Although the team has made no official announcement, Hunt and the Celtics have agreed on a contract, sources indicated yesterday. No terms were available, but Hunt reportedly will receive some guaranteed money as part of an NBA-minimum $ 130,000. He also is scheduled to be there for the start of training camp in October.
Even though the Celtics are over the salary cap, teams still are allowed to offer the minimum salary to any player.
The Celtics made a similar overture last summer to Eric McArthur after a spectacular performance in rookie camp. But McArthur never duplicated his play against the real pros and was released. He played in the CBA last season and recently signed a deal to play in Japan.
The McArthur experience apparently didn't deter the Celtics. They saw enough of Hunt to warrant more, and the team has a demonstrable need for an outside shooter. They also liked what they saw defensively, and that has continued in the LA Summer League, despite woeful shooting.
"In two of the three games we've played, Anderson Hunt has brought us back with his defense," said assistant coach Jon Jennings, who added that he could not discuss anything regarding Hunt's contract. "He has been all over the opposition point guard and has caused real havoc out there."
And what about the shooting, Hunt's alleged forte? In three games, he is an arctic 6 for 23 from the field.
"When I saw him at UNLV, the one thing I always noticed was that he was loose and relaxed," Jennings said. "Now, he's too tense. He may be too concerned about attempting to make our roster."
Last week, Celtics CEO Dave Gavitt indicated the team would like to pursue three performers from rookie camp. Hunt was one. They have yet to formalize anything with Pete Myers, one of the camp standouts, who may be close to reupping with the Italian team in Bologna for which he played last year.
Gavitt is due in Los Angeles for today's games.
The Celtics had an off day yesterday in LA Summer League action. The team is 1-2, having absorbed a 113-104 defeat to the Sixers Monday. Team shooting has been a problem (44.5 percent). "We have really struggled for points," Jennings said. St. Francis' Joe Anderson has been among the most impressive players. And what about Stojko Vrankovic, who in three games has blocked 20 shots? "We've been on him about second, third and even fourth efforts," Jennings said. "We have to get him into that mind-set of 'keep going' even if he doesn't get the first rebound. He's gotta work hard." . . . Joe Kleine was thrown out of the Philly game for arguing a call . . . Brian Shaw left after playing in two games. His numbers: 23 points per game on 20-of-33 shooting. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds and, er, 9 turnovers a game . . . If the Celtics thought they would get some rebounds from Patrick Tompkins, they are still waiting. The Wisconsin lug has managed only 6 in 61 minutes . . . Steven Thompson is putting up some nice numbers (26 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists against the Sixers). "When he's in the open court, he can take the ball to the basket," said Jennings. "In a halfcourt situation, he has a tendency to struggle."