Jabari Bird

Hawks Waive Jabari Bird

As expected, the Hawks have officially requested waivers on newly-acquired guard Jabari Bird. The club confirmed the move in a press release.

Atlanta acquired Bird in a deadline-day trade with the Celtics, sending a heavily protected 2020 second-round pick to Boston in exchange for the second-year guard and cash.

Bird has been held out of action all season due to legal issues connected to his 2018 arrest on assault charges. The Celtics kept Bird on their roster for more than half the season in the hopes that his situation would be resolved and the NBA would make a ruling, but didn’t want to wait any longer, opting to send him to Atlanta on Thursday to open up a roster spot and slightly reduce their projected tax bill.

Given his off-court issues, Bird is unlikely to sign with a new team this season, sources confirm to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

The Hawks now have 14 players on their 15-man contract.

Celtics Trade Jabari Bird To Hawks

10:48pm: The Hawks have officially acquired Jabari Bird and cash from the Celtics in exchange for a conditional 2020 second-round pick, the team announced on Thursday.

2:06pm: The Celtics are trading Jabari Bird and cash to the Hawks in exchange for a heavily protected second-round pick, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. Chris Haynes of Yahoo first reported that Boston would trade Bird to Atlanta today.

The Hawks will waive Bird after acquiring him, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The move is simply intended to save both teams a little money and to open up a roster spot for Boston.

Bird, 24, appeared in just 13 games with the Celtics last season and didn’t play at all this year. The C’s drafted him 56th overall in 2017, mostly using him in the NBA G League with their affiliate in Maine. He was arrested on domestic violence and assault charges last September and failed to make his way back onto the court.

The pick being acquired by the Celtics is top-55 protected, meaning it most likely won’t convey to the team, Smith adds in a separate tweet. Boston will now look to the buyout market in hopes of upgrading its team before the postseason, and could express interest in free agent Enes Kanter, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley (Twitter link).

 

Trade Rumors: Randle, Mirotic, Raptors, Celtics

The Pelicans remain on the lookout for potential trades involving players besides Anthony Davis, but Will Guillory of The Athletic suggests (via Twitter) that Julius Randle seems unlikely to be moved this week. According to Guillory, Randle has developed a strong bond with the coaching staff in New Orleans and the club has interest in keeping him around long-term.

Another frontcourt Pelicans player, Nikola Mirotic, remains a trade candidate, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who names the Jazz, Trail Blazers, Nets, and Spurs as clubs that have expressed interest in Mirotic. League sources tell O’Connor that New Orleans is seeking a first-round pick in exchange for Mirotic, with one source calling the club’s asking price “excessive.”

Of course, the Pelicans gave up a first-rounder for Mirotic a year ago, but at that time they got a year and a half of team control rather than just a a half-season, and also shed Omer Asik‘s unwanted contract in the deal.

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • Although the Raptors have been linked to big names like Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, sources tell Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca that a move around the periphery of the roster is far more likely than a major deal. Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca confirms that a move involving Kyle Lowry is “highly unlikely,” but says the Raptors have been aggressive on the trade market and would move anyone on their roster if they feel like it makes them a better team. On the other hand, Toronto has no intention of moving Pascal Siakam unless the club gets a superstar-level return, Lewenberg notes.
  • Before Thursday’s trade deadline, the Celtics may try to attach cash to Jabari Bird in a trade to lower their projected tax bill, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. However, Bird’s legal issues complicate matters. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) has heard that Boston wants the NBA to expedite a decision on Bird, but the league is in no rush to set a precedent under the CBA’s domestic violence policy.
  • While Nuggets guard Gary Harris has been cited as a potential trade candidate, Matt Moore of ActionNetwork.com hears from a source that Denver hasn’t engaged in any “substantive” trade talks involving Harris and doesn’t currently plan to (Twitter link). While it’s possible that stance could change, Moore thinks the Nuggets would only consider moving Harris in a deal that lands the club a clear upgrade.

Celtics Notes: Hayward, Williams, Davis, Bird

Gordon Hayward has become a target for hecklers in Boston as he struggles to rebuild his game following last season’s devastating ankle injury, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Hayward continues to struggle with his shot, hitting just 41.6% from the field and averaging 10.6 PPG. He has been limited to two points in each of the last two games, and teams are daring him to shoot from outside.

Despite the difficulties, the Celtics will need Hayward to be at his best for the playoffs, so coach Brad Stevens plans to keep giving him opportunities.

“I think you’ve just got to keep playing him and ultimately he’s going to have some ups and downs and he’s had a couple of games where the ball didn’t go in as much,” Stevens said. “I thought he was active, I thought he did some good things, and when that ball goes in he’ll feel a lot better and it will look a lot better on paper. Ultimately, we’ve got a lot of wings, a lot of other wings played more [Monday] and against Golden State, but there are going to be nights where we are counting on him to close the game because he really got it rolling.”

There’s more today out of Boston:
  • Rookie center Robert Williams is free from knee pain for the first time since his freshman season in college, relays Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. The Celtics’ training staff has helped Williams control a condition called popliteal artery entrapment syndrome that kept him from playing through most of summer league. “I can honestly say with the treatment schedule that the tendinitis level has really gone down,” Williams said. “It’s not bothering me near as much as it used to. Definitely a good thing, but have to stay on top of treatment.”
  • Along with a wealth of young players and draft picks to offer, the Celtics might have an advantage in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes because of Davis’ friendship with Kyrie Irving. “Kyrie and Anthony Davis are boys,” Brian Scalabrine of NBC Sports Boston said in a an appearance on Chris Mannix’s The Crossover NBA podcast. “I think they text like every day.” 
  • Jabari Bird, who has remained on the roster all season despite legal troubles, faces two new charges in his domestic violence case, according to John R. Ellement and Travis Andersen of The Boston Globe. Court documents were released today revealing new counts of witness intimidation and threatening to commit a crime.

Celtics Notes: Baynes, Frontcourt, Roster, Bird

Appearing this morning on Toucher and Rich in Boston, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed that Aron Baynes is undergoing surgery today on his broken hand, tweets Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston.

While an exact timeline for Baynes’ return likely won’t be determined until after that procedure is complete, Ainge said that he doesn’t expect the Celtics to seek out roster help while Baynes is sidelined. Boston’s frontcourt is banged up, but Al Horford and Guerschon Yabusele should be ready to return soon, according to Ainge, so reinforcements are on the way.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • After an eight-game win streak, Boston has taken a step back over the last two games, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com details. “This is the NBA season. You just want to have great pockets of games, you have good consistent run, and then now you have a lapse,” Kyrie Irving said. “Now it’s [time to] build it back up, continue to work every single day to be a very great team. It’s a work in progress every day.”
  • Coming into the season, the Celtics were viewed as one of the league’s deepest teams, with multiple All-Stars leading the way. However, the supporting cast around Irving has been somewhat underwhelming this season, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. According to Forsberg, last year’s standouts like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier have “rarely asserted themselves” when the C’s need someone other than Irving to save them this season.
  • Jabari Bird, who was arrested on assault charges in September, appeared in court on Tuesday and is scheduled to do so again on January 30, per Nicole Yang of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). The Celtics appear prepared to continue waiting on a decision from the league before they decide what to do with Bird, though if they really need an extra roster spot, that could change the equation, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports.

Celtics Notes: Irving, Horford, Butler, Bird

Kyrie Irving is energized as the Celtics prepare for training camp and the preseason. After dealing with a nagging knee injury that ultimately cost him the final month of last season and the playoffs, Irving is ready to prove himself, Jackie MacMullan of ESPN writes.

“I’m moving completely differently,” Irving said. “I’ve worked on my strength and have a heightened awareness of what my body needs on a day-to-day basis. I spent all summer trying get my left leg to catch up with my right. And it’s there.”

Not only will the upcoming season be important for the Celtics — who chase another deep postseason run — it will be key for Irving as enters free agency next summer. Irving will be one of the most sought-after free agents available and a strong, healthy 2018/19 in Beantown will mean a heftier contract. However, interested teams should take note of how Irving worded his answer to why he hasn’t committed long-term to Boston.

“Who wouldn’t be a part of this?” Irving said. “Who wouldn’t want to be a part of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and Al Horford and Gordon Hayward? People keep saying, ‘Why won’t he commit to Boston?’ Well, there are financial implications involved.”

Check out more Celtics note below:

  • The Knicks have long been rumored as a potential destination for Irving next summer as the team will have the cap space to land at least one top free agent — possibly two. However, Irving has not spoken to Jimmy Butler — another potential Knicks target next summer — since 2016, which decreases the chances of New York landing both, SNY’s Adam Zagoria writes.
  • Al Horford is coming off a productive season with the Celtics, which leads to the question of what the veteran center can contribute in his third year with the team. A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston examines how Horford will impact Boston on the court this season.
  • Prior to his arrest for alleged domestic assault and kidnapping of his girlfriend, Celtics’ guard Jabari Bird was being treated for ’emotional issues,’ per Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Sources tell Bulpett that this was an “out of character” occurrence for Bird, who had been experiencing “panic attacks” in the weeks before the incident. The Celtics were aware that Bird was undergoing treatment.

Jabari Bird Arraigned On Assault Charges

3:35pm: Bird has issued a statement saying he’s “taking some time away from the team as I deal with my legal and medical issues,” ESPN’s Chris Forsberg relays. He also apologized to his family, teammates, fans, organization and league for the “unnecessary distraction” but that “information that has been released does not tell the full story.”

12:30pm: The Celtics have issued a statement saying the organization “deplores domestic violence of any kind,” tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. The team promises to work with the NBA and law enforcement officials in their investigation.

12:03pm: Celtics guard Jabari Bird was arraigned today on charges of assaulting and kidnapping his girlfriend, reports Travis Andersen of The Boston Globe. Bird pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held on $50K cash bond.

The woman claims Bird choked her about a dozen times, kicked her and held her against her will while the couple was arguing Friday. She said he began suffering mental distress before police arrested him Friday night.

Bird, 24, had been hospitalized for an “evaluation” until today, when doctors ruled that he was healthy enough for a court appearance. The victim was taken to a separate hospital.

The Celtics have declined to comment on the arrest since last weekend, Andersen adds. The team signed Bird to a two-year, $3MM contract following his strong performance in Summer League play. The first year is fully guaranteed for $1.55MM, while the second year is non-guaranteed.

Celtics Work Out Marcus Georges-Hunt

The Celtics are working out free agent shooting guard Marcus Georges-Hunt today, Jay King of The Athletic reports.

The 6’5” Georgia Tech alum appeared in 42 games for the Timberwolves last season, averaging 1.4 PPG in 5.3 MPG, after making his NBA debut with the Magic in 2016/17. Georges-Hunt is well-known in the Celtics organization, King notes. He was on their 2016 training camp roster and then playing that season with their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, averaging 15.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 4.4 APG.

The 6’5” Georges-Hunt worked out for the Timberwolves last week, even though they made him a free agent by declining to extend him a qualifying offer earlier in the summer. The Cavaliers also brought him in during a free agent tryout last week, while the Nuggets worked him out last month.

The Celtics currently have 15 players on guaranteed contracts but shooting guard Jabari Bird‘s future with the organization is in doubt. Bird was arrested on Friday night in a domestic incident and has been under a guarded watch at a Boston-area hospital.

Atlantic Notes: Musa, Dudley, Knicks, Bird

Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa has been bulking up since the draft in hopes of being physically prepared for the NBA, relays NetsDaily. In a weekend interview with with Radiosarajevo in Bosnia, Musa said he has been focused on “physical progress” and has gained 15 pounds this summer.

“As far as my physical predisposition is concerned, no one has to worry,” he said. “I have put on seven kilograms in a 25-day period, so I do not have to have any disadvantages by the start of the season, and I will try to give my team immediate input.”

The 29th overall selection has spent most of the summer at the Nets’ training facility, but recently returned home to Bosnia to participate in a pair of FIBA World Cup qualifying games.

There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:

  • Trade restrictions on the NetsJared Dudley will expire September 20, according to a separate story on NetsDaily outlining important upcoming dates for the team. That date will mark the two-month anniversary of the trade that sent Dudley from Phoenix to Brooklyn, and it will lift the restriction that he can only be dealt in one-for-one trades.
  • The Knicks picked up a pair of promising young players on one-year deals while preserving their cap space for next summer, writes Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders in the season preview for New York. The Knicks signed Mario Hezonja for $6.5MM and Noah Vonleh for a non-guaranteed $1.6MM, giving them a year to see how much they can contribute before making long-term decisions. Blancarte also believes David Fizdale was the right choice to take over as coach.
  • Jabari Bird is under guarded watch at a Boston-area hospital following his arrest Friday on a “domestic incident,” tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Bird is expected to be released from the hospital today or tomorrow and will be officially charged for his role in the incident.
  • The Raptors have scheduled a press conference for September 21 to introduce Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). Both were acquired from the Spurs in a mid-July trade.

Celtics’ Jabari Bird Arrested In Boston

Celtics guard Jabari Bird was arrested on Friday night due to a “domestic incident” in Brighton, according to the Boston Globe. Bird allegedly “assaulted, strangled and kidnapped” somebody prior to the arrest.

Bird, 24, is reportedly being evaluated under the supervision of Boston police at a local hospital, a spokesperson told The Boston Globe. Bird is expected to appear in Brighton District Court on Monday. The victim was taken to a separate nearby hospital “with injuries sustained,” per the report.

The Celtics are aware of the matter and are looking into it.

“We are actively gathering information and will reserve further comment at this time,” the team said in a statement on Saturday.

Boston signed Bird to a two-year contract in July after he impressed the organization as a two-way player last season. The former 56th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft only appeared in 13 games with the Celtics, averaging 3.0 PPG and 1.5 RPG.

The California product had a more impressive stint in the G League, averaging 19.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 2.7 APG in 20 games.

Bird averaged 16.8 PPG while shooting 57% shooting in the NBA’s summer league.