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Celtics Notes: Turner, Ainge, Sullinger, Free Agency

Evan Turner called Boston “the best place to play” and said he’d absolutely like to re-sign with the Celtics, but he cautioned that it’s not a foregone conclusion in comments he made after Thursday’s season-ending loss to Atlanta, as Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe relays. “Just fit obviously,” Turner said when asked what he’d prioritize in free agency. “I want to get a decent amount of money, you know what I’m saying? But at the same time the fit is going to be huge and the opportunity to play on a winning team. I have played on [bad] teams a couple times and it’s not fun. But obviously the fit, the opportunity to play, and the opportunity to progress and win.”

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com points to the fondness the Knicks have for the former No. 2 overall pick and suggests the Magic will come after Turner, too. Orlando has no shortage of cap space, with enough for two maximum-salary free agents, and while it shouldn’t take the max to secure Turner, he appears poised for a raise on his salary of less than $3.426MM for this season.

See more from Boston:

  • President of basketball operations Danny Ainge expected more than a six-game exit from the playoffs this spring, as he tells Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, but the quick ouster shows the onus is on Ainge to upgrade the team’s talent, opines Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post.
  • Teammates are a draw for soon-to-be restricted free agent Jared Sullinger, Himmelsbach notes (Twitter link). “If I leave it’s gonna be tough walking away from the great guys we have in this locker room,” Sullinger said.
  • Boston’s reputation as an unfriendly place for young black men persists, and whether or not that perception reflects reality, it works against the Celtics in free agent recruiting, as former NBA executive Amin Elhassan contends in an ESPN Insider 5-on-5 panel.
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4 thoughts on “Celtics Notes: Turner, Ainge, Sullinger, Free Agency

  1. Mike Tuck

    Sullinger leaving Boston would be bigger than a first round pick! Sullinger’s play was a reason the Celtics floundered in the first round. Ever since the All-Star break Sullinger’s great physic and Thoma’s swollen head killed the Cs. Sullinger’s back and lack of effort we’re apparent. Yes he went to the floor for a few balls, if they were right below him. But his signature taking charges to protect the key, they disappeared. Players just shot over him, he was less effective rebounding, his feet were like they were in cement. His back was a gamble that didn’t pay off even with the so-called effort to lose weight. Thomas had his problems too! He was shown to be just as ineffective on defense as he was good on offense. Which to me just nullifies his All Star badge. The Celtics need to take a hard look at their roster. Bradley, Smart, Olynyk, Zeller, Crowder and Turner are all good pieces. Turner wants to get paid, but he’s not a front runner for the Celtics. Stevens lack of getting Jordon Mickey playing time really cost the Celtics in the playoffs. Their strength was on defense, and Sullinger and Thomas we’re fractures in the defense. Mickey could have provided a really strong presence at the rim and rebounding. His legs were good and what he lacked in a shot he would have made up for in put backs and rim protection. Hunter’s confidence was benched every mistake he made, which wasn’t the same when Thomas and Turner were coughing up the ball on a routine basis. Small ball killed the Celtics, it’s a nice change, but you saw where guards that don’t try to rebound don’t make up for good inside strength. Olynyk is much more than a stretch, he’s a good center that if used with Johnson, Jerebko, or other big was really effective.
    So now it’s free agent and draft time. The Celtics are in the drivers seat if they can put this in the right perspective. Stevens is a great coach, if he uses his personnel right and doesn’t force his vision on players that can’t provide the playing ability he needs. Sullinger proved to be a achilles heel in the line up.

    • Chris Crouse

      I don’t see how Sullinger can be back unless it’s on a one-year prove it kind of deal. Someone will pay him, so I don’t see that happening.

  2. Chris Crouse

    Turner has grown on me as a player. The Celtics should bring him back at the right price.

    • Arthur Hill

      Turner is valuable, but if the Celtics land a big prize in free agency, there may not be enough money left to give him what he wants.

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