August 16, 2016, 7:50 am
For the last few seasons most of the talk surrounding the Boston Celtics has been about their ability and desire to pull off a big trade. Every arbitrary deadline reached breeds new discussions and rehashed criticism for Danny Ainge. Many were left surprised when Boston couldn’t trade their top-3 pick this summer, and were even more surprised to see them take Jaylen Brown when many thought that Kris Dunn was the better trade asset.
It seems that the narrative has been pushed so much that we forget to acknowledge the possibility that Boston may not feel the urgency to make a trade that we feel for them. When Ainge was discussing trades with other teams, he probably got a good sense of what player held the most value. If that truly was Dunn, then the negativity surrounding the pick may be entirely unwarranted.
What better proof is there that Boston isn’t as interested in a trade as we think? They clearly like Brown, and they weren’t willing to let him pass unless a great opportunity presented itself. And had they picked Dunn, it could have made a trade more of a priority than it needs to be. The Celtics already have more guards than they can play, so adding another means that you’ll need to make a trade sooner or later.
Maybe the Celtics shouldn’t be pressured into making a trade. The irony in all of this is that most of the assets that they have came from other teams trying to build too quickly. There’s no way Brooklyn thought that these picks would be in the top-5, or even in the lottery. Dallas had an amazing offense when they traded for Rajon Rondo, and then lost him for nothing at the end of the season, and failed to make any sort of progress in the playoffs.
Without a doubt the Mavericks would love to have Jae Crowder back (among others), and Brooklyn would absolutely want their picks back after failing to do much of anything with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
So after watching these other franchises fail in their attempts to speed up the building process, why speed up their own? There is certainly a point where Boston will want to condense some of these assets into a superstar talent, but why does that time need to be now?
Al Horford will be in Boston for quite a while, and the team has Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder on two of the best contracts in the league. Bradley will be far more expensive in two years, but even then the team may feel that Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown or RJ Hunter can step in and take his spot.
With their current cap space, there’s no reason to think that the team can’t chase big free agents next summer as well. Boston is definitely a market big enough to attract top players if the team can prove that they’re good enough, and adding Horford this summer could be exactly what they need to get into the Conference Finals.
If the Celtics choose this route, then they still have valuable assets to pull off a trade for an all-star level player, and if they’re able to get one in free agency as well, then we could be looking at them as one of the best teams in the NBA, and an easy title contender.
If they need even more motivation to wait, then they can look at how the current NBA landscape has been formed. While the Thunder never won a title with Kevin Durant, their team was built almost exclusively through the draft. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Serge Ibaka were all first round picks for the team, and players like James Harden and Reggie Jackson were drafted by the team and subsequently traded for other pieces.
The Warriors, as many of us have been made painfully aware, were also built largely through the draft, and that’s partially what enabled them to get Kevin Durant the way that they did. It would be hard at this point to argue that the Cavaliers were built entirely through the draft, but Kyrie Irving was their own first round pick, and having LeBron James changes the way that a franchise operates.
If Boston chooses to make a trade for a superstar this summer, they could be an incredibly dangerous team, but the fact is, it doesn’t have to be now. Many assets are overvalued this time of year, so trades can be hard to come by. Being patient is what gave them the team and the assets they have now, and being patient could be what gives them sustained success down the road.
May 25, 2020, 3:16 pmTerry RozierPG, Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are the latest team to re-open their facilities, with the Novant Health Training Center set to open up on Tuesday.
With this, there are only eight teams left to open their practice courts back up, though nobody has been able to engage in any sort of team work yet. Individual workouts are better than no workouts, however, and the league appears to be getting its ducks in a row in terms of returning to play. There's still no firm timelines but things do appear to be heading in the right direction.
Source: Charlotte Hornets
May 25, 2020, 3:13 pmJon LeuerPF, Milwaukee Bucks
Jon Leuer has announced his retirement from basketball.
Injuries completely destroyed Leuer's career, as he played in a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons with zero appearances in the 2019-20 campaign. Leuer's high point came with the Suns, where he averaged 8.5 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and a 38.2 mark from deep. His eight-year career comes to an end, with Leuer saying that his body simply won't let him play at a high level anymore.
Source: Jon Leuer on Instagram
May 24, 2020, 9:20 pmKyrie IrvingPG, Brooklyn Nets
Following Governor Andrew Cuomo's greenlight from earlier on Sunday, the Nets will reopen their practice facilities on Tuesday.
The team will open its doors to voluntary player workouts. The team's statement went on to elaborate that they would strictly follow NBA and infectious disease expert protocols as they resume activities. It's another small step in the right direction as the NBA continues its climb towards trying to play actual games.
Source: Malika Andrews on Twitter
May 24, 2020, 8:03 pmKemba WalkerPG, Boston Celtics
Kemba Walker feels that his left knee hampered him earlier this year because of all of the basketball he's played over the course of his career.
The knee pain has been a constant this season, and Walker has missed eight games due to the injury overall. He should be fully recovered for when the season does resume at this point, and if he is able to get enough practice reps in he'll be able to avoid any restrictions whenever the league-wide shutdown is lifted.
Source: The Athletic
May 24, 2020, 7:56 pmAnte ZizicPF, Cleveland Cavaliers
If Ante Zizic chooses to leave the NBA when he hits free agency this offseason, he could draw interest from Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Zizic had a lot of success in 2016-17 when he was last in the Euro League with Darussafaka, averaging 9 points and 6.7 rebounds in under 21 minutes per game. In comparison, he's been an afterthought for the Cavs this season, only averaging 10 minutes per game. Moreover, the Cavs declined to pick up his player option for next season, and they already have plenty of options for the frontcourt between Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., and possibly DeAndre Drummond (player option). Maccabi will have to see how much salary flexibility they have this offseason as ticket sales are likely to take a hit in Israel next year.
Source: Euro Hoops
May 24, 2020, 7:33 pmKevin DurantSF, Brooklyn Nets
On Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that professional sports teams based in New York may resume operations immediately.
With Governor Cuomo's green light in place the Knicks and Nets are now just waiting for Adam Silver's seal of approval on getting back into there facilities. The majority of the league now has state approval to access their practice facilities and the NBA is slowly ramping up activities in hopes of resuming games in July.
Source: Andrew Cuomo on Twitter
May 23, 2020, 9:43 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported that the NBA has entered "exploratory conversations" with Disney on restarting the season at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said the NBA and NBPA have discussed with Disney on restarting the season in late July. Marc Stein reported on Friday that it is looking increasingly likely that games will resume in July, and it appears that the stage for the rest of the 2019-20 season is likely to be Orlando.
May 23, 2020, 9:32 pmLaMelo BallPG, International
The Knicks have LaMelo Ball as their top-rated point guard for the 2020 NBA Draft.
The Knicks have a need at point guard and Ball is considered the point guard with the highest upside in this draft. He had poor shooting numbers in his 12 games in the NBL this past season, shooting .250 from deep and .375 from the field. He is a gifted passer though and averaged 6.8 assists per game in 31.3 minutes, adding 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals. If Ball was drafted by the Knicks, he could help younger players RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson get easier looks. Ball will likely be given an opportunity to run the offense by the team that drafts him and he could put up big assists numbers. He also has an impressive steal rate in limited play in Australia, but his shooting percentages are a big concern.
May 23, 2020, 9:15 pmBradley BealSG, Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said “There are no Beal Sweepstakes and that’s why he re-signed with the Wizards.”
Bartelstein continued to say “Brad re-signed with the Wizards because he wanted to stay in Washington and the Wizards wanted to keep him there.” Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported earlier in the week that the Nets had internal discussions with the Wizards for Beal. A trade out of Washington would likely hurt Beal’s fantasy value, but it’s not worth putting too much stock into trade rumors for Beal in dynasty leagues.
May 22, 2020, 9:13 pmJonathan IsaacPF, Orlando Magic
Jonathan Isaac, who sustained a serious left knee injury in January, said his knee is "feeling strong" and that he has been squatting increasingly more weight recently.
Isaac also said recently that he's open to returning if and when the NBA season is resumed and as long as the Magic organization is on-board with it. He has been running on an anti-gravity treadmill and indicated that his knee feels "110 percent" after more than four months of rehab. Isaac is a huge part of the Magic's future and it remains to be seen whether or not they will take the risk.
Source: John Denton on Twitter