The Celtics reportedly agree to negotiate with G/F Lamar Stevens before training camp
Why Austin Rivers is interested in joining the Celtics
The Celtics reportedly signed guard/forward Lamar Stevens to a contract on Friday before training camp The Athlete’s Shams Charania.
The former Cleveland Cavalier and San Antonio Spur will compete for a roster spot ahead of the 2023-24 season. With the addition of Stevens, who is primarily listed as a forward, Boston’s depth at that position currently looks like this:
Forwards: Jayson Tatum, Kristaps Porzingis, Sam Hauser, Jordan Walsh, Oshae Brissett, Lamar Stevens
Here are five things you should know about Celtic’s new 26-year-old:
He was a four-star recruit coming out of high school.
Stevens, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, attended Haverford High School before transferring to Roman Catholic High School in his senior year. He was named an all-state student-athlete his final two years.
The 6-foot-6 winger was voted Pennsylvania’s top high school basketball player in his senior season. Stevens deserves one 80 scouting grade from ESPN from high school.
Stevens was ranked No. 100 on ESPN’s 2016 Top 100 Recruits list. He was also listed as Pennsylvania’s third best high school basketball player.
He received offers from Indiana, Penn State and Villanova.
Stevens eventually committed to Penn State and played there for three years was asked from a handful of top basketball programs like Indiana and Villanova. He was interested in other schools These included Marquette, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Southern Methodist and Temple.
Villanova was the one first school to expand offerings to Stevens. The Wildcats took notice of him early on, sending out their offer when Stevens was just a sophomore.
Stevens ultimately chose Penn State and stayed in his home state, although three and a half hours from his hometown of Philadelphia. At the beginning of his senior year, he committed to the Nittany Lions. Stevens mentioned that he hit it off quickly with then-head coach Pat Chambers as a big reason why he chose Penn State.
“Coach Chambers and I just… had the most open and honest conversation with each other,” Stevens said shortly after his commitment. “And that’s when I honestly felt like I could trust this man, I would trust Coach Chambers with my life.”
He played at Penn State alongside two high school teammates.
Other All-State selections at Pennsylvania Tony Carr and Nazeer Bostick came to Stevens out of high school as Nittany Lions. The three competed together as seniors in the Roman Catholic team’s championship game and clearly worked well together as teammates.
Although Stevens switched to the Roman Catholic Church his senior year, he and Carr had been best friends since middle school.
The duo continued to make a splash at the collegiate level, with Carr being named a Big-Ten All-Freshman and Stevens earning Player of the Week honors in February. Both actually scored 20 points in the same game twice as many as freshmen.
He went undrafted in 2020.
Although Stevens is fifth all-time on Penn State’s scoring list with 1,660 points, he was not drafted after leaving school a year early for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Cleveland ultimately agreed to a two-way contract with Stevens shortly after the draft. He quickly made his debut a few days after the 2020-21 season opener in late December. Stevens played 40 games as a rookie, all of which he played off the bench.
Stevens appeared proud to have an NBA career after going undrafted by a team and showed his support for his former Cavaliers and undrafted teammate Dean Wade when he signed a contract extension last September.
He is known for his defensive skills.
While Stevens isn’t necessarily known for his offense, the 230-pound winger excels on defense. He owns a career defensive rating of 111.3, a statistic derived from it the number of points the player allows per 100 possessions.
Stevens had the best defensive rating for the Cavaliers last season with 111.1 in 62 games. This secured his team The lowest defensive rating in the league in the 2022/23 season at 110.6.
In his three-year NBA career, Stevens is good for a half-steal every game and 0.3 blocks per contest.
These stats clearly mean something to his new team. The Celtics reportedly want Stevens to help fill the void left by the departures of Marcus Smart and Grant Williams. according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.
Training camp in Boston begins on Tuesday, October 3rd.
Sign up for Celtics updates🏀
Get breaking news and analysis in your inbox throughout basketball season.