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Celtics introduce latest draft picks

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff  July 1, 2008 03:11 PM

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Celtics draft picks Semih Erden of Turkey (86), J.R. Giddens of New Mexico (4) and Bill Walker of Kansas State (12) posed together at the team's training facility in Waltham. (AP Photo)

WALTHAM -- The Celtics introduced first-round draft pick J.R. Giddens (30th overall) and second-round draft selections Bill Walker (47th overall) and Semih Erden (60th overall) today at their training facility here (see photos of their visit here). Walker was acquired from the Washington Wizards on draft night in exchange for cash considerations.

The three sat at a table on the practice court with general manager Danny Ainge and were given crisp Celtics jerseys and caps for the photo op. Giddens was handed a No. 4 jersey, Erden a No. 86, and Walker a No. 12.

Giddens and Walker both said they were "blessed" to be here.

"You guys are the defending world champions and coming here is just a dream come true," Giddens said.

"I worked all my life to be able to have the opportunity to be an NBA player and I got a chance to come and play with one of the best organizations in the business," Walker said.

Walker will have right knee surgery tomorrow at New England Baptist Hospital and he said he expects rehabilitation to take 3-4 weeks before he can play basketball.

Erden is still under a 1-year contract with Fenerbache Ulker Istanbul in Turkey.

An interpreter spoke for Erden saying, "He definitely wants to come to the NBA, the Boston Celtics. He has one more year on his contract. He doesn't want to sign a new contract. He wants to see what it his opportunity in here."

In other news, the Celtics hung their 17th NBA Championship banner inside the practice facility today...Ainge said he has been in touch with free agents but didn't comment further. He also said the team made an undisclosed contract offer to unrestricted free agent James Posey.

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