Posts Tagged ‘boston celtics’

Boston Celtics v Detroit Pistons

No other Boston Celtics player will ever wear the No. 34 again, with team co-owner Steve Pagliuca confirming Thursday that Paul Pierce‘s jersey will be officially retired at some point during the 2017-18 campaign.

“It’s going to be fantastic,” said Pagliuca, according to The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. “For our era, the most recent era, he embodied the Celtics’ leadership, the Celtics’ brand and was the MVP of the championship team. So it’s going to be fantastic to see that happen.”

Pagliuca wouldn’t give an exact date for the ceremony, but did hint that details would be coming very soon, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg.

Pierce will be the 22nd player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining such Celtics legends as Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, and Robert Parish hanging in the rafters at Boston’s TD Garden.

After spending the 2016-17 season with the Los Angeles Clippers, Pierce signed a one-day contract to retire a member of the Celtics, who drafted him 10th overall back in 1998.

He played the first 15 years of his storied career donning Celtic green, averaging 21.8 points, six rebounds, and 3.9 assists during his tenure. Pierce was also a 10-time All-Star with Boston, and was part of a Big 3 that won a championship in 2008.

The now 39-year-old ranks first overall in Celtics history in steals and free throws made and attempted, and ranks second and third in points and total appearances, respectively.

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Isaiah Thomas is convinced he’ll sign a $200-million deal next offseason.

The Boston Celtics guard reiterated his unwavering demand for a maximum contract when pressed about his upcoming free agency at his basketball clinic over the weekend.

“Very confident,” Thomas told Stephen Hewitt of the Boston Herald of his hope for a max deal. “I deserve it.”

Thomas pieced together a career year last season with averages of 28.9 points and 5.9 assists while leading the Celtics to the top seed in the East and a trip to the conference finals. He earned All-NBA second-team honors and his second All-Star nod for his efforts.

The 28-year-old believes his resume stacks up with the top guards in the league, hence why he should receive top dollar.

“I put the work in, and you can put me down against any guard in the NBA … My numbers are up there with the best players in the world, and my team is winning,” he said. “So, I mean, you have to reward that.”

After spending the majority of his career on subpar teams, Thomas immediately emerged as a star upon landing in Boston via trade in 2015. The Celtics subsequently made three straight trips to the postseason.

Despite leading the team in scoring every year, Thomas has been severely underpaid throughout his tenure in Boston. He’s slated to earn just $6.2 million in 2017-18 – his eighth NBA season – which is largely why he’s desperate to sign a big contract.

Boston can exceed the cap and offer more money and more term to Thomas than any other suitor, but there may be some hesitancy to make a gigantic investment on a 5-foot-9 point guard who’s perhaps the most detrimental defender in the league and is six months away from turning 30.

Thomas will worry about that when the time comes. If not the Celtics, some other team will come calling.

“I’m just going to keep working though,” he added. “My time is gonna come. I have a lot of faith in God, and I just have to keep working to get better.”

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Gordon Hayward wants you to know that the decision to sign with the Boston Celtics was his and his alone.

The widespread narrative was that he wanted to reunite with former Butler head coach Brad Stevens. While the two are close, Hayward is adamant the bond between player and coach has been blown out of proportion, and may not have been the determining factor in him leaving the Utah Jazz in free agency.

“The relationship between Brad and I has been completely overstated and overhyped from everybody,” Hayward said during a recent appearance on Adrian Wojnarowski’s “The Woj Pod.”

“And you mentioned it. There was always rumors about going to Boston, and those, to me, were always just rumors. I didn’t really ever think about it, because I wasn’t a free agent, wasn’t really concerned with the Boston thing. But everybody else was saying, ‘Oh, he’s going to go to Boston because of Brad.’ And we had a great relationship, but it wasn’t like we were constantly texting each other or calling each other. He’s the head coach of the Boston Celtics. He’s got things to worry about.

“I played for Brad for two years. And so it wasn’t like everybody kind of made it seem, like we were besties or something.”

In Hayward’s Players’ Tribune piece he penned to announce his decision to join the Celtics, the 27-year-old referred to Stevens as the one he “could count on the most,” and asserted the two have unfinished business together in the form of winning a championship, which they failed to do as Bulldogs.

The path of least resistance to that title comes in the Eastern Conference, and earning $128 million over four years to make a go of it isn’t bad either. Still, it’s hard to imagine Hayward choosing Boston if Stevens weren’t there, no matter how he wants to paint the picture.

 NBA: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings
Gordon Hayward is officially bound for Beantown, with the Boston Celtics announcing Friday they signed the prized unrestricted free agent.

After spending the first seven years of his NBA career with the Utah Jazz, Hayward tested the open market for the first time this summer, meeting with his incumbent team in addition to the Celtics and Miami Heat.

In a saga documented by his agent, Mark Bartelstein, Hayward changed his mind multiple times before making the “gut-wrenching” choice to leave the only club he’s ever known for greener pastures in Boston.

Hayward personally announced the decision with a post on The Players’ Tribune, indicating he thinks he can win a title with the Celtics, who reached the Eastern Conference finals this past season. The Indiana native is also excited to reunite with Brad Stevens, who was his coach at Butler and currently mans the sidelines for the men in green.

The Jazz and Celtics reportedly discussed sign-and-trade options involving Hayward and small forward Jae Crowder, but Danny Ainge ultimately elected against compensating his new star’s former club.

Although nothing materialized on that front, Boston did need to clear cap space in order to pay Hayward the max, so the organization shipped off starting shooting guard Avery Bradley – who has one year and $8.8 million left on his contract – to the Detroit Pistons.

The Celtics rolled out the red carpet for the 27-year-old Hayward, enhancing their recruiting meeting with a video at Fenway Park and appearances from stars he’d join in Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford.

Hayward’s coming off his best season yet, as he averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and a steal over 73 games. He also earned his first All-Star nod and led the Jazz to the West semifinals.

In Boston, he’ll round out a talented Big Three and boost the club’s chances of taking down the Cleveland Cavaliers, who eliminated the Celtics in five games in the East finals.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings

The Boston Celtics jersey has been Photoshopped on his image, and the next chapter in Gordon Hayward‘s career is about to begin.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, despite all reports of Hayward “agonizing” over his decision to part ways with the Utah Jazz, the writing was very much all over the wall prior to his official announcement.

Brooklyn Nets forward and former Jazz player Trevor Booker told the Tribune the weight of having the Utah franchise on his shoulders was something Hayward never wanted.

“Gordon’s a guy who doesn’t really want to be the man,” Booker said. “… I’m not sure he wanted a franchise on his shoulders. Gordon’s a great player, and one of the best players in the league. But I wasn’t really surprised at his choice. I heard the rumors.”

As the Tribune outlines, the Jazz spent most of the past year trying to orchestrate the correct moves that would keep Hayward in Utah, which most recently prompted them to acquire point guard and expert playmaker Ricky Rubio from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for a first-round draft pick.

While the Jazz worked on creating a strong core for Hayward, his inclinations to leave have been apparent to others since before this year’s draft. Sources told the Tribune that Hayward made it clear to teammate and friend George Hill in a phone call that returning to Utah “was nowhere close to guaranteed.”

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The 2017 NBA Draft has ended, and Paul George is still a member of the Indiana Pacers after reported talks with the Boston Celtics stalled.

General manager Kevin Pritchard spoke out for the first time since the All-Star’s agent informed the team he’ll leave after next season.

“For me, it was a gut punch. It was a total gut punch,” Pritchard told reporters Thursday night.

The executive indicated he’s in no hurry to trade away the Pacers’ best player, and George could still be on the roster when training camp rolls around. Should that happen, he’d face constant trade rumors, but would only have himself to blame.

“It’s not ideal, but we didn’t put ourselves in it. He did,” said Pritchard, who was promoted to president of basketball operations after Larry Bird stepped down last month.

The executive admitted the news of George’s impending departure came as a surprise because the two recently discussed players the All-Star swingman would like to surround himself with in Indiana.

“Paul is a special player,” Pritchard said. “He’s been good for this organization. We felt like, in a few of the talks over the summer, that he wanted to win, that he wanted to win here. So it was a little bit of a gut punch for us. We’re adjusting right now, and at the end of the day, we want to build a winning team and we want players who want to be here.”

Pritchard also revealed there are plenty of offers on the table, including some that would send an All-Star-caliber player back his way. He’s filtering through them and plans to choose the one he deems best for the club, whether it helps them win now or in the future.

The 49-year-old disagreed with the notion that the Pacers will get pennies on the dollar for PG-13, suggesting instead that other clubs are becoming even more aggressive with their offers.

George averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.6 steals on 46.1 percent shooting in his seventh campaign in Indy.

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The Chicago Bulls and Jimmy Butler made sure they were on the same page as they headed toward a summer of uncertainty.

Bulls executives met with Butler in Chicago on Monday to convey the message that they value the three-time All-Star and don’t intend to move him, sources told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

The feeling is mutual, as Butler fully intends to stay with the franchise that drafted him with the 30th pick in 2011. His contract sees him earn $19 million per year through 2020.

However, the front office will do their due diligence and listen to trade offers, similar to last year at the draft and earlier this season at the trade deadline. Butler drew significant interest across the league, with the most notable suitor being the Boston Celtics, who offered a bounty of draft picks.

The possibility of a trade, however, remains slim. Chicago plans to exercise the player options of both Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade to make yet another playoff push with the “Three Alphas.” Moving Butler would cut sharply against this plan.

Butler posted a career season, averaging 23.9 point, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.9 steals as he continues to blossom into an elite two-way wing.