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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.

Read More: Kevin Love,
An absolute mockery of a 2015 NBA mock draft v4.0 06.24.15 at 1:53 pm ET
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The-Wolf-of-Causeway

I’€™m not sure whether mock drafts got their name from the false premise that anyone could accurately mock what the front offices of all 30 NBA franchises will do come Thursday or the reality that everyone who professes to know such matters ultimately makes a mockery of themselves. It’€™s probably a hybrid of the two, but they sure are fun, so without further ado Green Street presents the final of four mock drafts leading up to the real thing in Chicago.

Keep in mind Celtics president Danny Ainge owns two first-round picks in this year’€™s draft — his own No. 16 selection and the Clippers’€™ No. 28 pick he received in exchange for letting Doc Rivers out of his contract — and predicting whether The Wolf of Causeway Street will stand pat, trade up or swap out of the draft is like guessing which ridiculous name Ron Artest will use next. Impossible.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl Towns (Last week: Karl Towns)

  • Position: Center/power forward
  • School: Kentucky
  • Birthday: Nov. 15, 1995 (19 years old)
  • Height: 7 feet
  • Weight: 248 pounds
  • Wingspan: 7-foot-3.5
  • 2014-15 stats (39 games): 10.3 points (62.7 true shooting percentage), 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.1 assists in 21.1 minutes per game (31.4 player efficiency rating)
  • WEEI.com’s NBA draft prospect profile: Click here.
  • Celtics equivalent: Kevin Garnett.

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Jahlil Okafor (Last week: Jahlil Okafor)

  • Position: Center
  • School: Duke
  • Birthday: Dec. 15, 1995 (19 years old)
  • Height: 6-foot-11
  • Weight: 270 pounds
  • Wingspan: 7-foot-5
  • 2014-15 stats (38 games): 17.3 points (64.1 true shooting percentage), 8.5 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.1 per game (30.7 player efficiency rating)
  • WEEI.com’s NBA draft prospect profile: Click here.
  • Celtics equivalent: Kevin McHale.

3. Philadelphia 76ers: D’Angelo Russell (Last week: Kristaps Porzingis)

  • Position: Guard
  • School: Ohio State
  • Birthday: Feb. 23, 1996 (19 years old)
  • Height: 6-foot-5
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • Wingspan: 6-foot-9.75
  • 2014-15 stats (35 games): 19.3 points (57.3 true shooting percentage), 5.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 33.9 minutes per game (26.6 player efficiency rating)
  • WEEI.com’s NBA draft prospect profileClick here.
  • Celtics equivalent: Dennis Johnson.

Read the rest of this entry »

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: Croatia SG Mario Hezonja 06.24.15 at 10:26 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).

MARIO HEZONJA

Position: Shooting guard

Country: Croatia (played for Barcelona in Spanish league)

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 200 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-10

Key 2014-15 stats: 5.8 points, 2 rebounds, 1.5 assists

Scouting report: Hezonja is undeniably talented but is followed by the question marks that accompany top European players as they enter the NBA draft. Hezonja is one of two European players, along with Kristaps Porzingis, projected to be a lottery pick this year. Many mock drafts predict that Hezonja will be taken in the back end of the top 10 overall.

His 6-foot-8 frame makes him a good size for a wing and he has very high potential as an NBA player. His fundamentals on the offensive end are very solid. He has great body control and is a good athlete, and he has the ability to take defenders off the dribble. He is a solid shooter with a quick release and deep range. He has the ability to defend both the shooting guard and small forward positions. His size allows him to rebound relatively well for his position. While his stats aren’t eye-popping, extrapolated over a larger workload they would seem more impressive (14 points and 4.5 rebounds per 36 minutes).

“I don’t think there is any downside with Hezonja. There is nothing he’s not good at,” ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said. “He is competitive. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s athletic. He can shoot it. He’s a really good shooter. He puts it on the deck. He can defend. There is nothing I don’t like about that guy, nothing.”

He could benefit from some added bulk in order to withstand contact at the next level. Analysts note that he sometimes loses focus on the defensive end when playing off the ball, he is prone to turning the ball over and can at times be inconsistent offensively.

Notes: Hezonja is known as having a cocky and fiery nature, which has gotten him in trouble at times. He played on about 15 minutes per game in a role off the bench this season for a loaded Barcelona team.

Related articles:

SB Nation: Mario Hezonja is the cockiest NBA draft prospect in years

BleacherReport: Hype Is building for international stud Mario Hezonja

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Mario Hezonja,
Video: Marcus Smart sinks halfcourt shot from his back 06.24.15 at 9:09 am ET
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Is this Marcus Smart’s official statement on Danny Ainge saying nobody on the Celtics is “untouchable”? Because it should be. Ainge should also then email this video to the 76ers and ask Sam Hinkie if he’s changed his mind about trading Nerlens Noel and the No. 3 overall pick for Smart and the C’s two first-round picks. “But he can drain halfcourt shots from his back!”

(h/t Bleacher Report)

Read More: Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart, NBA,
Isaiah Thomas to DeMarcus Cousins: I know who wants you 06.24.15 at 8:59 am ET
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As rumor spread that his coach was rallying teammates around trading him, Kings superstar DeMarcus Cousins posted the chillest photo in the history of chill photos on Instagram with the caption: “Meanwhile … good vibes.” Noted Instagram stalker Jimmy Toscano of Comcast (we kid) uncovered a comment from Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas on the photo: “If they don’t want you, I know who does.”

Thomas and Cousins played three seasons together in Sacramento, and three days ago Cousins posted an Instagram photo of his former teammate with the caption: “Follow the family. He finally got an Instagram.” No word on whether Thomas was invited to the super chill beach dinner.

Thomas has also made veiled recruiting pitches to Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge on Twitter.

Read More: Boston Celtics, DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas,
NBA draft prospect profile: Arizona SF Stanley Johnson 06.24.15 at 7:06 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).

STANLEY JOHNSON

Position: Small forward

School: Arizona

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 242 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-11.5

Key 2014-15 stats: 13.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals

Scouting report: Johnson is a versatile two-way player. He has a pro-ready body as a small forward with a long wingspan. He also is young, having just turned 19 on May 29. On NBA.com and nbadraft.net, Johnson has received comparisons to Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs. He projects to be a lottery pick, with many mock drafts predicting selection in the back end of the top 10 overall picks. He is a good athlete and defender, tallying 1.5 steals per contest. Johnson is a force in transition on offense and can knock down spot-up jumpers. His strength allows him to bully his way to the rim and create shots for himself off the drive.

“On offense, he’s really hard to deal with in terms of the other team. And he’s very much an improved defender, he keeps getting better,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said of Johnson in January.

His decision-making and shot selection leave something to be desired and must improve at the next level. He doesn’t finish particularly well through contact and has struggled against quicker defenders. He was a little bit inconsistent on both ends this year. As a passer, Johnson isn’t very accurate and was prone to missing open teammates. Overall, he profiles as NBA-ready and a very good fit for the small forward position. He has room to improve some of the more mental parts of the game, but at the young age of 19 has plenty of time to do so.

Notes: Johnson was ranked as the seventh-best recruit in the class of 2014 by ESPN.com and was the MaxPreps.com High School National Player of the Year in 2014. In his only year at Arizona, Johnson was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and first-team All-Pac-12. The United States Basketball Writers Association named Johnson to its Freshman All-America team.

Johnson reportedly refused to work out for the Hornets, owners of the ninth pick, and hopes to get picked either by Detroit with the eighth pick or by Miami at 10.

Related articles:

SB Nation: Stanley Johnson was born to be an NBA lottery pick

SB Nation: Better one and done: Aaron Gordon or Stanley Johnson?

MLive: Detroit Pistons’ diciest NBA draft decision, Stanley Johnson or Devin Booker?

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Stanley Johnson,
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