Jaylen Brown

Celtics Pick Up 2018/19 Options On Brown, Rozier

The Celtics have picked up a pair of 2018/19 team options, locking in Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier for next season, according to RealGM’s log of official NBA transactions.

Brown’s third-year option will count against the Celtics’ cap for about $5.17MM in 2018/19, while Rozier’s fourth-year option is worth approximately $3.05MM. The Celtics will eventually have to make a fourth-year option decision on Brown, but the team’s next decision on Rozier will be whether or not to extend him during the 2018 offseason. If Rozier doesn’t sign an extension, he’ll be on track for restricted free agency in 2019.

Brown and Rozier are two of just four Celtics who finished last season in Boston and remained on the club’s opening night roster, joining Al Horford and Marcus Smart as the lone holdovers. With Gordon Hayward expected to miss the entire season and players like Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder no longer in the mix, both Brown and Rozier figure to be leaned on for increased roles in 2017/18.

So far this season, Brown has averaged 15.4 points in 33.3 minutes per contest, while Rozier has recorded 9.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in 24.6 minutes per game. Each player averaged approximately 17 MPG last year.

East Notes: Wizards, Brown, Tatum

The Wizards have gone all-in on preserving their core and head coach Scott Brooks understands just how important that can be. Brooks has, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic writes, seen what happens when a promising young roster falls apart thanks to his time with the Thunder.

We have our three players that we drafted all wanting to stay here and stay long-term,” the Wizards’ bench boss said. “That’s good. That’s good because if you don’t have your best players wanting to stay here, then nobody wants to stay here.

Thanks to Wizards’ owner Ted Leonsis‘ willingness to commit to their young players, Washington was able to match the offer sheet that the Nets signed Otto Porter to this summer and then follow that up with a supermax contract extension for John Wall.

Under their current deals, Wall, Beal and Porter will be under Wizards control for seven total years. Eight, if Porter ultimately exercises his player option for the 2020-21 season.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

Celtics Notes: Bogut, Irving, J. Brown, Tatum

It has been an eventful week in Boston, with the Celtics having acquired a four-time All-Star on Tuesday, sending Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick to Cleveland in exchange for Kyrie Irving. The NBA world is still buzzing about that deal, and we have a few more Celtics-related notes on the swap to pass along today:

  • The Celtics aren’t in a rush to fill their newly-opened 15th roster spot, but have been in touch with a few free agents this week, including veteran center Andrew Bogut, reports Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.
  • Appearing on The Bill Simmons Podcast this week, Finals MVP Kevin Durant praised Irving for standing up for himself and deciding it was time for him to move on from what seemed like a good situation in Cleveland. “He showed a lot of courage, man, because it’s hard to take that type of criticism,” said Durant (link via ESPN.com), who has some experience in that field himself.
  • Durant also suggested during that podcast appearance that Irving and the Celtics will be “perfect” for each other, as DJ Bean of CSNNE.com details. “It’s a perfect fit, because he’s a 6-foot-3 Isaiah Thomas, basically,” Durant said. “And Isaiah just thrived in that system, and then he’s got Gordon Hayward and Al Horford that are going to be able to make plays for him, too. It’s going to be pretty sweet. I think it was a great deal.”
  • Revisiting Danny Ainge‘s assertion that the Celtics “have a lot of good players, but need some great ones,” ESPN’s Chris Forsberg makes the case that Ainge’s willingness to roll the dice on Irving signals that the team is making good on that statement and raising the roof on its expectations for 2017/18.
  • Young wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum may end up being the biggest winners of the Irving blockbuster, according to Benny Nadeau of Basketball Insiders, who notes that the departures of Avery Bradley and Crowder open the door for those youngsters to take on significant roles in Boston.

Celtics Notes: Crowder, Morris, Thomas

The Celtics landed Gordon Hayward and Marcus Morris this week but the reigning Eastern Conference No. 1 seed isn’t comfortable yet.

Per a CSN New England report, president Danny Ainge is searching for further moves that can improve their roster this offseason. It’s just a matter of figuring out what those moves might look like.

Initially the report speculated that Ainge could be targeting rebounding, something the Celtics lacked in 2016/17, but the executive noted that he feels young forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum could help in that regard.

Another area that Boston could address is their backup point guard position. That said, the team president also mentioned that he was currently impressed with backup point guard Terry Rozier.

There’s more from Beantown:

  • The Celtics have no intention of trading Jae Crowder, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe tweets. The forward had been floated as a possible component of a sign-and-trade deal to bring Gordon Hayward to Boston prior to the Avery Bradley deal.
  • Veteran point guard Isaiah Thomas told CSN New England’s A. Sherrod Blakely that he believes he’s a max contract guy and that the Celtics are aware that they’ll need to bring the Brinks trucks out to retain his services when he becomes a free agent next summer.
  • Newly added Celtics forward Marcus Morris comes with legal baggage and a CSN New England report breaks down the pending trial that will begin on August 21.
  • The Celtics wouldn’t have had enough Brinks trucks to retain both Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas, Chris Forsberg of ESPN writes, a harsh reality that led to the trade that sent Bradley to the Pistons.

Lowe’s Latest: George, Hayward, Ibaka, Gallinari

A proposed scenario that would see the Celtics sign Gordon Hayward, trade for Paul George, and sign George to a contract extension isn’t realistic, writes Zach Lowe in his latest report for ESPN.com. As Lowe points out, there would be no reason for George to re-up with Boston right away in that scenario unless he could renegotiate a maximum salary, and it would be extremely difficult for the C’s to accommodate such a deal without moving Al Horford.

Knowing that if they acquire George, he could be a rental, the Celtics have thus far been unwilling to include Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, or the Lakers’ 2018 first-rounder in any of their offers to Indiana, Lowe reports. Lowe’s best guess at Boston’s offer is a package that would include Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, and one of the team’s other first-round picks. The C’s will be reluctant to go much higher than that, given their fear that George could leave in 2018 — Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times wrote on Thursday night that the Pacers forward is still telling friends he expects to be a Laker in 2018.

While George could just be a one-year rental, the Celtics have competition for him. According to Lowe, the Wizards would likely be willing to sign-and-trade Otto Porter and include a first-round pick. The Cavaliers would swap Kevin Love straight up, though that doesn’t interest Indiana much, per Lowe. If the Nuggets get involved again via three-way talks for George and Love, they could offer Gary Harris and a first-round pick, though NBA execs expect Harris to command upwards of $20MM annually on his next contract, which is due soon, says Lowe.

Here’s more from Lowe with the free agent period right around the corner:

  • Lowe views Hayward as less than a 50-50 bet to stay with the Jazz, with both the Celtics and Heat as legitimate suitors. The ESPN scribe adds that he wouldn’t be surprised if a mystery fourth team ends up getting a meeting with Hayward.
  • The market for Raptors big man Serge Ibaka and Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari is expected to be in about the $20MM-per-year range, sources tell Lowe.
  • The Sixers have told player agents that they plan on signing one-year contracts in free agency this summer to preserve future cap space. They may also use some of their current cap room to sign Robert Covington to a renegotiated extension, writes Lowe.
  • Lowe expects the Bucks to sign Tony Snell to a deal in the range of $10-12MM annually.
  • Despite drafting De’Aaron Fox, the Kings may still spend on a free agent point guard as a veteran mentor, particularly if they decide they want to chase a playoff spot right away, says Lowe.
  • The Grizzlies are “crossing their fingers” that the market for RFA power forward JaMychal Green isn’t as competitive as expected, according to Lowe.

Brogdon, Saric Headline 2016/17 NBA All-Rookie Teams

The NBA has announced its All-Rookie teams for the 2016/17 season, with Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon and Sixers forward Dario Saric headlining the First Team. Brogdon and Saric were the only two players who were unanimously named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team.

Here’s the full breakdown of this year’s All-Rookie squads:

First Team:

Second Team:

Brogdon, Saric, and Embiid are the finalists for the 2016/17 NBA Rookie of the Year award, which will be announced later tonight during the league’s TV broadcast on TNT.

Celtics Rumors: Tatum, Jackson, Porzingis, Brown

Following the completion of the Celtics’ trade with the Sixers earlier this week, C’s president Danny Ainge suggested that the player the team drafted at No. 3 would likely be the same player the club would’ve taken at No. 1. Ainge reiterated that point on Thursday night, telling reporters that he felt the draft was “very even” at the top, and would’ve selected Jayson Tatum with the first overall pick (Twitter link).

Josh Jackson was the other prospect considered to be in play for that No. 3 pick, and Ainge admitted that he was upset when the former Kansas forward cancelled his workout with the Celtics. As Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com details, Ainge, Brad Stevens, and Mike Zarren flew out to Sacramento, only to find out that Jackson wouldn’t be working out. Ainge indicated that there may have been something to the idea that Jackson didn’t want to be drafted by Boston.

“Agents and players have all sorts of motivations to get to certain places, as we’ve seen in the past,” Ainge said, per Forsberg. “Remember last year, Kris Dunn didn’t want to come here; we didn’t hold it against him. We felt like we were just taking the player that we wanted [last year]. And I think the same thing this time. I don’t think we were trying to penalize Josh too much, but we didn’t get to see him or talk to him face-to-face.”

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Asked about the Kristaps Porzingis rumors that swirled around the Celtics this week, Ainge said that he felt they were “a little blown out of proportion” (Twitter link via Forsberg).
  • Ainge suggested there could be “some truth” to the idea that teams ask for more from the Celtics in trades due to the team’s stockpile of assets (link via Scott Souza of The MetroWest Daily News). People around the league know the things that we have and they are asking for some of our prime real estate,” Ainge said. “Over the last few trading periods it’s been a little bit of a hurdle. But the bottom line is we have to do the trades that we believe in.”
  • One player Ainge generally isn’t interested in discussing in trade talks is Jaylen Brown. The team president said on CSNNE that Boston gets the urge to “hang up” when Brown’s name comes up in negotiations (Twitter link via Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe).
  • It’s possible that neither of the Celtics’ draft-and-stash prospects will be on the team’s Summer League roster. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe tweets that Guerschon Yabusele won’t play due to foot surgery, while Ainge said that Ante Zizic has visa issues, raising doubts about his status (Twitter link via Jay King of MassLive.com).

Latest On Kristaps Porzingis

3:23pm: The Celtics and Knicks aren’t engaged in ongoing talks about a Porzingis deal, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, who says the teams exchanged offers this morning and haven’t been back in contact. Sources familiar with the negotiations are calling Jackson’s demands “ridiculous,” McMenamin posted on ESPN Now. He adds that the Celtics are now expected to keep the No. 3 pick and not try to trade down.

2:25pm: The Celtics are making a strong pitch for Kristaps Porzingis and are trying to assemble a package that the Knicks will accept, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Boston has offered the No. 3 selection, an unidentified player and an additional lottery pick that the Celtics are confident they can trade for tonight, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). However, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman posts on ESPN Now that the sides are not close to a deal.

There’s more today on the Porzingis front:

  • Knicks president Phil Jackson wants the Celtics to give up tonight’s No. 3 pick, next year’s unprotected Nets pick, Jaylen Brown and Jae Crowder, relays Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. Boston believes that’s too much to ask, but is willing to do the deal if it involves just one of the draft picks, according to Isola. New York wants Kansas forward Josh Jackson, who is expected to still be on the board at No. 3. Phil Jackson is also a fan of Crowder and regrets not picking him up from Dallas in the Tyson Chandler deal three years ago. Brown, the third overall selection in 2016, has a close relationship with former Knicks president Isaiah Thomas.
  • Jackson’s demand was confirmed to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) by another source, who added, “[Phil Jackson] is just messing with things.
  • Ramona Shelburne posts on ESPN Now that Jackson won’t settle for anything less than his demand. “He’s dug in,” a Knicks source told her. “If he doesn’t get exactly what he wants, there will be no [Porzingis] trade.”
  • The Celtics aren’t the only team trying to pry Porzingis away from New York, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
  • One of those teams is the Suns, who have talked to the Knicks about a trade involving the No. 4 pick. TNT’s David Aldridge says the teams aren’t close to a deal, although that could always change (Twitter link).

Celtics Notes: Brown, Thomas, Offseason Plans

Jaylen Brown was the third overall pick in the NBA Draft last year and was expected to be a strong reserve option, growing into the rigors of the NBA lifestyle. However, injuries allowed Brown to get crucial experience as a starter with the Celtics. As of CSN New England writes, Brown is not worried about his label as a “future” contributor and instead focused on the now.

“I’m excited about the now. I’m excited about this summer,” Brown said. “I try not to look too far ahead. Everybody talks about the future and how much potential we have; I’m worried about the now. I want to be part of the now. That’s all I’m focused on.”

Brown averaged 6.6 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 78 games (20 starts) for Boston, and by the end of year, he was guarding LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals. By his own admission, Brown says coming to the NBA was a daunting experience as he did not know what to expect. However, now he’s focused on improving himself in the offfseason.

“I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, coming into the NBA,” Brown said. “Throughout the year, I don’t think people expected me to contribute as much as I did. Now just getting to the Eastern Conference finals and losing, it builds a hunger you know;  I have a bad taste in my mouth. Gotta put in work during the offseason and come back stronger.”

  • A lot of news and speculation has circulated throughout the NBA in regard to point guard Isaiah Thomas. Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post examines the dilemma of Thomas’ contract situation; he’s a free agent after next season and his last two dominant seasons line him up for a hefty payday. However, 5’9″ guards do not have a great history of sustained success in the NBA, which could make the Celtics apprehensive of a long-term commitment. For his part, Thomas has stated he’s willing to hold off extension talks until next year so the Celtics can lure top tier free agents.
  • Speaking of free agency, Chase Hughes of CSN New England examines the Celtics ahead of the offseason. The team owns the No.1 overall pick and has several impending free agents, soon-to-be free agents, and players of interests in the trade and free agent markets, including Blake Griffin, Paul George, Gordon Hayward and more. Regardless of their targets, the Celtics are expected to be one of, if not the, busiest organizations in the NBA.

Celtics Notes: Grousbeck, George, Butler, Ainge

The Celtics are getting plenty of advice after landing the top pick in this year’s draft, but managing partner Wyc Grousbeck sounds like his decision is already made. Speaking with Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti in a video on CSNNE, Grousbeck said Boston will hold onto the selection “unless someone blows us away with an offer.”

“I think these picks are very, very valuable,” he said. “If you’re going to trade these picks for an established star making max, you’ve got to send max money out the door as well, so you’ve got to send more guys along, so this guy coming back had better be the second coming. What’s more, he’s going to be halfway through his career, whoever he is, and he’s going to be paid a lot of money, which restricts you in other ways.

“So if you can get a really good guy with this pick, you’ve got him, you can build with him, you can coach him up. You get to max money eventually, five to six years down the road, but it’s a totally different thing.”

There’s more out of Boston as the city prepares for the Eastern Conference finals and the No. 1 pick:

  • Winning the lottery gives the Celtics more leverage if they decide to reopen trade talks with the Pacers or Bulls, writes Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders. When Boston inquired about Paul George before the trade deadline, the Pacers were asking for a package that included the pick, along with Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. According to Greene, the Celtics refused to part with Crowder in any deal, which shut down the pursuit of George. Boston also had interest in Jimmy Butler, and there have been reports that those talks will resume this summer.
  • President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is enjoying the rewards of his patience, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com. Ainge started the rebuilding process in 2013 by trading Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for a package of draft picks that produced the No. 3 selection last year [Brown], the No. 1 this season and Brooklyn’s unprotected first-rounder in 2018. Ainge has resisted the temptation to part with those picks and is in the process of building a group of talented young players around his veteran core.
  • Ainge plans to keep his options open between now and the draft, but he understands that his assets increased significantly Tuesday night, relays Kurt Helin of NBC Sports“At the trade deadline we were trading away the possibility of the No. 1 pick, a 25 percent chance of the No. 1 pick, but that’s a 75 percent chance of not having that pick, and that’s how teams look at it, which is probably why we didn’t get a deal done,” Ainge said. “Now we have the No. 1 pick and we will explore the value of it.”
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