“No matter how (the season) ends, I think Timmy is going to look at (retirement) again,” Popovich told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “And if you ask me, my guess is that he’ll go for another one because he has been so consistent this season. It’s just consistent stuff: another double-double, over and over and over again. Because of that, I think in his mind that if it continues through the rest of the year, I think he’ll say, ‘I’m going to go another year and see what happens.’ Because what he has told me is that the minute he feels like he’s a hindrance to his team or he’s not on the positive end or helping him, he’s going to walk right off the court. It might be during the third quarter of a game. He’s not going to hang on to finish a contract or make the money or have the notoriety that you know he doesn’t give a (expletive) about. So the way he’s playing now, he’s going to look in the mirror and say, ‘Hey, I’m doing all right.’ ”
February 14, 2016 | 9:13 am EST Update
Lee, who has fallen out of Brad Stevens’ rotation, and would welcome a move to a playoff team that has a role for him, is not drawing suitors. “David Lee was tough for Golden State to move all of last year,” said the source. “And it finally came down to him being moved for Gerald Wallace. David Lee has no value. It’s his contract. David Lee’s value comes in if they get one of these big name players.” … Isaiah Thomas has been doing his part when it comes to selling players on the virtues of being a Celtic.
Indeed, the Celtics’ recent success considered, they do not feel an urgency to get something done by Thursday, though David Lee and his $15.5 million contract have to be burning a hole in Danny Ainge’s pocket. The source said that the Celtics, “do not feel that they have to do anything. Sure they’d like to do something. Every team wants to, but first you have to find something that works with a trade partner. “It’s crazy, though – even the (rumors) that have touched on something that was discussed don’t come close to any of the specifics.”
Darren Wolfson: @carter_boom the Wolves LOVE LaVine. Stop wasting your time thinking they’re moving him.
On the trade block is Denver power forward J.J. Hickson, who has fallen out of coach Mike Malone’s rotation and expects his expiring contract to be moved. Hickson once was considered an understudy to LeBron James in Cleveland, but the Cavaliers traded him to get Omri Casspi, and Hickson never emerged as a standout player. He’s still only 27 and has the ability to score and rebound, but defense and consistency are his issues.
And it was Isiah Thomas who encouraged Isaiah following the Feb. 19, 2015, trade from the Suns, unknowingly becoming a Celtics booster by telling Isaiah he could lead Boston to the playoffs and carry the organization on his back — quite similar to what Iverson did in Philadelphia. “I was pretty excited about the trade,” Isiah Thomas said. “He goes, ‘I don’t understand, why you so excited?’ I told him, ‘Going to Boston is going to be the best thing that ever happened to you. You’re getting to walk into tradition, you’re getting to walk into history, you’re getting ready to walk into what basketball in America really stands for and feels like. You should be honored to put on a Celtic uniform.’ From that day, the people of Boston embraced him and the rest is history.”