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Chris Mannix on MFB: ‘Kevin [Love] knew exactly what he was doing when he went to Boston’ 06.03.14 at 12:58 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix joined Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the Celtics and Kevin Love. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Love’s name has sparked trade rumors since the power forward made it clear that he does not plan to re-sign with Minnesota after next season. The Celtics are one of those teams that appear to be interested, which is why Mannix said it’s no coincidence he was spotted in Boston this past weekend.

“I think it’€™s worth getting excited about,” Mannix said. “I think that Kevin knew exactly what he was doing when he went to Boston. I grew up there, I love the town, but nobody vacations in Boston this time of year. The guy just finished a long season, why wouldn’t he go home to Washington state or go back to Southern California to take a break? I think there was a reason for that trip.

“Look, he’€™s made it clear through his representatives to Minnesota that he has no intentions of re-signing there after next season. They’€™re going to opt out of the contract and they’€™re going to look elsewhere for better opportunities. … I don’€™t think it happens before the draft, but sometime this offseason I wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin Love is moved.”

Mannix said he doesn’t expect Love to be dealt before the draft due to “salary cap ramifications.” But, he said Love’s trip to Boston was meant to “put a little more pressure on Minnesota to make a move.”

“I think there’€™s a subliminal message there. He’€™s putting it right in Flip Saunders‘€™ face,” Mannix said. “Look, Flip reacted to it somewhat negatively. … I don’€™t think they were entirely pleased with Kevin’€™s trip to Boston, the fanfare that it received. I guess if he wanted to he kind of could’ve flown under the radar, but he was at moments pause taking pictures with people, showing up at Red Sox games, taking a picture with Rajon Rondo, bumping into Rajon Rondo in the stadium. What are the odds that was a coincidence?” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Chris Mannix, Kevin Love, Middays with MFB,
Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo, Don Draper, Kevin Love sales pitches 06.03.14 at 11:58 am ET
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When asked about his conversation with Timberwolves star Kevin Love at Fenway Park over the weekend, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo responded in typical Rondo fashion during an impromptu session with the Boston media as the C’s worked out a number of potential draft prospects in Waltham on Monday.

“I talked to Kevin for about 39 seconds,” said Rondo. “It wasn’t too long. We didn’t talk a lot.”

A lot can be said in 39 seconds. For example, “I love it here, and if you come to Boston, we’d instantly be a playoff team in the East. Danny Ainge knows how to build a championship team around All-Stars, so let’s do this.” That took less than 10 seconds. They could’ve still chatted about the weather and some restaurant recommendations.

“A pitch?” Rondo told reporters. “No, I think the only pitches that were thrown were by Jon Lester. He threw out a couple pitches. I didn’t pitch anything. I just told him to enjoy his time here.”

Not exactly a page out of Jordan Belfort‘s book. Rondo’s going to need to watch “Wolf of Wall Street” again.

“€œI trust a lot in Danny,”€ Rondo added. “€œHe’€™s turned this thing around before, so I don’€™t not have any faith in Danny. I believe in Danny. I think we do need another big-time player, but that’€™s all his job. He’€™s working on that now.”

I don’t not have any faith in Danny. A ringing endorsement! A little more Gordon Gekko this time.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Kevin Love, NBA
Stephen A. Smith on D&C: ‘If Kevin Love wants to win, Boston is not the place to go right now’ 06.03.14 at 10:15 am ET
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ESPN NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to discuss Kevin Love, the Celtics and the NBA Finals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith

Love was spotted in Boston this past weekend on a tour of the city that included a trip to Fenway Park for Sunday’s Red Sox-Rays game. The Celtics have the assets to trade for Love, who reportedly wants out of Minnesota to play for a contender, but Smith said the odds are against Love ending up in Boston.

“Anything is possible, you can’€™t rule it out,” Smith said. “Danny Ainge has pulled off some heists in the past, we all know that. Not everybody is his friend like Kevin McHale was when he was in Boston and gift-wrapped Kevin Garnett. Regardless, you never know what he can pull off.

“In the end, however, Kevin Love says he wants to be with a contender. He mentioned Chicago, he mentioned Golden State. Boston simply doesn’t fall into that equation at this particular moment in time. It’€™s not something that I believe is plausible. … The Boston Celtics at this juncture are in a rebuilding mode and simply not good enough. If Kevin Love wants to win, Boston is not the place to go right now.”

What makes the Celtics worthy suitors for Love is their bevy of draft picks over the next five years thanks in large part to their blockbuster trade that sent Paul Pierce and Garnett to the Nets last summer. However, Smith sees Love as worth no more than “a first-round pick and a decent player or two on your roster.”

Love’s trip to Fenway on Sunday was capped off by a brief exchange with Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. Acquiring Love to play with Rondo would undoubtedly make the Celtics a better team, but, according to Smith, not good enough to contend for a title. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Dennis & Callahan, Kevin Love, Stephen A. Smith,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: France C Clint Capela 06.03.14 at 9:00 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.

Clint Capela

Clint Capela

CLINT CAPELA

Position: Center
Country: France
Age: 20
Height: 6-foot-11
Weight: 222 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot-4.5

Key 2013-14 stats (France Pro A League): 9.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks

Scouting report: Capela was considered a lottery pick before the Nike Hoop Summit in April, but he struggled and saw his stock drop to the back of the first round. There’€™s a chance he withdraws from the draft, since he could see his status increase next year, but if he stays, teams will start to think about him towards the middle of the first because of his potential as an elite rim protector and rebounder.

Only 20 years old, Capela led the French A League in PER (24.9), block percentage (7.9), and total rebound percentage (21.2) — remarkable numbers for his age, considering the he’s still immature physically. In a league full of men, he put up spectacular numbers because of his freakish athleticism and natural skills.

But Capela has a high chance of becoming a bust because of his incredibly low basketball IQ. Not every raw athletic international player develops as well as Serge Ibaka did, though he certainly has that type of upside.

In a deep draft full of talent, it’€™s easy to see Capela slipping, but the talent pool is also lacking defensive-oriented centers, which helps boost his stock despite the concerns.

How he fits: If the Celtics are looking at a slow rebuild, Capela would be a quality option with the 17th pick since they could draft-and-stash him before reaping the rewards in the future.

Related articles:

ESPN Insider: Nike Hoop Summit: Top prospects

Celtics.com: Clint Capela draft profile and interview

Video: Here is a video of Capela shining during a scrimmage.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.)

Read More: 2014 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Boston Celtics, Clint Capela, NBA
Irish Coffee: Boston and The Kevin Love Freedom Tour 06.02.14 at 10:40 am ET
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Indulge me for a moment. If you were Kevin Love, the hottest NBA name not still playing basketball, and you were looking for a vacation, as Timberwolves president suggested over the weekend, would you come to Boston?

Don’t get me wrong. The Freedom Trail, Fenway Park and Newbury Street make for a nice little weekend and all, but if you’re looking to escape the never-ending trade rumor mill, wouldn’t you prefer an all-inclusive resort in, say, Hawaii over clam chowder and a Sam Adams? He’s got a nine-figure payday coming soon, after all.

Hey, maybe he’s a nerd at heart, trying to discover analytics at Harvard that can take his game to the next level.

Maybe the folks at Newbury Comics hooked him up with an early copy of the new 50 Cent album dropping Tuesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Love, NBA,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: N.C. State F T.J. Warren 06.02.14 at 9:00 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.

T.J. Warren

T.J. Warren

T.J. WARREN

Position: Forward
School: N.C. State
Age: 20
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 220 pounds
Wingspan: 6-foot-10

Key 2013-14 stats: 24.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 31.3 PER

Scouting report: It’€™s a shame that T.J. Warren has one of the most broken jump shots of all potential first-round picks, because he’€™d have superstar potential if he was reliable from the perimeter. Unfortunately, Warren is a 26.7 percent 3-point shooter and needs loads of work to fix his slow, clunky and inconsistent release.

However, Warren has excellent instincts and knows how to score from mid-range and near the rim like a classic scorer. The 20-year-old is able to create space off the ball by utilizing intelligent cuts, and he’€™s able to score with the ball because of his ability to ram his way to the rim with both strength and finesse.

Warren isn’€™t much of a defender, athlete or defensive rebounder, which regrettably lowers his stock. He’€™s a ‘tweener, but doesn’€™t appear to have the skills to defend either forward position at a high level, since he lacks the lateral quickness necessary to defend 3′s and the power and length to defend 4′s. His average vertical also hurts his rebounding, though it’€™s his unwillingness to box out that hurts him more than anything else.

How he fits: Warren is certainly worth a look with a mid-first-rounder because of his high upside on the offensive end. If he’€™s able to add a solid perimeter jumper to his arsenal, he could turn into a lethal scorer, and the Celtics won’€™t find many of those outside of the lottery.

Related articles:

ESPN: C’s schedule wing workout

WRAL: Why T.J. Warren should be ACC Player of the Year

Video: Here is a video of T.J. Warren’€™s pre-draft workout.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.)

Read More: 2014 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Boston Celtics, NBA, T.J. Warren
Weekly NBA Draft Watch: Mock draft v2.0 has more clarity 05.30.14 at 10:04 am ET
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About a month ago I posted my first mock draft. In the words of Lloyd Christmas, “I was way off!”

Andrew Wiggins (22) and Joel Embiid (21) are holding firm at the top two spots in NBA draft. (AP)

Kansas teammates Joel Embiid (21) and Andrew Wiggins (22) could go 1-2 in the NBA draft. (AP)

Since April, the lottery has provided us the clarity of who will own each pick, while the draft combine gave the prospects a chance to show team executives their talent. The result? A completely different draft board. We think we know the top three picks, but we have no clue in what order. This is a good draft, we know that, but predicting the picks is as tough as any year.

So without further adieu, here’€™s my mock draft 2.0, covering both of the Celtics‘€™ selections.

1. Cavaliers, Joel Embiid (Kansas, freshman) – From all accounts, it sounds like Embiid’€™s back is healthy. If that holds true when the 7-footer goes through his workouts, Embiid’€™s potential will be too high for Cleveland to pass up. Everyone is quick to use the Greg Oden comparison, but Embiid is much smoother on his feet for his size.

2. Bucks, Andrew Wiggins (Kansas, freshman) – The Bucks are absolutely horrible, but they have good young pieces in Larry Sanders, John Henson and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Since they already have so many players to develop, why not do the same with Wiggins? Personally, I do not see Wiggins as a star in the league. But if the Bucks do, they will roll the dice on him.

3. 76ers, Jabari Parker (Duke, freshman) – Philly makes out great here coming away with a sure thing. Parker is ready to play now and probably would be the best player on the 76ers roster. At worst he is a longtime NBA starter, but I see Parker as the clear-cut best player in this draft. I would be surprised if he did not end up as a less-selfish Carmelo Anthony-type player.

4. Magic, Dante Exum (Australia) – Orlando has long loved Exum. The Magic should have the chance to snag him at No. 4, and they will if they can. This is probably the surest pick in the draft at the moment. There are rumors that Philly would take Exum and No. 3 and look to trade the Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams. MCW’€™s trade value probably will never be higher, but taking Exum over Parker would be a mistake.

5. Jazz, Noah Vonleh (Indiana, freshman) – Vonleh has scouts going crazy over his 7-foot, 4 1/2-inch wingspan. Obviously that is a nice quality to have in a league with as much size as the NBA, but is Vonleh’€™s length important enough to draft over talents like Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon? I’€™m not yet sold, but many are.

6. Celtics, Aaron Gordon (Arizona, freshman) – From all I can gather, Danny Ainge loves Gordon if he is going to use the No. 6 pick. I wrote last week about the players that Ainge will most likely be selecting from with this pick. There are some unique talents on the list, but in the end Gordon’€™s potential, flexibility to play both forward spots, and versatility on both ends of the floor make him the pick.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Aaron Gordon, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum, Jabari Parker
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