Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Simmons, Kyrie, Knox

After Al Horford left for bigger free agent riches in Philadelphia this summer, the Celtics signed scoring-oriented Enes Kanter as a cheap replacement, hoping that Daniel Theis, Kanter, Robert Williams and rookie Grant Williams could compensate for Horford’s absence piecemeal.

So far, that has proven to be the case during Boston’s 11-4 start. A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston preaches caution against disrupting team chemistry by trying to trade for a major center upgrade like Clint Capela or Karl-Anthony Towns

Instead, Blakely notes that 7’5” rookie Tacko Fall, on a two-way contract, has impressed in the G League thus far. Blakely suggests that Fall might be an option who could shore up the Celtics’ interior defense in spot minutes. Boston should also monitor the buyout market and top Chinese Basketball Association centers, Blakely opines.

There’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • After making his first NBA triple in a 109-104 win over the Knicks, Sixers All-Star point guard Ben Simmons mentioned his desire to play for the Australian national team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Tim Bontemps of ESPN reports. Sixers coach Brett Brown was recently announced as the Australian national team’s coach for the event.“We have a great relationship,” Simmons said of Brown in his postgame comments. “I’ve known him my whole life. I’m excited to put together a great team.”
  • Prized offseason Nets acquisition Kyrie Irving has missed the past four games with a shoulder impingement. Though coach Kenny Atkinson insists that the ailment will not be a long-term issue, he concedes that Irving is not healthy enough to play, as the New York Post’s Brian Lewis relays. “We have a protocol before a guy comes back to play. Usually we’re not just going to throw you out there without seeing you. We have these kind of set standards in the past,” Atkinson notes. “We’re not at that point yet. Hopefully, he will get there soon.”
  • Knicks coach David Fizdale has challenged second-year forward Kevin Knox to improve his defense, according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “I am definitely riding Kevin, to challenge him to go to another level, especially defensively,” Fizdale confirmed, before praising his improved offense. “His shooting percentage is up, finishing around the rim is much better, he’s seeing the floor better. But I want him to take a big jump forward defensively… He’s got the physical tools to do it.” Braziller points out that Fizdale has been quicker with the hook for Knox lately. The 6’7″ forward from Kentucky has averaged 14.7 minutes across the team’s last four contests, a far cry from the more generous 23.6 minutes he was allotted over New York’s first 11 games.
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19 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Simmons, Kyrie, Knox

  1. Black Ace57

    So Fizdale wants Knox to improve his defense, but won’t give him the minutes needed to do so. He’s going to give them to vets not apart of the future to try to win in a season where wins are meaningless. CotY right there. Doug Collins 2.0

    • qbert1996

      He’s gotta earn minutes like everyone else. This isn’t a new thing. Knox has been putrid on the defense so far this year

  2. steve

    Forget tacko fall id trade for KAT in a heartbeat id move something like walker, tatum, and anthying another than Memphis pick. Just see if they bite of course you can throw heyward in ifnyou want to lols. Wouldnt give much for capela, morey aint gonna sell low lols.

    • Spike4christ

      Tatum is going no where. Robert Williams is looking better and better. Tacko can play EmBrid some I believe. Maybe we can Trade Kanter for Baynes.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Like the Wolves are going to trade KAT? Dream on…..

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      And what exactly would the Celtics have to give up to acquire Clint Capela? He’s been averaging 20 boards over the past 6 games, there probably isn’t a more underrated center in the entire NBA.

        • phillyballers

          Yea… go by per 36. But regardless, he is a better version of Nerlens Noel, who turned down a 4/80M deal I believe so they would have been paid similarly. Boston would have had to give up a 1st and a player for salary purposes.

  3. x%sure

    The espn halftime crew is way better than TNT’s. Paul Pierce said that Ben Simmons has peaked; Jalen Rose was pointing out how nearly all of Simmons’ shots are right-handed and in the paint. Jay Williams said LMA’s defense was so slow it made him mad. This stuff makes me pay attention as well… of course it helps I agree.

  4. Jeff Zanghi

    I think the Celtics center rotation has worked out well enough thus far this season – but I’ve got to say if there’s a way to add Karl Anthony-Towns then you take it. It’s one thing to worry about chemistry if you’re just talking about a modest improvement over the guys you’ve got but Towns is a whole different story — adding a star like that, if the price were right, would be a no-brainer… at least in terms of not worrying about potential chemistry issues. What it would take package wise to acquire him is another issue — which might make the trade not work out. But worrying about chemistry shouldn’t be a hangup

    • downeysoft420

      I’d honestly consider throwing 2 of their 1st rounders for this year (grizzlies as one for whenever it conveys, and you would have to help match the salary I believe, so probably kanter and or Williams for prospect help and I’d assume heyward or brown for the salary but I doubt brown. I think that would be close for salary, and about right for market value given what the lakers paid for Davis. Thoughts?

        • phillyballers

          Rockets are only trading Capela in a deal for a superstar… they aren’t just trying to get rid of him. If they found a deal that landed them a better player, he would be involved. Kanter, William’s, 2 picks and Smart is the salary match. And that’s not a great deal for Houston if they can’t flip it for a superstar. Would need to be a 3 team deal with all those players plus Rockets 1sts going to the Wolves.

      • x%sure

        In theory Towns would be more expensive than what some teams have total!
        But MIN is getting better… rookie Culver is getting 25 minutes and he can’t even shoot yet.

  5. KAT-? He’s is top 10-ish asset league-wide. He won’t be dealt unless he demands it, and then the PG13 package would be the starting point. A young up and coming star (SGA) plus 5 1st rounders (4 unprotected), and 2 swaps. While that was frothy for PG13 (due to Kawhi factor), KAT is younger and controlled for a longer period of time at a lower price. A team thinking less than that is dreaming.

    • phillyballers

      Dude that trade was for Kawhi and PG-13. That’s the only reason they gave up that much. Thunder had them over a barrel. Wolves have no one held hostage no team needs to trade for KAT so bad. The only team that makes sense tho is Phoenix. Trading Ayton for KAT w/other contracts, then trading for DLo. But pretty sure they don’t have the contracts to do that. I havent checked trade machine.

      • I understand that, which is why I mentioned the Kawhi factor. What you’re missing is equally relevant; at least if you think Minn is going to entertain a price for KAT at much below the PG13 level. Start with the fact that KAT hasn’t demanded a trade (Kawhi was holding LAC hostage, but PG13 was in a sense holding OKC hostage). Then go to age and years of control (a younger player controlled for double the number of years). I don’t think Minn would entertain a trade at all right now, regardless.

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