Celtics Notes: Irving, Hunter, Horford, Draft Picks

The Celtics wrapped up a dominant home stand on Wednesday night with a 135-108 win over Indiana, capping off a four-game stretch in which they outscored their opponents by over 20 points per game. Boston has now won seven of nine games since a home loss to Milwaukee on December 21, and Kyrie Irving points to the team meeting that took place after that game a turning point for the C’s, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com details.

“At that point, playing against Milwaukee, we weren’t at rock bottom, but we needed to address some s— in this locker room,” Irving said. “It’s just good to get stuff out in the air. As grown men and guys that have expectations for themselves, it was good to hear guys talk about what they wanted for themselves and what they wanted for this team.”

It has been a somewhat inconsistent first half for the Celtics, who were viewed as the Eastern Conference frontrunners entering the season. The club played just .500 ball in its first 20 games and had a couple more bad losses after that. But as the C’s reach the midpoint of their schedule, they’re back on pace for 50+ wins, and Irving believes they’re starting to hit their stride.

“Everything we talked about at the beginning of the season, I feel like it’s translating now as we continue to get to know one another,” he said. “Meat of the season right now and you can tell that our team is just feeling really good being around each other. And it’s totally different in terms of how we feel out there. It’s just really positive. And when I don’t have to go out there and score 30 it’s cool with me. I probably won’t have to score 30 for us until we play one of the best teams in the league — or, if any — until the playoffs. So I’m happy about that.”

Here’s more out of Boston:

  • Former first-round pick R.J. Hunter, who agreed to a two-way contract with the Celtics, called it a “crazy feeling” to return to his original team two and a half years after being waived, as Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe tweets. “R.J. wants to show the people of Boston they made the right decision when the Celtics drafted him,” agent Mark Bartelstein said, per Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link). “He turned down all kinds of offers from overseas to make his way back to the NBA. I have so much respect for him.”
  • Al Horford, who missed time with a knee injury in December, figures to remain on a minutes restriction for the foreseeable future, writes Taylor Snow of Celtics.com. After initially looking to limit him to around 25 minutes per game, the Celtics are now willing to go up to 27-28 MPG for Horford, Snow notes.
  • In an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton explores how valuable the Celtics’ four 2019 first-round picks might end up being. Pelton believes that if Boston makes a play for Anthony Davis during the coming offseason, the team’s young players will likely be more valuable trade chips than those draft picks.
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13 thoughts on “Celtics Notes: Irving, Hunter, Horford, Draft Picks

    • brian214

      LOL. When Boston can actually trade for him the conversation should start with Tatum. No one else on that roster would be headliner worthy of a deal for AD. Might take JB too.

      • stug14

        From a salary standpoint, the deal could be Davis/Randle for Horford/Tatum/ 2-1st rounders.

        Hate to give up Tatum, but I agree it’s going to take that.

        • Z-A

          Didn’t Tatum said he would trade himself for AD? But more likely you’re trading Brown. If I were NOLA, I’d prefer a package of Hayward, Brown, Williams + 2 best 2019 1sts for AD & ET Moore.

          Hayward is 4 years younger than Horford.

          Randle is opting out. FYI. He has well outplayed his 1 year audition contract. NOLA would be wise to re-up Randle.

          • x%sure

            It’s not about overpaid Hayward or Horford with his knees or even much about low r1s. It’s about Tatum and probably C replacement Williams.

  1. If Boston really wants AD they have to offer as much as they can not as little as possible. Give young guys, draft picks… whatever it takes!!! Boston hasn’t had a player like AD since the days of Larry Legend, so just go for it better overpay than loose out.

    • slapnuts

      Actually, they only have to offer slightly more than the best offer NO gets…

  2. supercollider

    Price for Davis depends on if Pels want to tear it down or stay competitive. If they want to do both, they should ask for:
    1. Solid starter
    2. Another rotation player
    3. Two No. 1s, with one of them in the top 10.

  3. Z-A

    Also, depending on where they are at the trade deadline. I would not be shocked to see Kyrie dealt. Can you envision giving a guy that, while Top-20 or Top-15 has never played a full season and has had multiple lower body injuries.

    A 3-Team deal could happen between the Suns, Celtics, and Pelicans this year.

  4. Pelton all but works for the Celtics. They can put together the best package as between them and the Lakers. But will they? I think it also has to be good enough to do the trade, or the Pels should move on and play it out until the deadline or, if they’re real good, the whole year. For all the reasons that Clev and SA felt they didn’t have that option, the Pels will likely feel they do. For 1 year of AD and then huge cap space/very high picks their own, I would insist on 2 assets that have a very good chance to be 2 elite players with the Pels in 3 years. History says that’s the best you can do, and forget the filler, since it likely won’t be around in 3 years or might have negative value.

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