The Boston Celtics have extended a few more training camp invitations for later this month, inviting former D-League Defensive Player of the Year Stephane Lasme along with former LSU Tiger Chris Johnson and Jamar Smith, a rookie guard out of Southern Indiana.
As ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg points out in his report, the Celtics had previously extended camp invites to Matt Janning, DeShawn Sims and Jeff Adrien, but those players all opted for greener pastures - Janning in Phoenix, Sims in Greece and Adrien in Golden State. The reason those players all opted for greener pastures, if you'll allow me to hypothesize for a second, is because Boston has 14 players with guaranteed contracts already along with four others already fighting for the 15th spot.
That said, the three players above probably don't have the greatest of opportunities with the Celtics either, though I'd handicap Lasme as the favorite if any of them are able to make the final roster.
A second round pick of the Golden State Warriors in 2007, Lasme showed off his defensive prowess in the D-League by averaging 2.6 blocks and a steal which eventually earned him a call-up with the Miami Heat to end the season despite unoutstanding (it's a word) averages of 10.6 points and 7.5 boards. For the past two seasons, Lasme's been putting up similar numbers in the Euroleague, playing both for Partizan in Serbia and Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Israel. He was originally slated to play with Spartak in Russia this season, but had to return home due to technical issues regarding his green card application in the United States.
As for the other two players, Chris Johnson is an excellent shot blocker who bounced around in Turkey and Poland last season after playing for the Orlando Magic / Philadelphia 76ers combined team in the Orlando Summer League. With Turow, the team in Poland with which Johnson ended the season, he averaged 4.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks while seeing less than 12 minutes of action per game.
Smith, a 6-foot-3 scorer who transferred to Southern Indiana after beginning his college career at Illinois, averaged 21.6 points while shooting 42% from the field last season for the Division 2 Screaming Eagles.
The Celtics have also worked out, or plan to work out, Adam Morrison, Rashad McCants, Cuttino Mobley, Trenton Hassell and Mario West prior to training camp according to multiple sources.Are you ready for some basketball?