Will the 2014-’15 season be Rajon Rondo’s last year with the Boston Celtics?
The Boston Celtics released their schedule for the 2014-’15 season on Wednesday. The Celtics will play only one nationally televised game on January 14th at home against the Atlanta Hawks. This means the Celtics are not a premier team in the NBA.
Their lone star (Rajon Rondo) is in the final year of his contract. Their roster is filled with either players who have been disappointments (Jeff Green, Evan Turner, and Tyler Zeller) and rookies like Marcus Smart and James Young.
The Celtics schedule in November looks to be daunting. They have to travel to Houston (Rockets), Dallas (Mavericks), and Chicago Bulls. The only game where they could be favored is on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers. Then they have a six-game road trip through the Western Conference from January 19th through January 28th.
Here are some notable games for Celtics fans to look forward to.
-October 29th – The Celtics open the season versus the Brooklyn Nets at the Garden. Kevin Garnett could be back with the Nets. This might be Garnett’s final season in the NBA.
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens joined in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge this week.
The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS has created widespread attention, especially among the professional teams in Boston. New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and Boston Bruins forwards Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand have been shown on the local news completing the Challenge.
On Monday, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens accepted his challenge from WEEI.com’s Ben Rohrbach.
Stevens dedicated his efforts to his friend Matt White and Boston College Sports Information Director Dick Kelley, who died of ALS in 2011. The second-year coach challenged all of the Celtics fans.
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo and newly signed Evan Turner participated in the Challenge.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has gained widespread attention for ALS and the Pete Frates #3 Fund. Frates was a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2012. The ALS Association has reportedly raised $1.3 million since the end of July.
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 Trading With The Nets Again
For the second time in a year, the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets were involved in a trade on Wednesday.
The interesting difference is that this time there was a third team in the mix. The Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to create space in their cap to sign LeBron James.
The Celtics received Marcus Thornton from the Nets. Tyler Zeller and a protected 2016 first-round pick were sent by the Cavs to Boston.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.