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Celtics reportedly have talked to Rockets about Dwight Howard 02.03.16 at 8:59 am ET
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The rumor mill continues to churn out interesting stories regarding the Celtics and their pursuit of a marquee player. The latest has the C’s talking to the Rockets about veteran center Dwight Howard.

Writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News: Meanwhile, the Celtics have engaged the Houston Rockets in talks about a possible deal for Dwight Howard, the Daily News has learned. Howard can opt out of his contract this summer, and considering his back and knee issues, it doesn’t make much sense for Boston GM Danny Ainge to use the assets on a player with declining skills and a battered body.

The oft-injured Howard, who was suspended by the league for Tuesday’s game after making contact with an official in Saturday’s loss to the Wizards, is averaging 14.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game this season.

The 30-year-old, who previously played for the Magic and Lakers, is making $22 million. He has a player option for next season.

Howard is an eight-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

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Report: Celtics ‘quietly aggressive’ on trade front looking to make ‘splashy move’ 01.29.16 at 11:30 am ET
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Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge

Much has been made of the fact that the Celtics are loaded with assets as the Feb. 18 trade deadline approaches. The team has appealing complementary players and multiple draft picks to dangle.

Controversial Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins long has been considered a target for C’s president Danny Ainge, along with Cavaliers forward Kevin Love. However, both teams have made it clear those players are not available.

That doesn’t mean the Celtics are folding. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, “Boston has been quietly aggressive, with its well-chronicled array of assets, in search of the splashy move we all know Danny Ainge would love to make.” With Cousins and Love apparently out of the picture, “there isn’t a starry trade target for Ainge to chase. At least not yet.”

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Kelly Olynyk injures knee playing for Team Canada 08.24.15 at 12:57 pm ET
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Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, playing for the Canadian national team in the Tuto Marchand Cup, left Sunday’s game after being hit on the left knee while setting a pick against Argentina.

According to the Toronto Sun, “Canada got a major scare when starter Kelly Olynyk, of the Boston Celtics, went down in a heap clutching his left knee after getting run over by an opponent who had no desire to fight through the screen the Canadian was setting.
Olynyk limped off and went briefly to the back, but returned to the bench quickly, sitting out the rest of the game.”

The team did not provide an immediate update on Olynyk’s condition.

Olynyk had played 15 minutes, recording eight points and three rebounds, in Canada’s 85-80 victory. The tournament is a lead-up to next week’s FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament.

Olynyk averaged 10.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks last season, his second in the NBA.

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Marcus Smart dislocates 2 fingers in summer league game 07.17.15 at 6:36 am ET
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Marcus Smart dislocated two fingers on his right hand during the Celtics‘ summer league game Thursday night in Las Vegas, the team announced.

Midway through the second quarter, Smart was attempting to track down a rebound when he dove over Trail Blazers forward Noah Vonleh and landed on his hand. Smart immediately left the game for X-rays, which showed no break, and he was diagnosed with dislocations of his index and middle fingers.

Smart tweeted later: Thanks to everyone for the prayers thanks to the staff for all that they did to help just a minor set back for major comeback.

The 21-year-old Smart is preparing for his second season after being selected sixth overall in the 2014 draft. He averaged 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 27 minutes in 67 games last season.

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Celtics say Isaiah Thomas’ wrist surgery not serious 07.13.15 at 12:22 pm ET
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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.”

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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

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