Boston Celtics Rumors
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he has had preliminary contract talks with the agents for forwards Tyler Zeller and Jared Sullinger. Both players are eligible to be offered extensions prior to the Oct. 31 deadline, though it remains unclear whether the Celtics will choose that route for either. “Obviously, those are two guys that we like moving forward,” Ainge said. “So, yeah, there will be more discussions with both of them, probably during the month of October.”
Forward Perry Jones, who was acquired in a trade with the Thunder in July, is also eligible for an extension. But he is not a lock to make the final roster this fall. Zeller, 25, appears the most likely of the three to be in line for an extension. The 7-footer averaged 10.2 points and 5.7 rebounds last season and shot a team-high 54.9 percent from the field. Zeller’s win share of 6.5 — a metric that measures the amount of victories contributed by a player — was the highest on the team.
Boston has agreed to nonguaranteed deals with guards Coty Clarke (Arkansas), Corey Walden (Eastern Kentucky), and Levi Randolph (Alabama), and forward Malcolm Miller (Holy Cross). All four players will take part in training camp, bringing the preseason roster to its maximum of 20 players. The Celtics will hold practices in Waltham during the last week of September before leaving for Europe Oct. 2. They will face Olimpia Milano in Milan Oct. 6 and Real Madrid in Madrid Oct. 8. “I think it can help [team chemistry],” Ainge said of the trip.
The Celtics and the NBA Development League’s Maine Red Claws have extended their exclusive affiliation through the 2017-18 season. The teams have had a partnership since the Red Claws’ opening season in 2009-10, and in 2012 the Celtics became Maine’s lone affiliate and took over its basketball operations. Last season, the Celtics assigned a total of six players to the Red Claws, including former first-round picks James Young and Marcus Smart.
No, Goran Dragic isn’t upset about the Heat trading brother Zoran. In fact, Zoran’s representation said the Heat and Zoran mutually agreed a trade would be beneficial so that he could play more. Zoran was dealt to Boston and ended up signing in Russia.