautions.
- The Celtics plan to use training camp to help themselves evaluate how to sort out the regular season roster, and no trades are imminent, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. That would suggest the C’s will continue to carry 16 fully guaranteed contracts when camps start at the end of the month.
- Estimates from ESPN’s Summer Forecast panel voters suggest $10.6MM salaries in an extension for Tyler Zeller would be the going rate, as Forsberg writes in a separate piece. The panel predicts that it’s just as likely that Zeller signs an extension as it is that none of the three Celtics eligible for a rookie scale extension wind up with one.