Storyline: Shane Larkin Free Agency

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What factors are you considering in free agency? What things are most important to you as look at potential destinations? Shane Larkin: The most important thing for me is playing time. I’ve been in a lot of different situations throughout my career thus far. Sometimes I’ve played a lot of minutes, sometimes I haven’t gotten many minutes, sometimes the minutes have been very inconsistent. I’m just trying to find a team that wants me to play good minutes so that I can continue to grow and develop for their team.

Shane Larkin: To be clear, I have no problem going back to the Celtics. I loved it there this year. I loved the role I had and they have a great, up-and-coming team that’s going to be outstanding for many years. This was the most fun year I had in the NBA, the most fun I’ve had since I left college. Boston is always an option that I would be interested in, but whichever team offers me the best chance go out there and continue to grow will be my main focus in free agency. I’d love to be back in Boston, given the right circumstances, though.

Six European teams have already offered him contracts that would pay $1.5 million per year or more, he said. “They know I’ve been over there and they know I’m not afraid,” Larkin said. “A lot of NBA guys are afraid to go over there. I think it’s because they don’t think they’re good enough to go over there and then come back, but I know now from experience that I’m good enough to do it. I’m not afraid to do it if that’s the best situation for me.”

You’re an unrestricted free agent this summer. Are you hoping to re-sign with Boston or are you going to cross that bridge when you get to it? Shane Larkin: Obviously going into free agency, you can’t say, “Yeah, this is what’s going to happen.” I love being in Boston and if Boston is the right place for me to be next season, I would be happy to come back and have no hesitation because I love the fans, I love the city and I love everything about it. But it always comes down to what’s the best situation. In Boston this season, I’ve played basically 12 minutes per game and obviously I want to be a guy who continues to grow and continues to be better and continues to get to the level of a guy like Ish Smith or Patty Mills – the guys who have blossomed and grown every year to the point that they’re now looked at as some of the best backup point guards in the league. I think I have all the ability to do that and more.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent guard Shane Larkin. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Larkin (5-11, 175 lbs.) most recently played for Laboral Kutxa Baskonia in Spain last season where he played a total of 72 games (70 starts) split between ACB league play, the Euroleague and the Spanish Cup. The 24-year-old played in 37 games for Baskonia in ACB play, averaging 14.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.38 steals in 28.0 minutes. The University of Miami product also appeared in 33 games of the Euroleague, notching 12.1 points (34.3% 3-PT), 2.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.27 steals.

You saw a lot of guys opting out of their contract in free agency and it went well for most of them. You did the same, didn’t go so well for you. Any regret? Shane Larkin: Not really. The situation in Baskonia is a better situation than Brooklyn knowing that they wanted to go in a different direction. I could have possibly been in a bad situation with the guards they drafted perhaps playing in front of me because the new management might want to see them play. That situation wasn’t ideal. I don’t feel any regret about my decision. Obviously, it’s not all about the money, but I’m playing for more money this year than I did last year and I’m playing in a good situation where I’m going to have a lot of people watching me play and seeing my improvement. I’ll play in a competition where there’s a bunch of talented players. I think there’s 10 guys that were in the Euroleague that signed NBA deals this summer.

“I’m not a guy who wants to play a 10-year career with eight different teams; I want to find a home and really lock in with a team where I know what the coach wants, what my teammates want and we can just all grow together,” Larkin told Basketball Insiders. “I feel like that’s how you get the best out of your players. It’s not like, ‘Alright, let’s get this guy here for a year, he can fill in this void for us and then [move on].’ I just turned 23, so I’m still young. Being able to get with a team on a two-year deal or three-year deal saying, ‘This is what we want you to be. We want you to spark our offense, push the tempo, be this guy and this is what we feel you can do for the team,’ then that’s perfect. Whether I’m a starter or whatever, it’s cool either way. I just want to find a situation where a team wants to see me grow with them and not just [have me as] a fill-in. That’s the kind of situation I’d be looking for.”

Larkin, the No. 18 selection in the 2013 NBA draft, will be a restricted free agent on July 1, if he declines the option. Larkin doesn’t have a high market value around the NBA and for that reason he will probably opt in to guarantee the $1.5 million for next season. Larkin played in 78 games this season, starting 17, and he averaged 7.3 points, 4.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Besides Larkin, teammates Wayne Ellington and Thomas Robinson also own player options for next season.
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December 5, 2019 | 10:32 pm UTC Update
Former President Barack Obama is now officially a resident of Martha’s Vineyard, after having closed on the Edgartown estate of Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck. The 29-acre Edgartown property on Turkeyland Cove Road was purchased by Turkeyland Cove Nominee Trust for $11.75 million, according to Dukes County Registry of Deeds records. The property had been on the market for $14.8 million, and was assessed at $15.1 million.
Storyline: Real Estate
December 5, 2019 | 8:30 pm UTC Update
December 5, 2019 | 7:20 pm UTC Update
December 5, 2019 | 6:02 pm UTC Update
Walton, who now coaches the Sacramento Kings, had adamantly denied wrongdoing — claiming Tennant, was the person who initiated their meet-up, insists it was “platonic” and nothing sexual ever occurred. Now, Tennant has filed new court docs calling off the suit — asking a judge to dismiss with prejudice, which means she can’t refile it. Unclear if Walton and Tennant struck a settlement — but it’s not uncommon in situations like this.
The Boston Celtics’ disastrous 2018-19 season came to an end on a Wednesday in May. The dejected squad dressed quietly in a Milwaukee locker room, then flew back to Boston the next morning. A few players talked to the media, but they didn’t have any answers. Nobody really did. The next morning, Celtics assistant coach Tony Dobbins got a text: Could he get to the practice facility? Jaylen Brown wanted to get in the gym.
Part of Brown’s urgency was due to his schedule. He had a trip to Egypt planned, and he wanted to make sure he got in the gym before he left in case finding a gym overseas proved difficult (ultimately, a basketball star doesn’t have much trouble finding a place to workout, even in a foreign country). But one thing was clear: After enduring one of the strangest seasons in recent NBA memory, Brown didn’t want to waste time.
December 5, 2019 | 4:37 pm UTC Update
December 5, 2019 | 2:18 pm UTC Update
Welcome to the opening weeks of the NBA’s coach’s challenge. ESPN asked head coaches from almost half the league’s 30 teams for their input on the challenge system. The views ranged from hostile to constructive, but there wasn’t an endorsement to be found. But for all the frustration and bewilderment the new rule has created across the league, don’t expect it to go the way of the NBA’s synthetic basketball.
Storyline: Officiating Complaints
Even still, Ellis is fine with all that. Those who remember and appreciate how good he was, what he meant to the organization, they remember. Those who don’t, that’s fine, too. Peace won’t let that bother him. Because he remembers. “Everything, even through my bad times, I still enjoyed it,” Ellis said in a phone interview this week of his time with the Warriors. “Because at the end of the day, they gave me my shot. They took a chance on drafting a high schooler, 152 pounds of out Jackson, Mississippi. … So I was always grateful and thankful for that. It went down the way it went down. I guess that’s part of the business. And it just happened the way it happened. But my whole experience, the time that I was there for seven and a half years, I loved every bit of it.”
When the Warriors drafted Curry, a player just as slight as him, Ellis didn’t think it could work. And he said so, which created controversy. He laughs about it now, that character trait of his that stirred that pot. Ellis doesn’t talk much. But when he does, he says what he believes. And the straight-talking young man from the Dirty South only knew one way to tell it. “I ain’t gon’ lie,” he said over the phone. “I’ve done some things when I was young that bite me in my butt. But it is what it is, a part of life. “Just some people didn’t take, when they ask me an opinion, they didn’t really want to accept the reality of it, the truth. Because, you know, I don’t know how to be fake with nobody.”
He was getting dressed in the visiting locker room at Arco Arena, ready to take on the Kings, when Dominic McGuire broke the news to him. He saw it on the ESPN ticker on the locker room TV. Ellis was traded to Milwaukee. Just like that, he was no longer a Warrior. He was pissed. “Not only so much that they traded me,” Ellis remembered, “just how they went about trading me. If they would’ve traded me and let me know the process of everything that was going down, it would’ve been a whole lot better. I mean, that was a career-changing experience right there. ‘Cause when I went to Milwaukee, it was totally different.”
Matt Babcock, owner of Babcock Hoops and a former NBA agent, told The Commercial Appeal that Wiseman having to sit out one-third of Memphis’ regular season isn’t all that significant from an NBA draft standpoint. “It’s not like he’s a guy that just has a lot of upside with a lot of polishing to do. He’s ready to play in the NBA right now,” Babcock said. “Not that he doesn’t have room for growth. He does. (But) I think it’s more of just he’s being robbed of the experience.” Babcock believes Wiseman (who is tied with North Carolina’s Cole Anthony as FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds-on favorite to be picked first) is worthy of No. 1-pick status. But the games he will miss could also cost him the opportunity to cement himself as such.
Storyline: No. 1 pick
December 5, 2019 | 10:43 am UTC Update
Two specialists told The Post that Irving is likely to be out a few more weeks. One medical source not affiliated with the team intimated there’s more under the surface and that this injury could be even more long term. “That’s a very, very broad term,” said Dr. Andrew S. Rokito, chief of shoulder surgery at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital. “Impingement typically does not refer to an acute injury. [It] refers to more of a long-standing, chronic issue with the rotator cuff.
This will be the sixth consecutive season with fewer post-ups than the last, and 2019-20 is on pace for the largest post-up drop-off in more than a decade. The reasons for the play’s excision are all tied together, a result of both rule and strategic changes that have encouraged the rise of Moreyball. (Another fun excerpt from that 2015 Lowe column: He wrote that the post-up death “evokes both wistfulness for the past and a fear that the NBA is heading toward a homogeneity in which every team drives for corner 3s, layups, and free throws. What happens if we all play Rocketball?” Welcome to the NBA in 2019!)
USA Basketball named former NBA head coach Mike Fratello as USA’s head coach for the 2021 FIBA AmeriCup Qualifiers. Andy Greer and Othella Harrington will be his assistants. Fratello holds previous experience at the international level with Ukraine between 2011 and 2014. From 1984 to 2006 made it to the playoffs 11 times in 15 full-season attempts with various NBA teams.
But a year from now, things could drastically change and that has the rest of the NBA in a panic according to NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh. “The people I talk to around the league are really worried they are going to trade that first-round pick, the 2020 pick, because if they load up with an All-Star-type player with that pick, they are terrified,” Haberstroh said during the Warriors-Hornets telecast on NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday. “Or if they land a Luka Doncic in the draft, they’re terrified. So that 2020 pick, adding to the group they have established here with [Eric] Paschall stepping in right away, man, I think every team is going to try to do a gap year.”
Sitting alongside Sandler at a Manhattan hotel this week was a cackling Kevin Garnett, who plays himself in a new movie, “Uncut Gems,” co-directed by the Safdie brothers, Josh and Benny, New Yorkers who also count themselves among the legion of long-tortured Knicks die-hards. Garnett was known as the Big Ticket during his playing days, mostly in Minnesota and Boston, where in 2008 he helped secure championship banner No. 17. But Sandler is the box office star in the film — which opens this month — as Howard Ratner, a wheeler, dealer and degenerate gambler in midtown Manhattan’s diamond district who is increasingly desperate to settle his debts with one massive score.
December 5, 2019 | 3:14 am UTC Update
NBA rules require a protest to be filed within 48 hours after a game. Sources said the NBA office has started conducting an investigation that could take longer than the 48-hour window. The Rockets contend that they should either be awarded the win — because they actually outscored the Spurs in regulation — or that the final seven minutes, 50 seconds of the game be replayed at a later date. League sources, however, scoffed at the suggestion that the Rockets would be awarded the victory.