Celtics Notes: Walker, Hayward, Williams, Thompson

Kemba Walker, who will miss the start of the season as he rehabs an injured left knee, won’t attempt to return until he’s confident that the knee is 100%, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. The Celtics support that decision and don’t plan to give any updates on Walker’s availability until the first week in January. Coach Brad Stevens said he will gradually increase Walker’s playing time when he does return, similar to how he was handled during the restart in Orlando.

Walker visited two specialists after the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs. They decided to give him a stem cell injection in the knee and set up a 12-week strengthening program that Walker began in early October and will finish in January.

“There’s no rush. There’s no rush on my end,” he said. “I’m coming back when I need to come back and when I’m feeling good to play. So that’s it. … I want to be at my best. The last time in the playoffs, I wasn’t at my best, and that sucked. I don’t want to be that way no more.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Walker understands that Gordon Hayward‘s decision to sign with the Hornets is part of the business side of the game and he’s not upset about losing a teammate, Bontemps adds in the same piece. Hayward opted out of his contract with the Celtics for the upcoming season and got $120MM over four years to join Walker’s former team. “I spoke to him during the process, and I’m happy for him,” Walker said. “… He’s going to have a great time in Charlotte. It’s a great place to be. It’s a great city, great fans. They love basketball. They’re going to love Gordon. He’s a great player. He’s going to bring joy to that organization.”
  • Among the Celtics’ young players, Grant Williams has the best chance to make an impact this season, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Boston was 21-5 last season when Williams played at least 17 minutes, and he provided an encouraging shooting display in Orlando, making 10 of 17 from three-point range. With Hayward gone, Williams could be in contention for a starting role, Forsberg adds.
  • Tristan Thompson believes his performance against Boston over the years prompted the team’s interest, tweets Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. “Coach always told me, usually the team that you have a lot of success against or beat up against a lot of years in the playoffs, they usually want you to join their side when you’re available or when you become a free agent,” Thompson said.
  • Jeff Teague‘s new contract with Boston is for the veteran’s minimum, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).
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23 thoughts on “Celtics Notes: Walker, Hayward, Williams, Thompson

  1. I'm a starboy not a Dr...

    Another year of celtics having 3 guys scoring 20+. Let’s see if they can make the finals with Tatum…

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Williams is listed at 6’6”. He’s 21 yrs old. Why would he start on team who is considered a Finals team. Writers again showing their knowledge. Best compliment to Celtics starters is Thompson. He doesn’t need the ball. Plays D and rebounds. And will make Theis a better player as their team D will be better. Thompson is easily a double double on this team. With very good defense. A better chemistry mix than Hayward. IMO the Celtics could still use a rim protector. Dedmond is still out there. If Celtics get Drummond at TD for exception. They can win it all.

    • Chris_Favreau

      So what’s your starting line up then? Grant Williams plays solid defense, doesn’t demand the ball, is switchable on defense and is a solid passer. He’s not perfect, but he’s a heck of a glue guy for that first unit.

  3. Havlicek stole the ball

    I’m still hoping Dedmon is brought in, not that he’s a franchise saviour but when your taller guy is 6.9… a seven footer with shot blocking abilities who can shoot the three should be a good idea

    • Chris_Favreau

      Dedmon can protect the rim, but so can Rob Williams…plus dedmon can’t switch off on D and he really hasn’t done much in a couple of years. I don’t see how he can be an upgrade over Their/Thompson outside of height. Shoot, for that they have Tacko at their disposal if anything.

  4. It’s great news boston was 21-5 when williams plays more than 17 minutes! Well, someone could think that Williams plays more than 17 minutes with weak teams or with garbage time…

    • Chris_Favreau

      He was a rotation player in the playoffs… Took him a bit to earn it as a rookie, but he played well once he had some experience under his belt.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      17 minutes of garbage time? How does that work. And if you’ve watched any celtics they dont hold leads so if they were up on a team and still won their meaningful minutes

  5. case7187

    Anyone else notice Walker didn’t say anything thing about the franchise just the town and fans
    (Probably reading to much into it) seems like he might still be but hurt about last summer

  6. Jason Lancaster

    Remember when Charlotte was afraid to give Walker a whole bunch of money because of his age and injury risk?

    I bet Walker was mad after he found out about Hayward’s insane deal, and I bet he circled the Charlotte dates on his calendar.

  7. Luckylefty2

    Still iffy on whether thompson is a good fit. Guys who are trying to evolve their game tend to do too much and forget about doing the things that brought them in the league. He is going to have to really play similar like he did in 2016, but add a corner 3 ala baynes. Don’t forget the cavs were a joke last season and he was literally able to do wtv he wanted. Will he be able to accept playing defense & rebound(at a high level) while not touching the ball multiple possessions?? This what makes theis fit so perfectly with the C’s.

    • buttholesurfer69

      Seems like that was his role in CLE so I’d imagine he’s be good with it

      It’d be good if he added a 3 but not sure if BOS needs it. They’ll prob play 4 out w TT and have him be the roll man

  8. dlevin11

    If Tristan Thompson is not the answer at center maybe Danny Ainge can find someone else at the TD. I still like Myles Turner for the Cs in the long run.

    • onthebucks

      The Celtics goal in 2021 should be to win the NBA championship. To do that, they have to beat the Lakers. To do that, they have to neutralize Anthony Davis. To do that, they have to get a top shelf center. The one that makes the most sense is Andre Drummond who the Celtics have the assets to acquire either straight up or in a 3-team trade. If the Celtics even remotely thought Turner could handle Davis or any of the other top centers in the NBA, they would have traded for him. They didn’t need to trade Hayward to the Pacers to acquire Turner. They could have gotten him a lot cheaper. The Celtics will give Thompson the chance to show what he can do at center, but if it looks like he can’t dominate under the boards, they’ll be going after Drummond. They may even give Walker the chance to come back and prove he’s healthy and then use him in a Drummond trade.

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