|07.14.15 at 9:54 am ET|
During Isaiah Thomas‘ trip abroad for the NBA 3X Spain three-on-three basketball tournament last month, the Celtics guard conducted an interview with Spanish newspaper Diario AS as a precursor to the team’s preseason game against Real Madrid on Oct. 8. He touched on subjects as wide-ranging as DeMarcus Cousins and Floyd Mayweather.
Here are a few highlights roughly translated from the original interview.
When will we see the Celtics fighting for another ring?
“In the next two years. That is the plan. Danny Ainge is trying to build a winning team from scratch. I hope to be part of that future and reach that goal.”
And so, what is the way to go?
“As easy as getting us a couple more good players. That is what we need. I hope that this summer we can do really well in the market for free agents, which already being a playoff team will take us to the next level. The most important thing for us is getting a big man and starting from there to continue to grow. I’d like to be able to persuade Marc Gasol to come to the Celtics.”
NOTE: Keep in mind, this interview was conducted prior to free agency and shortly after Thomas joked on Twitter about recruiting Gasol during his trip to Europe.
Going to Spain next week. Maybe I run into a really talented big man LOL
‘ Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas) June 12, 2015
And DeMarcus Cousins?
“[Laughs.] It would be something special to join him in the locker room again. For me, he is among the best big men in the world: He is intelligent, and there aren’t many big men with his talent …”
|07.14.15 at 8:39 am ET|
The Celtics aren’t content with their current roster. That much we know. They’re stocked with good players, but fresh out of great ones, and team president Danny Ainge has openly discussed the C’s need for star power.
But is Nuggets wing Danilo Gallinari the answer? Ainge explored a trade with Denver, and while nothing resulted from the discussion, sources told the Boston Herald a deal for the 26-year-old “could be revived.”
His versatility as a 6-foot-10 wing whose shooting can stretch the floor certainly fits Celtics coach Brad Stevens‘ system, but Gallo was hardly a star even before an ACL tear cost him more than a year of his prime.
After missing the entire 2013-14 NBA season, Gallinari regained form after the All-Star break in 2015, averaging 18.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range over his final 24 appearances. Those numbers would make him an upgrade over any other wing on the C’s roster, including newly signed Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson. His defense when healthy has also steadily improved since his early days on the Knicks.
And while Gallinari would be an upgrade in the short term, his expiring $11.6 million contract would also maintain the Celtics’ flexibility for the long haul, as is the case with soon-to-be C’s forward David Lee, whose expiring $15.5 million deal comes off the books next summer.
Because the Celtics landed Lee for Gerald Wallace‘s expiring contract, they surely would be looking to make a similarly lopsided deal for Gallinari, which is likely where the talks stalled.
Even if the Gallinari discussion is dead and gone, though, Ainge’s interest at least offers an indication of the team’s thinking. For the time being, it does not appear there is a star available on the trade market, so the Celtics are looking for players who will improve the roster now and not limit their ability to land a better one at the trade deadline or in free agency next summer.
Either that, or the Celtics were simply interested in fulfilling their Italian stallion quota with the dearly departed Gigi Datome signing with Euroleague power Fenerbahce overnight.
|07.13.15 at 12:22 pm ET|
Heads were turned over the weekend when guard Isaiah Thomas revealed that he had offseason wrist surgery, but the Celtics played down the seriousness of the procedure.
Thomas tweeted a reference to the surgery Saturday. Coach Brad Stevens then explained that the it was done sometime last month in an effort to clean up the wrist, on which Thomas had surgery the previous year as well — which apparently led to the development of a cyst.
“I don’t know exactly what the deal was, but just had a little cyst removed from his wrist,” Stevens told reporters Sunday (via MassLive.com). “It was something that we knew at the end of the year they would have to [remove it]. It’s a small, minor thing, so they had to take care of it.”
Contacted by The Boston Globe, Thomas said he hopes to be healthy in 2-4 weeks, and Stevens said he expects Thomas to be ready for training camp.
“He’s well, well, well ahead of schedule,” Stevens said. “There’s no long-term ill effects or anything like that.”
|07.10.15 at 7:46 am ET|
Thomas, who was acquired at last season’s trade deadline, played 21 games for the C’s last regular season and all four games of the team’s sweep at the hands of the Cavaliers.
“For the most part, I like the moves we have made, and I know Danny is probably trying to make more to get better or more players to fit whatever he’s trying to do,” Thomas said, according to MassLive. ‘I’m down for what he’s doing and I like the new guys.”
|07.08.15 at 1:03 pm ET|
Before we get to our Celtics scouting reports, a few quick thoughts …
- Are we ever going to see Colton Iverson in a Celtics uniform?
- Isn’t it time CSNNE stops advertising its free agency coverage?
- Has somebody told C.J. Fair to stop shooting yet?
- Should we be concerned when Marcus Smart, James Young, Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter and Jordan Mickey closed Monday’s loss to the Utah Jazz as a unit, and Rodney Hood was the best player on the floor?
- How long until Jay Larranaga becomes a head coach in the NBA?
… OK, now to the scouting reports. We’ve seen some good and some bad from each of the young C’s in Monday’s 100-82 loss to the Jazz and Tuesday’s 76-62 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Below are the pros and cons we’ve seen so far.
- Jazz 100, Celtics 82: 26 points (6-20 FG, 2-10 3P, 12-13 FT), eight assists (2 turnovers), five rebounds, two steals and one block in 30 minutes.
- Sixers 76, Celtics 62: DNP (rest)
+ Getting to the rim: Using strength to get to basket and draw fouls more often
+ Court savvy: Drawing fouls, posting up smaller defenders, etc.
+ Elite defender: Stopped quick guards Dante Exum and Bryce Cotton in tracks
+ Pick and roll: Improved orchestration of game’s most important offensive play
+ Grit: Constantly fighting for position and not afraid of contact on both ends
+ Court vision: Improved decision-making on interior passes
+ Defensive rebounding: Size and strength helps assist bigs on the glass
— Shot selection: Way too many contested long 2’s and 3’s early in the shot clock
— Shooting form: Still doesn’t square up his feet enough
— Gambler: Can be beat backdoor defensively off the ball
— Reputation: Seemingly inadvertent elbow on Jack Cooley earned a flagrant foul
- Jazz 100, Celtics 82: 12 points (4-11 FG, 1-5 3P, 3-4 FT), three rebounds and one assist (1 turnover) in 30 minutes.
- Sixers 76, Celtics 62: Nine points (2-11 FG, 1-7 3P, 4-5 FT), one rebound, one steal and zero assists (0 turnovers) in 21 minutes.
|07.08.15 at 1:02 pm ET|
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.”
|07.07.15 at 3:04 pm ET|
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.
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