Avery Bradley

Atlantic Rumors: Nets, Grant, Goodwin, Bradley

The Nets are taking a close look at European shooting guard Edwin Jackson while scouting overseas, international journalist David Pick tweets. Jackson, 27, plays for Movistar Estudiantes  in the Spanish league and is averaging 22.9 PPG in 24 games while shooting 38.6% on his 3-point attempts. The 6’3” Jackson participated in the team’s free agent mini-camp in 2014, NetsDaily.com notes.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • Former Sixers forward Jerami Grant still regards his former team as family, Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com writes. Grant was dealt to the Thunder the first week of the season in exchange for Ersan Ilyasova and a protected draft pick. Grant expressed happiness that the Sixers have improved this season and said he had no time to say goodbye when the trade occurred, Camerato adds. “I had to pack my bags and things in two hours,” Grant told Camerato. “I had to get a physical so I could play the next day in L.A. At first it was a little shock, but once you settle down, it’s OK.”
  • There’s a good chance the Nets will retain shooting guard Archie Goodwin once his first 10-day contract expires, according to a tweet from the New York Post’s Fred Kerber. Coach Kenny Atkinson told Kerber “it’s trending very positive” for Goodwin, who signed a 10-day on March 15th. Goodwin, who also played three games for the Pelicans this season, is averaging 7.0 PPG and 2.5 APG in 16 MPG through two outings for the Nets.
  • Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley is the league’s most underrated player, Chris Mannix of The Vertical opines. Bradley has developed into an elite two-way player who earned strong consideration for an All-Star spot before he was sidelined by an Achilles’ injury, Mannix continues. Bradley’s development has made his once-derided four-year, $32MM contract ,which expires after next season, one of the league’s biggest bargains, Mannix adds.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Ibaka, Bradley

Despite the fact that the Nets mortgaged their future for a shot at short-term success back in 2013, the franchise has shown flashes of promise throughout a long rebuild. Buddy Grizzard of Basketball Insiders recently wrote about the years-long process, pointing out that for all the up-hill challenges the club’s general managers have faced, they’ve done a decent job drafting young talent.

When the club first moved to from New Jersey to Brooklyn, first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 were all sent to Boston in exchange for a package surrounding Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Suffice it to say, the bold gamble didn’t pay off for the franchise but the organization is making the most out of the scant cards they dealt themselves.

Grizzard mentions former general manager Billy King‘s selection of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the 2015 draft as an intriguing aspect of the current roster, as well as current general manager Sean Marks‘ decision to nab Caris LeVert at No. 20 in 2016.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • After missing 18 games with an Achilles injury, Avery Bradley had been on a minute restriction for the Celtics. As of March 12th the limitations are no longer, says A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England.
  • Say what you will about Cory Joseph backing up the injured Kyle Lowry, but one thing the reserve hasn’t been able to replicate is Lowry’s three-point shooting. “We’re more of a spread-it team,” Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said Monday night, per Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. “Cory’s an attack guy, but he’s going into where everybody else is. It’s not that Cory’s doing something wrong; that’s just his game. When Kyle’s in there, he can space out and be one of the (pass) receivers out there.”
  • When the Raptors acquired Serge Ibaka, they added a rare force capable of impacting a basketball game without scoring a point, Ryan Wolstat of the National Post writes. Ibaka did just that on Monday night, finishing with a plus-18 rating despite not scoring a single basket.


Trade Rumors: Sixers, Bradley, Tucker, Bogut

The Sixers are seeking deals for defensive-oriented guards capable of playing alongside Ben Simmons, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Philadelphia has targeted Celtics guard Avery Bradley, but hasn’t gained any traction.

With Marcus Smart playing well lately and Jaylen Brown viewed as a potential star by the Celtics, Bradley could be somewhat expendable in Boston, but Philadelphia and Boston aren’t necessarily a great match in such a trade. Both teams are loaded with future draft picks, which is likely what the Sixers would offer for Bradley — the Celtics don’t really need any more picks, unless they think they could use them in a package for a star.

Here’s more from around the NBA with the trade deadline less than a half-hour away:

  • At least three teams – the Pelicans, Cavaliers, and Celtics – have opted against meeting the Suns‘ asking price of a first-round pick for P.J. Tucker, reports John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link).
  • The Sixers don’t expect to flip Andrew Bogut in another trade before the deadline, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides will immediately begin buyout discussions.
  • At this point, the Nuggets don’t expect to make any moves before the deadline, sources tell Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post (Twitter link).
  • The Pacers are still trying to fortify their roster, and remain in talks with the Kings about Arron Afflalo, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.

Celtics Notes: Drummond, George, Bradley

The Celtics would be a potential landing spot for Andre Drummond if the Pistons are open to moving their young center, a source tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England. Blakely wonders if Boston, having shown little interest in DeMarcus Cousins before he was dealt, could instead be eyeing a big man like Drummond.

While we’ve known for some time that the Pistons are open to dealing anybody on the roster at the right price, Drummond’s recent behavior on Twitter, Blakely argues, could indicate that something is brewing. Earlier today, Drummond retweeted an eyeball emoji tweet that Isaiah Thomas sent out. Worth noting, Blakely writes, is that the point guard did exactly such a thing shortly before the Celtics added Al Horford in the summer. Later, Drummond posted his own eyeball emoji tweet and removed all references to the Pistons from his Twitter biography.

Tempering expectations on the Drummond speculation is Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, who says that multiple people with firsthand knowledge of the Pistons claim it’s very likely the 23-year-old stays in Detroit through the deadline.

There are a few more Celtics rumors bouncing around today:

  • The Celtics may be unlikely to move one of their Nets picks for Jimmy Butler but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t include it in a deal for Pacers swingman Paul George. A CSN New England report filed Tuesday cites an article published by Frank Isola at the New York Daily News. “Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny Ainge and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper,” said Isola’s source, an anonymous executive.
  • One player that could make an interesting pieces at the trade deadline is Avery Bradley, says a recent CSN New England report. In a podcast, Zach Lowe of ESPN mentioned that Bradley will see his contract expire next season at the same time that Isaiah Thomas’ contract comes due and for that reason might be moved ahead of time.
  • A report out of Toronto links the Celtics to both Jimmy Butler and Paul George but adds that the Celtics will likely hold onto their potential top pick. Ryan Wolstat of the National Post thinks Boston can offer an enticing package for Butler without including the pick.

Celtics, Clippers Discussed Blake Griffin Trade

The Celtics have had discussions with the Clippers regarding Blake Griffin, though a deal remains extremely unlikely, sources tell Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. If Los Angeles were to send Griffin to Boston, it would require the Celtics to give up Jae Crowder and either Avery Bradley or Marcus Smart in addition to future picks, sources tell Lowe.

Griffin will be a free agent after the season and Boston would likely need official permission to speak with the power forward before making an official offer to Los Angeles. The team would want to gauge Griffin’s interest in re-signing in Boston and Lowe notes that Minnesota allowed Cleveland to have similar conversations with Kevin Love before he was acquired by the Cavs.

Griffin isn’t the only star that the Celtics have interest in bringing aboard. Lowe adds that the team has “zeroed in” on Jimmy Butler and Paul George, though both appear unlikely to be traded. Lowe hears that the Pacers are turning away trade inquiries on George and it was reported earlier today that the Bulls are leaning toward keeping the 3-time All-Star. Lowe writes that the Celtics would need to include Brooklyn’s 2017 pick in an offer to entice the Bulls and Chicago could even demand both of the Nets’ picks in exchange for Butler.

Celtics Rumors: Ainge, Smart, Bradley, Ibaka

Celtics GM Danny Ainge is not interested in a quick-fix deal and is driving a hard bargain when it comes to his best trade assets, he said during a radio interview posted by CSNNE.com. Ainge doesn’t want any “band aids” for the final 25 regular-season games. “We’re trying to build something that’s a little more sustainable than we are to rent a player,” he said. The Celtics have the ability to dangle some tantalizing draft picks, as well as young players, to acquire the “long-term” impact player that he’s seeking. Boston has the right to swap first-rounders with the Nets this season and also owns Brooklyn’s 2018 first-rounder. Ainge says “there’s a lot of interest in” the Nets pick, though he didn’t clarify whether he was referring to one or both. “Everybody knows the assets we have and the young players we have, so that’s the challenge,” he said. “In any conversation we have, the price is a lot because of what we have in the bank.”

In other notable developments regarding the Celtics:

  • Combo guard Marcus Smart‘s strong play has made Avery Bradley expendable, Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com argues. Smart has averaged 12.3 PPG, 5.4 APG, 4.0 RPG and 2.3 SPG over the past 12 games and the team has gone 11-1 during that stretch, Petraglia notes. Bradley, sidelined the last 15 games with a sore right Achilles, has one more year left on his very affordable four-year, $32MM deal and could be packaged with draft picks to land an All-Star caliber player like Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, Carmelo Anthony or Andre Drummond, Petraglia adds.
  • Bradley believes he’ll be ready to go right after the All-Star break, as he told Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com and other reporters. “I’m feeling really good. I wish I could be back now, but I just have to do whatever is smartest at the moment,” Bradley said. “The medical staff thinks it’s smarter for me to just wait until after the All-Star break.”
  • The team did not make a push for power forward Serge Ibaka last summer because they had no interest in signing him to a long-term deal, a source told Kyle Draper of CSNNE.com. Boston did not want to get into a bidding war for Ibaka, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Ibaka was shipped by the Thunder to the Magic in a draft-night blockbuster, and then moved by the struggling Magic this week to another Eastern Conference contender, the Raptors.

Atlantic Notes: Ainge, Sullinger, Bradley

The Celtics remain the most likely team to make a splash before the deadline, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. The abundance of draft picks and valuable supplementary assets put them in a unique position to either get a deal done directly or facilitate one for others.

I don’t think any move of significance gets done before the deadline without [Celtics general manager] Danny Ainge being given the chance to put his fingerprints on it,” one executive tells Bulpett.

The Celtics, of course, have been featured in trade speculation all season and are one of the possible destinations that Carmelo Anthony would supposedly consider waiving his no-trade clause for. Sources around the league, Bulpett writes, say that Ainge is “patrolling the marketplace in hopes that a player worthy of some of the assets he has accumulated becomes available.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Fifth-year big man Jonas Valanciunas isn’t a good fit in Toronto, writes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. Valanciunas’ defensive deficiencies — and Lucas Nogueira‘s lack of strength — make Bismack Biyombo‘s absence this season all the more noticeable during Raptors games. Still, Wolstat argues, while it’s hard to put a value on talented big men like Valanciunas, you can’t just give them away without getting something substantial in return.
  • When Jared Sullinger went to the D-League for a rehab start over the weekend, he did so of his own volition, writes Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun. “I thought it was great,” Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said. “You can’t force him to go. He decided to go. He wanted to go. It was a great step.”
  • The steady growth of Avery Bradley has been invaluable for the Celtics, writes Steve Bulpett in a separate story for the Boston Herald. “Isaiah’s having a spectacular year, and I think that’s a little bit overshadowed how great of a year Avery’s having,” said president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “[…] Listen, he is our best defensive player, and he’s our second-best offensive player. And that’s a rare combination for a player.” Bradley has been out of action since January 16 but is expected to return this week.
  • The Knicks have struggled this season but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Derek Fisher was the better head coach. The former New York bench boss recently slammed current Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek in a Lakers broadcast where he now serves as an analyst. “There’s enough analysts and reporters who like to talk about: coulda, shoulda [in] what they did,” Hornacek told Marc Berman of the New York Post. “We don’t pay much attention to it. I think he’s also trying to push himself in a light that maybe someone else will give him a job.”

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Bradley, LeVert

After starting the season with a 7-24 record, the Sixers have reeled off eight wins in their past 11. The emergence of Joel Embiid has reinvigorated the franchise and the rookie big man has helped to anchor a rapidly improving defensive presence.

Now that the Sixers have shown an ability to win games, they’ve clawed their way out of the basement and up the standings. Such momentum has general manager Bryan Colangelo reconsidering the team’s willingness to make a short-term splash.

[Winning] does lead you to want to explore other opportunities that might accelerate where we are in this. It gives us some opportunity to explore some big deals,” Colangelo told Brian Seltzer of Sixers.com. “We may be one of the only teams in the league that’s prepared with the resources and the assets to acquire a star level player.”

The Sixers have long been in rebuilding mode, but the strides that the team has taken this season under the guidance of Brett Brown suggest that this team may be ready to compete sooner than initially expected.

My responsibility is to make sure I do the right thing for the organization,” Colangelo added. “I’ve had a lot of dialogue with a lot of teams. I know what’s out there in the marketplace.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics have been exposed on defense without shooting guard Avery Bradley, writes Josue Pavon of WEEI 93.7 FM. While Isaiah Thomas‘ defensive shortcomings are not new, the team has seen just how much of a drop off there is between Bradley and fill-in Marcus Smart.
  • The Nets have seen seen a noticeable improvement in their third-quarter performance of late and credit the decision to bump Sean Kilpatrick from the lineup in favor of the more defensively inclined Joe Harris as part of the reason why, says Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “Listen, we’re demanding that those guys — anybody that steps on the floor — we’re demanding them to defend,” says head coach Kenny Atkinson. Harris sprained his ankle Friday and his absence will give Kilpatrick one more opportunity to improve on that side of the ball.
  • Not much has gone well for the Nets this season, injuries to Jeremy Lin a major factor in their first-half struggles, but the promising play of Caris LeVert has been one of the few bright spots. Nets Daily discusses the first half of Brooklyn’s season.

Atlantic Notes: Lopez, Acy, Embiid, Bradley

Despite the Nets‘ current 11-game losing streak, veteran center Brook Lopez remains optimistic on the team’s outlook, claiming to “want to see something special built here,” according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The Nets, who don’t have control of their own first round draft pick until 2019, would seek two first round picks for Lopez, according to a recent report from Marc Stein of ESPN. Lewis confirms that asking price, but notes that Brooklyn isn’t actively looking to move the veteran center.

More from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets coach Kenny Atkinson heaped praise upon Quincy Acy, who just received his second 10-day contract with the Nets, as Lewis detailed in his previously-linked piece. “[I’ve liked] his energy, toughness, he’s got good athleticism about him, he’s got aggressiveness about him,” Atkinson said. “Surprised at his shooting. I think he’s an improved shooter, from what I remember. Just watching him in practice shoot the ball, he’s more skilled than I thought.”
  • Despite the Sixers‘ recent success, coach Brett Brown has shied away from the spotlight, Bob Cooney of Philly.com writes: “Brown, much like former general manager Sam Hinkie, the architect of ‘The Process,’ isn’t short-sighted. Seven wins in nine games is remarkable for this team at this time. Key words – at this time.”
  • Joel Embiid, on the other hand, has embraced attention from Sixers fans, encouraging fans at the Wells Fargo Arena to chant “Trust The Process” even louder. Embiid is a big reason the Sixers are turning heads in a league dominated by guards, Sam Donnellon of Philly.com writes.
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens was critical of his team’s defense, claiming they were “just not good enough” in Wednesday’s loss to the Knicks, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. As WEEI’s Logan Mullen notes, Boston will benefit immeasurably from Avery Bradley‘s return. Bradley, who will not participate in Saturday’s match-up against Portland, has had issues with Achilles soreness.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Bradley, Okafor, Noel

Carmelo Anthony followed up today on recent remarks about his situation in New York, telling reporters, including Mike Vorkunov, that he hasn’t spoken to management and hopes to remain with the Knicks. It’s been a slog for Jeff Hornacek‘s squad, as a myriad of on-and-off the court issues have resulted in a 2-11 record since December 25. Following a matinee loss to the Hawks at MSG, the Knicks slipped to 11th-place in the Eastern Conference; a far cry from expectations entering the season.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Knicks aren’t guaranteeing court time for veterans during their swoon, recently replacing Courtney Lee in the lineup with undrafted rookie Ron Baker. Lee, who signed a $50MM deal during the offseason, has shot just 17.6% on 3-pointers over his last five games. “You’re looking for little things. Who is going to do the little things on this team? Who is going to take charges? Who is going to make the extra pass?” Hornacek told Stefan Bondy of the Daily News. The first-year Knicks coach also requested his team take more charges.
  • The Celtics are being careful not to rush Avery Bradley in his return from an Achilles strain, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. As coach Brad Stevens pointed out, several Celtics have excelled in Bradley’s place, including Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart. Having participated in a full practice Sunday, Bradley is listed as questionable to participate in tonight’s game against Charlotte.
  • Jahlil Okafor‘s 26-point game against the Wizards functioned as a showcase, Keith Pompey of Philly.com writes. Filling in for the resting Joel Embiid, Okafor connected on 10-of-16 shots from the field with nine rebounds. The trade deadline is just over a month away, Pompey noted, and the time is now to recruit possible trade partners. The Sixers‘ logjam of centers has been a well-publicized issue this season.
  • Sixers center Nerlens Noel won’t participate in Monday’s game against the Bucks due to a sprained ankle, the team announced today (via Twitter). A left ankle sprain cut into Noel’s minutes in mid-December, limiting the former Kentucky Wildcat to 7.6 MPG over a five-game span. While Noel is sidelined, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor will split time at the five.
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