Let free agency begin.

After it was reported by ESPN.com Marc Stein that the Celtics would be meeting with free agent forward Kevin Durant Saturday in the Hamptons, news comes that the get-together is just part of what figures to be a busy weekend for the Celts.

Al Horford

Al Horford

Let free agency begin.

After it was reported by ESPN.com Marc Stein that the Celtics would be meeting with free agent forward Kevin Durant Saturday in the Hamptons, news comes that the get-together is just part of what figures to be a busy weekend for the Celts.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports that Al Horford is slated to meet with the Celtics Friday, with the power forward also slated to hear a pitch from Houston the same day.

Wojnarowski goes on to report that Atlanta is prepared to offer Horford a five-year deal, but not at max contract money. Multiple teams, he reports, are willing to give Horford four-year deals at max money.

ESPN’s Chris Broussard also reports that Dwight Howard will be meeting with four teams, two of which will be Atlanta and Boston, both Friday and Saturday.

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Blog Author: 
WEEI

Kevin Durant (center) doesn't need to hear about Celtics history, like Paul Pierce (left) when he meets the team in free agency. (Mark D.</p>
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ROXBURY – Whether it’s Kevin Durant, Al Horford or Dwight Howard, Isaiah Thomas is just hoping Danny Ainge can work his magic to improve his team’s chances of getting past the first round and contend for a title. 

Isaiah Thomas speaks at the Roxbury YMCA on Thursday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Isaiah Thomas speaks at the Roxbury YMCA on Thursday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

ROXBURY – Whether it’s Kevin Durant, Al Horford or Dwight Howard, Isaiah Thomas is just hoping Danny Ainge can work his magic to improve his team’s chances of getting past the first round and contend for a title. 

“I just hope we get a few more pieces. I think that’s what we need,” Thomas said Thursday while speaking to kids on a Celtics CommUNITY stop at the Roxbury YMCA.

“I think that would be the next steps for us, and then we go from there. I’ve got a lot of trust in Danny and those guys in the front office because that’s their job, that’s what they do. And they know what they’re getting themselves into. So I’m just trying to do my part with telling people how special Boston is. And then hopefully they listen.”

Despite a report from Marc Spears that a source indicates Durant has nearly made up his mind to return to Oklahoma City, the Celtics will meet with Durant’s representatives on Saturday.

“I don’t know if you can say anything to convince him. He’s his own man,” said Thomas. “I don’t know if he even has his own decision already and he just wants to hear people out. But we just have to be as real as possible. He’s a fan of the game. He knows the game of basketball. He’s talked to me about how exciting it is to watch us on NBA LeaguePass and things like that. So he knows. And we’re just going to do what we can to try to seal the deal. And hopefully we can get in his ear. And maybe he’s a Celtic. Maybe he’s not. But we’re going to try. And I’m going to try.”

Thomas left the YMCA to head back to Waltham to meet with Danny Ainge and the Celtics to see if he could be of any further assistance in a last-ditch effort. 

“It’s a crazy feeling just because years ago that didn’t even come close,” Thomas said. “I was worried about making the team the next year. So it’s a good feeling knowing that they I guess trust my word or anything, and they come to me for things that they need or they want me to do. Knowing that you have trust in the organization, that’s a great feeling.”

Does Thomas have a gauge on what Durant might be looking for?

“No. I read comments he said he just wants to have fun playing basketball,” Thomas said. “I think it’s fun playing over here. For the most part when I do communicate with him I try not to talk about it. He actually brought it up to me one time just saying how much he loves the city and it seems like a really nice sports town.”

Then there’s Al Horford. 

“I just reached out to him. I got his number and reached out to him saying, ‘I’m interested in playing with you. I just want to put that in your ear. I know the Celtics would love if you came and are a part of the organization. Good luck with the process.’ And things like that,” Thomas said. “And then he texted me back, he said, ‘I’m a fan of how you guys play. I’m a fan of your game and would love the opportunity, but we’ll see what happens.’ The time is crazy for those type of guys right now so you never know what would happen but guys know about Boston. Guys are definitely talking Boston. And that’s a good thing.”

There is one player already on the roster that has impressed Thomas. Jaylen Brown played one year at Cal, a Pac-12 rival of Thomas’ alma mater Washington, before being drafted third overall by the Celtics. 

“A really good player. I think he’s slept on a lot by a lot of people,” Thomas said. “I watched California play due to them being in the Pac-12, and I’ve seen his highlights. He’s very athletic. He can play multiple positions. And hopefully he’s just ready to work. Get to work and put your hard hat on, and go from there. I’m excited to be able to get to meet him and get to know him.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas joined Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni Thursday afternoon to discuss Kevin Durant and being a part of the Celtics organization. For the full interview, visit the OMF audio on demand page.

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas

Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas joined Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni Thursday afternoon to discuss Kevin Durant and being a part of the Celtics organization. For the full interview, visit the OMF audio on demand page.

With the Celtics reportedly meeting with Kevin Durant Saturday, Thomas was unsure if he was going to be a part of it, but is ready if called upon.

“I’m going to call Danny today and see what he needs me to do, but if that’s what he wants me to do I’ll be there,” said Thomas.

Despite 48 wins and a first-round playoff exit, when asked how he would pitch the Celtics to Durant, Thomas had very much thought through what he would say.

“48 wins without a so-called superstar I guess they say, in the best city in the NBA, the best fans in the NBA, the history of Boston is self-explanatory,” Thomas said. “… If I am in that meeting on Saturday or whatever day it is, or I’m able to talk to Kevin Durant face-to-face I’ll just be as real as I possibly can and tell him how I feel about Boston. How I felt Boston before I got before I got here and how I feel about it now and that’s all I can really do. In this predicament in this situation everybody is going to try to sell him the world, or sell any free agent the world, and my job is just as a player to keep it as real as possible and try to get him to a great city and get situation and try to get him to Boston to where with him or with any other superstar we can give us that muscle to raise the 18th banner.”

A week removed from the NBA draft, Thomas expressed the utmost faith in the organization’s decision making.

“[Jaylen Brown is] a talented basketball player, somebody that I think will help us,” Thomas said. “I know Danny and the guys in the front office have done their background checks on all the guys that they worked out. So I guess they thought that was the best fit for us as a team. I’ve got all faith in the front office in the Celtics organization and Danny Ainge and what they’re doing because they’ve been through it, that’s their job. And they know the in’s and out’s of the draft and free agency and all those types of things. My job is just to go out there and play. But I’m excited, hopefully Jaylen Brown is ready to contribute and ready to get to work. I’m excited about the future and hopefully we can get a few free agents this summer and build on what we have.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics

On if he believes the Celtics are close to being legitimate contenders: “We definitely have to take steps forward. You’re right, we’re not as close as maybe people thought, but we’re there. We only need another piece or two then you can put us as a contender for a championship, and I mean that.”

On being undervalued: “Nobody ever gives me my credit. There’s always some excuse or some reason why I succeed why I do,” said Thomas. Numbers don’t lie. Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t. It just ticks me off for people to continue to say stuff when all I’ve done is produce. And not to make this an individual thing because I’m definitely a team guy and I’m all about team. But when I’ve done my job, you should give me my credit.”

On if the history of the Celtics organization means anything to free agents: “I think that the big basketball heads like the basketball junkies care about that. I think the biggest thing might be the weather. That’s the only thing I can say that people aren’t attracted to Boston for. Until you’re here and until you’re in it every day you don’t see how great this organization is, you don’t see how great this organization is. You don’t see how great this city is you don’t see how great the people around this city are.”

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy

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Las Vegas recently labeled the Celtics the favorites to land former All-Star center Dwight Howard, but reporters covering the team are hearing a different story.

Las Vegas recently labeled the Celtics the favorites to land former All-Star center Dwight Howard, but reporters covering the team are hearing a different story.

Himmelsbach covers the Celtics for the Globe, and frankly, his version of events makes more sense than a rabid pursuit of Howard, who has aged very quickly, even though he’s only 30. The eight-time All-Star averaged just 13.7 points last season for the Rockets, the lowest total since he put up 12 a game as a 19-year-old rookie in 2004-05.

Also, after missing just three games in his first six seasons, Howard has broken down in recent years, missing 63 games over the last three seasons.

For his career, he averages 17.8 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks a game. There’s a question of how he’d fit in the system of Celtics coach Brad Stevens, since Howard is a back-to-the-basket post player who doesn’t stretch defenses.

Howard recently declined his $23.2 million player option with the Rockets to become a free agent.

Blog Author: 
WEEI