“Stay level-headed,” Grant Williams said when asked how the Celtics have managed to survive the peaks and valleys of the playoffs so far. “At the end of the day, no matter what happens, whether it’s a big win or big loss, you have to play it the right way. We can’t let it carry over. It’s 2-1 right now and we play in front of our Garden fans and can make it 2-2. “It’s one of those things where we still control our destiny. We have to come out there and not only be a little more physically dominant and be more conscious of what we are trying to accomplish. Just like a regular season, there’s going to be peaks and valleys, you are going to have success and times you are not playing well, but the best teams stick together through thick and thin and they do their best job understanding the same thing can’t beat you twice.”
June 27, 2022 | 11:16 am EDT Update
While Nets GM Sean Marks and superstar forward Kevin Durant have yet to speak this offseason, Kyrie Irving’s camp has requested and received permission from the Nets to speak with other teams about sign-and-trade packages, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
The belief among both league and player circles is that Irving is gone and the Seven-Eleven Era is over before it ever began. Irving only appeared in 103 regular-season games in Brooklyn, a three-year run ravaged in Year 1 by a nagging shoulder injury; in Year 2 due to absences for personal reasons; and in Year 3 due to Irving’s unwillingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in a city that didn’t create a professional athlete exemption in its vaccine mandate until weeks before the NBA playoffs began.
Irving reportedly has six teams on his radar: the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, 76ers and Mavericks. A Durant and Westbrook reunion in Brooklyn remains unlikely, according to a source. The Knicks, Mavericks and Heat are the teams that have the biggest capacity to pull off a deal for Irving, but the Knicks and Mavericks appear to be in a bidding war over free agent guard Jalen Brunson.
June 27, 2022 | 11:03 am EDT Update
Malik Monk said he’d consider accepting less money than his market price to stay with the Lakers for the taxpayer midlevel exception. “They might not be able to pay me as much as I want,” he said. “But I could be here and be way more comfortable as a Laker than going to any other team (that would pay) me $5 million more. So it’s just me trying to figure out what team would really want me.”
As Monk weighs the most significant factors of his free agency, money is obviously important, but it’s not the most important one. Role and minutes are more notable considerations. “Money is always a part, man, but I don’t think it’s the biggest priority in my free agency this year,” Monk said. “It’s me feeling like I’m having a home and I can go out there and do the same things I did this year.”
But he believes he’s entering this summer with more leverage and more of a market. “I had another career year, with all my numbers and things like that,” Monk told The Athletic. “I can’t be down on myself.”