Boston Celtics

Celtics Sign Daniel Dixon

The Celtics have agreed to a contract with College of William and Mary product Daniel Dixon, as first reported by Nicola Lupo of Sportnado (via Twitter). Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders later tweeted confirmation that both sides reached an agreement. The signing of Dixon officially brings the Celtics’ roster count to 20 players, the maximum entering training camp.

Dixon had a strong senior season at William and Mary as he averaged 19.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 2.5 APG while shooting nearly 38% from beyond the arc. The 6’6″ guard will give Boston another capable shooter who could impress in camp but as it stands, he remains as a longshot to make the roster.

With signings of Andrew White and Jabari Bird earlier this week, Boston has filled out its roster and provided possible depth for its G-League affiliate in Maine.

Pierce To Have No. 34 Hung In Rafters

  • Avery Bradley may be a newcomer to the Pistons’ locker room but coach Stan Van Gundy expects the shooting guard to be quickly embraced as a leader, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com reports. Bradley was traded by the Celtics in their efforts to clear cap space and sign free agent forward Gordon Hayward. Van Gundy wants Bradley’s toughness and defensive approach to rub off on his other players, Langlois adds. “What Avery’s really embracing is a chance to play a bigger role as a player and as a leader,” Van Gundy told Langlois. “That’s something that excites him.”
  • Paul Pierce will have his No. 34 retired by the Celtics, team co-owner Steve Pagliuca informed Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe“It’s going to be fantastic,” Pagliuca said. “For our era, the most recent era, he embodied the Celtics’ leadership, the Celtics’ brand and was the MVP of the championship team.” Pierce’s 34 will be the 22nd number to hang in the rafters at TD Garden.

Jordan Mickey, Heat Close To Agreement

The Heat and forward Jordan Mickey are close to an agreement on a two-year contract, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. Mickey would receive the guaranteed minimum of $1.5MM for the upcoming season and the team would hold an option on the second year, Charania adds. Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel confirms that the club is planning to sign Mickey (Twitter link) and that the contract is not a two-way deal.

Mickey was drafted 33rd overall in 2015 by the Celtics. He appeared in 16 games with them as a rookie and saw the court in 25 games, including one start, last season. The 6’8” power forward averaged 1.5 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 5.6 MPG in 2016/17.

The Heat, who are over the cap, have 12 players on guaranteed deals, two with partial guarantees, plus another on a non-guaranteed contract. He projects as the No. 3 power forward behind another former Celtic, Kelly Olynyk, and James Johnson.

The Celtics waived Mickey in mid-July in order to clear cap space and sign Gordon Hayward to a maximum salary contract. Mickey had an non-guaranteed contract with Boston for the upcoming season. He went unclaimed and became an unrestricted free agent but had little success finding a team until the Heat came calling.

When Mickey wasn’t playing in Boston the last two seasons, he was suiting up for the G-League’s Maine Red Claws. He averaged 18.6 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and 3.8 BPG in 35 G League contests.

Yabusele Making Progress After Surgery

  • Draft-and-stash Celtics big man Guerschon Yabusele is reporting progress after having bone spurs removed from both ankles in May, relays Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Yabusele is looking forward to joining the Celtics this upcoming season after spending last year in China and the G League. He believes he’s close to being medically cleared for a full-speed, on-court workout. “I’ve been running a little bit and doing some bike stuff and just keeping my ankle moving,” Yabusele said. “But I’m ready to go.”

Celtics Sign Andrew White

Syracuse guard Andrew White has signed a partially guaranteed one-year contract with the Celtics, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. He is probably ticketed for Boston’s G League affiliate in Maine, Himmelsbach adds.

The signing was confirmed to Mike Waters of Syracuse.com by White’s agent, Adie von Gontard.

At 6’7″, White was the leading scorer for the Orange last season at 17.4 points per game, while setting a school record for 3-pointers with 112. He played for the Cavaliers during summer league.

 

Kyrie Irving Rumors: Spurs, Celtics, Porzingis

If the Cavaliers had received assurances from LeBron James that he intends to remain with the franchise beyond the 2017/18 season, their approach to a Kyrie Irving trade might be much different, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. While the Cavs certainly haven’t given up hope of James remaining in Cleveland, the franchise wants to use an Irving trade to protect itself against his possible departure — that means focusing on acquiring a young potential star, rather than targeting veteran help for LeBron.

Initially, the Cavs’ desire in an Irving trade was to acquire young players and picks that could help the team down the road and to get pieces that could help the club contend immediately. However, that kind of massive return may not be available for the star point guard, forcing the Cavaliers to choose one path or the other. And with LeBron unwilling to commit, the Cavs are leaning toward prioritizing long-term pieces over short-term help.

As Wojnarowski details, Josh Jackson (Suns), Jayson Tatum (Celtics), Jamal Murray (Nuggets), and even Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks) are among the young players the Cavaliers have their eye on in trade talks. In his own piece on the situation in Cleveland, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders agrees that those four teams – Phoenix, Boston, Denver, and New York – are mentioned most frequently as trade partners, and continue to have discussions with the Cavs.

Here’s plenty more on the Irving situation:

  • According to both Wojnarowski and Kyler, teams around the NBA believe that the Cavaliers will ramp up trade talks and get more serious about moving Irving in September, with training camps approaching.
  • The Spurs have interest in Irving, but the fact that the Cavs are prioritizing young potential stars over veteran help means Cleveland doesn’t have much interest in the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, or Danny Green, says Wojnarowski.
  • Although the Cavaliers are intrigued by Tatum, the Celtics have yet to make an official offer for Irving and the two sides haven’t formally discussed this year’s No. 3 overall pick, according to Wojnarowski. Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe adds (via Twitter) that Boston has remained in touch with the Cavs throughout the process.
  • The idea of including Porzingis in an Irving offer is currently a “non-starter” for the Knicks, per Wojnarowski. However, Woj adds there may still be some lingering tension between Porzingis and the franchise, and teams are wondering how emphatic the Knicks’ “no” really is — especially if the Cavaliers would be willing to take on Joakim Noah‘s contract.
  • Wojnarowski reports that the Bucks have shown interest in Irving. However, with Giannis Antetokounmpo obviously untouchable, Milwaukee may not have a young star who makes sense for the Cavs.
  • Although the Clippers have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Irving, a league source tells Kyler that L.A. doesn’t appear to have the right combination of assets to appeal to the Cavs — a third team would be necessary, and even that may not be enough to make the Clips a serious contender for Irving.

Marcus Morris Addition Fuels Wiz-Celtics Rivalry

  • Figuring to make the CelticsWizards rivalry slightly more interesting in 2017/18 is the fact that Marcus Morris, brother of Wiz forward Markieff Morris, will suit up for Boston. “I think we’ll still have that rivalry because we don’t like those guys and they don’t like us,” Markieff told Ben Standig of FanRag Sports. “I don’t think that should change with my brother on the team.
  • The Wizards came up short against the Celtics in their second-round playoff series but John Wall isn’t letting the fact that he went cold down the stretch. “Game 7 was not the way we wanted it to end, but I definitely went out swinging,” the guard told Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I didn’t go 0-for-0. I went 0-for-11. I shot the ball and played the game I wanted to play. At least I wasn’t being passive. I was aggressive like I was the whole playoffs. I can deal with losing that way and use that as motivation for this season coming up.
  • Despite going third overall versus Josh Jackson‘s fourth, Jayson Tatum‘s NBA 2K18 rating is one point lower, D.J. Bean of CSN New England writes. Bean reminds readers that the Celtics were unable to secure a pre-draft workout with Jackson, who ultimately ended up with the Suns.

C's Not Reacting To Cavs; 2018 NBA London Games

  • The Celtics aren’t about to plan their offseason around what the Cavaliers are doing. “We have our own problems and our own challenges and trying to put players together that can win and compete in the league today is very difficult,Danny Ainge said recently on the Dan Patrick Show (via CSN New England).
  • The Celtics and Sixers will take their talents to the United Kingdom this season, an NBA.com press release reveals. The two division rivals will square off in NBA London Games 2018 on January 11.

Celtics, Jabari Bird Agree To Two-Way Deal

The Celtics have struck a deal to fill the second two-way contract opening on their roster, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, who reports (via Twitter) that the team has agreed to sign second-round pick Jabari Bird to a two-way deal. Boston previously signed Kadeem Allen to a two-way contract.

[RELATED: 2017/18 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

Bird, a shooting guard out of Cal, enjoyed his best college season as a senior in 2016/17, averaging 14.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 2.4 3PG with a shooting line of .439/.363/.764. He wasn’t viewed as a likely draft pick, ranking 39th on DraftExpress’ list of 2017’s top seniors. However, the Celtics used their fourth and final 2017 draft pick on him, nabbing him with the No. 56 overall selection.

Boston’s two-way deal with Bird will give the club 18 players on its offseason roster, including 16 on the NBA roster, leaving a couple more openings to fill for training camp, if the team so chooses.

Bird’s deal also ensures that only three 2017 draft picks don’t yet have resolution on their contract situations for 2017/18. As I detailed at the end of July, Ivan Rabb (Grizzlies), Isaiah Hartenstein (Rockets), and Nigel Williams-Goss (Jazz) are the other unsigned second-rounders.

For more details on how two-way contracts work, be sure to check out our FAQ.

NBA Teams Carrying At Least 15 Guaranteed Contracts

As we detailed earlier today in our breakdown of each NBA team’s current roster count, clubs can carry up to 20 players in the offseason, but are limited to 15 players on their regular season rosters. As such, teams will often only carry 13 or 14 players on guaranteed contracts into training camp, giving a non-guaranteed player or two the opportunity to impress coaches and earn a spot on the 15-man squad.

However, even with training camps still a month and a half away, several NBA teams are already carrying 15 or more players with fully guaranteed salaries, limiting their roster flexibility and their ability to take fliers on camp invitees.

Here’s a breakdown of those teams, with their fully guaranteed salaries noted in parentheses:

  • Boston Celtics (16)
  • Golden State Warriors (15)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (15)
  • Sacramento Kings (15)
  • Utah Jazz (15)

Of those five teams, the Celtics are the only club that will absolutely have to trade or waive a player on a guaranteed contract before the regular season gets underway. Shane Larkin and Daniel Theis may be the most at-risk players, since they don’t have any guaranteed money on their deals beyond the 2017/18 season. Abdel Nader and Semi Ojeleye also don’t have fully guaranteed salaries beyond this season, though they have partial guarantees for 2018/19.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will be in the same boat as Boston if they ultimately bring back restricted free agent JaMychal Green. A new deal for Green would give Memphis 16 guaranteed salaries. The Grizzlies also haven’t signed second-round pick Ivan Rabb, so if they intend to do so, they could create an even more significant roster crunch.

The other teams on the list above should, for the most part, have their 15-man regular season rosters locked in at this point, but if changes need to be made, the Kings should be willing to eat a guaranteed contract — they’re still well below the cap. The Jazz could afford to eat some money too, if necessary. The Warriors may be the team that needs to best make use of all 15 roster spots as they look to defend their title, but replacing a player on a guaranteed contract would be pricey, since Golden State is already deep into tax territory.

Finally, one other team worth watching is the Thunder. Currently, Oklahoma City only has 14 players on guaranteed contracts for 2017/18, but that figure doesn’t include Jerami Grant or Semaj Christon, both of whom could have a place on the club’s roster this season. I don’t think Grant will be going anywhere, so the Thunder may have to decide whether to part ways with Christon or whether another move can be made to keep him on the 15-man roster.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post.

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