Boston Celtics: Lester Hudson

Report card: The departed

July, 10, 2010
7/10/10
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Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesBill Walker and J.R. Giddens were shipped out of Boston in a trade for Nate Robinson.
Over the next few weeks, we'll take a player-by-player look at the 2009-10 roster and how each player's season unfolded, assigning a grade for their overall performance. This is the 12th in the series of report cards:

Five players came and went from the Boston locker room during the 2009-10 season: Eddie House, Bill Walker, J.R. Giddens, Lester Hudson, and Marcus Landry. Today, we take a quick look at each player and grade their (limited) contributions to this year's team.

Player: Eddie House
2009-10 averages: 7.2 points, 1 assist, 38.3 percent on 3-pointers (Boston only)
Season in a paragraph:One season after setting a franchise record for 3-point percentage (44.4 percent), House struggled with the primary part of his game and was ultimately flipped to New York in the Nate Robinson trade. In 50 games for Boston, House wasn't a detriment, but his struggles were magnified on a reserve unit that struggled to generate offense. With the Celtics in need of a shakeup, he was the fall guy.
Final grade: C
Teacher's notes: Losing a core member of the 2007-08 team was hard to swallow for the Celtics, but even House seemed to acknowledge something needed to be done to shake the team from some January/February doldrums. We'll never know if House would have found his shot and provided the type of postseason spark he did in 2008.
What's next?: One report suggests the Celtics have at least pondered the option of bringing back House, but it's likely they'll find better options for a bench scorer next season.

***

Player: Bill Walker
2009-10 averages: 1 point, 0.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists (Boston only)
Season in a paragraph: Walker, a second-round draft choice in 2008, logged a mere 29 minutes during eight games in Boston this season, scoring eight points before being traded as part of the House-for-Robinson swap. In his fourth game with the Knicks, he scored 21 points over 35 minutes against the Cavaliers and ultimately reached double figures in 14 of 27 appearances in New York, all of which led to some backlash against the Celtics for not giving him more playing time.
Final grade: C+
Teacher's notes: Like most in today's report card, there's really not a fair sample size to truly warrant a mark, but Walker did show that he was the most NBA-ready of the young players that washed in and out of the Celtics' veteran locker room. His health limited his chances in Boston, but he never did quite enough in practice to warrant an uptick in time. New York's shot-happy offense allowed him to showcase his perimeter skills, but he still has a way to go to become a complete player.
What's next?: The Knicks picked up their option to retain Walker and it will be interesting to see if he can continue to progress, particularly if the team becomes a playoff contender with the addition of Amare' Stoudemire this offseason.

****

Player: J.R. Giddens
2009-10 averages: 1.1 points, 1 rebound, 0.3 assists (Boston only)
Season in a paragraph: The 30th pick in the 2008 draft, Giddens appeared in 21 games for Boston this season, including one start, but averaged just 4.7 minutes per game and scored a total of 24 points. Like Walker, he simply didn't get a chance to really showcase his talents before being collateral damage in the Robinson-House swap. Giddens got his big chance on Jan. 2, starting in a makeshift lineup that also featured fellow reserves Tony Allen and Rasheed Wallace. He played 20 minutes and looked a little over-excited for the opportunity, logging as many turnovers (two) as points. Giddens appeared in just two more games before getting dealt, due in part to an injury sustained in the NBA Development League.
Final grade: C+
Teacher's notes: Giddens' work ethic was undeniable and he oozed athleticism, but he never got a chance to really settle in, as every minute was a chance to showcase his skills. He performed well in two stints in the D-League over two seasons, but hasn't shown enough to warrant consistent time with a parent club.
What's next?: Giddens is competing for Dallas in the Las Vegas summer league hoping to find a home next season. Being nice doesn't get you far in this league, but Giddens was a happy-go-lucky sort who deserves an opportunity somewhere.

***

Player: Lester Hudson
2009-10 averages: 1.4 points, 0.5 assists, 0.6 turnovers (Boston only)
Season in a paragraph: Boston's only pick in the 2009 draft (58th overall), Hudson was a heralded scorer from unheralded Tennessee Martin. The Celtics hoped he could learn the point guard role and provide some depth behind Rajon Rondo, but it never clicked. He was waived in early January to free a roster spot that ultimately only got filled on the final day of the regular season.
Final grade: C-
Teacher's notes: There's no denying Hudson's offensive talents, but he needed to expand his toolbox in order to stick at the pro level and it didn't happen in either Boston or Memphis, who waived him on July 1 after he spent much of the season with the Grizzlies' D-League affiliate.
What's next?: Hudson is competing for the Washington Wizards at the Vegas summer league hoping to keep his NBA dream alive.

***

Player: Marcus Landry
2009-10 averages: 0 points, 0 assists, 0 rebounds (Boston only)
Season in a paragraph: Landry played a whopping three minutes for Boston, missing a pair of 3-pointers, after coming over from the Knicks with Robinson. He did play 13 games with the Maine Red Claws and impressed at times despite making only two starts (11.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists per game).
Final grade: Incomplete
Teacher's notes: Impossible to grade someone who played nearly as many minutes as most readers of this report card. Landry made 17 appearances in New York before being traded, but his career high for minutes remains 14 (twice) and he just hasn't had much time to showcase his talents.
What's next?: Waived by Boston at the end of the 2009-10 season, Landry competed for the Indiana Pacers at the Orlando summer league and is now in Vegas with the Knicks trying to earn a job next season.

***

Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.

Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on the departed's 2009-10 seasons? Click HERE to leave a comment.

Catching up with old friends: Lester Hudson

February, 3, 2010
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Rookie Lester Hudson faced an uphill battle for playing time and development with the Boston Celtics, but he seems to have found a home and a potential opportunity for growth with his hometown Memphis Grizzlies.

[+] EnlargeLester Hudson
Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty ImagesLester Hudson soars towards the hoop vs. the Lakers on Monday.
Hudson, the Celtics' lone draft choice (second round, 58th overall) in the 2009 NBA Draft appeared in 16 games with Boston, scoring 22 points in 70 minutes, before being waived in January. With Memphis, he's appeared in six games, scoring 30 points in 54 minutes of action.

The product of the University of Tennessee-Martin hadn't gotten off the bench for seven straight games in Memphis, but it's been a big February already. Hudson scored a career-high 13 points o 4-of-10 shooting in a 95-93 win over the Lakers on Monday. A day later, he scored eight points in 15 minutes against the Cavaliers.

From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

“It was an emotional thing for me because I’ve been inactive and I’ve wanted to play real bad,” said Hudson, a rookie guard and former Central High player. “I felt that I could help the team off the bench. I just wanted to prove that to the coaches, my teammates and the fans.”

Hudson, relegated to the inactive list to make room on the 12-man roster for Hamed Haddadi, had not played in seven games. But with rookie swingman Sam Young sidelined with an allergic reaction, Hudson got an opportunity. He finished with a career-high 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting in 12 minutes.

“He was a huge lift,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. “We need someone that can get his own shot and make a shot. That’s what that group needs.”


Memphis (26-22) is in a three-way logjam with New Orleans and Houston at the bottom of the Southwest Division standings, but they remain one game out of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference.

The Celtics waived Hudson on Jan. 4, right before the deadline to guarantee contracts for the remainder of the 2009-10 season. Boston saved about $300,000 on Hudson's $458,000 deal, but, more importantly, freed up a roster spot that will allow them to maneuver later in the season.

After taking in Monday's game, ESPN's John Hollinger wrote:

I talked to some Celtics personnel about Memphis guard Lester Hudson last week, because Hudson had been drafted by the Celtics and spent half the season with them before he was released to avoid guaranteeing his contract. The Grizzlies scooped him up on a 10-day contract and he played a big role in Monday’s win against the Lakers, scoring 11 points in the second quarter.

Boston didn’t want to lose Hudson and considered him an NBA player. Although he was often way too aggressive for his own good last night -- he hoisted some wild shots off the dribble -- he shot well off the catch and, on a night where Memphis' sixth man Sam Young couldn’t suit up, provided a needed boost of offense.

The question going forward is whether his shot selection will undermine his other skills. Hudson is a shoot-first small guard, a species that often has trouble adjusting to the NBA, but he has a good body and competes very well at the defensive end -- in last night’s second quarter he took several shifts against Kobe Bryant and held his own. What has to improve is his ability to run pick-and-roll plays to get shots for others rather than just a wild jack from 25 feet. If he can manage that, he’ll be in the league a long time as a Bobby Jackson-type bench scorer

Hudson debuts with Grizzlies

January, 12, 2010
1/12/10
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Lester Hudson, the Celtics' 2009 second-round draft choice who was waived last week, made his debut Tuesday night with his hometown Memphis Grizzlies, missing two shots in two minutes during a 104-102 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Hudson appeared in 16 games for Boston, averaging 1.4 points and 4.4 minutes per game.

Hudson's headed home to Memphis

January, 8, 2010
1/08/10
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The Memphis Grizzlies confirmed Friday night that they have been awarded rookie guard Lester Hudson, waived Wednesday by the Boston Celtics.

Hudson, who appeared in 16 games for Boston, grew up in Memphis and attended the University of Tennessee-Martin. Selected in the second round (58th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, Hudson was a casualty of roster mobility as the Celtics hope to utilize that roster spot down the road, likely for a veteran presence. He was waived before the deadline to guarantee contracts for the 2009-10 season.

Hudson worked out for the Grizzlies before the draft.

Rookie Hudson gets waived

January, 6, 2010
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Rookie guard Lester Hudson was waived by the Celtics on Wednesday, one day before his contract would have become guaranteed.

Hudson was scheduled to make $457,588 this season, which would seem like minimal savings for a team on pace to spend $84.7 million. So the move may be more with an eye toward opening a roster spot than to save money.

The Celtics could sign Hudson to a non-guaranteed deal if he clears waivers.

Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is questionable for Wednesday's game against the Suns with a sore left hamstring, while forward Kevin Garnett will be a game-time decision after being kicked in his surgically repaired right knee in Monday's loss to the Golden State Warriors, according to the team.

Both players participated in Wednesday's shootaround in Phoenix.

The Celtics previously ruled out Glen Davis, who suffered a mild right ankle sprain in Monday's loss. He did not participate in the shootaround, and remains day-to-day.

The team is traveling without captain Paul Pierce, who underwent right knee surgery last week to drain fluid.

The Celtics also recalled guard Lester Hudson from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League Wednesday. Hudson had been reassigned there on Dec. 26 and has appeared in five games with the Red Claws.

Read more HERE.

Hudson reassigned to Red Claws

December, 26, 2009
12/26/09
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The Celtics reassigned rookie guard Lester Hudson to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League Saturday.

Hudson appeared in last Sunday's win over the Timberwolves, his only appearance after rejoining the Celtics that same day, scoring four points in a little more than three minutes of action.

A 6-foot-3 guard out of the University of Tennessee-Martin, Hudson has 15 points in 14 appearances with the Celtics this season. He played three games with the Red Claws earlier this month, averaging 16.3 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists.

"I think playing helps, obviously, it has to help some," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said when describing why Hudson was originally optioned down. "It's better than not playing."

Hudson had rejoined the Celtics to add a healthy body last week, but with the return of Glen Davis Friday, Boston had the luxury of reassigning Hudson.

On the surface, it also appears to be an indication that the Celtics are comfortable with the depth and health of their squad, even as Kevin Garnett nurses multiple injuries (right thigh, head, knee) and Paul Pierce is sidelined after minor knee surgery.

Even with a lack of space on the 12-man active roster, it would seem the Celtics would have taken Hudson on their three-game trip out West if they were concerned about being shorthanded at any point.

Why Hudson's back

December, 20, 2009
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BOSTON -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the team recalled rookie guard Lester Hudson from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League Sunday to add a 12th body to the active roster.

Hudson appeared in three games for Maine, totaling 49 points. After a flashy 25-point debut, Hudson labored through 3 of 14 shooting with seven points and five assists in Saturday's loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Hudson managed to navigate through the weather woes back to Boston in time to dress for Sunday's game against the Timberwolves. He appeared on court before the game, resuming his 1-on-1 battles with Rajon Rondo.

"I think playing helps, obviously, it has to help some," said Rivers. "It's better than not playing."

Doc envisions 'jayvee' games with NBDL

December, 18, 2009
12/18/09
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BOSTON -- While discussing rookie Lester Hudson's recent assignment to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he envisions a day in which every NBA team has a feeder program and, like a high school junior varsity game, those teams would compete as an undercard to NBA games.

"I hope some day every team does have [their own minor league] team," said Rivers. "There would be a javyee game, literally, before our game. I think that would be terrific. You can play a guy, then dress him for that night, just like you did in high school, where you play for the jayvee and varsity. I think that would be good for our league. I think the fans would get a chance to see some of the guys you drafted."

Rivers' idea came to mind as he discussed shuttling Hudson between the Boston's NBDL affiliate this week. Hudson dropped 42 points in two games with the Red Claws, but should return to the parent club before the upcoming road trip, which begins on Christmas in Orlando.

"I haven't look at [Maine's] schedule, but the original plan was to let him play a couple games -- miss this one [against Philadelphia] -- and come back," said Rivers. "But he's played great and he's playing, so that's a benefit as well."

Unlike last season, when Boston had to send players to Utah to get NBDL experience, the Green are reveling in the ease of having an affiliate within driving distance.

"It has to be helpful, playing in a real game with refs instead of us just yelling and blowing the whistle -- which we never do," said Rivers with a smile. "In practice, [Hudson] is playing behind Eddie [House] and [Rajon] Rondo, so it's tough to get on the floor."

So why recall Hudson if he's gaining valuable experience?

"I want to have 12 guys [on the upcoming road trip]," said Rivers. "If you have a big lead, or it's the other way around, you can put him in and sit other guys. I'd rather have a 12-man team. Other than that, it benefits him staying down."

Rivers admitted he hasn't paid too close attention to how both Hudson and second-year forward Bill Walker have been doing. Walker was sent down to gain experience after missing all of training camp after offseason knee surgery.

Rivers did say it was a luxury that the Red Claws are coached by Austin Ainge, who spent last season with Boston and is running similar plays with the NBDL squad.

Hudson scores 25 in NBDL debut

December, 17, 2009
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Rookie Lester Hudson, assigned to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League on Tuesday, registered 25 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and a steal in an 81-77 win over the Erie Bayhawks Wednesday night.

Hudson finished 8 of 19 shooting from the floor, including 4 of 9 from beyond the arc in 38:14 of action.

Hudson joined fellow Boston teammate Bill Walker in the Red Claws' starting lineup. Walker scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds as Maine improved to 6-1 in its inaugural season.

Hudson officially optioned to Red Claws

December, 15, 2009
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The Celtics officially announced Tuesday that rookie guard Lester Hudson has been optioned to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers tipped the team's hand Monday night before a win over the Grizzlies.

"We're going to send him down pretty soon to the NBDL for a week or two to get him some games," Rivers said. "I don't like our young guys going these long stretches without playing. Then we're going to bring him back."

Hudson had appeared in 13 games for a total of 49 minutes this season. He'll join second-year forward Bill Walker, who's currently on assignment with the Red Claws.

Hudson to join Red Claws

December, 14, 2009
12/14/09
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Rookie Lester Hudson didn't get a chance to play in front of his hometown crowd Monday night in Memphis, but it appears he'll see plenty of court time in the near future.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before Monday's game that Hudson will join Boston's NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, in the near future in order to log some much-needed game action.

"We're going to send him down pretty soon to the NBDL for a week or two to get him some games," Rivers said. "I don't like our young guys going these long stretches without playing. Then we're going to bring him back."

Celtics second-year forward Bill Walker, who is recovering from preseason knee surgery, joined the Red Claws last month and is averaging team highs with 16.7 points and 7.8 rebounds in six games with Maine.

Hudson, who played college ball at nearby Tennessee-Martin, has appeared in 13 games for a total of 49 minutes this season.

“It’s been a great experience for me being around the veteran guys," said Hudson. "They’ve helped me a lot. There are a couple guys that have really helped me out like [Rajon] Rondo and Kevin Garnett. I’ve learned everything from [Rondo]. He’s a great point guard one of the best in the league.”

Materials from the Associated Press were used.

Celtics' open practice a success

October, 16, 2009
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LOWELL, Mass. -- It wasn't exactly Midnight Madness. Maybe more like Seven O'Clock Sanity.

The Celtics held an open practice for season-ticket holders Friday night at Tsongas Arena, where approximately 3,000 green-clad supporters -- half of the venue's capacity -- shuffled in for a glimpse of the 2009-10 squad as it engaged in a sometimes-spirited, 40-minute session.

The Celtics and the fans did their best to make it an event -- at least one worthy of the $10 parking fee. Rookie Lester Hudson served as pre-practice emcee (Glen "Big Baby" Davis his hype man) and introduced the team over the familiar 50 Cent beats that accompany regular-season introductions at the Garden.

But what may have been the biggest noise of the night was reserved for a hard charge Paul Pierce drew on Hudson during 5-on-5 work. The goal of emerging healthy achieved, Pierce picked himself up and pumped his fist as coach Doc Rivers signaled the offensive infraction.

At the end of the festivities, Pierce simply couldn't bring himself to compare the evening to Midnight Madness, the traditional opening of college basketball practice sessions.

"Not at Kansas," said Pierce, a former Jayhawk. "Maybe at one of these other guys' schools. We do it big."

To be sure, there were no player-choreographed dance routines or fans with ThunderStix, as Kansas has showcased in recent years.

But fans oohed for every Kevin Garnett dunk and ahhhed for every Ray Allen 3-pointer. And Rivers deemed the night a success for the progress his team was able to make before fans even entered the building.

"Before [the fans] came in, we actually put in two plays for Paul; nothing yet for Ray besides some random stuff, but we'll do that tomorrow and we'll keep working," Rivers said.

"We got a lot of good stuff in. This turned out to be a good practice for us."

Besides an open session held on the final day of training camp in Newport, R.I., where Salve Regina students and friends got a glimpse of the Green, this is the only session open to fans this preseason.

The team will practice Saturday in Waltham before departing for Toronto in advance of Sunday's game with the Raptors, the first of three road games in four days that close out the exhibition schedule.

Asked what the team is looking to accomplish leading up to the season opener Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rivers admitted a big part is avoiding injuries.

"It's tough, three games all on the road," said Rivers. "Besides health? Just continuity. We pretty much know what we need to do on both ends. We've just got to keep working."

On the injury front, Rivers deemed Rasheed Wallace fine and said Tony Allen is day-to-day with an ankle injury that kept him out of the last three games. Allen shot around at the end of the session, despite sitting out the real action alongside Bill Walker (who is out six to eight weeks after right knee surgery).

The other 13 Celtics on the active roster engaged in the entire session, as did camp invitee Michael Sweetney.

Rivers said he expects his starters to play both Sunday and Tuesday (vs. the Knicks at Madison Square Garden), but few will see minutes Wednesday against the Cavaliers in Columbus, Ohio. Especially considering the teams meet again in the opener less than a week later.

"When we made our preseason schedule, no one knew that we'd open up against them [six] days later," said Rivers. "That's just how it works out."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
19.5 1.6 0.9 34.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.3
AssistsE. Turner 3.4
StealsK. Olynyk 1.2
BlocksK. Olynyk 0.8