Dionte Christmas is staying stateside, and it appears the Celtics are the team giving him a chance to make his mark in the NBA.
Christmas signed a free agent deal with the Celtics over the weekend after contract talks throughout the week, Greg Payne of ESPNBoston.com reports.
Christmas, who has been trying to work his way into the NBA after playing most of three seasons in Europe, tweeted Sunday evening that he and the Celtics had come to an agreement.
— Dionte Christmas (@Dchristmas22) July 23, 2012
Christmas had been playing in the NBA summer league in Las Vegas when the C's offered him a chance to make the team.
"I actually got the call before the [Celtics-Los Angeles Clippers] game started," he told ESPN Boston. "… That was my whole mindset, to come in here and try to get (the Celtics) to like me and bring me in, and it happened."
Christmas was reportedly waiting until the Celtics could offer him some kind of guaranteed contract before he took the deal, which invites him to Boston's training camp but not necessarily anything more. He and the C's settled on a partial guarantee, the Boston Herald reports, which was enough to keep Christmas from signing with a European club for as much as a high six figures.
"I really think I can go in there and play hard and show them that I belong on their team," Christmas told the Herald. "This is my dream. The NBA is where I want to be, and I'm really going to work hard to make this work out."
Christmas, 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, played four years at Temple University, where he earned several Atlantic 10 honors. He averaged more than 19 points a game in his final three seasons with the Owls.
Christmas went undrafted in 2009 but played for several years in Europe before joining the Celtics in the summer league this year.
Thumbnail via Twitter/@DChristmas22