|Danny Ainge: ‘I felt there for about 48 hours that we had a legitimate chance’ to land Kevin Durant||07.07.16 at 1:12 pm ET|
Since Kevin Durant’s Fourth of July fireworks on Monday announcing that he would be joining the Warriors, Danny Ainge has had time to mull over what exactly happened to see Durant slip from the Celtics’ grasp.
“You know, in a situation like that, you never really know,” Ainge said to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. “I didn’t really feel like we had a great chance, but I thought we had some chance. And then after we met with them, I felt like we had a real chance.
“I felt there for about 48 hours that we had a legitimate chance. It seemed like a really good fit. It seemed like a really good option for him, and it just wasn’t meant to be. He had other good options, too, but I did allow myself to get really excited for that 48-hour period, and it just didn’t happen.”
Ainge admitted he was incredibly disappointed when he got the courtesy call from Durant saying he was going to Golden State shortly before his Players’ Tribune piece came out.
The Celtics certainly pulled out all the stops trying to sway Durant into wearing green next season, bringing a cavalry of team personnel, coach Brad Stevens, players Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder and even Tom Brady — Durant’s favorite athlete — to meet with the star in the Hamptons on Saturday.
Even David Ortiz tweeted at Durant to apologize for not being able to make the meeting. And upon signing Al Horford — who multiple times indicated him and Durant had discussed playing together — the Celtics seemed like legitimate contenders for the prized free agent.
“I felt like the meeting and presentation couldn’t have gone any better. I think we all felt that,” Ainge said. “I think it went as well as it could have, and we got a really good sense that it was going to be a really hard decision for him, but that we were a strong consideration.
“We felt like that was the most important part of the whole presentation — who he’d play with and how he’d be utilized. He had some good questions about that and about his role – how he would play, how we would use him. I think we did a great job of explaining and making a great presentation, and I think it was tempting for him. I think he is very, very excited about Boston and the history, the Celtics, all of that. I think he loved what Brad had to say. I think he was impressed with Brad’s preparation, and we had a really good feeling about it.”
|Guerschon Yabusele, James Young deliver big efforts in Celtics’ summer league win over Jazz||07.06.16 at 1:33 pm ET|
When the Celtics selected French forward Guerschon Yabusele with the No. 16 pick in last month’s draft, it came as a surprise — and it didn’t sit well with some Celtics fans who were hoping the team would draft a more recognizable name.
Yabusele didn’t help his cause in the Celtics’ summer league opener on Monday, tallying just five points and six rebounds and looking uncomfortable on the court. But on Tuesday he showed why the C’s considered him worthy of a mid-first-round pick.
Starting at center, the 6-foot-8, 240-pounder scored on Boston’s first possession, catching the ball at the 3-point line, driving right and then finishing with a nifty left-handed reverse against second-year Jazz center Tibor Pleiss, who at 7-foot-3 stands almost a half-foot taller than Yabusele.
Yabusele finished with 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting and eight rebounds in 24 1/2 minutes. He had a memorable stint late in the game when he pursued Jazz point guard Marcus Paige from behind and blocked his layup bid, then ran down the court and got a layup.
He was one of four Celtics in double figures as Boston posted an 89-82 victory.
“Everybody came in and gave us a big lift,” Celtics summer league coach Micah Strawberry said. “Guys made big shots when they were called upon, and it was good to see. It was fun to see the bench cheering each other on, the guys that are out there.”
|Celtics reportedly still trying to pull off major trade||07.06.16 at 9:57 am ET|
The Celtics did not pull off the major trade many fans were hoping for prior to last month’s draft, but they still might have a chance to make a splash. According to a report from the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett, the C’s have been continuing their attempts to improve their lineup by landing a big-name player — namely Bulls guard Jimmy Butler or 76ers center Jahlil Okafor.
The report notes that the C’s may have hurt their chances with their surprising selection of Jaylen Brown at No. 3.
Wrote Bulpett: Sources tell us the C’s are still holding the line on their offers from prior to the draft. They will make trades if teams come around to their price.
Jimmy Butler and Jahlil Okafor are said to be still available, but getting them now won’t be as easy as on draft night when Chicago and Philadelphia, respectively, both coveted the No. 3 overall pick so they could take Providence’s Kris Dunn.
The Celtics helped their cause with the acquisition of free agent forward/center Al Horford but clearly need to do more to compete with the best in the East.
|Ex-Celtic Ray Allen reportedly reaches out to Warriors about making comeback||07.06.16 at 9:38 am ET|
The Warriors are looking to fill out their roster with low-cost options as they have to make changes following their huge financial commitment to free agent Kevin Durant. It remains to be seen if Ray Allen will be one such addition.
According to an ESPN report, Allen is considering making a comeback after sitting out the last two seasons, and his representatives reached out to Golden State to see if there was a possibility he could join the Bay Area powerhouse. However, the Warriors were not sure if they would have interest.
The report also states that Allen would consider joining the Cavaliers, Spurs and Clippers if he decides to go through with a comeback attempt. Although he is known as a player who kept himself in top shape throughout his 18-year playing career, Allen turns 41 on July 20 and has not played in the league since averaging 9.6 points for the Heat in 2013-14.
A 10-time All-Star, Allen won his first title in 2008 with the Celtics. He left as a free agent in 2012 for the Heat and won another ring the ensuing season, hitting a huge, game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Spurs to keep his team alive. Miami went on to win that game in overtime and secure the title in Game 7.
Allen, who also played for the Bucks and SuperSonics, averaged 18.9 points in his career, hitting 40 percent of his 3-pointers.
|Celtics No. 3 pick Jaylen Brown day-to-day with knee injury||07.05.16 at 12:36 pm ET|
According to reporters in Utah for the NBA summer league, Celtics No. 3 pick Jaylen Brown is day-to-day with a knee injury and he will miss Tuesday night’s game.
This is just a precaution as he’s expected to play Thursday, so Celtics fans can breath a sigh of relief.
Jaylen Brown hyperextended his knee and is out tonight.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) July 5, 2016
Brown injury does not sound serious. Micah says he will likely play Thursday, only precautionary.
— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) July 5, 2016
For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.
|Kevin Durant announces on Players’ Tribune he’ll sign with Warriors||07.04.16 at 11:46 am ET|
Kevin Durant is not coming to Boston.
Despite the Celtics’ best effort, even sending Tom Brady to the Hamptons to meet with him, Durant announced on the Players’ Tribune Monday morning that he will sign with the Warriors.
Here is what he wrote: This has been by far the most challenging few weeks in my professional life. I understood cognitively that I was facing a crossroads in my evolution as a player and as a man, and that it came with exceptionally difficult choices. What I didn’t truly understand, however, was the range of emotions I would feel during this process.
The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction. But I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth. With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.
I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me. It taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man. There are no words to express what the organization and the community mean to me, and what they will represent in my life and in my heart forever. The memories and friendships are something that go far beyond the game. Those invaluable relationships are what made this deliberation so challenging.
It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career.
I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team. I will forever cherish the relationships within the organization — the friends and teammates that I went to war with on the court for nine years, and all the fans and people of the community. They have always had my back unconditionally, and I cannot be more grateful for what they have meant to my family and to me.
|Report: Kevin Durant eliminates Celtics as option, leaving just Thunder, Warriors||07.04.16 at 7:32 am ET|
According to a report from Oklahoma City-based ESPN.com NBA writer Royce Young, Kevin Durant is deciding between the Thunder and Warriors, which would mean the Celtics’ efforts to land the marquee free agent have fallen short.
Young tweeted Sunday night: From what I understand, it’s Thunder versus Warriors for Durant.
That apparently did not sit well with Celtics followers eager to see Durant head to Boston. Tweeted Young early Monday morning: Celtics fans went to my Instagram and spent the night making fun of my wife and kids. Really awesome you guys.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Monday morning that the Celtics “still believe that they’re in this.”
Durant is expected to make his decision Monday, apparently via a write-up in The Players’ Tribune. The Thunder reportedly made a final push in a meeting in the Hamptons early Sunday evening.
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