Daniel Theis

Daniel Theis, Wayne Selden Get Salary Guarantees

When center Daniel Theis signed a two-year contract with the Celtics last summer, the second year of that deal was non-guaranteed. However, Theis would be assured of his full 2018/19 salary guarantee if he remainder under contract through July 10.

According to multiple reports, including one from Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (Twitter link), the C’s had no intention of waiving Theis by Tuesday. As such, his $1,378,242 salary for next season is now guaranteed.

It was an easy decision for Boston after Theis enjoyed a solid rookie year as a regular part of the team’s rotation. In 63 games (14.9 MPG), the German big man averaged 5.3 PPG and 4.3 RPG, providing crucial depth in the Celtics’ frontcourt. His season came to an early end in March when he underwent surgery to repair his left knee lateral meniscus, but he should be ready to go for training camp.

Meanwhile, another player – Grizzlies shooting guard Wayne Selden – also had a July 10 guarantee deadline on his salary for 2018/19. However, Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com recently indicated (via Twitter) that Memphis elected to guarantee Selden’s full $1,544,951 salary prior to the start of Summer League.

Theis and Selden will both be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2019.

Atlantic Notes: DeRozan, Lowry, Nets, Theis, Burroughs

DeMar DeRozan was named to the All-NBA team on Thursday, joining Vince Carter as the only Raptors players in history to make several All-NBA teams. While it’s a special honor for DeRozan, it does not mean he is a lock to return to Toronto next season, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun writes.

The Raptors began an overhaul after another early postseason exit, firing head coach Dwane Casey. Wolstat writes that Casey’s dismissal may not be the only significant move the team makes, but there is a strong chance that DeRozan remains. Sources tell Wolstat that the team will “explore all options.”

DeRozan earned All-NBA honors for good reason, as he enjoyed arguably his best season to date. He averaged 23.0 PPG, good for 11th in the NBA, to go with a career-best 5.2 APG and 3.9 RPG in 80 games. The one-two punch of  Kyle Lowry and DeRozan has led Toronto to several successful regular seasons — including the best record in the Eastern Conference this season — but after repeated early playoff exits, general manager Masai Ujiri will look everywhere to improve.

Check out more Atlantic Division notes:

  • Speaking of Lowry, the Raptors point guard missed out on several “unlikely” incentives in his contract by not making an All-NBA team, Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic details. Lowry could have maxed out his incentives at $2.17MM but will instead pocket just $200K in bonuses.
  • The Nets will have several choices to make when it comes to the roster for next season as several players are headed for either restricted or unrestricted free agency. Michael Scotto of The Athletic (subscription required) breaks down the Nets’ pending free agents and their individual likelihood of returning to Brooklyn.
  • Daniel Theis joined the Celtics roster hoping to be a valuable contributor to a potential championship winning team. Unfortunately, a torn left meniscus ended his season early and he just recently joined the Celtics as a spectator on the bench. Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe detailed Theis’ recovery and the progress he has made. Theis hopes to join the German team for the FIBA World Cup before joining the Celtics for training camp next season.  “It’s a good preparation for me, too,” Theis said. “I think I can start basketball like full contact in August. Then if I can play high level in, like, September it’s good for me, it’s good for the team to see how I’m progressing in terms of training camp in September.”
  • Eugene Burroughs won’t return to the sidelines to coach the Sixers‘ G League affiliate next season, sources tell Adam Johnson of 2Ways10Days. In two seasons as a head coach, Burroughs compiled a 42–58 record.

Co-Owner Wyc Grousbeck Confident About Celtics’ Future

Celtics co-owner, managing partner, and CEO Wyc Grousbeck appeared today on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston before tonight’s Game 2 between the Celtics and Cavaliers to discuss a bevy of topics, as relayed by Adam Kaufman of WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030 (click here for links).

Perhaps most interestingly, Grousbeck uncovered the fact that the Cavs were interested in obtaining/would have accepted Jayson Tatum instead of the Nets’ upcoming pick in the 2018 NBA Draft in last summer’s blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Celtics. Ultimately, the Celtics preferred to send the pick instead of their prized rookie, which sure appears to have been the right decision as we sit here today.

Faced with the upcoming free agency of Marcus Smart this summer and the potential free agency of Irving, Al Horford, and Terry Rozier next summer, Grousbeck was also asked to discuss the Celtics’ willingness to dip into the luxury tax if necessary. Per Kaufman, Grousbeck said the Celtics are prepared to “pay for performance” and “to do whatever it takes to win again.”

As for Irving’s knee injury that has kept him out of this year’s postseason, Grousbeck said that he has no long-term concerns about Irving’s knee, which parallels the report from about a month ago that Irving was already seen walking around without a noticeable limp just a little over a week after his surgery.

Given Irving’s positive prognosis, the relative youth of the Celtics’ roster and head coach, and the prowess the team has exhibited so far this postseason without Irving, Gordon Hayward, or Daniel Theis, it’s no surprise that Grousbeck feels very confident about his team’s future, even going as far as to say he’d be disappointed if the Celtics aren’t back in the same position they’re in now for the next five years.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Horford, Theis, Hayward

Jaylen Brown missed the second half of Saturday’s close-out game against the Bucks because of a Grade 1 right hamstring strain, but he’s optimistic he’ll be ready for the start of the next series, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN. Brown will have an MRI today to learn the full extent of the damage.

“Massage, rest, ice, all of the above,” he said in describing his treatment plan. “I hate taking pills. Like, I probably haven’t taken a pill in over 10 years. But they’ve got me taking anti-inflammatories and stuff like that. So just whatever it takes. Because I wouldn’t miss this next series for the world.”

Coach Brad Stevens said Brown probably could have returned to the game if needed, but he decided to be cautious, especially as the Celtics pulled away in the second half. Brown ran some test sprints and rode an exercise bike at courtside before taking a seat on the bench for the fourth quarter.

There’s more this morning from Boston:

  • With the two stars they added last summer both sidelined by injuries, the Celtics have turned to their top free agent addition from 2016, notes Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports. Al Horford helped finish off Milwaukee with 26 points, eight rebounds and three assists in Game 7 and seems to have won over a Boston fan base that was skeptical after he was given a $113MM contract over four years. “He’s such a pro with how he approaches his job,” said president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “And he knew what Boston was about. He knew the history. We get so much out of Al. He’s been such a stabilizing force for our team.”
  • Rookie center Daniel Theis reached a milestone in his recovery this weekend when he was cleared to walk without crutches for the first time since surgery, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Theis, who had his left knee lateral meniscus repaired in mid-March, probably won’t be cleared to start playing again until July, according to Stevens.
  • Gordon Hayward continues to do rehab in Indiana as he works his way back from a fractured ankle, Blakely tweets. Hayward was at Saturday’s game, but doesn’t expect to travel with the team in the next round.

Injury Updates: Thomas, Ball, Irving, Curry

Isaiah Thomas is declaring his right hip to be “fixed” after season-ending surgery, relays Bill Oram of The Orange County Register. Thomas played just 17 games for the Lakers before opting for the March 28 procedure to address lingering problems in the hip. He talked to reporters at Friday’s game and proclaimed his time with in L.A. to be successful.

“I came in here with … nothing on my agenda and nothing in my plans,” Thomas said. “I just wanted to play basketball and get that joy back and being on the Lakers brought that joy back from having a tough couple of months in Cleveland.”

Thomas added that the pain in his hip never went away, even as he sat out for seven months in an attempt to rehab the joint. He expressed confidence that the situation won’t affect his offers in free agency, believing that teams will understand he was trying to play through an injury.

There’s plenty of news tonight on the injury front:

  • The season may not be over for rookie guard Lonzo Ball, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Ball, who has missed the past five games with a left knee contusion, participated in some drills today and the Lakers have upgraded him to questionable for Sunday’s contest. Teammate Kyle Kuzma is also questionable after suffering a mild sprain to his left ankle Friday night.
  • The Celtics expect Kyrie Irving to be ready for training camp after having knee surgery today, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN. Irving had two screws removed from his left knee and has a projected recovery time of four to five months. “The surgery went exactly as planned, and we expect Kyrie to be fully healthy for training camp in the fall,” president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a prepared statement.
  • Celtics center Daniel Theis, who had season-ending surgery on his left knee, said he hopes to be able to get off his crutches in two to three weeks, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
  • Celtics forward Guerschon Yabusele will have an MRI on his knee after sitting out practice today, according to Tom Westerholm of MassLive“They don’t think it’s anything,” coach Brad Stevens said of team doctors, “but they’re going to get some imaging just to make sure.”
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr declined to offer an update on Stephen Curry before tonight’s game, tweets Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. The star guard will miss at least the first round of the playoffs with an MCL sprain. “There’s nothing there,” Kerr said. “[Check back] next week.”
  • The Nuggets are preparing to finish the season without guard Gary Harris, who is recovering from a knee injury, relays Gina Mizell of The Denver Post (Twitter link). “Right now, I’m not expecting Gary Harris back [in the regular season],” coach Michael Malone said before today’s game. “We have to continue to find ways to win games and compete at a high level with the players that are available, and Gary’s not on that list right now.”
  • The Bucks had hoped that Malcolm Brogdon could play tonight, but decided to hold him out for another game, writes Matt Velazquez of The Journal Sentinel. Brogdon hasn’t been available since since partially tearing his left quadriceps tendon more than two months ago. “Honestly there hasn’t been many setbacks,” Brogdon said. “I’ve had maybe two or three sore days in the whole rehab process and that’s not many at all. Very few setbacks. I’ve made progress, progress, taken big steps almost every day so it’s been a very smooth rehab so far.”

Daniel Theis Undergoes Season-Ending Surgery

MARCH 15: Theis underwent successful surgery to repair his left knee lateral meniscus, the Celtics announced in a press release on Thursday. He will miss the remainder of the 2017/18 season but is expected to be ready for training camp, per the release.

MARCH 12: The Celtics’ frontcourt depth will take a hit the rest of the way, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, who reports that Daniel Theis has suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee. Theis will undergo knee surgery and will miss the rest of the season, sources tell Charania.

Theis, who signed with the Celtics last summer as an international free agent, had turned into a reliable rotation piece in Boston. For the season, the German big man has averaged 5.3 PPG and 4.3 RPG in 63 games (14.9 MPG). However, it looks like he won’t take the court again for the 2017/18 Celtics.

With Theis sidelined, the C’s figure to lean a little more heavily on Aron Baynes and Greg Monroe behind starting center Al Horford. Theis also saw action at power forward, so his absence could mean a few extra minutes for Marcus Morris and/or Semi Ojeleye. Additionally, the club could play some smaller lineups with someone like Jayson Tatum at the four to lessen the load on the frontcourt, if necessary.

As for Theis, he likely hasn’t played his last game as a Celtic. The 25-year-old remains under contract for one more year, with a non-guaranteed salary of $1,378,242 for 2018/19. That’s a bargain price for a rotation player, so Theis’ roster spot for next season should be safe unless he’s included in an offseason trade.

Celtics Notes: Smart, Irving, Brown, Rozier, Theis

The Celtics continue to hold their breath as they wait for Marcus Smart to receive a second opinion on his right thumb injury. Postponed due to a snowstorm, Smart’s appointment to get his injury reassessed is now set for Thursday, per Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald.

As Murphy details, there’s a belief that Smart tore a ligament in his thumb — if it’s a full tear, surgery would likely be required, with the recovery potentially taking three or four months. If it’s only a partial tear, Smart may try to play through the injury. Appearing today on the Zolak & Bertrand radio show in Boston, head coach Brad Stevens downplayed the idea of a quick return for Smart, though he acknowledged there’s a variety of potential outcomes, as ESPN’s Chris Forsberg writes.

“He told me today that he’s going to take a couple of days, see what it feels like early next week, get all of the different doctors’ opinions [then] sit down early next week and weigh his options,” Stevens said. “There could be a slight chance that he’s back sooner rather than later, but I’d say that it’s not going to be any time too soon. And there’s a chance that he would not be back [this season].”

Given how much better the Celtics play defensively with Smart in the lineup, the diagnosis will be a critical one. As the club waits for more details on Smart’s thumb, let’s round up a few more C’s notes…

  • Joking that he might have to sign himself to a 10-day contract to help plug the holes in the Celtics’ lineup, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he thinks Kyrie Irving is “going to be fine,” writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. However, a league source tells Himmelsbach that it “doesn’t look good” for Smart.
  • Stevens said today that Irving underwent an MRI on his sore knee and “everything looked great” (Twitter link via Murphy). There’s even a chance he’ll play on Friday, according to the team (Twitter link). The club also announced today that Jaylen Brown is “clearly better,” but won’t travel with the C’s on this weekend’s road trip.
  • Ainge tells Himmelsbach that the slew of injuries to Celtics regulars will give the healthy players a chance to shine: “I’ve seen many times where players that were not thought very highly of get an opportunity and make a name for themselves. So over these next couple weeks, there will be some guys that have those opportunities. We’ve seen players throughout the years that have responded, so this is a chance for some of our players to step up and see how much they can contribute to winning.”
  • Terry Rozier is one of the Celtics who figures to play a starring role with Irving, Smart, and others on the shelf. ESPN’s Chris Forsberg takes an in-depth look at the man known as “Scary Terry.”
  • Daniel Theis is scheduled to have surgery on his torn meniscus on Thursday, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Stevens confirmed today that Theis will be out for the rest of the season, tweets Himmelsbach.

Atlantic Notes: Theis, Monroe, Nets, Sixers

Daniel Theis‘ season-ending knee injury will force the Celtics to make adjustments in their frontcourt, as Taylor Snow of Celtics.com details. While the C’s figure out how to replace Theis’ minutes, Brad Stevens says he expects the rookie to make a full recovery and eventually return “better than ever.”

“You really feel for him,” the Celtics’ head coach said of Theis. “He was a guy that came in knowing he could play, but maybe not even expecting to have the type of season he had. And he didn’t change that when we brought Greg (Monroe) in and mixed up minutes here and there. He just kept being who he is, and we’re going to miss him on the court.”

Speaking of Monroe, he’ll get a chance to take on a larger role and make good on his one-year deal with the Celtics now that Theis is out, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. “One of the reasons why we wanted to sign Greg was because you never know what can happen with your depth inside,” Stevens said.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

Injury Updates: Irving, Theis, Matthews, Ingram

After leaving Sunday’s game against Indiana with knee soreness, Celtics star Kyrie Irving suggested that an extended rest period could follow, writes ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. Irving sat out last Monday’s game vs. Chicago due to knee pain, but it sounds like he’ll miss more than one game this time around.

“I think [rest] will probably be the best thing, just instead of kind of hoping it gets better over the two or three days that it usually does,” Irving said. “It’s aching a little bit more than I wanted it to now, so I’m taking the necessary time.”

Irving’s knee injury is a cause for concern, but probably not a reason to panic, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. The Celtics now trail Toronto by four games in the loss column (3.5 overall), but remain ahead of the No. 3 Pacers by a full seven games. In other words, they’re all but locked into the No. 2 spot in the East, so they can likely afford to rest Irving and some other ailing players down the stretch without fear of compromising their seeding.

Here are a few more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • The Celtics, already missing Irving and Jaylen Brown, will also see big man Daniel Theis – a key part of the club’s frontcourt rotation – undergo an MRI on his left knee on Monday, Blakely writes for NBC Sports Boston.
  • A right knee injury may sideline Mavericks swingman Wesley Matthews for at least the next handful of games. According to Dwain Price of Mavs.com, head coach Rick Carlisle said Matthews won’t travel with the club on its upcoming four-game road trip, though Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News suggests Matthews could join the team on the trip if a Monday MRI comes back clean.
  • Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, on the shelf with a left groin strain, will miss at least a couple more games before being re-evaluated on Thursday, says Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com.
  • With Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood, and Cedi Osman all unavailable on Sunday, the Cavaliers fell in Los Angeles to the Lakers. After the game, LeBron James said those injuries are his biggest concern at the moment, adding that it’s hard to judge the roster when it’s so banged up. “We have pretty much five guys out of our top nine or top 10 of our rotation not playing because of injuries,” James said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. “It’s next man up, but sometimes you just fall short.”

Atlantic Notes: James, Smart, Theis, Anunoby

A Philadelphia-based company purchased billboard space near Quicken Loans Arena pleading for LeBron James to sign with the 76ers in free agency this summer. While some may find the gesture as a distraction, James is flattered that in his 15th season, people are still trying to recruit him, Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor writes.

“You can say it’s a distraction, it’s not. Not a distraction,” James said Tuesday morning. “It is actually very flattering that I’m sitting here at 33 and in my 15th year and teams or guys — I don’t want to say teams because that becomes tampering — but people in their respective city want me to play for them. That’s cool I think. That’s dope.”

James will hit unrestricted free agency for the third time this summer and there has been a lot of talk that he is considering a second departure from Cleveland. For his part, James has downplayed every rumor and report surrounding his future and noted that he will personally address his decision at the appropriate time.

Check out other Atlantic Division notes below:

  • The effect of Marcus Smart has been noticeable for the Celtics since the guard’s return to the court. In Boston’s first two victories after the All-Star break, Smart impacted the ball on both sides, prompting Kyrie Irving to acknowledge his teammate’s difference-making abilities, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston relays. “He just adds a lot of versatility to our offense and our defense,” Irving said. “He has a high awareness on both ends. He’s able to create opportunities for all of us at both ends of the floor and we appreciate that.”
  • Daniel Theis has shown improvement all season long and plays the game with maturity beyond his years, Blakely writes in a separate story“He’s been great,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. “Been what you expect him to be from a skill set standpoint and activity standpoint. But he does it every night. One of the best things you can be called in this league is consistent. And he’s very consistent.”
  • The Raptors‘ recent struggles at the small forward spot may pave the way for a lineup change, Michael Grange of Sportsnet writes. OG Anunoby has been a stable defensive presence, but his offensive shortcomings could force a change.