Romeo Langford

Atlantic Notes: Rivers, Ntilikina, Langford, Nets Big Three

New Sixers head coach Doc Rivers deserves a lot of credit for the 18-7 Philadelphia’s current perch as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference standings, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Rivers commands respect in the Sixers locker room due to his championship pedigree and prior success across head coaching stops in Orlando, Boston, and most recently Los Angeles. Sixers center Joel Embiid is enjoying his best season as a pro thus far, averaging career-bests in scoring (29.1 PPG), steals (1.4 SPG), and shooting (.547/.377.855).

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks reserve guard Frank Ntilikina is not traveling with New York for the team’s game against the Wizards tomorrow despite continuing to test negative for the novel coronavirus, according to Ian Begley of SNY. Ntilikina has been held out of team activities since Tuesday after contact tracing determined he had been close to someone who later recorded a positive test for COVID-19.
  • Celtics head coach Brad Stevens indicated in comments today that reserve guard Romeo Langford will not be back with the club until after the NBA All-Star break in March, per Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald (via Twitter). Langford had a right wrist surgery to address torn ligaments in his shooting wrist in September.
  • The Nets still hope to improve the on-court dynamic between their new Big Three of All-Stars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden now that everybody is healthy, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “It’s funny,” head coach Steve Nash noted. “[It’s been] four weeks already, Kevin and [Irving] and James have played 5 ½ games, if you include the Raptors game, together.”

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Langford, VanVleet, Cross

Because so many Sixers players are absent as a result of the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, the team is currently relying on its rookies, as Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

Seth Curry is quarantining away from the team after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton, and Vincent Poirier are all out due to the league’s health and safety protocols. With those veterans missing, rookies Tyrese Maxey, Isaiah Joe, and Dakota Mathias have all logged significant rotation minutes.

Though All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons returned to action tonight in the Sixers’ hard-fought 137-134 victory tonight against the Heat, wings Furkan Korkmaz and Terrance Ferguson also remained absent. Embiid scored 45 points and pulled down 16 boards.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Because the Celtics have limited wing depth, second-year swingman Romeo Langford may still break into Boston’s rotation this season, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston writes. Forsberg notes that Langford is a solid perimeter defender, but must develop his long-range shooting to become a staple.
  • Though the Raptors are currently the No. 13 seed in the East with a disappointing 2-8 record, newly re-signed 6’1″ guard Fred VanVleet continues to contribute to the level of his $85MM contract, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. VanVleet has been the club’s most steady offensive presence, averaging a career-high 20.9 PPG through his first 10 games. “I think the game is just really slow for him right now and that’s a good thing,” fellow starting guard Kyle Lowry said. VanVleet is also averaging a career-high 9.0 three-point attempts per night.
  • Former Kings amateur scouting director Gene Cross has been added to the Knicks as a college scout, Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated tweets.

Celtics Picking Up 2021/22 Options On Three Players

The Celtics are exercising their 2021/22 team options on the rookie scale contracts of Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, and Robert Williams, according to former C’s assistant GM Ryan McDonough (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Decisions On 2021/22 Rookie Scale Team Options]

Langford, 21, was the 14th overall pick in the 2019 draft, but has been limited to 32 games so far due to health issues and has struggled in his limited playing time, with 2.5 PPG on .350/.185/.720 shooting in 11.6 minutes per contest. He’s currently sidelined as he recovers from wrist surgery.

Grant Williams, who was selected eight spots after Langford in the 2019 draft, has been a more regular part of Boston’s rotation since entering the league last year, averaging 3.5 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 72 games (15.3 MPG).

Langford’s and Williams’ third-year options will pay them $3.8MM and $2.6MM, respectively, in 2021/22. The Celtics will have to decide next year whether to pick up their fourth-year options for ’22/23.

As for Robert Williams, his fourth-year option for ’21/22 will guarantee him approximately $3.7MM and will put him on track for restricted free agency in ’22 if he doesn’t sign a rookie scale extension next summer.

The 23-year-old has appeared in just 63 games for the Celtics in two-plus seasons so far, but has shown some promise. He had one of the best performances of his career on Sunday vs. Indiana, putting up 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting to go along with four rebounds, four steals, and two blocks in 22 minutes.

Kemba Walker To Miss Start Of Season

Celtics point guard Kemba Walker will be sidelined until at least early January as he continues to rehab a left knee injury, according to a team press release.

After consulting several medical specialists in early October, Walker received a stem cell injection in the knee and was put on a 12-week strengthening program. He is expected to return to on-court activities early this month but he won’t be ready to play when the season begins.

Walker was hampered by left knee soreness prior to the stoppage of play in March and it continued to affect him during the restart. GM Danny Ainge admitted that team’s prized free agent acquisition in 2019 was “definitely not himself” during the playoffs.

Walker tried to gut it out and continued to play heavy minutes — he averaged 36.9 MPG in 17 postseason outings. He posted solid averages of 19.6 PPG and 5.1 APG during that span but his perimeter shooting suffered (31.0% from long range).

If Walker’s knee issues continues to linger, it could have a major impact on the team’s bottom line. He is due to make approximately $34.4MM during the upcoming season and $36MM in 2021/22. He has a $37.7MM option for the 2022/23 season.

However, Ainge believes Walker’s won’t miss too much time, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston tweets. Ainge talked about Walker on the Toucher and Rich radio show.

“I’m not worried about Kemba. He’ll be back,” Ainge said. “It’s an opportunity for Marcus (Smart), Jeff Teague, Payton Pritchard.”

Ainge feels the team has plenty of depth at that spot and doesn’t plan to pursue former Boston All-Star and current free agent Isaiah Thomas.

The press release also revealed that center Tristan Thompson suffered a minor hamstring strain during an offseason workout prior to arriving in Boston, and his availability during the first week of camp will be limited. Boston officially signed the former Cleveland big man on Monday.

Guard Romeo Langford‘s rehab from right wrist is going according to plan, the release adds. He underwent surgery on September 22nd to repair a torn scapholunate ligament in the wrist and the projected recovery time remains 4-5 months.

Romeo Langford Undergoes Wrist Surgery, Done For Season

Celtics rookie guard Romeo Langford underwent surgery on Tuesday morning to repair the scapholunate ligament in his right wrist, the team announced (via Twitter). He’ll miss the rest of the 2019/20 season as a result of the procedure.

Langford tore ligaments in his shooting wrist in August. Although he was able to play through the injury, the team always expected him to undergo surgery to address the issue after the season. Having suffered a separate adductor injury during Game 2 of the Celtics’ series vs. Miami, Langford’s availability going forward was in jeopardy, so he has undergone the wrist procedure early, ending his season.

The 14th overall pick in the 2019 draft, Langford appeared in 32 regular season games for Boston, averaging 2.5 PPG and 1.3 RPG on .350/.185/.720 shooting in extremely limited playing time (11.6 MPG).

The former Indiana standout, who turns 21 next month, will enter the 2020/21 season looking to secure a spot in the Celtics’ regular rotation.

Celtics Notes: Raptors Series, Restart Campus, Langford

An intense seven-game war of attrition against the Raptors in the Eastern Semifinals helped prepare the Celtics for their conference finals matchup against the Heat, per Taylor Snow of Celtics.com.

“We lost on a game-winner, we lost a double-overtime game [during the Raptors series], and while we are frustrated, [the Game 1 overtime loss to Miami is] just one game,” starting Celtics center Daniel Theis opined. “We’ve got to do our adjustments, and it’s easy; we’ve just got to get back in transition.”

There’s more out of Boston:

  • The NBA’s Orlando restart campus atmosphere has more or less neutralized a home court advantage for higher-seeded teams, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today“Obviously, as much as the NBA has tried to make the home stuff matter, it just doesn’t,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens observed. “It has no impact, unfortunately.”
  • Celtics rookie shooting guard Romeo Langford left Game 2 of Boston’s Eastern Conference Finals series against Miami early with a right adductor strain. The team tweeted that he was doubtful to suit up again for the contest.
  • In case you missed it, we discussed the gradual progress of forward Gordon Hayward as he continues to rehabilitate from a right ankle sprain.

Romeo Langford Sidelined With Torn Wrist Ligaments

An injured right wrist may keep Celtics rookie Romeo Langford out of the playoffs, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Coach Brad Stevens said Langford suffered torn ligaments in his shooting wrist Thursday during the team’s final seeding game.

“He will probably have to do something about [the injury] at some time. But we’re still going through the process of determining the next step with him,” Stevens told reporters today. “I don’t know if that means that, down the road, he’ll have to take time off, if that means he’ll have to have it worked on, but they’re determining and we’re still in the process of determining how he feels and whether or not he’ll be available or not.”

Forsberg notes that injuries have been a frequent issue for Langford, who played with an injured thumb last season at Indiana University. He had surgery on the thumb that forced him to miss the start of training camp and sat out 13 total games this year as a result of a sore right knee, a right ankle sprain and an illness.

Langford still showed some promise during his first NBA season, particularly during the seeding games, and Stevens suggested that he might have seen regular minutes in the playoffs.

“He’d be better able to answer the emotional roller coaster you go on when you experience those injuries and those setbacks, and it’s always been significant enough that it’s been at least a portion of time, not just a day here or there. So that stinks,” Stevens said. “I feel for him. He is a hard-working guy, he’s a tough guy, and I think he’s got a bright, bright future. Again, I hope that he’s able to play, but that’s going to be totally dependent on our doctors, and dependent on his, probably, pain. So he’s going to have to test that and get used to it and see what it feels like. If not, then we’ll have him back when we have him back.”

Atlantic Notes: Allen, Langford, Knicks, Sixers

Nets starting center Jarrett Allen has accepted his recent benching in fourth quarters, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Coach Kenny Atkinson has favored $40MM backup center DeAndre Jordan to close out games.

“You get the feeling of what’s going to happen when you hit around the eight-minute mark, whether you’re going to go in or not,” Allen told Lewis. “If they’re vibing then go ahead and let them vibe, let them go out and win it. So I’m not tripping over that.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Rookie Celtics shooting guard Romeo Langford has closed out three Boston victories thus far in February as a defensive stopper, per Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. The 6’4″ wing out of Indiana, the No. 14 pick in the 2019 lottery, appreciates the faith that coach Brad Stevens has in Langford’s growing abilities on that side of the ball. “It’s good that (Stevens) already, like, trusts me,” Langord said. “So I’ve just got to go out there and deliver.”
  • As the Knicks continue to rework their public perception under newly-hired brand consultant Steve Stoute, they may try to improve relations with past New York heroes, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. “As a New York fan, as a friend of Charles Oakley, as somebody a part of the Knicks organization, of course, I would love to see that subsided and bring that back,” Stoute mentioned in an appearance on ESPN’s First Take.
  • The Sixers have underperformed relative to preseason expectations this year, but the dynamic between All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons may not be the root of the issue, per ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry. Goldsberry points to their club’s unending roster churn over the years and a lack of sharpshooting depth as the prime culprits. That said, at 35-22, the Sixers sit just 1.5 games behind the 36-20 Heat in competing for a top-four Eastern Conference playoff seed.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/28/20

Here are Tuesday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Wizards have recalled Admiral Schofield from the Capital City Go-Go, per the team’s Twitter feed. Schofield was a second-round pick in the 2019 draft.
  • The Celtics are bringing Romeo Langford back from the G League. They’ve recalled him, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs have recalled Keldon Johnson from the Austin Spurs, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. Johnson was the No. 29 overall pick in the 2019 draft.
  • The Clippers have assigned Derrick Walton Jr. and Terance Mann to the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, per the team. Los Angeles hasn’t practiced in several days but is expected to hold practice tomorrow.
  • The Jazz have assigned Nigel Williams-Goss, Juwan Morgan, and Miye Oni to the G League, according to the league’s transaction log. All three are were just with the Salt Lake City Stars over the weekend.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/16/19

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Pacers have assigned JaKarr Sampson, Alize Johnson and Edmond Sumner to their G League affiliate, the team announced on Twitter. All three players are available for the Mad Ants’ contest tonight.
  • The Celtics have recalled Romeo Langford from the Maine Red Claws, as the team relays on Twitter. Langford was the No. 14 overall pick in the 2019 draft.
  • The Wolves have recalled Naz Reid and Jaylen Nowell, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic relays (Twitter link). Krawczynski notes that Reid looked quick and explosive during Minnesota’s practice earlier today.
  • The Kings have assigned Caleb Swanigan to the Stockton Kings, per Sacramento’s Twitter feed. The power forward has appeared in five NBA contests this season, seeing a total of 13 minutes.