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.

Celtics sign head coach Brad Stevens to contract extension

Celtics sign head coach Brad Stevens to contract extension

Brad Stevens isn't going anywhere.

The Boston Celtics announced Wednesday they have signed their head coach to a contract extension. The terms of the deal were not announced.

Stevens, 43, is in his seventh season as head coach of the Celtics. He was hired by Boston in 2013 after a very successful run with the Butler University men's basketball team.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Wizards, which begins Thursday at 11 a.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at noon. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

“Brad is one of the most intelligent and hard-working coaches in the game today,” Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said in a team press release. “More importantly, his character and integrity have contributed to a culture that we all highly value here. Brad is a great teammate, and a leader people want to follow. We are honored to have him with us as we continue to pursue our next championship.”

Stevens' 318 wins are the fourth-most in Celtics history, trailing only Doc Rivers (416), Tommy Heinsohn (427) and Red Auerbach (795). 

The Celtics have reached the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, including the current 2019-20 campaign. 

Brad Wanamaker enjoying 'the journey' as key reserve in Celtics' playoff run

Brad Wanamaker enjoying 'the journey' as key reserve in Celtics' playoff run

Prior to heading into the NBA’s restart bubble, Boston’s Brad Wanamaker had a plan.

“Stay consistent. Try to stay in the rotation,” Wanamaker told NBC Sports Boston. “Just enjoy the journey. It’s been great so far.”

Especially for Wanamaker, who has been a steady presence off the Celtics bench in their seven seeding games in Orlando. 

And with an eighth and final tuneup before the playoffs start, Wanamaker has achieved most of his goals this season with the playoffs around the corner. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Wizards, which begins Thursday at 11 a.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at noon. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

But what Wanamaker has done in the seven games in the bubble goes beyond keeping the playmaking seat warm for the likes of Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart. He’s heating things up with his play that ranks among the best players under the bubble. 

Wanamaker’s return was a bit unexpected considering he played sparingly last season and the Celtics already had a roster of playmaking versatility.

He has a net rating of +23.9, which is second only to current Los Angeles Clipper and former Celtic Marcus Morris Sr. (+24.0) among players to appear in at least five games in the bubble. Wanamaker’s net rating stands head and shoulders above any other Celtics player, with the next in line being Jayson Tatum at +14.0.

His play has been somewhat surprising, serving as a clear push-back on the notion that Boston has a weak bench. 

Other than Marcus Smart, Boston’s backups haven’t gotten much love this season. But in the bubble, a number of them have made the most of opportunities to play a more steady role, with Wanamaker near the top of that list. 

Alongside Smart, Wanamaker gives Boston a gritty defensive tandem that has made its mark. The duo has played in all seven bubble games for Boston, and has a net rating of 33.3 which ranks second on the team's two-man units to Wanamaker and Gordon Hayward (35.0) among tandems to play together in each of their seven games. 

While Wanamaker’s numbers paired with others are indeed impressive, his individual scoring (11.5 points on 65.2 percent shooting from the field) during Boston’s four-game winning streak has been among the keys to the team’s run of success lately. And while his play has been steady of late, his presence behind the scenes has been a constant all season. 

“A lot of guys look up to him,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said earlier this season. “He’s kind of been a quiet leader for us.”

Celtics Talk Podcast: Banner 18 in the bubble? Celtics' title chances getting stronger as postseason nears | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

The 31-year-old Wanamaker has been a voice in the ears of the team’s younger players, some of whom Wanamaker has found himself having to compete against for minutes. 

Like so many of them, he knows all too well what it feels like to sit on the bench and not play, unsure when — if at all — your number is going to be called. 

“Your mental can be really (expletive) up if you’re not playing like you want to play or you come into a situation and look for it to go a certain way and it doesn’t,” he said. “I’m constantly checking in on those guys. We have a very talented group of guys. You see it in the summer, preseason and some games … just try to stay in their ear so that when their time comes, they’re ready.”

Words he not only preaches, but also lives by with his play.