Celtics Trade 3 Players and Pick for Courtney Lee

The Celtics are finalizing a trade for Courtney Lee sending Jajuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, and Sean Williams to the Houston Rockets. E’Twaun and Sean have non-guaranteed contracts so they will most likely be cut. Johnson has stated that he will demand a trade from the Rockets immediately. Not sure how its going to work out for him, word is the Rockets are really high on him. Honestly, by the way that he has played during the summer league, he should be happy that someone is still high on him.

This is a tough blow for Moore who had said just earlier today that he expected to play the season with the Celtics and was having a great summer league. Everyone will remember his game last year where he put up 16 points in only 18 minutes against the Magic.

With this trade the Celtics roster is really starting to take shape. Props to Danny Ainge for the work that he has done this summer. I am not sure any other GM in the game could have done a better job than he did. He has balanced Celtics in a place where they are title contenders, while also building for the future.

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Celtics Summer League: Orlando Review

The Celtics led by coach Ty Lue had a bright start going 4-1 in the Orlando summer league, losing only to Detroit and beating up on the Magic, Pacers, Nets and Thunder respectively.

Player College Previous Team Position Age Height
Craig Brackins Iowa State Maine Red Claws PF 24 6-10
Dionte Christmas Temple Rethymno (Greece) SG 25 6-5
Jonathan Gibson New Mexico St Trabzonspor (Turkey) G 24 6-1
Jajuan Johnson Purdue Celtics PF 23 6-10
Kris Joseph Syracuse SF 23 6-7
Stephane Lasme Massachusetts Obradoiro (Spain) PF 29 6-8
Fab Melo Syracuse C 22 7-0
E’Twaun Moore Purdue Celtics PG 23 6-4
Jamar Smith Southern Indiana BK Prostejov (Czech) SG 25 6-3
Jared Sullinger Ohio State PF 20 6-9
Sean Williams Boston College Celtics / Mavericks PF / C 25 6-10
Larry Owens Oral Roberts Nets SF 29 6-7

Suprises in Orlando

Kris Joseph

Showed great length and wingspan (6-11), was flying all over the court. While Joseph had up and down shooting games, he found ways to make his mark by defending and hitting the glass. His shooting will improve, he has good form and is very confident on midrange jumpers, it just doesn’t extend to the three-point line yet.

Dionte Christmas

Got better and better as the week went along, finishing with his best game against the Magic with 21 points, including 19 in the first half where he had a stretch of 11 in a row. The surprise about Christmas was that he showed an all-around game. Known at Temple as a scorer and mainly a shooter, Christmas played tough defense (3 steals) and hit the boards throughout the week.

Jared Sullinger’s Passing Ability

Everyone knew Sully could play. If his back holds up and he adjusts to the size of the NBA everyone believes that he will be a steal. What we didn’t know about was his ability to pass. Faced with constant double teams, Sullinger looked and found the open man and made it easier on the guards as the Celtics looked to run their offense through him more and more throughout the week. He won’t see those double teams in the NBA, but the vision and ability to pass is only another positive to take from the first round pick.

Up and Down

E’Twaun Moore

In the one loss of the week, Moore was clearly outplayed Pistons guard Brandon Knight, seemingly struggling with the quickness. For a guy who is described as cool as extremely calm, Moore was frazzled from the start. The rest of the week Moore shined and showed his ability to run the point. He made good decisions on pick and rolls and had a great assist to turnover ratio. In the final game, he got into a little scoring battle with Christmas as they poured it on against the Magic.

Jujuan Johnson

Johnson showed that he could shoot over most players, but not much else. He hasn’t added much if any weight to his frame from his rookie season and was having a tough time on the blocks going against other players. He rebounded well during the week but was sometimes a little slow on his rotations. I’m holding Johnson to a higher standard because I expected big things from the former Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

Fab Melo

Melo truly had an up and down week, shocking everyone in the gym one game with a dribble drive and dish on one play and then throwing an outlet pass to Kris Joseph while he was sitting on the bench. He had some great blocks and showed good defensive ability, but didn’t have much of an idea on how to play defense against the pick and roll. It seems that he is going to need a full year under Doc to understand the complex Boston defense and figure out the rotations.

All Star Break Grades – Shooting Guards

Player

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Blocks

Steals

+/-

PER

Ray Allen

14.5

3.1

2.8

.14

.79

+73

15.3

Positives: At 36, Ray is showing that he still has it. He is 3rd on the team in minutes played with 33.9 per game and is constantly in motion. Due to a great diet, conditioning, and hard work Ray has aged the best out of the big three. He has taken less physical contact than both Paul and KG but the way his body has kept up is a testament to Ray. He is shooting 43.5% from 3 and almost 94% from the line. Ray opens up the floor for everyone else with his shooting. The way that he runs around on the floor, not only works to get him open, but wears out the opposing player.

Negatives: Can’t really take players off the dribble. Other than defending Kobe Bryant, Ray is just an average defender. He needs to cut down on his turnovers, because when he is not the primary ball handler he should be able to average less than 2 a game.

With no other real quality shooting guards on the roster Doc has to rely on Ray in both wins and losses. Hopefully his legs will be able to handle the rest of the strenuous season because if the Celtics are going to make a run, they’re going to need Ray’s shooting.

Grade: A-

Player

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Blocks

Steals

+/-

PER

Marquis Daniels

2.8

1.7

1.3

.26

.43

+7

6.0

Positives: Marquis is a smart player, who rebounds and hustles. His skills aren’t the greatest. But he defends hard and is a favorite of Doc’s.

Negatives: Daniels is having a terrible season so far. He has lost his minutes in recent games to Sasha Pavlovic. In the last five games he has played 14 minutes combined and scored 0 points. He had been turning over the ball and was looking frantic out there. Not something you expect from an 8 year vet. In the game against the Thunder the other night his +/- was -17 in only 5 minutes of playing time.

Grade: D

Player

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Blocks

Steals

+/-

PER

E’Twaun Moore

3

.7

1

.13

.3

-4

8.8

Positives: E’Twaun has been a big surprise for the Celtics. People weren’t expecting much from the second-round pick. He had his best game of the season against the Orlando Magic in the comeback game. He had a career high 16 points and shot 4-4 from three in only 18 minutes. The emergence of Avery Bradley has severely cut into Moore’s minutes as the season’s progressed. He has a positive future for the Celtics but from here on out, I do not see him getting any big minutes this season.

Negatives: Still not sure where E’Twaun fits, is he a point guard or a shooting guard? When he comes off the bench he needs to provide a spark for the Celtics every game like he did in the Magic game. It’s a tough job to do but he has to do but it doesn’t come easy for 2nd round picks in the NBA. ­

If the Celtics had more depth on the team, I would be guessing that E’Twaun may be spending this season with their D-League affiliate. Unfortunately the Celtics do not have that luxury and E’Twaun is going to get only sporadic playing time for the rest of the season.

Grade: C+

 

Click here for Point Guard Grades

Signs of Life on Causeway

At this point I don’t think anyone knows what to say about the Celtics. Two weeks ago they were heading straight to the grave. But maybe we spoke too soon. Showing signs of life, the C’s picked up their third straight win last night, beating the Magic 91-83 in dramatic fashion. With Pierce leading the way, the Celtics overcame a 27 point deficit to hand the Magic an even more embarrassing loss than earlier this week’s 31 point massacre. E’Twaun Moore was huge off the bench, putting in 16 of his own, including a clutch three pointer down the stretch. He’s been my pick since day one. The kid has a big future in the NBA, just give him some time to develop. Oh, and in case you forgot, this turnaround has been without Rondo and Allen, making it even more confusing as to what’s going on with the Celts! By the way, congrats to Ray and his wife for welcoming in their fourth son, Wystan Ryan Allen, Wednesday night.

Anyways, the team has talent. That’s been obvious since day one. The surprise came when the talent didn’t mesh during games. The Celts have showed signs of brilliance, but seemed to struggle in finishing games out down the stretch. Granted, digging yourself a 27 point hole isn’t great either, but have they turned it around? Two weeks ago they would have fought back to within a few points, had the momentum on their side, and then with 5 minutes left let the fire go out and lose by double digits, letting us all down. We knew they were a better team than they were showing us. It’s still early in the short season but if anything, the past three games have given hope to Celtics fans. Maybe the flame is still burning on Causeway Street.

Celtics Look Ahead

Well the Celt’s preseason has come and gone in a blink of an eye, as it should considering they only mustered up two games. It was great to see them win at the garden last night, but the game served a higher purpose. With 13 guaranteed contracts and the likelihood they’ll only carry 14 players out of camp, the C’s only have one roster spot open for the likes of Greg Stiemsma, Gilbert Brown, Jamal Sampson, and Michael Sweetney. In my opinion, and based on how much he played and how he performed, Stiemsma’s going to be the man left standing. He put in 7 points off the bench last night, but ran the floor and showed how he could be a defensive presence for the Celts. None of the others really stood out in either preseason game, besides Sweetney for obvious reasons. It was like Danny called Vince Wilfork to come play. In the six minutes he played, the crowd erupted at the garden each time he merely touched the ball. When he scored his first and only bucket, on a failed dunk attempt, the garden lit up like it was Game 7 vs. the Lakers, circa 2008. I kind of felt bad for the guy but such is life.

With the season opener only three days away, many question how strong the Celtics will be. There’s been a lot of doubt in everyone’s mind as to how they’ll perform. It may not be as promising as past years, but I have faith. My pick for this year is E’Twaun Moore. Mark my word, this kid’s going to do big things. His quickness, vision, shooting, and ability to play to the people around him are going to come in handy this year, especially with the veteran presence the Celts have. I think we’re going to see good things come out of Moore this year. I’m excited to see him and the rest of the team in action come Christmas. Should be a good game.