Celtics

Georges-Hunt takes a (long) shot at making the Celtics' roster

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Georges-Hunt takes a (long) shot at making the Celtics' roster

We've been taking a look at each player at the Celtics roster: Their strengths and their weaknesses, their ceiling and their floor. We conclude today with Marcus Georges-Hunt

BOSTON -- Who is Marcus Georges-Hunt?
 
Many within Celtics Nation sprinted to Google or whatever your search engine of choice is, to find out as much as they could about the former Georgia Tech standout, who signed a training camp deal with the Boston Celtics. 

RELATED: Click here for more Ceiling-to-Floor profiles.
 
Here’s the skinny:
 
Georges-Hunt is a 6-foot-5 college combo guard who has shown an ability to play -- and play well -- whatever position where he's needed in order for his team to be successful.
 
But there’s little hope that the undrafted Georges-Hunt will see a similar career trajectory as a professional.
 
But, hey, he has a training camp invite (after playing on Brooklyn’s summer league team, where he averaged 2.8 points in four games) which says he’s a player the Celtics deem at least worth taking a closer look at for the Maine Red Claws in training camp.  
 
The Ceiling for Georges-Hunt: 15-man roster
 
Georges-Hunt would have to play the absolute best basketball of his life and chances are that still won’t be enough for him to move up the depth chart past the slew of players on the bubble who have guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals such as his (he’ll get $25,000 if he’s cut).
 
The one thing Georges-Hunt showed in college was a steady level of improvement in most categories. 
                      
A double-digit scorer in each of his four seasons at Georgia Tech, Georges-Hunt’s scoring average went from 10.8 as a freshman to a career-best 16.7 points as a senior.
 
And in his final season, he connected on 34.2 percent of his 3s, shot 82.3 percent from the free-throw line and dished out 3.3 assists per game -- all career highs.
 
Georgia Tech moved him to the point guard position on Jan. 9 against Virginia. From that point on, he averaged 17.9 points and 3.8 assists per game.
 
Georges-Hunt’s versatility is indeed one of his strengths, but the 22-year-old will be hard-pressed to showcase that in camp with a Celtics team that’s extremely deep on the perimeter as well as at the wing position. 
 
The Floor for Georges-Hunt: D-League or overseas
 
Georges-Hunt was the last player signed by Boston and in all likelihood he’ll be the first cut. The greatest benefit for him is that being around the Celtics coaching staff and learning their system will benefit him greatly if he’s waived and then decides to sign with the Maine Red Claws. 
 
That in all likelihood will be the route taken by Georges-Hunt, an All-ACC performer last season.

How a Grizzlies rebuild could deliver Boston's next star

How a Grizzlies rebuild could deliver Boston's next star

As the Memphis Grizzlies reportedly entertain the possibility of a rebuild, the Celtics might have found the centerpiece of their next big deal, one that might only bolster their long-term ability to contend for a title.

ESPN reported Tuesday that the Grizzlies, for the first time, will begin entertaining trade offers for stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. The Celtics are owed a future first-round pick from the Grizzlies and the protections loosen in coming seasons.

After Memphis won 12 of its first 17 games to open the season, it appeared the pick, which is top-8 protected for 2019, might convey this season. But the Grizzlies are a mere 7-23 since Nov. 21 and have lost 12 of their past 13. 

With the second-worst record in the Western Conference but only the sixth-worst record in the NBA, the Grizzlies seem to be coming to grips with the fact that it might be better to move their aging stars and embrace a rebuild in hopes of a quick turnaround that might take the sting out of the pick they will eventually deliver. In trading their stars, the Grizzlies almost assuredly will collect a top 8 pick this season.

Further out it gets murkier for Memphis. Quick rebuilds do not typically happen. And the Celtics would reap the benefits if the Grizzlies struggle to contend in the aftermath of an overhaul, even if that pick ultimately doesn’t convey for two more years. The Grizzlies’ pick is top-6 protected in 2020 before becoming completely unprotected in 2021. 

Memphis’ willingness to overhaul their roster is no small development for the Celtics, whose assets have been diminishing in value as some NBA rivals outkick expectations. The Celtics are set to collect the Sacramento Kings 2019 first-round pick, if it’s not No. 1 overall, but the Kings are still battling for a playoff spot in the West, sitting 24-23 entering Tuesday’s action.

With a horde of East teams clogging up the bottom of the NBA standings, that means the Kings pick — once dreamed to be a top-five selection — is currently projected to land closer to No. 10 overall. 

The Celtics were staring at the less-than-optimal possibility of collecting all three of their owed first-round picks this season (the Clippers could potentially deliver a non-lottery first-rounder). But the Grizzlies pick pushing into future years gives the Celtics a lot more flexibility in using it a deal.

Not only does the value rise as the protections loosen but the Celtics can dangle that pick as part of a package for a big star — say, Anthony Davis, or his ilk — and it’s more attractive than if the Celtics were forced to make that selection in June.

The Celtics, of course, don’t have to move the pick in a deal but it just seems like the most likely scenario. Boston could also keep the prime selection and try to build young depth to an already talent-filled roster, especially if there’s not a big fish available on the trade market that they desire to chase.

Entering Tuesday, the Celtics projected to collect picks No. 13 (Sacramento), 19 (Clippers), and 24 (their own) based on current standings. 
 

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Brad Stevens becomes fifth Celtics coach with 250 career regular-season wins

Brad Stevens becomes fifth Celtics coach with 250 career regular-season wins

BOSTON -- There were no celebratory cake or poppin’ bottle moments, but the accomplishment nonetheless was noteworthy. 

Boston’s 107-99 win over the Miami Heat on Monday was victory No. 250 in the regular season for Brad Stevens as the Celtics’ head coach. 

Just to put that in perspective, there are only four coaches in the franchise’s illustrious history with more regular-season triumphs: Red Auerbach (795); Tommy Heinsohn (427); Doc Rivers (416) and K.C. Jones (308).

The win total isn’t what stands out about Stevens’ still-developing legacy. He knows as well as anyone that winning an NBA title, something he has yet to do, is the ultimate criteria for greatness with this franchise. The four men ahead of him on the list all won at least one NBA title in Boston.

But what makes what Stevens has done thus far so impressive, is the fact that he has been around long enough to do it. 

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The NBA -- pro sports as a whole, honestly -- has delivered an increasing amount of impatience with coaches who don’t deliver instant results. 

Stevens came into the league as part of one of the largest coaching shifts in league history. Fourteen teams hired new head coaches in 2013, the Celtics among them. 

And of those 14, the only ones still with their respective teams, are Stevens, Brett Brown of Philadelphia and ex-Celtics coach Doc Rivers, now with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Continuity as well as coaching acumen come into play when you’re talking about doing this job for an extended period of time. Miami’s Erik Spoelstra has been the Heat’s head coach since 2008 after having served in a variety of roles within the organization for more than a decade. That experience exposed him to how important the culture of an organization can be to a coach's longevity, something he recognizes as having helping Stevens.

“We wish there were more places like Boston that have great ownership, management, and stability,” Spoelstra said. “They know how tough this profession of coaching is. Then when you add in an extremely talented coach, like Brad, there is a reason why they have banners and reasons why they have had success. You have to have continuity and consistency practically when times get tough. They have had tough times and they have been able to weather those and take the benefits.

"Brad is a tremendous coach and has been a great addition to the league bringing in a different background, a college background, and has done a phenomenal job.”

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