The Celtics made two draft picks the other night but indicated that they would be interested in undrafted free agents. Ainge then reached out to Pitt's Gilbert Brown and while that doesn't guarantee anything because he can't sign a free agent deal until the lockout ends, all signs point to him at least getting a training camp invite and partially guaranteed contract.
Boston is not the only team interested in bringing Brown to training camp. Phoenix and a few others have reached out, but Brown is leaning toward the Celtics because of the 30-minute conversation he had with Ainge early Friday morning.
The team even went so far as to bring him into Waltham yesterday, much like they did with their official draft choices (though with less hoopla and no press conference). The team indicated that they gave each rookie some conditioning programs and some homework to take with them over the summer (anticipating that it could be a while before they'll be allowed to have contact again). Brown in particular will keep himself busy (and paid).
Brown’s agent, T.J. Doyle, has said Brown will sign with a German team if the NBA enters a lockout. But Doyle is negotiating to include a buyout clause that would allow Brown to return to the NBA when the potential lockout ends.
So who is Gilbert Brown and why should we care about him? I'm glad you asked.
Here's what Draft Express had to say about him.
Though he is limited as a scorer at the collegiate level, Brown compensates by displaying excellent intangibles on the offensive end. He is a willing passer and teammate, exemplified by his career-high 1.60-assist/turnover ratio. Furthermore, he knows his limitations as a player and he rarely forces anything on the offensive end.
He is equally steady on defense, confirming his reputation as one of the most effective and versatile defenders at the collegiate level. He is a very good one-on-one defender and his quick hands, length, and excellent lateral quickness allow him to stay in front all but the quickest collegiate guards. With his ideal physical tools, toughness and college pedigree, there is no doubt that he has the potential to develop into an elite defender a the next level.
Ok, so I already used the Tony Allen 2.0 line on Smooge, but this time I mean it. Doc and Danny clearly missed having Tony around to hassle opposing small forwards and Jeff Green isn't really the answer there. Besides, I'm starting to hear that Moore might compare more favorably to Delonte West than Allen, which suits me just fine.
The Celtics obviously need help in the front court, but they also have needed depth on the wing, and both Moore and Gilbert Brown appear to be solid options to provide that depth. They will both likely spend time in the D-League but will be available for spot minutes and injury insurance. Or if the NBA decides to cram a whole season into a few months, they might be needed just to keep the veteran legs fresh for the playoffs.
Also, Ainge indicated that he wasn't going to be bringing in any other undrafted free agents but I wouldn't be too surprised to see a few more guys at least get camp invites when the summer plays itself out.