Brad Stevens, Celtics value Jayson Tatum's versatility

Brad Stevens, Celtics value Jayson Tatum's versatility

BOSTON – When it comes to NBA workouts, they typically account for a small portion of what goes into the decision for teams to select one player over another.

But when it came to Jayson Tatum, his workout for the Celtics earlier this week cemented Boston’s decision to select Tatum with the No. 3 overall pick Thursday night.

“He’s a really skilled player, really talented scorer,” coach Brad Stevens told a pool reporter on Thursday during the NBA draft. “Great kid, great work ethic. We’re excited to have him aboard.”


Celtics president Rich Gotham said that Tatum has been a favorite of Danny Ainge, the team’s president of basketball operations, for several months.

Tatum worked out for Ainge and the Celtics’ front office out West earlier this month, and did a second workout for Boston on Monday in Waltham, Mass., in front of Stevens and his assistant coaches.

Stevens was impressed with Tatum’s consistency.

“He never changed his expression,” Stevens said. “Never changed his expression, went at a high tempo, but when he missed a shot he never showed anything but resolve to make the next one.”

And the workout came with Tatum feeling less than his usual self, something the Celtics didn't learn about until after it was over.

Stevens said there wasn’t anything about Tatum’s workout that led him to believe he was anything less than at full strength.

“You could tell afterward; he was hurting a little bit afterwards,” Stevens said. “He got in Sunday night, got in late, worked out early Monday morning so he could get to New York (for the draft ceremonies).”

And while there are questions as to where he’ll play for the Celtics, Stevens sees that as one of the 6-foot-8 forward’s greatest strengths.

“The biggest thing is that we really value his versatility,” Stevens said. “A couple years ago, I talked about how we were thin on guys that could play a number of different positions, when you talk about, really, two (shooting guard), three (small forward), four (power forward). Now we’re starting to really . . . we’ve got a lot of positionless players that can dribble, pass, and shoot. That’s a good thing.”

Celtics should get word Friday on Irving's status

Celtics should get word Friday on Irving's status

BOSTON -- Kyrie Irving has had a second opinion on his sore left knee, and a decision on what the next step will be is expected to be made within the next day or two, according to a league source.

 The medical officials involved in the initial evaluation will meet with those who examined him today, to compare notes and determine what’s in the best interest of Irving going forward.

 While surgery is a possibility, the source indicated that the current course of treatment, which consists primarily of rest, remains a consideration. 
The concerns regarding Irving’s knee are to be of the short-term variety, with the source indicating reports that there are long-term concerns with the knee are “just wrong.” 

 In his first season with the Celtics, Irving has appeared in 60 games in what has been one of his most efficient seasons as a scorer. 
He’s averaging 24.4 points per game while shooting a career-high 49.1 percent from the field. The five-time all-star is shooting 40.8 percent from 3-point range this season in addition to dishing out 5.1 assists along with grabbing a career-high 3.8 rebounds.


Celtics assistant McCarty to become coach at Evansville

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Celtics assistant McCarty to become coach at Evansville

BOSTON – The first member of the Brad Stevens’ coaching tree is about to take off. Celtics assistant coach Walter McCarty is expected to be named head coach at Evansville University.

McCarty, an Evansville, Ind. native, was selected over a field of candidates that included former Indiana University standout Calbert Cheaney and David Ragland who, like McCarty, is an Evansville native.

The 6-foot-10 McCarty, a 10-year NBA veteran with seven-plus spent with the Celtics, has been part of Stevens’ coaching staff since 2013. The former Celtic has been a college assistant coach at Louisville (2007-2010) in addition to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers (2010-2011).