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Report: Kevin Love opts out of Cavaliers contract 06.24.15 at 2:51 pm ET
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The Celtics might have another shot at Kevin Love after all.

According to an ESPN report, Love notified the Cavaliers on Wednesday that he will out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent July 1.

Love was due to make $16.7 million next season, and he indicated earlier this month that he planned to remain in Cleveland. If he has altered his thinking, Celtics president Danny Ainge is expected to make a run at him.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that if Love is serious about free agency, the Celtics are expected to sell him on the plan that they also will attempt to sign Robin Lopez and Paul Pierce this offseason.

Love was injured during the Cavs’ sweep of the Celtics in the playoffs’ opening round when Kelly Olynyk pulled his arm out of its socket while the two were chasing a loose ball. Led by LeBron James, the Cavaliers still managed to reach the NBA Finals, pushing the Warriors to six games.

The Lakers and possibly the Trail Blazers reportedly will be active in pursuing Love as well.

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NBA draft prospect profile: Boston College PG/SG Olivier Hanlan 06.24.15 at 1:34 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

OLIVIER HANLAN

Position: Point guard/shooting guard

School: Boston College

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 186 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-6.5

Key 2014-15 stats: 19.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.3 steals, 45.4 field goal percentage, 35.3 3-point percentage

Scouting report: Despite being BC’s only reliable offensive threat and thus becoming the center of attention from opposing defenses, Hanlan managed to finish the season as the ACC’s leading scorer and in the top 10 in the league in minutes (first), 3-point percentage (seventh), field goal percentage (eighth), 3-pointers (eighth) and assists (10th). He can play either guard spot, although he’ll likely be expected to man the point in the NBA as he’s small for a shooting guard. That’s a concern, as he’s more of a scorer than a playmaker, and he doesn’t have the elite-level quickness as the league premier points. That said, Hanlan can drive both ways and finish strong at the rim, and he changes direction quickly. He also runs the pick and roll well and is good at getting to the line, where he hit 76 percent last season.

There are concerns about Hanlan’s defense and whether he’s quick enough to keep up with opposing point guards. Analysts note his tendency to be too easily screened due to a lack of court vision.

Hanlan impressed at his second NBA combine scrimmage, posting eight points (2-for-3 FG), six assists, four rebounds and five steals in 23 minutes. He is expected to be drafted in the early or middle part of the second round and acknowledges his role likely will be as a scoring threat off the bench. Considering the improvement he showed during his three seasons at BC, Hanlan is confident he can contribute at the next level wherever he’s asked.

“I felt like every year at Boston College, I got better,” Hanlan told MichiganLive.com. “After freshman and sophomore year, I added something to my game and saw a lot of different defenses last year and tried to stay effective and consistent with my play. I scored the ball pretty well through my three years and my assists definitely went up as a junior. I had a few games with eight, nine assists. I just kind of go with the flow of the game, and feel like in the NBA you get a lot of ball screens, too, so you get a lot of opportunities to find teammates.”

Notes: A native of Quebec, Hanlan prepped at New Hampton School in New Hampshire for two seasons before matriculating at BC. He was named ACC Rookie of the Year in 2013, third-team All-ACC in 2014 and first-team All-ACC this past season. In an example of what he’s capable of, Hanlan scored 41 points in a first-round game against Georgia Tech in the 2013 ACC Tournament, leading the Eagles to a big win. He hit 14-of-18 shots (8-of-10 treys) in setting a freshman tournament scoring record. Hanlan ranks 12th in BC history with 1,725 points and ninth in 3-pointers with 176. He has played for Canada’s U-17 and U-19 national teams.

Related articles:

MichiganLive.com: Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan hopes to bring versatility, scoring punch off the bench to NBA

Ottawa Citizen: From Aylmer to the NBA: Olivia Hanlan wants to make it happen

The Basketball Diary: Olivier Hanlan of Boston College talks growing up in Quebec, NBA draft preparations, advice to high school hoopers

Read More: 015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Olivier Hanlan,
NBA draft prospect profile: Iowa F Aaron White 06.16.15 at 11:40 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

AARON WHITE

Position: Power forward

School: Iowa

Age: 22 (turns 23 on Sept. 10)

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 220 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-11.5

Key 2014-15 stats: 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 55.8 field goal percentage

Scouting report: White was not highly recruited coming out of high school in Ohio — at least not by the big-time Division 1 programs. However, he proved to be a perfect fit at Iowa, where he led the team in rebounding all four seasons and became the only player in school history to record 1,800 points and 900 rebounds. Last season he earned All-Big Ten first-team honors after being the only Division 1 player to average at least 16 points and seven rebounds while shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line. He led the Hawkeyes in points, rebounds and steals, and in Iowa’s NCAA Tournament opener he dominated in an 83-52 victory over Davidson, hitting 11-of-14 shots en route to a game-high 26 points.

White, projected to go in the middle of the second round, acknowledges he doesn’t look like a typical NBA prospect, and he might struggle to defend at the next level, but he is lauded for his work ethic, offensive efficiency and ability to contribute everywhere on the court. “I don’t fit the mold,” White told NBA.com. “I don’t look as athletic as I probably play.”

Said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery: “His numbers are astronomical. We didn’t run many plays for him. He just scores. He steals the ball and gets a run-out breakaway. He’s a great motion player on back cuts and curl cuts. He can rip and one-dribble dunk from the 3-point line. We did post him up periodically, but a lot of what he accomplished, he did with his skill set.”

Notes: White set Iowa career records for games played (140), free throws made (618) and free throw attempts (800), and ranks second in points (1,859), third in rebounds (901) and 14th in double-doubles (16). He compares himself to Chandler Parsons and Andrei Kirilenko: “Guys that are my size, obviously versatile guys,” White told the Des Moines Register. “They know the game well and know how to help their team win.” White and his longtime girlfriend, former Iowa volleyball player Grace Burns, are expecting their first child in August.

Related articles:

NBA.com: More than numbers when it comes to hard-working White

Des Moines Register: Notable NBA names fit Aaron White’s pro blueprint

Des Moines Register: Aaron White on becoming a father: ‘Great time in my life’

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Aaron White,
Jeff Van Gundy on D&C: ‘I don’t see how [Cavaliers] can win’ NBA Finals despite series lead 06.10.15 at 10:30 am ET
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Jeff Van Gundy

Jeff Van Gundy

With the Cavaliers knocking off the Warriors in another exciting NBA Finals game Tuesday night, ABC/ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss the series. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Warriors were heavy favorites heading into the series, but the Cavaliers have a 2-1 lead as LeBron James has outperformed MVP Steph Curry. With fellow stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving out, James is attempting to pull off what many thought was impossible.

“There won’t be a bigger upset, I know that,” Van Gundy said. “Listen, I’m going to say this: [James] getting his 2007 Cavaliers to the Finals, beating a great Detroit team, scoring 29 of the last 30 points in Game 5, that to me was his greatest accomplishment until now. Even surpassing winning championships in Miami.

“Getting to the Finals with this team and now winning two games in the Finals, already to me it’s his greatest accomplishment. If he can pull this off, it’ll be one of the greatest accomplishments for any individual player in my recollection.”

That said, Van Gundy isn’t convinced James will be able to deliver Cleveland’s first-ever NBA championship this year.

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen a guy in the Finals have to shoulder a burden like this,” Van Gundy said. “Now, I don’t think they’re going to be able to pull it off. I don’t see how they can win two more games. But if they do? To me there’s never been a greater feat or accomplishment in the NBA.”

Added Van Gundy: “In the end, the better team wins. There are very few upsets, Talent prevails. And Golden State certainly has the most talent. Listen, if you did a draft you would take James No. 1, and then the next probably four picks would be the Warriors. And then maybe [Timofey] Mozgov gets in there.

“I just really believe that Golden State has been the best team all year. They’ve been dominant in the playoffs up until now. They got in the same predicament against Memphis and were able to win the next three. So I think they’ve going to find their way out of it. But that does not detract at all from what Cleveland has been able to do. I’m just so impressed with James and their grit.

“And you know what? David Blatt, for whatever reason, the media is so reluctant to give him credit. They give credit to a lot of coaches. Blatt is not on their list for getting credit. But what he’s been able to do with his team and the body blows that they’ve undertaken throughout the playoffs and that they’re still playing so well, it’s a credit to him as well.”

Read More: David Blatt, Jeff Van Gundy, LeBron James, Steph Curry
NBA draft prospect profile: UC Santa Barbara C/PF Alan Williams 06.09.15 at 12:54 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

ALAN WILLIAMS

Position: Center/power forward

School: UC Santa Barbara

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 260 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-1.75

Key 2014-15 stats: 17.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks

Scouting report: Williams led the nation in rebounding the past two seasons and is Santa Barbara’s all-time top rebounder. Offensively, he’s known for his good hands and post-up ability. Although he worked on adding a jumper to his game this season, Williams makes a living in the paint, backing his defender into the post before shooting from close range. Williams, who missed seven games as a senior with a shoulder injury. is expected to be drafted late in the second round by a team willing to take a chance on a monster rebounder who lacks size and athleticism.

Williams is confident his rebounding prowess will continue in the NBA. “I think rebounding is a statistic, and it’s been proven, that translates well to the next level,” he told the Arizona Republic. “I think my ability to go out and get rebounds outside of my zone and outside of my area is huge. And also to take on the challenge of taking a great defensive rebounder out of their game by putting a body on them and boxing them out and kind of limiting what they do is something I’ll be able to do at the next level.”

Notes: Williams was the Big West Player of the Year in 2014 after averaging 21.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. He was named All-Big West first team the past two seasons. Williams’ father is an elected judge in Phoenix, and his mother is the chief of police in Oxnard, California. In his bio on the Santa Barbara website, Williams lists the Celtics as his favorite NBA team.

Related articles:

Bleacher Report: Meet Alan Williams, the best college basketball player you’ve never heard of

Arizona Republic: Phoenix-bred Alan Williams banks on boards for NBA draft

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Alan Williams,
NBA draft prospect profile: Oregon G Joseph Young 06.08.15 at 12:39 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

JOSEPH YOUNG

Position: Point guard/shooting guard

School: Oregon

Age: 22 (turns 23 on June 27)

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 182 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-5

Key 2014-15 stats: 20.7 points, 3.8 assists, 92.5 free throw percentage

Scouting report: Young, who has earned comparisons to current Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, is a premier scorer, leading the Pac-12 at 20.7 points per game and tying the school record for most points in a single season (745). He’s known as a great jump shooter who runs the pick and roll like a pro. He took on additional point guard responsibilities his senior season and finished sixth in the conference in assists (3.8) while recording a 1.58 assist-to-turnover ratio, although he’s still viewed as more of a natural shooting guard. He can get to the basket, and when fouled he’s nearly automatic from the line — ranking second in the nation last season in free throw percentage (92.5). Young came up big in big games, registering 27 in Oregon’s NCAA Tournament opener against Oklahoma State and then 30 in a loss to eventual national finalist Wisconsin.

The biggest question mark for Young is his defense, especially with him being on the smaller side. Heading into last month’s NBA combine, he used 2015 NBA MVP Stephen Curry as an example of what someone his size can accomplish. “Steph Curry is my idol and I’ve seen what he does to succeed,” Young told The Oregonian. “People keep saying, ‘He’s not ready. He’s not big enough. He’s undersized. Can he play the point?’ ” Young averaged 13 points, three rebounds and two assists in two combine games, while recording a 34.5-inch standing vertical and 40.5-inch max vertical. He is expected to be drafted in the latter half of the second round.

Notes: Young is the son of Michael Young, whom the Celtics drafted out of the University of Houston in the first round in 1984 (24th overall), although he never played a game for Boston and appeared in just 49 NBA games with three teams. Young originally committed to Providence College, then decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and play at Houston. After two years he transferred to Oregon and scored 1,388 points in two seasons with the Ducks, the highest two-year total in school history. Young set the Pac-12 record for career free throw percentage at .900 (279-of-310). As a senior he was named Pac-12 Player of the Year and was an Associated Press All-America honorable mention.

Related articles:

CSNNW.com: Oregon’s Joseph Young hoping combine will boost draft stock

CollegeSpun.com: Oregon G Joe Young makes plea to get drafted by Cleveland, ‘My bro Bron needs help’

The Oregonian: After the Ducks’ near upset of Wisconsin, the Joseph Young era ends at Oregon without tears

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Joseph Young,
Report: Kelly Olynyk wants to apologize to Kevin Love, but Love won’t take his calls 05.08.15 at 12:04 pm ET
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Kelly Olynyk gets entangled with Kevin Love in Game 4 Sunday afternoon. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Kelly Olynyk received a one-game suspension for injuring Kevin Love on this play. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

According to a report from Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk has made efforts to reach out to Kevin Love in an attempt to personally apologize for the injury that knocked the Cavaliers forward out for the rest of the playoffs.

Olynyk pulled on Love’s arm while the two were chasing a loose ball during Game 4 of the teams’ first-round series, leaving Love with a separated shoulder and an expected six months of recovery time following surgery.

After the game, Love called the play “bush league,” although Olynyk has insisted that he did not mean any harm.

Olynyk later received a one-game suspension from the NBA.

Love, who could elect to become a free agent this offseason, has been missed in Cleveland, although he was criticized during the year for not living up to preseason expectations. Now, with the Cavs splitting the first two games of their conference semifinal series with the Bulls, Love’s absence is being lamented.

“It’s so unfortunate that [the appreciation] has to come when he goes down,” Cavaliers coach David Blatt told Yahoo. “Kevin, in his own way, sacrificed the most this season, but still gave us a high-level performance. And he needs to be appreciated for that. And going forward, hopefully, he’s going to have a long career here.”

Read More: Kelly Olynyk, Kevin Love,
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