Jeff Green Still Without Official Deal While Celtics Announce Four Signings
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The Boston Celtics have had quite a successful free-agency period, which helped to restore depth to a roster decimated by injury at season's end. Chris Forsberg of ESPN reports that the signings of Keyon Dooling, Jason Collins, Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas have formally been announced.
There remains only one player, Jeff Green, who has yet to finalize the details of his contract for the upcoming season.
Keyon Dooling never quite lived up to expectations last season as the backup point guard for the team. However, the move does provide a true reserve for Rajon Rondo. Dooling averaged four points per game on 40.5 percent shooting, as well as 1.1 assists over 14.4 minutes per game.
According to Ben Watanabe of NESN, Dooling was a tremendous locker room influence and an emotional leader that helped to keep the team performing at their best. The C's likely brought Dooling back in order to be a stabilizing force for many of the younger players. He'll also provide an emotional spark that will greatly improve team chemistry and hold the whole team accountable.
Jason Collins isn't going to meet the C's needs as a backup center, as he only averaged 1.3 points and 1.6 rebounds in 10 minutes per game. However, he does add depth and is a legitimate seven-footer that can defend the low post extremely well. He is likely to see the court more at the beginning of the year, before Chris Wilcox returns. After that, Collins will likely see his minutes dwindle due to his inability to score or rebound. But he'll still be useful in matchups with powerful low-post centers.
Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas both have partially guaranteed contracts and will likely be competing to get the final spot on the Celtics' roster. Christmas had a breakout Summer League, averaging 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, which likely gave the Celtics the confidence to move E'Twaun Moore for Courtney Lee.
Smith had a strong summer league as well, and was a force overseas, where he averaged 14.8 points and 2.5 assists for BK Prostov last year.
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Because both Smith and Christmas are guards, Kris Joseph will likely make the final roster while they compete for the last spot. Based on their Summer League performances, Christmas is the clear favorite over Smith to make the team. Christmas showed a greater ability to run the offense and develop in a short period of time.
As long as Christmas continues to show the promise and drive he played with over the last month, he is likely to make the team and may even find his way into the rotation.
According to A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast Sports Net, the Celtics have yet to work through the remaining details of the deal that would bring Jeff Green back to Boston. Blakely states that Danny Ainge is confident an agreement will be reached, but no details on the holdup have been discussed publicly. Gary Washburn of Boston.com reports that Greens' agent, David Falk, is confident they will soon work out the remaining details of the four-year, $36 million framework the team and his client agreed to earlier this month.
Jeff Green missed all of last season due to a surgery he needed to correct an aortic aneurysm found by the Celtics' doctors. It is likely the two sides are trying to work through how much the first year of Green's deal will be, as the Celtics are up against the luxury tax after signing of Jason Terry to the full mid-level exception.
They may also be trying to leave enough room to allow for the signing of an additional player during the season. I imagine a deal will be reached in the next week or two, and the Boston Celtics will finish out their roster by adding the very promising and young Jeff Green.
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