|Celtics rumors: Andre Drummond of Pistons addresses Celtics trade speculation, eye emoji tweets||02.22.17 at 10:05 am ET|
Could the Celtics use the second-leading rebounded in the NBA? Definitely. Does the fact that he tweeted eyeball emojis in the style of Isaiah Thomas mean he’s coming here? Absolutely not.
Pistons big man Andre Drummond, a former UConn star, addressed reports that he could be dealt after Pistons practice on Tuesday. Specifically, reporters wanted to know what he was getting at when he retweeted Thomas’s eyeball emojis and then tweeted a pair of his own on Tuesday.
“What’s that got to do with my team?” he asked reporters. “I can’t control what happens with trade rumors. I’m a grown man. I can change my profile if I want to. It doesn’t matter what time of year. If y’all want to speculate about that and me, go for it.”
Drummond’s fit with the Celtics on the interior would be obvious. He led the league in rebounding last year (14.8) and is second this year (13.8) while averaging 14.6 points per game.
Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy, who is also president of basketball operations, admitted having discussions about Drummond, but wouldn’t characterize them beyond that.
“Some discussions get more serious than others and that’s what happens,” Van Gundy told reporters. “There hasn’t been a serious discussion about Andre, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been discussions about Andre. The rumors don’t mean anything to me.”
The question is how much the Celtics would be willing to part with to acquire Drummond, who signed a five-year, $130 million extension with Detroit last summer. The Nets’ first-round pick, which could be No. 1 overall, would almost certainly be off the table.
|Celtics trade rumors: C’s reportedly interested in Mavericks center Andrew Bogut as part of big trade deadline strike||02.21.17 at 2:25 pm ET|
With the Celtics in need of size and rebounding, they’re reportedly mulling an offer to the Mavericks for center Andrew Bogut — but only if they can pull off a bigger deal prior to the trade deadline.
According to Mavericks insider Mike Fisher, the Celtics are considering trading one of their non-Brooklyn first-round picks to Dallas for Bogut, a physical seven-footer who won a title with the Warriors in 2015.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, Bogut never realized the expectations that came with that selection, but the Aussie did overcome injury issues to become a double-double machine with the Bucks before joining the Warriors in 2013. In Golden State, he provided an inside presence to complement the high-flying Splash Brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
According to Fisher, the Celtics’ interest in Bogut is conditional on “what bigger moves Boston can make” prior to Thursday’s trade deadline. In addition to a No. 1 pick, the Mavericks would receive backup center Tyler Zeller, who could make the money work.
Bogut, 32, has averaged nearly nine rebounds a game for his career and is also considered a solid passer. Durability is a concern, however. He has been limited to 26 games this season by knee and hamstring injuries.
|Celtics rumors: C’s could be in on Jahlil Okafor, but here’s why that makes no sense||02.20.17 at 11:26 am ET|
Another day, another NBA trade rumor involving the Boston Celtics. The latest: Jahlil Okafor.
With Joel Embiid blowing up and the 76ers already cursed with more big men than they can find minutes for, Okafor is once again on the trade block. And according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the C’s are interested.
“Okafor is kind of still there,” Stein told ESPN Radio. “He’s been so out there that you tend to think Philadelphia will find something in the next three days where they move him. I’ve heard that Boston has still given that some consideration. Chicago’s another team that’s been said to have shown some Okafor interest.”
All due respect, Okafor makes little sense for the Celtics once you look past the fact that the former No. 3 overall picks is tall. The Celtics can’t rebound, but neither can Okafor. He’s averaging a paltry 4.8 rebounds per game, and his 7.5 rebounds per 36 minutes puts him right in line with Celtics Avery Bradley (7.1) and Al Horford (7.2).
Neither is Okafor a rim protector (1.1 blocks per game) or floor spacer (1-for-6 on 3-pointers lifetime). He’s considered slow defensively, he’s a throwback post scorer, and he doesn’t take opposing big men away from the basket, like Horford or Kelly Olynyk do, which means he’d just be clogging the lane for Isaiah Thomas, who needs space to operate.
So yeah, I’m not buying the C’s having any interest in Okafor. He fills exactly zero of their needs. Don’t let last year’s 17.5 points a game fool you — the Sixers were terrible, and someone needed to score. Now that they know Embiid represents their future, alongside injured No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons, once he gets healthy, Okafor’s numbers will continue to suffer.
He’s not a fit in Boston, and certainly not if the price is one of the Nets picks.
|Rajon Rondo, still making friends in Chicago, unloads on Bulls veterans, pines for Boston days in Instagram post||01.26.17 at 6:44 pm ET|
My vets would never go to the media. They would come to the team. My vets didn’t pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn’t take days off. My vets didn’t care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn’t blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work. Even in Boston when we had the best record in the league, if we lost a game, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. They showed us the seriousness of the game. My vets didn’t have an influence on the coaching staff. They couldn’t change the plan because it didn’t work for them. I played under one of the greatest coaches, and he held everyone accountable. It takes 1-15 to win. When you isolate everyone, you can’t win consistently. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a bad teammate. My goal is to pass what I learned along. The young guys work. They show up. They don’t deserve blame. If anything is questionable, it’s the leadership.
Do you miss Rajon Rondo? I’m not gonna lie — I miss Rajon Rondo.
It sure sounds like he misses Boston.
A brilliant meteor with the Celtics, he has since worn out his welcome in Dallas and now Chicago, where he was suspended for a game in December for conduct detrimental to the team.
On Thursday, he took aim at teammates Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, who had blasted the Bulls a night earlier following a fourth-quarter collapse against Atlanta. Wade and Butler criticized teammates for not caring, and those words did not sit well with Rondo, who took to his Instagram account and obliterated them for not setting the example that he learned in Boston from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. (Rondo, it should be noted, scored 3 points in 9 minutes against the Hawks).
Beside a picture of himself in Celtics green with that duo, Rondo unloaded on Wade and Butler:
“My vets would never go to the media,” he wrote. “They would come to the team. My vets didn’t pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn’t take days off. My vets didn’t care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn’t blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work. Even in Boston when we had the best record in the league, if we lost a game, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. They showed us the seriousness of the game. My vets didn’t have an influence on the coaching staff. They couldn’t change the plan because it didn’t work for them. I played under one of the greatest coaches, and he held everyone accountable. It takes 1-15 to win. When you isolate everyone, you can’t win consistently. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a bad teammate. My goal is to pass what I learned along. The young guys work. They show up. They don’t deserve blame. If anything is questionable, it’s the leadership.”
There’s only one word for that, and it’s, “Wow.” Not sure if Rondo is shooting his way out of town again, but given his acrimonious history with Wade when they were part of the Celtics-Heat rivalry, it looks like old grudges die hard.
|Isaiah Thomas loses tiebreaker, so Celtics guard won’t start All-Star Game||01.19.17 at 9:57 pm ET|
Isaiah Thomas feeds off doubters, which means he won’t be going hungry this All-Star season.
Starters were announced for the NBA All-Star Game on Thursday, and Thomas wasn’t among them. The Celtics guard, who currently ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring, lost a tiebreaker to Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan and will likely be a reserve when full rosters are announced.
In the voting of fans, players, and media, Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was the runaway winner. Thomas actually won the media vote, but DeRozan prevailed among fans and players, leaving the two deadlocked. Because the fan vote counts for 50 percent of the total, it was the first tiebreaker, and DeRozan outpaced Thomas there by just over 40,000 votes, 796,122-755,102 to claim the starting nod.
Regardless, it’s been a monster first half for the diminutive star, who’s averaging 28.7 points per game, including a league-best 10.1 in the fourth quarter.
Thomas wasn’t the only star snubbed. In the Western Conference, MVP candidate Russell Westbrook will be a reserve, despite averaging a triple-double thus far (30.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, 10.4 assists). The starting guard slots in the West went to Golden State’s Steph Curry and Houston’s James Harden.
The other Eastern Conference starters are Cleveland’s LeBron James, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. In the West, Curry and Harden will be joined by San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard, Golden State’s Kevin Durant and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis.
|Isaiah Thomas once again leads Celtics, but Jaylen Brown intrigues in win over Hornets, too||01.16.17 at 10:00 pm ET|
Isaiah Thomas once again reminded us what time it is, but after watching the Celtics beat the Hornets on Monday night, I’m fascinated by Jaylen Brown.
The rookie didn’t do much down the stretch of the 108-98 victory — he was at least on the floor for much of the fourth quarter when Thomas delivered his nightly explosion — but we’re starting to get a clearer picture of his skill set.
Brown scored seven points in the first half by highlighting his explosive athleticism. He went coast-to-coast for a basket right before the half, he made an acrobatic layup inside while heavily defended, and he led another break that ended with a tough hoop inside after he laid the ball down to Jonas Jerebko and then got it back.
Brown almost completely lacks any semblance of an outside game, which is ultimately going to decide what kind of an impact he’ll make as a pro. He’s also got that lost-in-headlights look at times, too. But considering that he’s only 20 years old and is basically taking a red-shirt rookie season, the skills he’s exhibiting suggest an intriguing future.
“Jaylen Brown played one of his best games of the season,” head coach Brad Stevens told Comcast’s Abby Chin on the postgame show.
What is he? Your guess is as good as mine. As athletic as he may be, it’s also worth noting that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist cleanly turned him away at the rim on a two-handed dunk attempt in the fourth quarter. He’s not such a high-flyer that he can just throw down on anyone.
Brown had a great view while Thomas went off during another monster fourth quarter, where he scored 17 of his game-high 35. Thomas did it everywhere except from the free throw line, becoming the first Celtic since Larry Bird in 1984 to score at least 35 points without a free throw.
Thomas’s best basket may have been a corner jumper over Hornets big man Cody Zeller that started with a reverse dribble into an up-fake that got the 7-footer off his feet before Thomas calmly drilled the shot in his face.
“Isaiah doesn’t even come up to his lettahs!” broadcaster Tommy Heinsohn yelled.
Al Horford scored 22, and Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder added 15 points apiece as the Celtics (26-15) hit the official halfway point of the season with 13 wins in their last 16 games.
|Report: Bulls shopping All-Star guard Jimmy Butler; could Celtics be interested?||01.06.17 at 12:02 pm ET|
Let us, for a moment, set aside our love affair with Gordon Hayward to focus on an even bigger fish — Bulls guard Jimmy Butler.
According to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, the Bulls quietly started shopping Butler weeks ago and are open to moving the All-Star for the right price. The Celtics have reportedly made a strong push in the past, with ESPN reporting last June that the C’s made the most aggressive offer for Butler right before the draft.
Their interest makes total sense, because Butler is blossoming into a star. He’s averaging a career-high 25.2 points and 6.8 rebounds a game, as well as 4.5 assists. He has become the team’s go-to scorer in crunch time — on Wednesday, he scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Bulls past the Cavaliers — and he’s solve a lot of problems for the Celtics on both ends of the floor.
A tremendous defender, he’s also shooting .456 from the floor. He’s not a great 3-point shooter (.336 this year, .329 lifetime), but he’s an accomplished scorer who’d give the team another option besides diminutive sparkplug Isaiah Thomas late in games.
The Bulls have benched point guard Rajon Rondo and are struggling to crack .500 in the Eastern Conference, so a rebuild could be in their near future, with Butler their most marketable piece.
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