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'Significant Change' Could Occur For Celtics In Offseason

May 26, 2017 5:11 PM

The Boston Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals this season while not sacrificing any future assets, but Danny Ainge acknowledged the team needs improvement.

“I don’t know what ‘level’ that means,” he said. “I feel like wins are deceiving sometimes. I think that the fact that we were one of three teams still left playing was something to be proud of, but it’s not necessarily where we really are.

“I think sometimes teams make false assumptions of their team based on things like that. I think that our team is not that much different than a lot of our competition in the East. I think we had a good year in spite of some injuries, you know, with [Al] Horford going down early and Isaiah [Thomas] missing a short time and Avery [Bradley] missing 22 games there in a stretch. We had to overcome some injuries, and it was good because our depth got a chance to play. Everybody on our roster got a chance to prove their worth.

“But I feel like it doesn’t really matter what we’ve accomplished. If we’d lost Game 7 against the Wizards, I don’t feel any different than if we’re where we are today. I know that we’re good. I know that we’re not great. I know that we still have more to do, and, you know, that next step is by far the hardest.”

The Celtics were eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games.

“This is what’s difficult about our business that I think sometimes... you know, I don’t think I knew this even when I was a player and maybe even when I coached as much as I do now,” Ainge said. “As I look around the league, I think sometimes the mistakes that are made are when you’re just that little bit, just that one piece away and you can’t get that piece.

“Just because you’re one piece away doesn’t mean you can get it. And if you force yourself to get it, and if you force a deal or force yourself to get the second best available or the third or fourth best available player at that position that you need, then it might not make you that much better or make you still not good enough, and you’re stuck. So, yeah, we’re not that far away, but we’re still a ways away. We still know we need to get better. Everybody in our organization knows we need to get better. We need to add.”

While the Celtics own the top overall pick and have a good core, they could make major changes this offseason.

“Time will tell on that, but, yeah, there is a potential for there to be some significant change,” said Ainge. “But maybe less change. Maybe more change; maybe not. A lot will be dependent on what we’re able to pull off in the draft and in deals leading up to free agency and then what happens in free agency. There’s just so much unknown right now. Right now it’s all talk and pipe dreams and planning. But there’s no certainty. It’s an exciting time for us, and it’s a very busy time for us.”

Steve Bulpett/Boston Herald

Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Isaiah Thomas Still Hoping To Avoid Surgery On Hip

May 26, 2017 3:41 PM

Isaiah Thomas says he must wait until the swelling subsides in his injured right hip before determining his rehabilitation plan but noted that surgery is not currently the top option.

"[Surgery is] not the No. 1 option right now, but it could be once the swelling goes down," Thomas said Friday while addressing reporters at Boston's exit interviews. "They want to let [the swelling] die down a little bit then take another MRI once everything is down and it's back to normal. We'll go from there. Hopefully I don't have to have surgery, but I know that is an option."

Thomas said the Celtics are committed to putting him on the best path to long-term health. Thomas will be a free agent in 2018.

"I've gotta do what's best for me in the long run, what's best for my body. As [coach] Brad [Stevens] continues to say each and every day, it's how you're healthiest for the long run. Even [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] and those guys say that, so that says a lot about who they are as people.

"Most importantly, they care about my health, not just being a basketball player. So the Celtics are definitely behind me in this tough situation, but I mean, nobody's going to feel sorry for me. I just have to keep going and figure out what I've gotta do to come back at the highest level possible."

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Tags: Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Injury

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Danny Ainge Confirms Lonzo Ball Won't Work Out For Celtics

May 25, 2017 10:54 AM

Danny Ainge has confirmed that Lonzo Ball will not work out for the Boston Celtics despite the team owning the first overall pick.

With the Los Angeles Lakers selecting second overall, Ball hopes to be picked by his hometown team.

"We don't deal with [Ball's camp] all that much," said Ainge. "They didn't show up at the combine, which is very common -- many of the top 10 or 15 players don't show up for the [NBA's] combine. ... We just tried to get him in for a workout and they politely said no."

The Celtics are widely expected to select Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick if they keep it.

Toucher and Rich

Tags: Lonzo Ball, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NBA Draft Workouts

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Isaiah Thomas Still Consulting Specialists Before Deciding On Hip Surgery

May 24, 2017 12:39 PM

Isaiah Thomas has met with one specialist regarding the right hip injury that has sidelined him for the rest of the playoffs. Thomas will gather one or two more opinions before deciding whether to have surgery.

“He’s still obviously really sore,” Brad Stevens said. “The last [doctor] said that some of the inflammation that he has has to go down before they can make the final call.”

Thomas suffered the injury on March 15th and aggravated it several times before he was diagnosed with a labral tear after Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Thomas is one season away from free agency.

Adam Himmelsbach/Boston Globe

Tags: Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Injury

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Celtics Lose Isaiah Thomas For Rest Of Playoffs

May 20, 2017 8:32 PM

Isaiah Thomas will miss the remainder of the postseason after aggravating a right hip injury during Friday's Game 2 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Celtics announced Saturday that Thomas suffered a "re-aggravation of a right femoral-acetabular impingement with labral tear" during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Celtics trail Cleveland 2-0 heading into Game 3. 

“Isaiah has worked tirelessly to manage this injury since it first occurred,” said Celtics Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian McKeon. “The swelling increased during the first two games against Cleveland, and in order to avoid more significant long-term damage to his hip, we could no longer allow him to continue.”

ESPN

Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Isaiah Thomas Misses 2nd Half Of Game 2 With Right Hip Strain

May 20, 2017 3:27 AM

Isaiah Thomas missed the entire second half of Game 2 with a right hip strain.

Thomas played 17 minutes in the first half and didn't score a single field goal on six attempts.

“I think he's going to be reevaluated tomorrow, “ said Stevens, “and ‘we'll see’ is what I was told. I don't know anything further to that. I don't know if somebody out of our PR group will communicate that tomorrow or early Sunday, whatever the determination is.”

According to Stevens, Thomas has been battling the injury for a while.

“He's had a nagging hip injury,” said Stevens. “He aggravated it pretty significantly on Friday in Washington Game 6, went through a bunch of different testing on Saturday and Sunday, was able to play Monday, hasn't felt great either of the two days. But today I thought he looked much different in the first half. When we went back to the locker room, our training staff and doctors got with him. He was pretty despondent not to be able to play. I mean, that guy is a tough guy, and he plays through a lot. For him to have to sit is really hard.”

Lang Whitaker/NBA.com

Tags: Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Isaiah Thomas Talks To Markelle Fultz About Playing Together With Celtics

May 19, 2017 1:02 AM

Isaiah Thomas has reached out to Markelle Fultz about the possibility of sharing a backcourt with the Boston Celtics.

Fultz is expected to be the Celtics' pick at No. 1 if they don't trade it for an established star.

"He's excited," Thomas said. "I mean, he obviously doesn't know where he's going, but ... he's excited about the opportunity."

Thomas said Fultz inquired about the culture of the Celtics organization, to which Thomas has offered insight into how things work.

"He asks questions; I answer them," Thomas said. "He's a good friend of mine. If it happens, we'll figure out how to play together. If not, we'll go from there."

Both Thomas and Fultz attended the University of Washington.

While Fultz will likely be the top pick of the 2017 draft, Thomas was the last pick in 2011.

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Tags: Isaiah Thomas, Markelle Fultz, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Celtics Will Only Trade Top Pick For 'Second Coming'

May 18, 2017 12:52 PM

Owner Wyc Grousbeck indicated the Boston Celtics are unlikely to trade away the top pick in June's draft.

"I think these picks are very, very valuable," said Grousbeck. "You think of it, if you’re going to trade this pick as part of a package for an established star [who is] making max [money], you’ve got to send max money out the door, as well. You’ve got to send more guys along. So, this guy coming back better be the second coming. What’s more, he’s going to be halfway through his career, whoever he is. And he’s going to be paid, right now, a ton of money, which restricts you in other ways.

"If you can get a really good guy with this pick, you’ve got him. You can build with him. You can grow with him. You can coach him up. And you get to max money eventually — five, six years down the road — but it’s a totally different thing.

"So, these picks are really valuable in today’s NBA. And so our intention would be to make the pick unless someone blows us away with an offer. That’s the way I would probably think about it."

The Celtics are widely expected to select Markelle Fultz.

CSN New England (via ProBasketballTalk)

Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Markelle Fultz Considered 'Clear Choice' For Celtics If They Keep No. 1

May 16, 2017 9:31 PM

The Boston Celtics won the lottery and made their potential trade offers more valuable since they control the draft.

The Celtics had interest in trading for either Paul George or Jimmy Butler at the deadline and can revisit those discussions in June.

"Fultz is the clear choice" for the Celtics if they decide to keep the pick, according to Chad Ford. 

The Celtics will also own the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected first rounder in 2018.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Tags: Markelle Fultz, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Draft Prospects Could Avoid Boston Workouts Due To Playing Time Concerns

May 15, 2017 1:50 AM

Several agents are considering holding their draft prospects out of workouts with the Boston Celtics.

With a deep roster at every position, agents are concerned their clients would have to spend the first few seasons of their career coming off the bench. Most agents and players seek opportunities where they can immediately lead a franchise. 

Jaylen Brown was picked third overall and had an inconsistent role with the Celtics as a rookie.

The Celtics will have no worse than the fourth overall pick in the June draft.

"I have deep respect for the Celtics," one agent said. "They may have the best GM and head coach in the league. But I'd have to understand what the plan would be for my client before I let them come. They are loaded at every position. There's a real danger that they take a player and either he plays a limited role of the bench, or he becomes an asset to be traded to a situation that we're uncomfortable with. It's tough."

Chad Ford/ESPN

Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NBA Draft Workouts

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Celtics Should Have Had Extra Second At End Of Game 6
Isaiah Thomas missed an off-balance three-pointer that would have won the game for the Celtics.

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Markieff Morris: Celtics Can't Do 'Funeral' Attire Like Us
The Celtics showed up for Game 6 wearing all black for the "funeral" of the Wizards but John Wall extended the series with his clutch three-pointer.

Ava Wallace/Washington Post

Markelle Fultz Interviewing With Celtics, Lakers, 76ers, Kings, Knicks
Markelle Fultz is one of the only top projected picks to attend the pre-draft combine in Chicago.

Jeff Goodman/ESPN

Isaiah Thomas Fined $25,000 For Interaction With Fan
Isaiah Thomas responded to a fan who was heckling him.

ESPN

Rajon Rondo Believes Bulls Would Have Swept Celtics If He Didn't Get Hurt
The Bulls struggled to manufacture efficient offense once Rajon Rondo was hurt.

Chris Kuc/Chicago Tribune

Kelly Olynyk: I Don't Think I'm A Dirty Player
Kelly Olynyk never played true center until reaching the NBA and his occasionally awkward play has led to several high profile issues.

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Isaiah Thomas Playing With Temporary Dental Bridge
Isaiah Thomas did not suffer a fractured or broken jaw.

RealGM Staff Report

Al Horford: 'Biggest Thing Was Danny Ainge' In Picking Celtics
Al Horford chose to sign with the Celtics over rival playoff teams such as the Wizards and Hawks.

Ian Thomsen/NBA.com

Gerald Green: We're Gonna Beat Wizards Ass In Game 4
Gerald Green started in Game 3 after not playing in Game 2.

Mike Petraglia/WEEI

Kobe Bryant Advising Isaiah Thomas During Playoffs
Kobe Bryant has been giving Isaiah Thomas detailed feedback during the playoffs.

Chase Hughes/CSN Mid-Atlantic

Inspirational Video From Kevin Garnett Helps Lift Celtics In Game 3
Kevin Garnett recorded a high energy, expletive-filled video to pump up the Celtics before they played the Bulls in Game 3.

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Celtics' Coaches Wanted To Trade For Carmelo Anthony At Deadline
The Celtics could use cap space to absorb Carmelo Anthony's contract if Danny Ainge strikes out in free agency.

Marc Berman/New York Post

Marcus Smart Fined $25,000 For Flipping Off Fan
Marcus Smart made the gesture after missing a three-pointer.

RealGM Staff Report

Brad Stevens Has Worst Playoff Winning Percentage In NBA History
Brad Stevens has a 2-10 record over his first 12 games in the playoffs.

ESPN

Isaiah Thomas Will Travel To Tacoma After Game 2
Isaiah Thomas had 33 points on 18 shots from the floor to go with five rebounds and six assists in Game 1 just hours after his sister was killed in a car accident.

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Sister Of Isaiah Thomas Killed In Car Accident
Chyna J. Thomas was 22 years old.

Craig Sailor/Tacoma News Tribune

Celtics Clinch Best Odds For Lottery As Nets Will Finish With NBA's Worst Record
Boston will pick no worse than fourth overall.

RealGM Staff Report

Boston's Mike Zarren Widely Considered NBA's Top GM Candidate
Mike Zarren was "the leading vote-getter by a wide margin" when Kevin Arnovitz polled people in the NBA for future general manager candidates.

Kevin Arnovitz/ESPN

Paul George Hears Cheers In Boston, Puts Future With Pacers On Improved Roster
Paul George said that if Indiana didn't have an improved roster, "then me and front office will talk."

Andrew Perna/RealGM

Pacers Talked Paul George Trade With At Least Celtics, Hawks, 76ers, Nuggets
The Pacers never appeared serious about actually trading Paul George.

Zach Lowe/ESPN