With training camp about to begin and the Celtics looking to add a 20th player to their camp roster, they reportedly had come to terms last week with 6-foot-8 forward Yante Maten. Now, Keith Smith of RealGM reports that the C's never executed that signing and instead have signed guard Bryce Brown.
Both players were All-SEC selections. Brown, a 6-3 guard, led Auburn to the Final Four last season, and Maten was signed by the Miami Heat out of Georgia in 2018. Brown went undrafted this past June and played for the Sacramento Kings' Summer League team.
Maten played two games for the Heat last season and spent the rest of the season with their G-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He could still find his way to the Celtics' G-League team, the Maine Red Claws, where Brown is likely headed after camp.
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NEWPORT, R.I. -- You can add Kyrie Irving to the growing list of NBA players who are in favor of the NBA preseason being shortened.
He was asked about it on Tuesday after the Celtics had completed the first day of two-a-day practices.
"Hell yeah," was Irving's response when asked if he liked the shortened preseason. "It's like, you get so used to playing eight games. It's a month. I like [the shortened preseason], we get games started earlier. We get the season started."
But the shortened preseason is an even bigger plus for a Celtics team that has 14 players with guaranteed contracts, 10 of whom are entering their first season in Boston.
With such a heightened level of unfamiliarity with one another, having fewer games and more practice time should be a plus.
"We need it; it's a necessity for us," Irving said. "Everyone needs it. For us, we need it more than ever, especially the young guys we have on the team. We have to learn on the fly."
Boston returns just four players last season. And from that group, Al Horford is the lone starter back from a team that advanced to the Eastern Conference finals after finishing the regular season with the best record (53-29) in the East.
Even if the Celtics would have returned more players from last season, there would still be a need to spend time getting to know one another.
That's among the key focal points of training camp, which is in Newport for the first time since Brad Stevens' inaugural season in 2013.
"I guess it's proof I'm not superstitious," quipped Stevens, whose team went on to win just 25 games that year. "But it's good to be together."
Especially considering all the new faces to the mix, which Stevens said was a big reason why the team elected to have the start of training camp in Newport as opposed to its current practice facility in Waltham.
"Spending time together," said Stevens when asked why the team decided to return to Salve Regina University. "That was it; that's it. At the end of the day, it was about eating dinner last night together, eating all three meals together today. If we were doing that all at Waltham, we might hang out a little bit (after practice) but not like we are now. That's a positive."
A decision on returning to Newport wasn't made until early September, after the Celtics had completed the trade for Irving.
"We kind of rushed into this in early September, after the trade was done," Stevens said. "We wanted to make sure that, again, these guys spend as much time as possible together."
Marcus Morris was not at training camp on Day One. He's currently on trial, along with his twin brother Markieff (of the Washington Wizards), in Arizona. Both are facing two assault charges stemming from an incident in 2015. Morris was acquired this summer from Detroit in exchange for Avery Bradley . . . Several coaches were in attendance at Tuesday's practice, including UConn women's coach Geno Aueriemma.