This notebook of Celtics news and notes discusses some of the Celtics organization’s newer additions.
Earlier this week, the Toronto Star reported that Kelly Olynyk’s plantar fasciitis will prevent him from playing for the Canadian men’s basketball team this summer. Canada head coach and Trailblazers assistant Jay Triano explained the situation:
He’s so keen about wanting to play, but the Celtics had some concerns.
However, that did not stop the 22-year-old from watching practice on Saturday with Canada general manager Steve Nash:
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) August 3, 2013
Danny Ainge and company are no strangers to injuries, so they are certainly going to take precautions with the 2013 first-round pick. After Olynyk showcased himself as one of the best NBA Summer League players, it is important for the Celtics to get him ready for a season in which he could be a primary asset to a team that will looking for offense.
IVERSON OFFICIALLY GOING TO TURKEY
There is more international news with the Celtics’ 2013 draft picks as Colton Iverson signed a one-year contract a few days ago to become a member of Besiktas, courtesy of MassLive.com. The Celtics continue to hold Iverson’s NBA rights, but fans will most likely not be able to see him on the TD Garden floor until 2014-15:
The Celtics liked Iverson enough to spend cash to acquire his rights on draft night, but did not have a roster spot to keep the 7-footer. The team has 15 players under contract, the league maximum, even after waiving power forward Shavlik Randolph on Thursday.
After owning both the worst total and offensive rebounding rates in the league last season, the Celtics have made some strides to rectify the situation. They hope Iverson eventually can provide them with an interior presence after his strong performance in the Orlando Summer League:
Especially impressive: He collected 14 offensive rebounds in only 83 total minutes.
It will be interesting to see how Iverson develops over the next few years, but for now the Celtics hope that a full year from Jared Sullinger will be a step in the right direction with the rebounding situation.
NO EASY TASK FOR STEVENS
In addition to rebounding, Brad Stevens is focusing on many areas for the Celtics to improve this offseason. He recently added another person to his staff to help accomplish those goals, as ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg discusses:
The Boston Celtics have hired former Butler guard Ronald Nored in a player development role, a source told ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman.
There are many impressive qualities about the 23-year-old former Butler guard, who has been excited to coach since the final game of his senior year for the Bulldogs:
Despite his age, Nored is considered a rising star in the coaching ranks and spent his post-Butler days as an assistant at the University of South Alabama and coaching high school ball outside of Indianapolis.
Nored, who will also be helping with the Maine Red Claws, is the fourth Celtics hire from Butler this offseason as Stevens hopes to have some continuity heading into this season. However, Stevens’ job will obviously not be easy. Bob Ryan elaborates in his Sunday column:
We all know the primary issue: Can a college coach jump into the 2013 NBA without any kind of NBA experience? Brad Stevens has none whatsoever. He did not play in the league. He has not been an assistant coach in the league. He has not been a video coordinator in the league. He has not even been a “one lump or two?” pick-the-draft-choice-up-at-the-airport gofer in the league. And recent NBA history has not been kind to folks such as him.
Ryan details that the late 1960’s and early 1970’s included many coaches who successfully jumped right from the college ranks, such as Butch van Breda Kolff, Joe Mullaney, Dick Motta, Bill Fitch, Cotton Fitzsimmons and John MacLeod:
So Danny is trying to buck a three-decade run of coaching failure here. Danny is not stupid, I assure you. He had Brad Stevens targeted from the get-go. He doesn’t need to have the list of failed college coaches recited to him. He’s competed in one form or another against all of them. He just thinks Brad Stevens is the Chosen One.
He’s certainly not alone.
Jim Boeheim had this to say. “[Brad Stevens is] the best young coach I have seen in my time.” Consider that the Syracuse mentor is hardly unfamiliar with the NBA. He’s been an assistant with Team USA and its NBA stars and megastars through victorious world championships and Olympics.
Better yet, how about this from Mike Krzyzewski, the head coach of Team USA? “He’ll do great with the Celtics,” says the man who came this close to being coach of the Celtics in 1990 himself. “It’s a great hire by Danny Ainge.”
Of course, the deck is stacked against Stevens, but the Celtics do have some pieces that could lead to postseason wins for Boston in the near future. The lengthy contract for Stevens shows that the organization has confidence in him. Ryan says that it is a great situation even if Stevens does not succeed with the Celtics:
It’s a brilliant move for Brad Stevens, for sure. He pockets the money (more than $3 million per), no matter what. When the six years is up he either keeps going or picks the best available college job.
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