The Boston Celtics will see a few familiar faces Sunday when the Charlotte Hornets travel to TD Garden.
Wanamaker was acquired before the NBA Trade Deadline from the Golden State Warriors, whom he signed with as a free agent last offseason. Hayward, of course, opted to sign with Charlotte last offseason after a sign-and-trade with Boston, while Rozier took over his post with the Hornets two years ago after a four-year run with the Celtics.
Boston head coach Brad Stevens spoke fondly about all three of his former players prior to facing them Sunday evening.
“Gordon and Terry have had great years, but they’re really good players,” Stevens told reporters during his pregame video conference “I thought Gordon was terrific here last year. Obviously, the ankle injury wasn’t great timing, in the playoffs, but I’ve said this many times — I don’t know if I said it publicly as much — but I thought when we were nearing the end of the seeding games that was as good a team playing basketball as I’ve coached here. That gave us a lot of optimism heading into last year’s playoffs in the bubble and he was a big part of that.
“… And Terry has just been terrific right from that 40-point game he had first game of the season all the way through. You know, I always look at their box score in particular because it’s always fun to go see your guys go and have success, and they both played huge roles and Brad (has) too.”
Specifically, Wanamaker is expected to see an increased role as rookie LaMelo Ball is expected to miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury.
“Well, I mean Brad was our sixth or seventh man last year. He was terrific,” Stevens said. “So if that wasn’t the plan when they traded for him, then he’s an easy person to plug right in. He’s tough. He’s smart. He’s solid. He’s a pro?s pro. When you talk about leadership and daily example, he’s up there with anybody we’ve had. So I think he has all those great attributes.
“Happy for Brad. Really, really enjoyed him,” Stevens continued. “I’m sure he was excited to get back with Terry and Gordon, some familiar faces, and get a chance to compete with Charlotte.”
The Hornets, who are 25-23 on the season, will take on the Celtics starting at 6 p.m. ET.