GM Danny Ainge wanted to acquire another lottery selection in addition to the team’s top-3 pick and he dangled everyone on the team in trade discussions, including Isaiah Thomas, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan reports. “Before the draft last year, Danny was trying to get two picks, not just Jaylen Brown,” ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan told Bob Ryan on his podcast (h/t Comcast Sportsnet). “He was on the phone with everybody from coast to coast, and he was offering everybody. That includes Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas, and anything else they needed to get where he wanted to go. There were no untouchables on that team last year.”
The Celtics have talked intermittently with the Clippers about Blake Griffin, per several league sources, but a deal is extremely unlikely. Griffin will be a free agent this summer, and Boston would probably need official permission to talk to him about his future -- a concession Minnesota allowed Cleveland before the Kevin Love trade. The Clips would ask for a bounty, starting with Jae Crowder and one of the Avery Bradley/Marcus Smart duo, plus picks, per league sources.
There are rival executives who believe the Bulls and Celtics will rekindle trade talks centered on Jimmy Butler before the Feb. 23 deadline. The teams held serious talks in June, and the Celtics own the same assets — Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, the Nets' first-round picks in 2017 and 2018 — the teams discussed then.
The Celtics have one of the NBA’s better backcourts, a nice blend of offense (Isaiah Thomas), defense (Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier) and a burgeoning star capable of both (Avery Bradley). It’s also one of the league’s most affordable, with Bradley ($8.3 million) and Thomas ($6.6 million) making well below market value, and Smart and Rozier on rookie deals. That will change soon. Smart is eligible for an extension in 2017. A $10 million-plus offer will be the starting point of negotiations. Thomas and Bradley will be free agents in 2018, eligible for max salaries of $32.4 million per season. Neither will likely come near that, but understand: This is the ballpark Boston is playing in. The Celtics won’t pay all of them. They can’t pay all of them, not if they want to continue to pursue another impact player. If the Celtics make a significant trade, it will undoubtedly include one or more of their star guards.
The Celtics reportedly tried to trade up to pick Embiid in the 2014 NBA Draft. "The Celtics were trying to trade the sixth pick that year, which ended up being Marcus Smart," said Bill Simmons. "They were trying to trade the sixth pick and the Brooklyn pick (17th overall pick) to move up to three to pick Embiid even though he was hurt."
March 25, 2023 | 5:21 am EDT Update
Jarace Walker to enter the draft
Jon Rothstein: Houston’s Jarace Walker told reporters that he plans to declare for the 2023 NBA Draft. Walker is projected to be a lottery pick.
Jayson Tatum on Jaylen Brown: 'Without him, we can’t reach our goal'
Jayson Tatum on what he and Brad Stevens told Jaylen Brown during the past offseason: “Just reassuring the obvious — that we need him. He’s a big part of this team, this franchise. Without him, we can’t reach our goal.”
Jaylen Brown: “It’s the beginning of Ramadan. So definitely being in better spirits. Trying to be… I guess… Smile more a little bit. Just to come out and show your enthusiasm and love for the game. I get that a lot if I don’t smile enough.”
Austin Reaves: 'I want to make as much money as I can and be as successful as I can no matter where it’s at'
NBA Central: Austin Reaves says he’d like to stay with the Lakers but the NBA is a business “Anybody that says we don’t play the game for money is lying… I want to make as much money as I can and be as successful as I can no matter where it’s at.”
Kyrie Irving responds to boos: 'If the fans wanna change places, then hey, be my guest'
Tim MacMahon: Kyrie Irving on boos in Dallas: “So what? … You obviously want to play well, but you it’s only five people on the court that can play for Dallas Mavericks. If the fans wanna change places, then hey, be my guest. Got years of work ahead to be great enough to be on this level.”
Draymond Green: Joel Embiid is the hardest guy to guard in the league
After the game, Embiid told Green why he was inspired into such a herculean effort against Golden State. “He said, ‘You know why I played like that tonight?,” Green recalled on the postgame podium. “You said Joker was the hardest person to guard in the league, so I took that personal.’ So I wanna tell y’all Joel is the hardest guy to guard in the league.”