Author: @phaulkner

Enes Kanter: Basketball Provides Platform

Bigger Than Basketball Enes Kanter recently signed a 2-year $10 Million contract with the Boston Celtics. The former Trailblazer joined All-NBA point guard Kemba Walker as the two noteworthy off-season Celtics free agent acquisitions. Kanter will fill the veteran offensive void left by the departure of Al Horford. One of the best post players in the NBA, Kanter averaged 13.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game on splits of 54.9/29.4/78.7 in 2018-2019. The University of Kentucky star was the 3rd pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the highest for any Turkish-born player in NBA history. Kanter is also only...

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Boston Celtics: Not Plan A, But A-OK

Danny Ainge: “This Was Plan A.” The Boston Celtics officially introduced point guard Kemba Walker and center Enes Kanter in a press conference Wednesday. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge called the signings Boston’s “Plan A”. Filling out the roster with an All-NBA player like Walker and one of the most efficient players in the NBA in Kanter is one thing; claiming the moves were Plan A is another. Plan A would suggest the initial plan. It’s widely known the Boston Celtics were hoping to secure Kyrie Irving long-term and then use Irving to lure another marquee free agent, e.g....

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Boston Celtics Sign First Round Draft Picks

First Round Picks Signed The Boston Celtics signed their first-round draft picks from the 2019 NBA draft this week. Romeo Langford, the 14th pick, and Grant Williams, the 22nd pick, are now officially Celtics. Langford, a shooting guard/small forward from Indiana University, will make nearly $7.1 Million (M) guaranteed over his first two years. The Celtics have a player option for 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 worth $3.8M and $5.6M, respectively. Langford’s $3.5M salary in 2019-2020 will be approximately 120% of the rookie wage scale. The Celtics have a qualifying offer of $7.8M in 2023-2024 when Langford becomes a restricted free...

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Boston Celtics Sign Enes Kanter

Celtics Sign Efficiency Machine The Boston Celtics signed center Enes Kanter to a 2-year $10 Million contract Monday. The former Trailblazer will make $4.7 Million in 2019-2020 with a player option for 2020-2021. Kanter averaged 13.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game on shooting splits of 54.9/29.4/78.7 in 67 games between the New York Knicks and Portland Trailblazers last season. The veteran center had a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 22.3, which ranked in the top-30. In fact, in 583 games Kanter’s career 20.6 PER would put him ahead of Chris Bosh for 62nd all-time. The move...

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Boston Celtics: New Coaches for a New Direction

Celtics Hire New Coaches The Boston Celtics hired two new assistant coaches, Kara Lawson and Joe Mazulla, to help their young team. The move comes after the departure of Micah Shrewsberry, who returned to the Purdue University coaching staff. Shrewsberry, a defensive-mined coach, was a Celtics assistant coach from 2013-2019. Shreewsberry also worked with Brad Stevens at Butler University from 2008-2011. Kara Lawson is the third female coach in the NBA, joining Becky Hammon and Linsday Gottlieb. Gottlieb was hired by the Cavaliers earlier this month. Lawson comes highly decorated as a player. The University of Tennessee product made...

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Boston Celtics: Draft Reactions

Draft Night The 2019 NBA Draft was hosted by Brooklyn Thursday night. Perhaps fitting, the Nets were the team that helped the Boston Celtics get famously draft pick rich. Boston entered this draft with three first round picks (14th, 20th & 24th) and a second round pick (51st). Boston came away from the draft with the 14th, 22nd, 33rd and 51st picks. Justin Mantegani wrote an in-depth analysis of the Celtics draft for Boston Sports Extra. I will briefly gloss over Boston’s draft picks here for reference. The Celtics picked guard/forward Romeo Langford from Indiana University with the 14th...

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Should the Boston Celtics Sign De’Angelo Russell?

The Need at Point Guard The Boston Celtics are moving on from Kyrie Irving. To put it more accurately, Irving is moving on from the Celtics. This means the Celtics enter the 2019-2020 season with one point guard (pg) on their roster: Marcus Smart. Terry Rozier has a $4.3 million (M) qualifying offer, but a cap hit of $9M, which means he’ll be restructured if he comes back at all. The Celtics clearly need another PG, which has been discussed here. What are the Boston Celtics options? The is a lot of potential in tonight’s draft. The question is:...

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Al Horford Declines Player Option

Horford Declines Option Al Horford declined his $30.1 Million player option with the Boston Celtics Tuesday. Speculation about Horford signing an extension has been a topic all season, specifically considering Kyrie Irving’s uncertain status. With Irving all but gone, the team will now likely focus on resigning Horford to anchor their 2019-2020 roster. The five-time All-Star has provided a veteran presence since he arrived in Boston. Horford was also instrumental in the Celtics 2017-2018 playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Horford averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 68 games on shooting percentage splits of 53.5/36.0/82.1...

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Kyrie Irving Declines Player Option

Celtics Moving On From Irving As expected, Kyrie Irving declined his $21.3 million (M) 2019-2020 player option on Wednesday. Irving’s commitment has been inconsistent, to put it politely, since he arrived with the Boston Celtics two years ago. Now the Celtics will formally move on from Irving and will look to replace him, either through the draft or free agency. Irving’s departure will undoubtedly make it more difficult to draw another superstar to Boston, e.g. the much obsessed-over Anthony Davis. The Celtics cap issues are well known, despite Irving’s $21.3M coming off the books, so does it even matter?...

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Is Jayson Tatum Worth Trading?

Pelicans Interested in Tatum Speculation regarding the Boston Celtics trading for Anthony Davis has been a topic of conversation all season. The Celtics don’t have the ability to trade for Davis while retaining Kyrie Irving because of the Rose rule. It also doesn’t make much sense to trade for one superstar as the other superstar leaves. The obvious answer would be the Celtics trading their draft picks or young stars. When the draft lottery dust settled the Boston’s draft prospects weren’t as enticing, leaving the young stars. It has been reported that New Orleans Pelicans GM Daniel Griffin are...

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Boston Celtics: Free Agent Targets

The Void at Point Guard Insiders around the NBA don’t expect Kyrie Irving to be playing for the Boston Celtics in 2019-2020. The Celtics could lose one of the best players in the league, but they’ll also lose their point guard. Assuming the Celtics don’t address their point guard issues in the draft, they’ll look to free agency. It’s hard to imagine Aaron Baynes not exercising his $5.5 million ($5.5M) option, and restructuring Baynes’ contract seems unlikely. Al Horford is due $30.1M via a player option this season. and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2020-2021 at age 34....

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Boston Celtics: Potential 2019-2020 Roster

Power Through Draft Picks For the past several seasons the Boston Celtics have been in a position of power. The Celtics “Big Three” of the late oughts were parlayed into an abundance of first round picks by GM Danny Ainge. One of those picks was traded for Kyrie Irving, who instantly propelled the Celtics to the next level. When Irving’s late season injury kept him out of the 2017-2018 playoffs, the young Boston core stepped up. The future looked bright for the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately, the Kyrie Irving situation may not have worked in Boston, but the bigger question...

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Kyrie Irving Eligible for Super Max After Making All-NBA Team

Irving makes second All-NBA team Kyrie Irving was selected to the All-NBA second team yesterday, the first time Irving has been selected to the All-NBA second team. Irving was selected to the All-NBA third-team in 2014-2015 as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving received 52 second place votes and 39 third place votes for a total of 195 points; he received no first-place votes. Irving finished behind Houston Rockets guard James Harden (500 total points), Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry (482 total points) and Portland Trailblazers Damian Lillard (306 total points). Irving’s accolades make him eligible for...

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Kyrie Irving Leaves Boston Celtics Flat

Time To Shine Kyrie Irving hit one of the most iconic shots in NBA history, helping the Cleveland Cavaliers win the 2016 NBA title. Unfortunately for Irving, the Cavaliers belonged to LeBron James. It may be difficult to remember when James could do no wrong for the Cavaliers, but not for Irving. James consistently received all the credit for wins and almost none of the blame for losses. That burden fell upon Cavaliers perimeter shooters, Kevin Love, or Irving. As a result, a year later Irving forces a trade out of Cleveland and lands with the Boston Celtics. Irving...

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