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Chris Mannix on MFB: David Lee ‘arguably the most talented guy’ in Celtics frontcourt

07.08.15 at 1:02 pm ET
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David Lee is coming off a championship season with the Warriors. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

David Lee is coming off a championship season with the Warriors. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated appeared on Middays with MFB on Wednesday to talk about the Celtics and the recent acquisition of David Lee from the Warriors. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

On Tuesday, news broke that the Celtics had traded Gerald Wallace to the NBA champion Warriors for power forward David Lee. Lee is owed $15.5 million in the final year of his contract next season. Mannix said he expects Lee to contribute and be productive for the Celtics.

“I think that you’re trading a guy in Wallace that gave you nothing last year for a player in David Lee who, in my mind, can still be a pretty consistent 16- to 18-point per game scorer, eight- to 10-rebound guy. He’s arguably the most talented guy right now in that Celtics frontcourt,” Mannix said.

Mannix estimated that the addition of Lee could help the Celtics win as many as an extra three to five games. In earning the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, the team went 40-42 last season.

“You’ve now got some flexibility with those frontcourt positions. You have a guy in Lee who’s proven that he can rebound the basketball and he can score within that 15-foot area,” Mannix said. “I think the Celtics got a little more dynamic offensively with this addition of David Lee.”

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Source: Celtics trade Gerald Wallace for David Lee

07.07.15 at 3:04 pm ET
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The Celtics acquired David Lee from the Warriors in exchange for Gerald Wallace, a source has confirmed. Tommy Dee first reported the deal, which will be completed when the moratorium is lifted on Thursday.

Lee will make $15.5 million in the final year of his contract, roughly $5.4 million more than Wallace will before his deal also expires in July 2016.

Lee, 31, is just two years removed from his second All-Star appearance. He averaged 7.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in just 18.4 minutes on a loaded Golden State team this past season. For his career, he has produced 14.7 points, 9.5 boards and 2.3 assists in 31.5 minutes a night over 10 seasons.

Wallace, 32, was respected in the locker room despite averaging 8.9 minutes in 2014-15, earning the nickname “Uncle Gerald” from his young C’s teammates. The Warriors are expected to cut Wallace and stretch his $10.1 million contract over three seasons, saving an estimated $12.2 million in salary and the resulting luxury tax penalty.

Meanwhile, the Celtics add another defensive liability to a frontcourt replete with power forwards. Lee has dealt with back and hamstring injuries that cost him 33 games and his starting job in 2014-15. Still, his history when healthy suggests he could be the C’s best scorer and rebounder in the post, as his field goal percentage at the rim (63.7) and rebounding percentage (15.7) both bested Jared Sullinger’s numbers this past year (60.6 and 15.4).

There is some question as to how Lee fits into Brad Stevens‘ system, as he does not stretch the floor offensively or shrink it defensively. Don’t rule out his inclusion in a trade closer to the deadline, when his expiring $15.5 million deal will be more attractive to teams in need of salary cap relief entering the highly anticipated summer of 2016.

Read More: Boston Celtics, David Lee, NBA,

Report: Celtics looking to make splash in 2016 with potential for 2 max deals

07.07.15 at 12:56 pm ET
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Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge

With a largely underwhelming Celtics free agency period winding down, a Boston Herald report says that Danny Ainge is conserving cap space in order to make room for two max deals in 2016.

Multiple big names will be on the market following the 2015-16 campaign, the most notable of which being Thunder forward and 2013-14 NBA MVP Kevin Durant. With the cap set to explode to $89 million due to the league’s new lucrative television deal that will go into effect next offseason, the Celtics will be in a position to aggressively buy.

Not only will they have the option to pursue max players through free agency, they will also have the assets and cap space to negotiate sign-and-trades for max players as well.

The Celtics only have two players with guaranteed contracts beyond next season (Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas), leaving them with picks and young prospects like James Young and Marcus Smart, who could serve as valuable trade pawns.

Though the C’s have long been plagued with the perception as an undesirable free agency destination, the C’s current situation mirrors the 2007 offseason when they successfully recruited Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join Paul Pierce and form the Big Three. Right now, they can remain content with building pieces and role players for a run at big names in 2016.

Read More: 2016 NBA free agency, Danny Ainge, Kevin Durant,

Report: Kevin Garnett to return to Timberwolves

07.07.15 at 12:41 pm ET
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According to reports, Kevin Garnett will finish his career where he started it, with the Timberwolves.

The 21-year pro will reportedly sign a two-year deal with the same team that drafted him out of Farragut High School in 1995.

Garnett, 39, was traded to the Wolves from the Nets on Feb. 19. He spent the first 12 years of his NBA career in Minnesota before being traded to the Celtics in 2007. He and Ray Allen along with Paul Pierce spawned the Big Three that brought home the franchise’s 17th banner in 2008.

In five years donning the green and white, Garnett averaged 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists, earning an All-Star bid every year except for one. Last season with the Timberwolves and the Nets, Garnett logged 6.9 points and 6.6 boards in 20.3 minutes per game.

Garnett will have the chance to mentor young, rising stars like 2015 first overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns and last year’s No. 1 overall selection and 2014-15 Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins.

The deal will not be official until the NBA’s moratorium on signings is lifted later this week.

Read More: Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves

Former Celtics PF Brandon Bass to sign with Lakers

07.06.15 at 8:53 am ET
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Former Celtic Brandon Bass will sign with the Lakers, the team announced Sunday.

The terms of the contract have not been revealed because they are dependent on other Lakers moves in free agency, specifically their reported trade with the Pacers for Roy Hibbert‘s $15.5 million expiring contract.

A 10-year NBA veteran, Brandon Bass posted 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds after playing all 82 games of the 2014-15 season. Bass also started all four Celtics playoff games.

He became expendable when the C’s agreed to a deal with free agent forward Amir Johnson. The Celtics also selected LSU forward Jordan Mickey in the second round of the draft.

Bass began his career with the Hornets before moving to the Mavericks and the Magic, and then most recently the Celtics. Over four years in Boston, the 6-foot-8 power forward averaged 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per 36 minutes. During the Celtics 2011-12 playoff run, Bass averaged 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 92 percent from the charity stripe.

In 2013-14, Bass earned the Red Auerbach Award, which celebrates the player who best exemplifies what it means to be a Celtic through performance on and off the court.

The Lakers also said they plan to sign guard Lou Williams, who was last season’s Sixth Man of the Year with the Hawks.

Read More: Brandon Bass, Los Angeles Lakers,

Report: Celtics’ pursuits of Tobias Harris, Corey Brewer have ended

07.02.15 at 8:50 am ET
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For the Celtics, Wednesday was particularly busy. Boston reportedly agreed to terms for new contracts with Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko, in addition to Amir Johnson formerly of the Raptors.

The Celtics were also reportedly in talks with Tobias Harris and Corey Brewer, but Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reported “those pursuits have ended.” Talks for Harris fell through when the Magic made it apparent they were prepared to match any offer given to their small forward, so Boston was out.

Following bringing back Crowder for a five-year, $35 million contract that’s fully guaranteed with no opt-outs on either side, the C’s lost interest in Brewer.

Reportedly, Jerebko will be back at $10 million over two years while Johnson’s deal is worth $24 million through two years.

For more Celtics news, check out weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Corey Brewer, Tobias Harris,

What now? Examining 2015-16 Celtics roster

07.02.15 at 8:41 am ET
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Jonas Jerebko

Jonas Jerebko

With Wednesday’s reported signings of Amir Johnson, Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko to a combined annual average value of $24 million, the Celtics have pushed right up against the projected $67.1 million salary cap for 2015-16.

Using Basketball Insiders cap guru Eric Pincus’ projections, the C’s now have roughly $66.1 million committed to 14 players, and that doesn’t include either of their second-round picks or non-guaranteed deals for Phil Pressey and Chris Babb.

On draft night, Celtics coach Brad Stevens gave us an idea of how he views a roster, which helps explain why the organization coveted versatile forwards Johnson, Crowder and Jerebko into the fold this week.

“Everybody starts with ones, twos, threes, fours and fives when they’€™re looking at a basketball team,” said Stevens. “I look at ball handlers, wings, swings and bigs. I’ve only got four categories. The more guys that can play the more positions the better. Right now when you look at our roster, I think we’€™ve got three of the four categories with a lot of depth. That swing area — where you can go three/four and play that way — that’€™s the area we’€™re going to have to address as we move into the next few weeks.”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Celtics roster as currently constructed.

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