SANTA MONICA, Calif. — There it was, a sight that seemed impossible a week ago, Tayshaun Prince in a Celtics practice jersey going through plays on Sunday during the team’s workout at Santa Monica High School.
The 34-year-old swingman, acquired because of his expiring contract, remains a Celtic, but he said anything is possible, meaning he could stay, be traded, or have his contract bought out.
Prince insisted he has not mentally checked out and is not scouting his next location. He said he is invested in the Celtics for as long as he is in green.
After being acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies in the Jeff Green trade Jan. 12, Prince said he talked with Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, spent some time with his family, and then headed to Los Angeles to report to his new team.
“I obviously want to provide a spark, provide leadership, just kind of help wherever I’m needed,” said Prince. “Who knows the situation as far as the first few games as far as how much I play. I’m not really too concerned with that. The most important thing, I think, where they’re looking out of me is to provide some leadership, some experience.”
Prince played 26 games with the Grizzlies this season, including nine starts, and averaged 7.3 points. Memphis thought more of the younger and more athletic Green and made the deal, moving the 13-year veteran with aspirations of winning a second championship (he was part of the title-winning Detroit Pistons in 2003-04) to a rebuilding team.
“It just depends, we don’t know all options are on the table, whether it’s me being here for the rest of the year or it’s a buyout,” Prince said. “We’ve had some discussions today. I know there were reports that there were some discussions going on throughout the course of this week [about a buyout], but there really haven’t because they haven’t seen me until today.
“The most important thing is, even though all options are on the table, my job is to be a Boston Celtic at this point in time and help where help is needed. That’s the main thing. I can’t have one foot in and one foot out the door even though everything is on the table.”
Prince said he knew he would be traded if the Grizzlies were offered the right deal. “It just comes with the territory,” he said. “It’s not hard because of everything I’ve been through in this league. It’s not hard at all. If I didn’t go through the ups and downs I went through, it would be hard. I know by me having an expiring deal, if anything approached itself that I would be in a deal.”
Shavlik Randolph, who was acquired from the Phoenix Suns in a three-team trade last week, also joined the team. Randolph played in 16 games with the Celtics in 2012-13 before being waived in the offseason.
“It’s the first time I’ve been traded, but fortunately I was able to come back to a team I’ve been with before, a team that I love,” he said. “I looked at it as a positive. I know a lot of the guys. I played with them. They were here when I was here.”
Coach Brad Stevens expects Prince and Randolph to be active for Monday’s game.
“It was difficult for me because I’ve been with the same team last season and the first half of this season, so I’m trying to get familiar with the new offense,” Randolph said. “There’s different defensive calls. It’s going to take time. It’s not something that happens overnight. I’m just going to try to pick it up as quickly as I can.”
Said Stevens, “It’s not fair to them to expect them to know everything we’re doing. Tayshaun’s a 13-year pro, he’ll pick up things exceptionally quickly. But at the same time, they both just got here [Saturday night] and we’ve had one film session, one practice, and now we’ve got to go play.”
The Celtics waived Chris Douglas-Roberts, who also was acquired in the three-team trade . . . Rookie James Young made the trip but won’t play against the Clippers because of flu-like symptoms that also caused him to miss Friday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls. Young did not attend practice, instead staying back at the team hotel.