Daniel Theis

Celtics Notes: Free Agency, Theis, Green, Drummond

The playoffs showed that the Celtics could use more scoring off their bench, and Jared Weiss of The Athletic has a few suggestions that should fit into Boston’s budget. If Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter both opt in for next season, the team will be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception, which should be about $5.7MM.

Weiss’ first choice is Langston Galloway, who averaged 10.3 points per game and shot 39.9% from 3-point range this year with the Pistons. Weiss notes that Galloway also handles the ball well enough to be considered a combo guard and would be a step up from Brad Wanamaker. Two other veteran possibilities he brings up are Orlando’s D.J. Augustin and Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, who may want to wrap up their careers on a team that can compete for a title.

Weiss also throws in point guard Jordan McLaughlin, who played 30 games for the Timberwolves this year after a sensational performance in the G League. However, the 24-year-old is a restricted free agent and Minnesota has expressed a desire to keep him, so the Celtics would likely have to go above his market value to have a chance.

There’s more from Boston:

  • Center Daniel Theis had an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee Tuesday that included removal of a loose body, the team announced on Twitter. The surgery was successful and he is expected to be ready when training camp opens (Twitter link). Theis had surgery on the same knee in 2018, notes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link).
  • In a full story, Forsberg looks at Carsen Edwards, Javonte Green and Vincent Poirier and examines whether any of them have a future in Boston. Edwards was a second-round pick who is under contract for $1.78MM next season, so he’ll likely return. Green made his NBA debut at age 26 this season after several years of playing overseas, but he has a non-guaranteed contract for 2020/21 that nearly doubles his salary to $1.5MM. Poirier will make $2.6MM next season, and Forsberg expects the Celtics to look for someone to take that salary off their hands to ease their tax situation.
  • The Celtics are monitoring the Andre Drummond situation in Cleveland and could be a potential trade partner if the Cavaliers decide to move him, sources tell Evan Dammarell of Forbes. Drummond is expected to opt into the the final year of his contract at $28.7MM, which would make him a free agent next summer. Dammarell mentions the Clippers and Spurs as other possibilities.

Atlantic Notes: Okoro, Dragic, Dunn, Theis, Celtics

Lottery prospect Isaac Okoro has received plenty of attention from the Knicks, Ian Begley of SNY TV reports. Okoro’s college coach, Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, said New York’s front office has conducted a number of interviews regarding the 6’6” Okoro, who is ranked No. 7 overall by ESPN. The Knicks own the No. 8 pick.

“They’ve talked to strength coaches, trainers, assistant coaches – they’ve done their homework. And they’ve liked Isaac from the jump,” Pearl said of the Knicks.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Goran Dragic, D.J. Augustin and Jeff Teague are some of the veteran free agent options at point guard that the Raptors might pursue, Blake Murphy of The Athletic opines. Combo guard Kris Dunn could be an even more attractive option as a restricted free agent, and De’Anthony Melton could also be a consideration despite his RFA status, Murphy adds.
  • Daniel Theis was a big part of the Celtics’ rotation during the restart and Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston doesn’t anticipate that anything will change next season. Theis complemented Boston’s stars nicely since he’s solid at screening and defending, Forsberg adds. Boston must guarantee Theis’ $5MM salary prior to next season but that seems like a foregone conclusion.
  • The Celtics own three first-round picks in the November draft and they’ll be looking to deal, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Boston simply doesn’t have the roster space to absorb and develop three rookies and if the Celtics can’t trade one or more of those picks, they’ll look into draft-and-stash options.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Playoff Edition

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. With the playoffs ongoing at the Orlando campus, it’s time to examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors.

Daniel Theis, Celtics, 28, C (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $10MM deal in 2019

Heading into the playoffs, no one quite knew what the Celtics’ big man rotation would look like. There’s no doubt right now which center coach Brad Stevens trusts the most. Theis has played heavy minutes when he’s been able to stay out of foul trouble. He averaged 30.1 MPG in the seven-game series against the Raptors and was productive (10.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG) while keeping turnovers to a minimum (1.0). He’s averaged 33.5 MPG thus far against the Heat. Moreover, the Celtics’ staff trusts that Theis can switch onto a variety of players defensively. His $5MM salary for next season isn’t guaranteed but it’s hard to imagine Boston would let him go.

Marcus Morris, Clippers, 31, PF (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $15MM deal in 2019

Morris had an interesting and controversial journey through free agency last summer. He reneged a two-year agreement with San Antonio and signed a one-year, $15MM pact with the Knicks. When the Clippers acquired Morris at the trade deadline, he was viewed as potentially the final piece to a championship puzzle. The Clippers crashed and burned in part because Morris was a non-factor as the series against the Nuggets wore on. In the last two games, Morris averaged 6.0 PPG and shot 3-for-14 from the field. He was better at being an irritant than a difference-maker. It will be interesting to see if his price tag drops this offseason.

Serge Ibaka, Raptors, 31, PF/C (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $65MM deal in 2017

Ibaka had a strong postseason run while coming off the bench. He averaged 14.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 1.3 BPG in 22.8 MPG while making 51.1% of his 3-point attempts. Ibaka turns 31 on Friday but he’ll receive his biggest birthday gift in the coming months when the Raptors or some other suitor hands him a lucrative deal. ESPN’s Bobby Marks believes he will get full $9.3MM mid-level exception offers from playoff teams without cap space but that Toronto may offer a one-year deal at $18MM to keep him and preserve cap space for next summer.

Monte Morris, Nuggets, 25, PG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $4.66MM deal in 2018

When Malik Beasley was dealt to the Timberwolves in February, Morris became the clear-cut backup to Jamal Murray. He’s been a key piece off the bench during the Nuggets’ dream run to the Western Conference Finals. Morris averaged just 16.6 MPG against the Clippers but scored in double digits four times during the series. He’s also played smart and poised, making more steals (10) than turnovers (8) in 297 minutes during the first two playoff series. Morris has a $1.66MM non-guaranteed salary for next season. That seems like a very big bargain.

Meyers Leonard, Heat, 28, PF/C (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $41MM deal in 2016

The Heat have received significant contributions from a good chunk of their roster during their surprising carpet ride to the Eastern Conference Finals. Leonard hasn’t been among that group. Leonard, who made $11.3MM this season, was a starter until February when he suffered an ankle injury. He’s been relegated to cheerleading status during the restart, appearing in two seeding games and one postseason game. He was mainly a second-unit player in Portland before this season and he’ll have to compete for a rotation spot wherever he lands next season.

Celtics Notes: Raptors Series, Restart Campus, Langford

An intense seven-game war of attrition against the Raptors in the Eastern Semifinals helped prepare the Celtics for their conference finals matchup against the Heat, per Taylor Snow of Celtics.com.

“We lost on a game-winner, we lost a double-overtime game [during the Raptors series], and while we are frustrated, [the Game 1 overtime loss to Miami is] just one game,” starting Celtics center Daniel Theis opined. “We’ve got to do our adjustments, and it’s easy; we’ve just got to get back in transition.”

There’s more out of Boston:

  • The NBA’s Orlando restart campus atmosphere has more or less neutralized a home court advantage for higher-seeded teams, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today“Obviously, as much as the NBA has tried to make the home stuff matter, it just doesn’t,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens observed. “It has no impact, unfortunately.”
  • Celtics rookie shooting guard Romeo Langford left Game 2 of Boston’s Eastern Conference Finals series against Miami early with a right adductor strain. The team tweeted that he was doubtful to suit up again for the contest.
  • In case you missed it, we discussed the gradual progress of forward Gordon Hayward as he continues to rehabilitate from a right ankle sprain.

Celtics Notes: Tatum, Kanter, Facility, Theis

The Celtics will “most likely” offer Jayson Tatum a maximum contract extension whenever the offseason arrives, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (hat tip to Tom Westerholm of MassLive). Windhorst addressed the situation today on SportsCenter, saying Tatum is the young star the franchise plans to build around.

“If Jayson Tatum is the superstar that they envisioned when they began this whole rebuilding process when they traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce for all of those draft picks hoping to land a player like this, we could see ‘Glory Days’ for the Celtics again,” Windhorst said. “But it’s very much up in the air, and I’m gonna tell ya, they’re gonna have to pay him like it because after this season ends, he is going to get most likely a max contract. They’re going to bet that he becomes that player.”

Westerholm notes that the best outcome for Tatum would be if the league agrees to a temporary freeze on the salary cap, which is at risk of declining significantly due to the lockdown. Tatum will be eligible for a new contract starting at 25% of the 2021/22 cap (or up to 30% of the cap if he meets certain benchmarks).

There’s more from Boston:

  • After spending most of the past two months in Chicago, Enes Kanter is on a road trip back to Boston so he can be there when the team facility reopens Monday, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Kanter explained that he’s traveling by car instead of flying so he won’t have to quarantine for 14 days. “I need some kind of discipline in my life right now,” Kanter said of returning to basketball. “Because, like, right now, I’m waking up late and eating whatever. I work out whenever I want to work out. Once you are in Boston, I think my life is going to be a little bit more disciplined. And I’m going to be more focused because, when you’re not in Boston, your head is all over the world.”
  • In an appearance earlier this week on FS1, Kanter raved about how hard his teammates have worked to stay in shape during the hiatus, relays Chris Cotillo of MassLive“We have these virtual workouts with the Celtics,” Kanter said. “We get on the call with the strength coach and literally just do push-ups and sit-ups. I see some of the players doing workouts with suitcases because they don’t have the tools to work out. I’m like, that is going to bring us a championship, that’s that championship mentality.”
  • Center Daniel Theis is one of few Celtics who has experience playing games in empty arenas, writes Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. Appearing on the network’s “Celtics at Home” series, Theis recalled his days in Germany when nobody would show up for preseason contests. “You hear every voice, every word, every step,” he said. “It’s annoying.”

Atlantic Notes: Butler-Brown, Theis, Knicks, Celtics

Current Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler, formerly a clutch swingman on the star-studded, title-contending 2018/19 Sixers, acknowledged that his relationship with coach Brett Brown was not particularly great, as he told his former Philadelphia teammate J.J. Redick on The J.J. Redick Podcast With Tommy Alter.

On the podcast, Butler described an uncomfortably tense and silent film-watching session with Redick, Butler, and Sixers All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. “And I told you this as we walked out, ‘J.J., why would we ever go in there again?,'” Butler said on the podcast. “‘Nothing’s getting accomplished. Nobody’s saying nothing to anybody.'”

Butler also discussed having spoken up about the offense in a subsequent film-watching session in Portland that became a hot topic in the national media. Butler suggested the conversation was blown out of proportion by outside observers, a point his former Sixers teammate agreed with. “I don’t know why it got reported the way it did,” Redick said.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Daniel Theis, the Celtics‘ starting center replacement for the departed Al Horford, was having a comparable season to his predecessor before play was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to The Stats Corner of NBC Sports Boston. Theis’ production per 36 minutes has actually been better than Horford’s during 2018/19. Their scoring numbers are similar, while Theis is pulling down more rebounds and blocks and shooting at a higher field goal percentage. The 27-year-old German signed a two-year, $10MM contract with Boston during the summer of 2019. The 33-year-old Horford, meanwhile, inked a four-year, $97MM contract ($109MM if he hits all incentives) with the Sixers this summer.
  • As the Knicks continue to overhaul their front office, Cavaliers salary cap expert Brock Aller has emerged as a potential addition to new team president Leon Rose‘s staff, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. After spending a decade as the personal assistant to team owner Dan Gilbert, Aller graduated to a position as senior director of basketball operations in 2017.
  • The Celtics team, staff, and attendant beat reporters experienced a tense journey on the road as the coronavirus spread beyond tenable levels, according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe in his first-person account of what transpired.

Eastern Notes: Love, Bryant, Bertans, Augustin, C’s

Few NBA players have been mentioned more frequently in trade rumors this season than Kevin Love. However, with the Cavaliers and potential trade partners not seeing eye-to-eye on Love’s value, there appears to be no movement on a potential deal, with just over 24 hours left before Thursday’s deadline. For his part, Love sounds fully prepared to remain in Cleveland through the deadline.

“I don’t think anything is going to happen,” the Cavaliers’ power forward said, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “I really don’t, but we’ll see.”

As Fedor explains, sources have insisted for weeks that a Love trade is unlikely because the Cavaliers are unwilling to treat a deal as a salary dump. They view Love as a valuable trade chip and would balk at attaching a draft pick to him, while possible suitors believe they’d be doing Cleveland a favor by taking on the 31-year-old’s pricey long-term contract. That gap seems unlikely to be bridged by Thursday afternoon.

Here are a few more notes from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Thomas Bryant, who missed 20 games earlier in the season with a right foot injury, is once again dealing with soreness in that foot, the Wizards announced today (via Twitter). Bryant has been ruled out for at least the next two games and will be re-evaluated on Monday.
  • Asked today if he wants to stick with the Wizards through the trade deadline, forward Davis Bertans replied, “Of course, I love it here” (video link via Fred Katz of The Athletic).
  • Although they still have a strong hold on a playoff spot, the Magic have missed D.J. Augustin‘s leadership and shooting ability recently, as John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com details. Orlando has a 3-8 record in the last month without Augustin, who will likely remain on the shelf through the All-Star break due to his left knee bone irritation, head coach Steve Clifford said today (Twitter link via Josh Robbins of The Athletic).
  • Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters today that Robert Williams has been cleared for full practices after the All-Star break and that Daniel Theis – out with an ankle sprain – has no set timetable (Twitter link via Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald).

Trade Rumors: Covington, Randle, Henson, Celtics

The Clippers are among the teams pursuing Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reports. A package of their first-round pick this year, forward Maurice Harkless, and a young player such as Jerome Robinson or Terance Mann could be enough to secure Covington, Deveney continues. Grizzlies forward Andre Iguodala, Suns center Aron Baynes and Magic guard D.J. Augustin are among the other potential targets for the Clippers, Deveney adds.

We have more trade chatter:

  • The Knicks have engaged in trade talks with the Hornets involving forward Julius Randle, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer tweets. Charlotte would be a surprising landing spot for Randle, who has a guaranteed $18.9MM salary for next season. However, the Hornets have three frontcourt players with large expiring contracts and will need reinforcements.
  • The Knicks had talks with the Cavaliers which included center John Henson but those discussions have died down, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Henson has an expiring $9.7MM contract.
  • Celtics GM Danny Ainge would like to strengthen the team’s bench but doesn’t see the center position as a major weakness, Jacob Camenker of NBC Sports Boston relays. The Celtics are reportedly one of the teams interested in acquiring Rockets center Clint Capela. Ainge indicated the roster “probably too many really young guys” but claimed he’s content with Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter, and Robert Williams manning the middle. “We’re not getting beat at the center position,” Ainge said. “We’re getting 17, 18 points per night. We’re getting double-figure rebounds. We’re just doing it as a team.”

Celtics Notes: Injury Bug, Kemba, Theis, Brown

The persistent injury bug that has dogged the Celtics has made it hard to decipher just what the team’s ceiling can be when healthy, according to NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg. The bug is currently affecting All-Star point guard Kemba Walker and center Enes Kanter.

“I don’t know what they’ve officially labeled [Walker’s knee injury] as but it’s been ongoing all year,” coach Brad Stevens said. “And he missed, I think, a game earlier this month for it. But it flared up.”

Marcus Smart started in Walker’s stead for the Celtics in a Saturday 116-95 defeat of the Sixers.

There’s more out of Boston:

  • Speaking of ailing Celtics, Walker is not worried about the knee soreness that will sideline him for at least the next game, Taylor Snow of Celtics.com reports.
  • Boston center Daniel Theis has been a stabilizing defensive presence, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston details in a separate piece. The 27 year-old Theis has been a pleasant surprise for the Celtics in the wake of several key frontcourt injuries and the trade of Aron Baynes over the summer.
  • Though fourth-year Celtics wing Jaylen Brown may have been snubbed as an All-Star this season in favor his teammate Jayson Tatum, Brown’s chief priority is helping his team make a concerted playoff push, as A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston details. “I’ve been working on my game since I came into the league,” Brown said. “I’m going to continue to get better. That’s it, man.”

Celtics Notes: Memphis Pick, Brown, Poirier, Walker

The Grizzlies‘ first-rounder that the Celtics own is a volatile asset heading into this year’s trade deadline, Sean Deveney writes for Forbes. The pick is top-six protected and becomes unprotected in 2021 if it doesn’t convey this year. Memphis is currently eighth in the West, but only three-and-a-half games ahead of the 14th-place Pelicans.

“(The Celtics) have been active in terms of seeing what is out there,” a general manager told Deveney. “I don’t think they want to sit on their hands. I am not sure how much they can realistically get done, though, because the Memphis pick is such a wild card. They can’t do anything significant unless they move that pick.”

Deveney identifies the WizardsDavis Bertans and the Timberwolves‘ Robert Covington as possible trade targets. He states that Bertans is probably available for the Memphis pick, along with Enes Kanter and Semi Ojeleye. However, Bertans is entering free agency and Boston probably can’t afford to re-sign him with Jayson Tatum due for an extension. Covington is under contract for two more seasons and Deveney suggests the Celtics could get him for Kanter, Daniel Theis and the Bucks‘ 2020 first-rounder, allowing them to keep the Grizzlies’ pick.

There’s more out of Boston:

  • Jaylen Brown doesn’t believe Brandon Ingram was referring to him when he talked about being surprised that certain players received rookie scale extensions, relays Tom Westerholm of MassLive. “When we talked about the extension, of course, I’m human,” Ingram said in a recent interview with ESPN’s Andrew Lopez. “When I look at other guys, I’m like, ‘This (expletive) got an extension? Oh my god. Man, we can lace up right now and play one-on-one to 15 and this (expletive) won’t score.’ That’s how I looked at it as a competitor.” Asked about the comments after last night’s game against the Pelicans, Brown, who received a four-year, $115MM extension, responded, “I don’t feel any type of way, because I don’t feel like they apply to me.”
  • Vincent Poirier could soon provide some depth at center, coach Brad Stevens tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Poirier is nearing a return after being sidelined since December 17 with a broken finger.
  • The Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak last night, but the recent downturn wasn’t alarming for Kemba Walker, who brings an outsider’s perspective after his years with the Hornets, writes John Karalis of MassLive. “I’ve lost so many more than three games in a row throughout the course of my career,” Walker said. “Plenty of times, so this is nothing to me personally. It’s just about getting back on track at this point.”