July 13, 2008
The Boston Celtics are hoping a more mature Patrick O'Bryant will reach his potential after failing to do so with the Golden State Warriors. The Celtics signed the seldom-used 7-foot, 250-pound center to a two-year, $3 million contract, according to an NBA source. O'Bryant is expected to back up Kendrick Perkins. O'Bryant, 22, was the ninth pick in the 2006 NBA draft, but rarely played during two seasons with the Warriors.
O'Bryant averaged 13.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks during his sophomore season at Bradley, then left school for the NBA. The Blaine, Minn., native averaged only 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 16 games as a rookie in the 2006-07 season, although he averaged 12 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in 25 games for Bakersfield in the National Basketball Development League. Although the Warriors were impressed with O'Bryant's potential, his work ethic became a major concern.
"I came in a little immature to the league," O'Bryant said. "I was barely 20 years old. I didn't quite understand what it was about and I didn't figure it out quick enough. I didn't get the opportunity I wanted."
The Warriors declined O'Bryant's third-year option Nov. 1. Golden State executive vice president Chris Mullin told O'Bryant if he just reaches "30 percent more effort," he could have a 10-year NBA career.