Vincent Poirier

Celtics’ Hayward Anticipates Leaving Campus For Birth Of Child

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward told reporters today, including Tim Bontemps of ESPN, that he intends to leave the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus for the birth of his fourth child in September, assuming his team is still alive in the playoffs at the time.

“I’m for sure going to be with her,” Hayward said of his wife Robyn. “… “It’s a pretty easy decision for me on that. I’ve been at the birth of every one of my children and I think there are more important things in life. So we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

Players who receive permission to leave the Orlando campus for a family situation will be required to quarantine for four days upon returning, as Bontemps notes. That hinges on the player being gone for fewer than seven days and testing negative for COVID-19 each day that he’s away. Unexcused absences would require a quarantine period of at least 10 days upon returning to the NBA’s Disney campus — that shouldn’t apply to Hayward, but he could still miss at least a couple games.

The exact due date for Hayward’s child is unclear, but based on the NBA’s tentative schedule, the conference semifinals will take place during the first half of September, with the conference finals taking place during the second half of the month. In other words, Boston – currently the No. 3 seed in the East – is in good position to be playing into September.

According to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Celtics big man Vincent Poirier and his partner Assouan are due to have their first child on September 17. Poirier told The Athletic that, like Hayward, he plans to leave the campus to attend the birth, so depending on the timing – and Boston’s performance – the team could be down a couple players in September.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/6/20

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

  • The Celtics assigned rookie center Vincent Poirier and rookie guard Carsen Edwards to their Maine affiliate, the team’s PR department tweets. Poirier has seen action in 21 games with Boston this season, while Edwards has taken the court in 35 games.
  • The Pacers assigned forward Alize Johnson to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team’s PR department tweets. Johnson, a 2018 second-round pick, has appeared in 13 games with Indiana this season.
  • The Pistons assigned rookie forwards Sekou Doumbouya and Donta Hall to their Grand Rapids affiliate, James Edwards of The Athletic tweets. Doumbouya, the team’s first-round pick, is averaging 6.5 PPG and 3.2 RPG in 19.9 MPG in 35 games this season. Hall is on his second 10-day contract with the NBA club.

Injury Updates: Holiday, Zion, George, Towns

Reinforcements are on the way soon for the Pelicans, who have been without their most talented backcourt player (Jrue Holiday) for the last four games and their most talented frontcourt player (Zion Williamson) for the entire season.

According to Christian Clark of NOLA.com (Twitter link), Holiday isn’t expected to play on Monday night in Detroit, but Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry sounded optimistic that the veteran guard will be ready to go on Thursday against Utah.

Meanwhile, Williamson – who was playing 3-on-3 after shootaround this morning with Holiday and Pelicans staffers – is inching closer to making his NBA debut. According to veteran NBA writer Mitch Lawrence (Twitter link), there’s a chance that could happen as early as Thursday, depending on how practice goes this week for Zion.

As we wait for an update from New Orleans on the season’s most-anticipated debut, let’s round up a few more injury-related items…

  • Paul George, who has missed the Clippers‘ last two games due to a hamstring injury, is expected to be re-evaluated early this week, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. George aggravated the left hamstring issue in a practice last Wednesday.
  • Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns won’t be back to action on Monday night, but it sounds like that’s more a result of an illness than his knee injury, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. A return appears imminent for Towns, who hasn’t played since December 13.
  • After being sidelined for nearly a month with a broken finger, Celtics center Vincent Poirier is available to play on Monday night, tweets Marc D’Amico of Celtics.com.

Celtics Notes: Memphis Pick, Brown, Poirier, Walker

The Grizzlies‘ first-rounder that the Celtics own is a volatile asset heading into this year’s trade deadline, Sean Deveney writes for Forbes. The pick is top-six protected and becomes unprotected in 2021 if it doesn’t convey this year. Memphis is currently eighth in the West, but only three-and-a-half games ahead of the 14th-place Pelicans.

“(The Celtics) have been active in terms of seeing what is out there,” a general manager told Deveney. “I don’t think they want to sit on their hands. I am not sure how much they can realistically get done, though, because the Memphis pick is such a wild card. They can’t do anything significant unless they move that pick.”

Deveney identifies the WizardsDavis Bertans and the Timberwolves‘ Robert Covington as possible trade targets. He states that Bertans is probably available for the Memphis pick, along with Enes Kanter and Semi Ojeleye. However, Bertans is entering free agency and Boston probably can’t afford to re-sign him with Jayson Tatum due for an extension. Covington is under contract for two more seasons and Deveney suggests the Celtics could get him for Kanter, Daniel Theis and the Bucks‘ 2020 first-rounder, allowing them to keep the Grizzlies’ pick.

There’s more out of Boston:

  • Jaylen Brown doesn’t believe Brandon Ingram was referring to him when he talked about being surprised that certain players received rookie scale extensions, relays Tom Westerholm of MassLive. “When we talked about the extension, of course, I’m human,” Ingram said in a recent interview with ESPN’s Andrew Lopez. “When I look at other guys, I’m like, ‘This (expletive) got an extension? Oh my god. Man, we can lace up right now and play one-on-one to 15 and this (expletive) won’t score.’ That’s how I looked at it as a competitor.” Asked about the comments after last night’s game against the Pelicans, Brown, who received a four-year, $115MM extension, responded, “I don’t feel any type of way, because I don’t feel like they apply to me.”
  • Vincent Poirier could soon provide some depth at center, coach Brad Stevens tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Poirier is nearing a return after being sidelined since December 17 with a broken finger.
  • The Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak last night, but the recent downturn wasn’t alarming for Kemba Walker, who brings an outsider’s perspective after his years with the Hornets, writes John Karalis of MassLive. “I’ve lost so many more than three games in a row throughout the course of my career,” Walker said. “Plenty of times, so this is nothing to me personally. It’s just about getting back on track at this point.”

Celtics’ Poirier Expected To Miss 4-6 Weeks With Broken Finger

DECEMBER 18: After Poirier underwent surgery on his finger this morning, the Celtics issued a new update on his recovery timeline, tweeting that he’s expected to return in four-to-six weeks.

DECEMBER 17: The Celtics‘ frontcourt depth has taken another hit, as the team announced today (via Twitter) that big man Vincent Poirier suffered a fractured right pinky finger during Monday’s practice. Poirier is expected to be sidelined for approximately six weeks, according to the C’s.

The update on Poirier comes less than 24 hours after Boston announced that center Robert Williams would be out for at least three weeks due to a hip injury.

As I noted yesterday, the Celtics figure to lean more heavily on centers Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis with Williams – and now Poirier – on the shelf. Semi Ojeleye may also play increased minutes, and Grant Williams could see more consistent action too.

The Celtics’ depth issues in the middle may also prompt the club to call up two-way player Tacko Fall from the Maine Red Claws for certain matchups. Fall hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since October 26, having spent most of his rookie season in the G League, but could be called upon for emergency purposes.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/5/19

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the league:

  • The Knicks have recalled rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis from the Westchester Knicks, according to a tweet from the team’s PR department. The 6’6″ Michigan forward has appeared in six games for New York.
  • The Celtics have assigned rookie center Vincent Poirier to their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, the team tweets. The seven-foot French rookie has seen sparse action in Boston, averaging just 4.6 minutes across seven games.
  • The Hornets have assigned rookie small forward Cody Martin to the Greensboro Swarm, the team tweets. Martin has appeared in 16 games for the Hornets, averaging 11.8 minutes. He is shooting just 35.7% from the floor.
  • The Thunder have assigned center Justin Patton to the Oklahoma City Blue, a team press release reports. The well-traveled Creighton alum is averaging 10.3 points, 7.5 boards, and 2.0 blocks across eight games for the Blue. He has suited up for two games with the Thunder this season.
  • The Pistons have assigned rookie wing Sekou Doumbouya to the Grand Rapids Drive, Rod Beard of The Detroit News reports. The 18 year-old Doumbouya, the N0. 15 pick in the 2019 draft, is averaging 16.6 PPG and 5.4 RPG for the Drive, while shooting 39% on his long-range attempts. He has made four NBA appearances for the Pistons to date.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/12/19

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

  • Victor Oladipo was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants to practice with the G League squad. He then was recalled by the Pacers and as Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (Twitter link), there remains no timetable for his return. Oladipo has another appointment with his doctor in a few weeks, according to Scott Agness of The Athletic (Twitter link), who hears the shooting guard has impressed during drills.
  • The Clippers have assigned two players to the G League. Mfiondu Kabengele and Derrick Walton Jr. will both report to the Agua Caliente Clippers, per the team’s Twitter feed.
  • The Knicks have recalled Ignas Brazdeikis from the Westchester Knicks, per the team’s Twitter feed. New York’s second-round pick was sent to the G League on Monday.
  • The Celtics have assigned four players to the G League for practice and then recalled each one. Grant Williams, Vincent Poirier, Carsen Edwards and Romeo Langford all practiced with the Maine Red Claws today.
  • The Rockets sent Gary Clark and Isaiah Hartenstein to the G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as Mark Berman of Fox26 tweets.

Eastern Notes: White, Poirier, Knicks, Wizards

Lottery pick Coby White has looked good in the first week of the Bulls‘ training camp, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Coach Jim Boylen said White can play either guard spot and appears to already have him penciled into the rotation. “We’ve added ballers to this team,’’ Boylen said. “Coby White, whether he’s a one, he’s a two, he’s a baller. … That’s what this roster is. We’ve got to do a good job using those guys and give them space and freedom to use what they have.’’

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • French center Vincent Poirier is looking to earn minutes with the Celtics through grit and determination, as he told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Poirier signed a two-year contract to compete for a role with one of the East’s top teams after playing in Spain last season. “You have a couple of guys who make all the dirty jobs,” he said. “If not, you cannot win. You have to be great at what you can do, and what I can do is all the dirty jobs.”
  • Knicks coach David Fizdale has a dilemma on his hands regarding the point guard spot, as Barbara Barker of Newsday details. With Dennis Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton, and Frank Ntilikina vying for minutes at the position, choosing a starter may be the toughest decision of the preseason for Fizdale. Utilizing two point guards at the same time will be a serious consideration.
  • Developing good habits with a young roster is the first step toward improvement for the Wizards, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post writes. Washington is trying to establish a better culture after the front office and roster changes that were made this offseason. “The season’s going to go quick and the bench is going shorten and Coach (Scott Brooks) is going to want guys who know what he wants and get it done,” guard Bradley Beal said. “So, as long as we’re able to keep those good habits up of being on time, being early, getting the work in and then applying it on the court and getting it done, that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Celtics Notes: Poirier, Hayward, Training Camp, Walker

Vincent Poirier had an awkward first meeting with four of his new Celtics teammates at the World Cup, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Poirier was part of the French team that gave the U.S. their second loss of the tournament and eliminated them from medal contention.

“After the game I think they were a little bit mad, so I don’t come to them and say, ‘Hey, I’m Vincent,” Poirier said. “But they knew who I was, so that was good.”

Poirier took home a bronze medal from the World Cup and talked extensively to his French teammates about life in the NBA. Poirier has spent the past three seasons in Spain and is ready for the NBA challenge at age 25. Celtics scouts have seen him in person at least 10 times over the past two years and were interested in signing him at the end of last season, but he preferred to wait.

“I told a couple people I think this is the best year for me to go to the NBA because I’ve got 100% confidence in myself,” he said. “I trust my basketball and I think it’s a perfect moment.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Gordon Hayward offered a message to fans on his personal blog, promising “the reins are off” for the upcoming season. Hayward was still recovering from a severe ankle injury last summer and said he has benefited from having a full offseason to work on his game. “Last year, I was in my own head a lot, thinking about a lot of different things—hoping that it was going to be okay, hoping that I was going to be right—because I just hadn’t done it. I hadn’t had a chance to put in the reps,” Hayward wrote. “Going into this season, I’ve put in the reps all summer. I know my body is still just as good and feels 100 percent, and certainly, I know the guys on the team a lot better now than I did last year too. All the unknowns are gone. That’s the biggest difference.”
  • There will be several interesting battles to focus on when training camp opens, writes Jay King of The Athletic. One will occur at the wing position, where Hayward will be competing with Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown to join Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum in the starting lineup. The other story lines involve who plays center at the end of games and who can earn reserve minutes at power forward and in the backcourt.
  • Even though Walker had a full summer with his World Cup responsibilities, coach Brad Stevens said the free agent addition will be “ready to roll” when camp begins, relays A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.

Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Poirier, Ntilikina, Nets

Veteran NBA center Marc Gasol added to his already impressive year by helping lead Spain to a gold medal in the FIBA World Cup today, finishing with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in 25 minutes of work against Argentina.

Gasol, who also helped Toronto win the NBA championship in June, joined Lamar Odom as the only players in league history to win both a title and gold medal in the same calendar year.

“It reminded me a lot of the Larry O’Brien trophy,” Gasol said when asked about winning the Naismith Trophy, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The Naismith Trophy is awarded to the winner of the World Cup. “And hey, you can drink out of it!

“When I saw it, it was pretty shiny as well. Completely different tournament, completely different setup, but the feeling of fulfillment was there, because you invested so much, you risked a lot and you put everything on the line for your guys.”

This year’s World Cup could be the last for Gasol, who turns 35 in January and is set to enter his 12th NBA season this fall. The defensive-minded center has been on top of the basketball world in 2019, something he surely won’t forget when he looks back on his career.

“It feels like I haven’t stopped playing basketball,” Gasol said. “It’s been an amazing year for me and I’m just happy.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Vincent Poirier was a good pick-up for the Celtics this offseason, according to French teammates Nicolas Batum and Evan Fournier. Poirier signed a two-year deal to join the franchise back in July. “It’s clear that he’s a center that can block shots and control the paint,” Fournier said, per John Schuhmann of NBA.com. (Twitter links). “He’s a terrific roller, can really catch a lob, and obviously has a lot of energy. It’s a good pick-up for Boston, for sure.”
  • Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina is healthy again and motivated for the upcoming season, tweets Marc Stein of the New York Times. Ntilikina, according to Stein, also mentioned how the entire group is “very hungry” for next season. New York has several new players on its roster, including the likes of Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton, RJ Barrett and others.
  • The Nets plan to give away 10,000 Kyrie Irving jerseys when the team hosts the Knicks on October 25, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). The Knicks were one of several teams interested in signing Irving in July, though Irving was said to have his sights set on joining the Nets well before the start of free agency.