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Celtics Lose Stiemsma to Timberwolves, Sign Collins and Christmas

(NESN.com)

Greg Stiemsma is pulling a reverse Kevin Garnett and leaving the Boston Celtics to join the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team Garnett spent the first 12 seasons of his career with. Stiemsma signed a one year $3 million offer sheet from the Timberwolves.

Since the Celtics don’t own Stiemsma’s Birds rights and are over the NBA’s salary cap, the signing of an offer sheet was merely a formality. The most money the Celtics could have offered the second-year center was the $1.9 million bi-annual exception. It is unknown whether or not the Celtics made Stiemsma such an offer.

Stiemsma averaged 3 points, 3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in his lone season in Boston. Stiemsma joined the Celtics for training camp last year on a non-guaranteed deal and impressed the team enough to stick around for the whole season.

Celtics Respond By Signing Collins

With news of Stiemsma’s departure, the Celtics acted quickly to secure depth at center by signing 12 year-veteran, Jason Collins. Collins spent the last three season with the Atlanta Hawks. Collins signed a one year deal for the the veteran minimum.

Collins fits into the Celtics culture of basketball in the way he literally takes the ‘basket’ out of basketball. No one scores against Collins and he won’t score against anyone. Collins intimidates, pushes people around and can guard big men one-on-one maybe better than anyone in basketball not named Garnett, just don’t expect him to do anything else.

On his career Collins has averaged under 4 points and 4 rebounds despite averaging more than 21 minutes a game. Collins will back up Garnett and Chris Wilcox on the Celtics depth chart at center, and will be used to defend the likes of Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, and Roy Hibbert in isolated situations.

Celtics Add Summer League Standout to Training Camp Roster

Summer league standout, Dionte Christmas, will be joining the Celtics for training camp on a non-guaranteed deal. Christmas averaged 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 10 summer league contests.

Christmas has previously played overseas and claims he is passing up on a lot of money abroad to chase his dream of playing in the NBA.

Christmas is a 6-5 combo guard who will provide depth to start the season with Avery Bradley expected to miss up to half the season. Christmas will battle for 1-2 roster spots with fellow summer league standout, Jamar Smith, and second round pick Kris Joseph.

The Celtics roster now sits at the league maximum, 15, though three of those spots are filled with non-guaranteed contracts. I expect the Celtics to sign one or two more veterans before training camp begins at the end of September

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