Tag Archives: Avery Bradley

Celtics Circuit: C’s Sign Evan Turner

Evan Turner Boston Sports Then & Now

The Boston Celtics will be Evan Turner’s third team in five months.

The Boston Celtics bolstered their roster with the addition of veteran swingman Evan Turner on Monday. Turner’s deal will be for a portion of the midlevel exception.

The 25-year-old Turner has played in the NBA for four seasons. He spent three and a half years with the Philadelphia 76ers where he was taken with the 2nd overall pick in 2010. Turner was shipped to the Indiana Pacers in February. He has averaged 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. While the 6-foot-7-inch Turner is talented, but mercurial. He got into a fistfight with fellow Pacers teammate Lance Stephenson (he has his own demons) before Game 1 of the Pacers’ first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

This summer, the Pacers refused to give Turner an $8.7 million qualifying offer, thus making Turner a free agent. Turner is looking to reinvent his career after a tough few months with the Pacers. The guard played limited minutes with the Pacers in their run to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Celtics have a crowded back court since they drafted Marcus Smart and James Young in June. They also resigned Avery Bradley and traded for Marcus Thornton. Rajon Rondo is entering the final season of his contract. Also, the Celtics have 18 players committed to $80 million, which is over the luxury tax threshold. The Celtics have three non-guaranteed contracts that could push them below the threshold. They also could be using Turner or one of their other guards to acquire future assets like they did with MarShon Brooks and Jordan Crawford last year.

Celtics Have A Backcourt In Transition

Marcus Smart

Celtics Getting Smart In The Backcourt

The Boston Celtics selected guards Marcus Smart out of Oklahoma State and James Young in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft on Thursday night.

These two picks could signal the end of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley’s tenures with the Celtics. Rondo has a year left on his contract and he has been open about testing free agency in the summer of 2015. Bradley is a restricted free agent. Unless the Celtics can sign Bradley for cheap money and use him as a third guard off the bench, it is unlikely Bradley will return in a Celtics uniform.

The Celtics took Smart with the sixth overall choice. Smart is a 6-foot-3, 227-pound point guard who can distribute the ball on offense and is an excellent defender. He has an NBA-body and he is very physical on both ends of the court. Smart can play off the ball, but he played primarily at point guard for the Cowboys. The weakness in Smart’s game is his shooting. Last year, Smart had very poor shot selection. He was suspended for three games in February for shoving a fan in a game against Texas Tech. The Celtics worked out Smart twice and they are ecstatic that Smart was there at No. 6.
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With the 17th pick, the Celtics nabbed Young out of Kentucky. Young helped Kentucky reach the NCAA championship game with his scoring ability. The 6-foot-7-inch guard can score from the perimeter and he can take defenders off the dribble. Young is left-handed and does not really use his right hand too much. Young is not an elite defender and he is a streaky shooter because he is off-balance when he comes down. The 18-year-old has time to develop his game in the NBA.
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Brad Stevens said that the Celtics had both of these players ranked in the top 11 on their board. Young and Stevens share something in common with their college experience: they both lost in the national title game to UConn. Stevens coached Butler to the national championship in 2010 (Duke) and 2011 (UConn).

While these players won’t improve the Celtics in the short-term, they are nice building blocks for the future. Even though the Celtics are saying that Rondo and Smart could play together, it seems like Rondo’s days are numbered.

 

Top 5 Celtics Of This Millennium So Far (PHOTOS)

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Well, the NBA lottery has come and gone and the Celtics were left with the #6 pick. It may not be the top-3 pick many were hoping for, but in this loaded draft it’s still a very valuable asset and will have Boston fans excited about adding the next potential star to the Celtics’ roster.

In the spirit of rebuilding, however, it’s always fun to look back at what’s worked in the past! So before the draft speculation really heats up, here’s my look back at the Celtics’ best five players in this millennium so far.

 

Boston Celtics v/s Washington Wizards April 11,  2011

5. Avery Bradley

The Celtics have really only had four players with lasting offensive impacts this millennium, so my #5 slot is reserved for more of a “glue guy.” Sure, Antoine Walker could have been put here, and in another few years Jeff Green and/or Jared Sullinger could earn spots. But Walker’s best years were in the late-’90s and Green and Sullinger need more time to make their marks. Bradley grabs this spot ahead of fellow defensive specialists Tony Allen and Kendrick Perkins because he’s the best all-around player of the bunch. He remains one of the better guard defenders in the NBA, and has steadily improved his offensive game (admittedly, partially in the absence of Rajon Rondo or a go-to scorer on the team). Unfortunately, Bradley may have played himself into a contract the Celtics won’t be willing to pay.

 

RayAllen_1

4. Ray Allen

Frankly, the #4-#2 slots on this list probably vary from fan to fan, and I realize the attitude toward Ray Allen has soured significantly since his obnoxious departure to Miami. The fact remains, however, that from 2007-2012, Allen never averaged fewer than 14 ppg (per Basketball-Reference) and shot over 40% from the 3-point line in three of five seasons. Allen’s easy to hate now—particularly after pretty much winning the Heat a title with his heroic shot in game 6 of the 2013 finals—but the Celtics wouldn’t have won the 2008 title without him.

 

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Celtics Tweets of Interest: Jeff Green Prays For Rich Peverley; Kelly Olynyk Enjoys St. Patrick’s Day

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The fans of Boston sports are enjoying a bountiful of riches. Currently, the Bruins are on a 10-game winning streak. The New England Patriots are reloading for another championship run with the signings of All-Pro cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner as well as wide receivers Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell. The Red Sox are preparing to defend their 2013 World Series championship. Then there are the Celtics.

At this point, Celtics’ fans are eagerly anticipating the NBA Lottery in May. Co-owner Wyc Grousbeck recently said,”there will be fireworks” in the off-season. Certainly, there will be fireworks on the Fourth of July, but there are many questions on how the Celtics proceed during this upcoming summer.

Jerryd Bayless, Avery Bradley, and Kris Humphries will become free agents. Bradley will be a restricted free agent, which means the Celtics have the opportunity to match any offer from another team. The biggest uncertainties will be whether the Celtics move point guard Rajon Rondo, who has a year left on his contract after the 2013-’14 season. Rondo stated that he is willing to test the market. Will Danny Ainge ship Rondo to another team or will the two sides come together on an agreement? Every player on the roster, including Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, could be used as trade chips. There are many high-caliber players entering the last year of their deals in 2014-’15, especially power forward Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers’ point guard Kyrie Irving. The Celtics will have the room both financially and roster openings to bring these stars to Boston. It already happened in 2007 when the Celtics acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

The Celtics also potentially have 10 first-round picks over the next five years. This year’s draft class is loaded with prospects such as Duke’s Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas. The Celtics own the sixth worst record in the NBA. The Celtics could hold onto these selections and rebuild with a young roster like the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

We do not know whether “fireworks” will explode in the Celtics organization, but the summer of 2014 will play a big role in the Celtics future.

Here are the tweets:

This was a scary incident that affected every sports fan, especially Boston fans. Peverley was a key player for the Bruins 2010-’11 Stanley Cup championship and Peverley nearly helped the Bruins beat the Chicago Blackhawks in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. On July 4th, the Bruins traded Peverley and Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars. Peverley’s collapse had an effect on Green because Green was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. The Celtics’ forward was forced to miss the 2011-’12 lockout-shortened season while he underwent surgery. While Green was able to come back to the court, it is unknown whether Peverley will be back on the ice. If Peverley is able to play again, he will have a huge fan in Green.

Olynyk wished his followers a Happy St. Patrick’s Day on Monday. The Celtics wore special uniforms this weekend for the occasion. They wore green-sleeved jerseys for three games during the weekend. The shirt had gold trim around the neck. Also, the team name on the front of the jersey and the players’ numbers were written in gold. While the players’ last name and the shamrock logo on the back of the shirt were designed in white. Meanwhile the shorts were green with gold on the sides and the shamrock logo was within the gold coloring. These jerseys were worn in recognition of the 1946-’47 team who wore similar-style uniforms.

Celtics Circuit: Gerald Wallace Adds To Injury List

Celtics' forward Gerald Wallace became a leader for the team this year.

Gerald Wallace played 58 games for the Boston Celtics in 2013-’14.

The Boston Celtics have enough injuries to look like they could fill in for the cast of “The Walking Dead.”

Gerald Wallace has a torn meniscus in his knee and the 31-year-old forward will undergo season-ending surgery. Wallace also has bone spurs in his ankle. This news broke on Friday after Wallace had an MRI on Thursday when he had increased swelling in his knee.

Wallace still has two years remaining on his contract after the 2013-’14 season at over $20 million. Wallace is overpaid and has dealt with numerous injuries over the past two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets and the Celtics. In 2012-’13, Wallace missed 13 games with a sprained ankle among other ailments. Also, Wallace has diminished skills and he does not have the athleticism that turned him into an All-Star with the Charlotte Bobcats. All of these factors will present problems for the Celtics to find a trade partner for Wallace.

The Celtics have other injury issues. Jared Sullinger is day-to-day with a concussion. He has missed the last three games after receiving an elbow to the head from Los Angeles Lakers’ forward Chris Kaman in the Celtics’ loss on February 21st. Kelly Olynyk is in a walking boot with a sprained toe and the rookie sat out the 115-104 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night. Avery Bradley will not play in the game tonight against the Indiana Pacers due to his sprained ankle. This will be the eighth game that Bradley has missed. Vitor Faverani is suffering from a knee injury.

With the lack of bodies, the Celtics signed guard Chris Babb to a 10-day contract. Babb was one of the last cuts from the Celtics’ training camp. The Iowa State product has been playing for the Maine Red Claws, who is the Celtics’ D-League affiliate. In 32 games with the Red Claws, Babb averaged 11.9 points per game and 6.1 rebounds.

The Celtics have only 23 games left in the season. With these injuries piling up, it will be difficult for the young players to make progress. The Celtics must determine who they should keep on the roster in the future in their rebuilding process.

Celtics Circuit: The Evaluation of Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley shows off his trademark defense against Dwayne Wade

Is Avery Bradley good?  Well, of course he is.  He’s been a starter and a contributor for an NBA team, but is he good as a long term commitment for the Boston Celtics?  That is the question Danny Ainge and Co. must face sooner rather than later.

The NBA trade deadline is only a few days away, but more importantly, Bradley is due to become a restricted free agent this offseason. That “restricted” tag does allow the Celtics to match any offer Bradley may receive elsewhere, but also puts the onus on the team to decide on if they feel Bradley is a worthwhile investment.

There was a reason Bradley slid to the nineteenth pick in the 2010 draft.  At 6 foot 2 and lacking the true decision making  and ball handling skills of a point guard, as well as the three point shot required for shooting guards to succeed, Bradley was caught in some sort of hybrid zone.  After barely playing his rookie season, Bradley finally was able to showcase his elite athletic ability the following season.  Due to Ray Allen’s injury, Bradley slid into the starting lineup amongst a group of players who would take the pressure off of him.  Rondo was there to handle and distribute the ball, while KG, Pierce and Bass were on the floor to score.

Fast forward two seasons later and a lot of the same questions still persist.  To his credit, Bradley has improved his entire game steadfastly since his rookie season and has to be considered one of the better players on a below average team this year.  He’s averaging 43% shooting, including, a respectable 35% on three pointers.  Asked to carry more a scoring burden, Bradley has responded with 14 points per game.  His defense is rightfully lauded by opponents to the point that opposing point guards dread taking the ball up the court against him, and his pure athletic ability remains on par with players of similar size.  He has also seemed to harness the ability to slow games down a bit after a disturbing showing in last playoffs Knicks series.

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With the recent explosion of advanced statistics in sports (particularly in the NBA), one has to wonder how “nerd” stats view an undersized two guard whose offensive pedigree is predicated on mid-range jumpers and backdoor cuts.  According to Basketball Reference, Bradley’s PER (Player Efficiency Rating) settles in at 12.3, oddly the same rating as Ray Allen, the guy he subsequently replaced.  PER is a bench mark example for just how efficient a player is on a per minute basis.  Kevin Durant is the league leader this season at 30.9, while the league average lands at 15.

Bradley’s true shooting percentage lies at 313rd in the league, while his usage rating is 81st.  True shooting measures a player’s efficiency in two point field goals, three point field goals, and free throw accuracy.  Usage rating simply estimates the percentage of team plays ran for a player when he is on the court.  A player doesn’t solely exist on a stat sheet, but briefing over Bradley’s case, it is clear that he must keep improving as an offensive player as the team relies on him more and more to be a consistent scoring threat.  He will also need to develop more of a dependable three point shot, as team personnel have slowly tried distancing their players from taking long contested two point shots – considered now to be the most inefficient shot in basketball.

Injuries have robbed Bradley in recent seasons, missing 31 last year, and eight this season.  The recent status on his right ankle is murky at best, indicating he may not be back when the Celtics resume play in Phoenix on Wednesday.  Celtics officials have to be frustrated with the inability of Bradley and Rajon Rondo (an oddly dynamic duo when healthy) to get on the floor at the same time.  Evaluating a player is difficult enough, but add in a bucket full of injuries, and the task gets that much more difficult.

Bradley will be dangled at the trade deadline for the right price, but expect Ainge to try to muster up a long term deal for the former Texas Longhorn.  He has a clear desire to improve, and by all accounts, appears to be a good locker room presence.  The question is, for what price?

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