Micah Downs

Celtics Rumors: Garnett, Downs, Green

The Celtics enter the All-Star break winners of eight of their last nine, with a three-point loss to the league-worst Bobcats as the only blemish. Boston is in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but just five games back of the Knicks, with whom the C's would matchup if the playoffs began today. Coach Doc Rivers discussed some of the options available as the team looks to bolster its depleted roster, and we've also heard today about the Boston's interest in Luke Ridnour. There's plenty more from the back bay, and we'll round it up here:

  • Appearing on ESPN Radio, Kevin Garnett said that his recent comments about playing in his last All-Star Game weren't meant to hint at retirement, though he added that he doesn't expect to play until he's 40 (audio link).
  • We've already heard the Celtics are taking a look at Jannero Pargo and Delonte West, and A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com adds 6'8" small forward Micah Downs to the names on the team's list. Even though the Celtics have greater needs at other positions, Rivers said he'd rather have the best player available, no matter the position.
  • Rivers, in his comments to WEEI, noted that the Chinese league's season is ending soon as he discussed possible signing targets. The CBA regular season ends Sunday, freeing guys whose teams failed to make the postseason, while others will become available once their squads have been eliminated. Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com examines 10 Chinese leaguers who could help the Celtics. 
  • Jeff Green's four-year, $36.24MM contract includes $1.04MM worth of incentives, at least some of which are tied to his rebounding, as Jackie MacMullan of ESPNBoston.com reveals. "That one area was our biggest concern," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. "To me, it's not a lack of effort. It's about bad habits. I don't think Jeff has ever focused on rebounding in his life, from what I can tell."

Grizzlies Considering West, Walker, Others

WEDNESDAY, 8:07am: Chris Vernon adds yet another name to the list of possibilities for the Grizzlies, tweeting that the club is thinking about signing Josh Childress. Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal also adds (via Twitter) that the Grizzlies' interest in Vujacic is real, and that he'd be given a guarantee if it made financial sense to buy out his contract overseas.

TUESDAY, 7:28pm: Michael Redd has also been mentioned as a possibility, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.

12:38pm: Samardo Samuels is also under consideration for the Grizzlies, says Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Twitter link).

10:33am: In addition to West and Walker, the Grizzlies are also considering Eddie House, Micah Downs, and Joe Ingles, tweets Vernon.

9:39am: Vernon clarifies in a second tweet that there was a misunderstanding between him and his source, and that the Grizzlies are only considering West and Walker, rather than definitely intending to sign them.

9:11am: Because the Grizzlies had already been carrying the minimum 13 players on their roster, their three-for-one trade with the Cavaliers will leave them two players short of the minimum. To fill out the roster, Memphis is expected to sign Delonte West and Bill Walker, reports Chris Vernon of 92.9FM ESPN in Memphis (Twitter link).

According to Vernon, the Grizzlies will also sign Sasha Vujacic, though we heard back in August that Vujacic's contract in Turkey wouldn't let him return to the NBA this season, so it's unclear if that has changed. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter) and Istanbul-based reporter Ismail Senol (via Twitter), Vujacic won't be leaving Turkey's Anadolu Efes. If they add West and Walker, the Grizzlies would have reached the 13-man minimum, so there'd be no need to immediately add a 14th player anyway.

West, 29, was in camp with the Mavericks this year on a guaranteed minimum-salary contract, but fell out of favor with the team and was released just before the regular season got underway. He had a productive year in Dallas in 2011/12 though, posting a career-high 15.3 PER in 44 games, including 33 starts. Walker, meanwhile, spent most of last season with the Knicks before being released just before the playoffs. The 25-year-old averaged 5.9 PPG in 32 contests for New York in '11/12.

Even if the Grizzlies sign a pair of players to rest-of-season deals, the team shouldn't have to worry about going back over the tax threshold. In each instance, Memphis would only be on the hook for a pro-rated portion of the minimum salary, an amount small enough that the Grizz would remain under the tax line.

Odds & Ends: Bobcats, Smith, D-League, Pippen

Earlier this week, we heard that there were a number of teams that at least touched base with the Thunder about James Harden before he was traded to the Rockets. We can add the Bobcats to that list as well, as owner Michael Jordan tells Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that his team "made a couple calls" about Harden's availability. Jordan, who says he's "in it for the long haul" as Bobcats owner, adds that he believes Charlotte can still be an attractive destination for free agents down the road, though he acknowledges the team needs to get its house in order first.

Here are a few more notes from around the NBA, as the Thunder and Spurs prepare for the only game on tonight's schedule:

  • On the heels of some surprising contract extensions, Tom Ziller of SBNation.com shares his five rules for teams thinking about extending players.
  • Nolan Smith tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com that he understands the Blazers' cap situation and has no problem with the team's decision to turn down his 2013/14 option, adding that he views it as a "blessing in disguise" (Twitter links).
  • A few intriguing names will be in camp with the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics' D-League affiliate, as Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. Xavier Silas, Micah Downs, Chris Wright, and Chamberlain Oguchi are among the invitees.
  • Nets GM Billy King tells Newsday's Roderick Boone that one of the lessons he learned at his previous job in Philadelphia: "At the end, I was just trying to keep my job. Once you start trying to keep your job and not do it, it's not going to work."
  • The Bulls have appointed Scottie Pippen a Senior Advisor to the President and COO of the team, according to an official release.

Celtics Waive Rob Kurz, Micah Downs

FRIDAY, 4:32pm: The Celtics have officially waived Kurz and Downs, the team announced today in a press release.

TUESDAY, 3:00pm: The Celtics are set to waive camp invitees Rob Kurz and Micah Downs, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Twitter link), who says an announcement will come soon. When the cuts become official, Boston will have 15 players remaining under contract.

We heard earlier this week that Kurz and Downs were likely to be released, which came as no surprise. Along with the 13 guaranteed contracts they carried into camp, the Celtics added Leandro Barbosa as a 14th man, and were expected to keep Kris Joseph using their 15th and final roster spot.

The Celtics had added Kurz and Downs to their camp roster in late September, and both players appeared in most of the team's preseason contests, though neither one made a particularly strong impression. In limited minutes, Downs averaged 3.0 PPG and Kurz posted 1.7 PPG.

Celtics Notes: Offseason, Allen, Barbosa, Bradley

It seems hard to steal the NBA's offseason headlines without landing a star these days.  While the Celtics didn't do that, the team had an extremely effective offseason, adding Jeff Green, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Leandro Barbosa and drafting Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo and Kris Joseph.  Chuck Myron posted some Celtic-specific links this morning, and here are a couple more:

  • Doc Rivers said the Celtics will carry 15 players and that the team will announce the final cuts soon, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely.  Blakely also says that Kris Joseph will get the 15th spot, meaning Rob Kurz and Micah Downs will be cut.  We will keep an eye out for official word from the C's in the coming days.
  • Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald tweets that he doesn't think that Kurz and Downs will be on the Celtics roster for much longer.  The signing of Leandro Barbosa seems to have closed the door on their roster hopes.
  • In this CSN New England video, former NBAer turned
    Celtics analyst Donny Marshall addresses Ray Allen's comments over the weekend
    that the Celtics put him in a position where he had to leave
    Marshall, who played 119 games for the Cavs and Nets, said it is easy to blame
    the player, but many times the teams are just as much at fault in situations like this one. 
  • We heard earlier that Barbosa talked to the
    Lakers before joining the Celtics.  While the newly-signed Barbosa won't be
    playing for the team until his visa issues are resolved, the veteran guard has said all the right things since arriving in
    Boston, writes Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston.
  • Jimmy Toscano of CSN New England caught up with Avery Bradley, who is now shooting every other day to work his way back from two offseason shoulder surgeries.  Bradley is on track to come back in mid-December and while the team is deeper than they were last year, Bradley is hoping to come back stronger than ever:  "I just have to be ready for my team.  If I'm starting, I'm starting.  If I'm not, I'm not.  I just have to be prepared for what Doc wants me to do, and I'm going to.  Like I tell everybody, I'm going to come back stronger than last year."

Atlantic Notes: Johnson, Downs, Knicks, Hawes

Here are some notes from around the Atlantic Division.

Celtics Sign Micah Downs

SEPTEMBER 28TH: The Celtics have officially signed Downs, according to a team release. The team also officially announced the signing of Rob Kurz, within the same press release.

SEPTEMBER 20TH: Micah Downs will sign with the Celtics and will be present at the team's training camp next month, tweets Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. After agreeing to sign Darko Milicic earlier today, the Celtics have now reached agreements with 19 players, giving them space to sign one more player in addition to Downs and Milicic, if they so choose.

Downs, 26, played his college ball for Kansas and Gonzaga before going undrafted in 2009. He has spent his playing career primarily overseas since then, playing last season for Assignia Manresa in Spain. The 6'8" swingman appeared to be headed to Russia for the coming season, but he and Nizhny Novgorod broke off their contract agreement earlier this month.

While terms of Downs' deal aren't known, it's almost certainly a non-guaranteed pact, making it very unlikely he'll earn a spot on the Celtics. He could be a candidate to play for the team's D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.