Brian Robb: Don’t be surprised to hear trade talks on Crowder, Bradley and Smart in coming hours/days. C’s will undoubtedly test market on all of them.
Avery Bradley is poised for the biggest payday of his life, which could double his salary, or more. Yet, as much as he said he considers Boston his “second home” while hosting his basketball camp at Brandeis University on Monday, he knows change has been all around him in his time with the Celtics, and that he is not immune to that change.
“That’s something that’s out of my control,” he said. “I don’t worry about it. I know that, if that were the case and I happen to get traded, the Celtics are going to do whatever is best for them and I am going to have to do whatever is best for me once I am put in a different situation. Our job is to play basketball, not worry about trades.”
Avery Bradley: “I care, but I know that Danny will make the best decision. I trust him. In all these years that I’ve been here he’s been making the right decisions for our team. No matter what people thought about them at the time, they always ended up working out.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Philadelphia searching for defensive-minded guards to play with Ben Simmons. One target: Boston's Avery Bradley. No traction.
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.
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.
With Sacramento in shambles once again, Lowe was asked by David Thorpe whether he believes the Celtics would be willing to offer Avery Bradley or Jae Crowder in a trade. "A year ago, six months ago, I would have said yes," Lowe replied. "And what's interesting to me -- look, everyone knows the Celtics have the goods to make a real offer, although ... maybe that Nets pick isn't the golden ticket we thought it was going to be. We'll see. I think the Nets will regress, long story short. So I think (Celtics president of basketball operations) Danny (Ainge) would gamble. I don't think that is the majority view of the organization, including the coach. I don't think Brad Stevens wants to touch DeMarcus Cousins with a 10-foot pole. And that carries a lot of weight there. Not only that, they just signed a center. And they think Al Horford is a center, and will play more center as pieces come and go in Boston. And so I don't know what that does to Boston's hunger to acquire a superstar big man who is going to be a locker room question mark."
If the Celtics conclude this season's team can't make real playoff noise, Bradley becomes a sneaky interesting trade piece even though Danny Ainge loves him. (Thomas is indispensable; Boston has no one else who can skitter into the teeth of enemy defenses.)
KC Johnson: Avery Bradley also has been discussed in one permutation of Bulls-Celtics talks, per source.
September 16, 2021 | 8:59 am EDT Update
Jorge Sierra: Free agent guard Isaiah Thomas will be working out with the Warriors next week, sources tell me and @Michael Scotto.
With the understanding that things can change — it’s a business, things can change with you, things change with the organization — as we sit here right now, do you see yourself in Toronto long term? Pascal Siakam: I do. I’m a really prideful person and I always want to be the best player that I can be, and the bubble wasn’t that. So I get it, I understand it, but also for me what really hurt me is one of those things about my dad or like, “Oh, your dad wouldn’t have been proud of this.” [Siakam’s father died in a car accident in 2014.]
Was there any irritation from you toward the Raptors that your name was surfacing so much in trade rumors? Pascal Siakam: It didn’t bother me really, because I never really heard anything from the Raptors. Even all the news I was seeing it was never like: “Oh. The Raptors wanted to give up Siakam for this.” It was always like, “The Warriors like Pascal,” or it was always, “The Kings like Pascal,” or this. There was never nothing where it was like, “The Raptors wanted to give away Pascal.”
Were you surprised that Kyle Lowry left for Miami? Pascal Siakam: I wouldn’t say I was surprised by it because obviously I could see it coming. When I was a rookie, these were the people that we look up to, right? It was Kyle. It was DeMar [DeRozan]. Kyle was like our big brother. We looked up to him and DeMar. So it was weird, obviously, to see them go. Sometimes, I’ll be thinking, “OK, Kyle is not here anymore, right?” You don’t really put it in perspective. Some of the questions obviously about what the team wants to do and things like that, they ask you. And before you felt like all those questions, I didn’t really have to answer them, because I felt like Kyle was there and now he’s not there.
How is rehab going? Pascal Siakam: I was expecting it to be worse, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I would say just, I think the first two weeks or three weeks was the worst, just because I couldn’t sleep. I have to find a position to get comfortable. I had to sleep on the couch for two weeks because I couldn’t sleep on the bed. I’m a side sleeper. So I couldn’t do that. Are you even shooting or doing anything basketball-wise? Pascal Siakam: Yes. I’m shooting, ball handling. I think at this point in the process I look better than I thought I was expecting at least or I’m doing more than I thought I would do at that time.
September 16, 2021 | 8:32 am EDT Update
Dusan Ivkovic passed away in the early hours of Thursday morning in a Belgrade hospital, with the first information from the Serbian media reporting that he had collected fluid in his lungs. Ivkovic was known as one of the most influential coaches in European and world basketball, having won numerous titles in his 46 years active.
Pau Gasol: “I keep thinking about my future, I don’t see myself on any team other than Barça.” On retirement: “I keep thinking about whether to continue or not. It will not be an easy decision and when I know it I will let you know. I have been a professional for 23 years and I am considering all the factors to make a decision soon and be able to communicate it. I have not made a decision 100 percent. If I look back it has been many years enjoying very interesting things.”
AS Monaco is adding guard Mike James to their bolstered roster for the 2021-22 season, as first reported by Home of Glory and Donatas Urbonas, also confirmed by Eurohoops sources. James, 31, who recently parted ways with CSKA Moscow was on the lookout for a new team while training individually in Moscow in the meantime.