Only one man in the history of the NBA has donned the name “Bird” on the back of a Boston Celtics jersey, but following standout performances in the Las Vegas Summer League, a second may be on the way.
Former Cal shooting guard Jabari Bird and the Celtics are currently working on a two-way contract, which would allow him to play for both the Celtics and the Maine Red Claws, the team’s G League affiliate. Boston has already signed fellow second-round draft pick Kadeem Allen to a two-way contract as well.
With a playoff roster already constructed plus the additions of Gordon Hayward and No. 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum, Bird headed into the Las Vegas Summer League with the Celtics’ 15-man roster already completely filled out. For the guard, the two-way contract was the only realistic route.
Bird took advantage of his opportunities in the eight games in which he participated, averaging 7.8 points per game while shooting .438 from downtown. The Cal product especially burst onto the scene at the Las Vegas Summer League, posting 15 points against the Philadelphia 76ers and 17 points against the Golden State Warriors.
During his time at Cal, Bird played in 114 games and averaged 10.8 points per game. Last season, because of the departure of Jaylen Brown, Bird inherited more responsibilities on offense and defense. Playing the most minutes per game in his career at Cal, Bird had a career year, averaging 14.3 points and 4.7 rebounds.
Crabbe: The Brooklyn Nets officially introduced former Cal standout Allen Crabbe following a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Brooklyn tried to sign Crabbe last off-season as a restricted free agent, offering the guard a four-year, $75 million offer sheet. The Trail Blazers matched the offer and retained Crabbe for a season, but now the guard will be rocking the Nets’ simple yet savvy black and white jerseys next season.
“I’m a year late, but better late than never,” Crabbe said during his introductory press conference at the Nets’ practice facility in Brooklyn.
According to Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily, Crabbe will start for Brooklyn at small forward. With Crabbe at the 3, head coach Kenny Atkinson would likely roll out a lineup of Jeremy Lin, D’Angelo Russell, Crabbe, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Timofey Mozgov.
Crabbe seldom had the opportunity to be a focal point in Portland’s offense because he played behind All-Star Damian Lillard and blue-chipper C.J. McCollum. He’ll have that opportunity with Brooklyn.
“In Portland they had two great guards, but sometimes you have to make a move for your own career, and I feel like this is going to be the best place for me,” Crabbe said.
Justice delos Santos is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jdelossantos510