Chris Forsberg/ESPN Boston
Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries were introduced by the Celtics on Monday.WALTHAM, Mass. -- While the Brooklyn Nets prep the Barclays Center for Thursday's grand introduction of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, which will feature live national television coverage and overflow media, the Boston Celtics quietly gathered in a soon-to-be remodeled conference room inside the team's training center on Monday to spotlight three of the five players received as part of the return haul in a franchise-altering swap.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and new head coach Brad Stevens formally welcomed Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries and MarShon Broooks to Boston's transition process on Monday. Those three, plus Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph and three first-round draft picks (2014, '16, '18) were sent to Boston in exchange for Garnett, Pierce, Jason Terry and D.J. White in a deal that became official on Friday.
Wallace was excused from the event to attend the first day of his youth basketball camp in his native Alabama, while Joseph, who had a non-guaranteed contract, was waived on Monday afternoon as the Celtics start organizing an overcrowded roster.
"We’re excited about their presence," Ainge said of the three additions from Brooklyn. "Kris has been a great rebounder, has given us fits in the past. Keith has made a lot of big 3-pointers in his career against us. A terrific player, a leader in the locker room, highly regarded from every coaching staff he’s been on. And then MarShon, a guy that we drafted, actually, and we should’ve drafted, made us look bad by being a terrific young player. We look forward to working with these guys."
Humphries, due $12 million next season in the final year of his contract, becomes the highest paid player on the Celtics' roster. He showcased an easy-going demeanor during the press conference, joking often and, while exiting the facility (which doubles as a local health club), the super-fit Humphries playfully asked Ainge if he gets a membership so he can work out for "20 hours per day."
On the topic of his future in Boston, Humphries noted, "After talking to Danny, he doesn’t plan on putting me in any trades, but things happen. It’s the NBA. If something comes up that's better for the team, then I’m sure that the team will do it. You never know. As of today, I’m here and I'm preparing to be here. I’m focused on that."
Bogans earned himself a hefty payday ($5 million next season) as part of the return package while being acquired via sign-and-trade. (The final two years of his deal will not be guaranteed, allowing the Celtics to either cut him next summer or utilize him as a trade asset.) At 33, Bogans becomes the oldest player on Boston's roster and plans to play the role of leader, on and off the floor.
"Me being an older guy now, I’m going to be more like a coach because I went from being one of the youngest guys to now being one of the oldest guys in the locker room," he said. "I know my job will be pretty much as an extension of Coach Stevens, to be out on the floor helping the young guys learn a lot faster and just be a good teammate and a professional."
Brooks, a 24-year-old with high offensive potential, comes to the team that drafted him for the Nets in 2011. After four years at Providence College, he's excited to come home.
"I got drafted by this organization. Even when I was [growing up in] Atlanta, the Boston Celtics were always on the TV," he said. "I was watching the Big Three and their championship run, all the greats -- including Danny. I’m just extremely excited. Providence is right down the street. That helps me. I know a lot of people in Providence. I’m just excited."
The trade came together quickly on draft night and Ainge admitted having a deep-pocketed team such as Brooklyn offering three unprotected first-round picks eased the decision to move on from franchise icons Pierce and Garnett.
"Brooklyn showed a great deal of interest in putting a dream team together -- at any cost, it seemed like," Ainge said. "The opportunity for us to acquire a lot of young assets and to get younger and to move on to a different phase presented itself. We felt like, where we were as a team, it was going to be very difficult to be a championship contender if we were able to keep Paul and KG.
"The opportunity presented itself. It’s a situation that we needed to do. It’s a situation that Brooklyn should do and could do -- adding KG and Paul to a roster of already three All-Star type players is a very special opportunity for them, even though it’s very expensive.
"But this is a good deal for us. We’re excited about the players that we’re getting. We’re excited about the opportunity for us to start fresh, and to start over. Not completely over because we have a lot of good players returning and a lot of good players we acquired in the trade, but start over as far as a new coaching staff and new players and a new identity."