David Lee is coming off a championship season with the Warriors. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

David Lee is coming off a championship season with the Warriors. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated appeared on Middays with MFB on Wednesday to talk about the Celtics and the recent acquisition of David Lee from the Warriors. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

On Tuesday, news broke that the Celtics had traded Gerald Wallace to the NBA champion Warriors for power forward David Lee. Lee is owed $15.5 million in the final year of his contract next season. Mannix said he expects Lee to contribute and be productive for the Celtics.

“I think that you’re trading a guy in Wallace that gave you nothing last year for a player in David Lee who, in my mind, can still be a pretty consistent 16- to 18-point per game scorer, eight- to 10-rebound guy. He’s arguably the most talented guy right now in that Celtics frontcourt,” Mannix said.

Mannix estimated that the addition of Lee could help the Celtics win as many as an extra three to five games. In earning the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, the team went 40-42 last season.

“You’ve now got some flexibility with those frontcourt positions. You have a guy in Lee who’s proven that he can rebound the basketball and he can score within that 15-foot area,” Mannix said. “I think the Celtics got a little more dynamic offensively with this addition of David Lee.”

Despite the improvement that Lee will bring to the roster, Mannix said that he won’t single-handedly turn the Celtics into a true contender.

“I don’t know if it moves the needle necessarily in making the Celtics any more of a playoff contender than they were last year. They still need help at the small forward position, they still need to find that true center and they still need these young guys to develop into better players in year two and year three of their respective career,” Mannix said.

The Celtics roster now includes a glut of non-rim-protecting bigs, including the likes of Lee, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller, Jonas Jerebko and Amir Johnson. The C’s also own many a combo guard, including Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart and first-round picks Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter. With an abundance of such somewhat-similar players, Mannix expects there to be more roster moves on the way.

“They’ll trade anybody. At this point, no one is safe on the roster. It’s like “Game of Thrones” out there. They’ll dump whoever they have to to make the move they want to make the moves they want to get that All-Star, tent pole type of player,” Mannix said.

While the team as currently constructed isn’t ready to compete with the top tier of the conference, Mannix was complimentary toward the way general manager Danny Ainge has handled this offseason.

“I think what Boston’s done this offseason has been smart,” he said. “They didn’t go out and overspend on fringe players. … Boston got Amir Johnson on a very team-friendly deal, they brought back Jerebko on a really team-friendly deal.”

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin
Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart

Before we get to our Celtics scouting reports, a few quick thoughts …

  • Are we ever going to see Colton Iverson in a Celtics uniform?
  • Isn’t it time CSNNE stops advertising its free agency coverage?
  • Has somebody told C.J. Fair to stop shooting yet?
  • Should we be concerned when Marcus Smart, James Young, Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter and Jordan Mickey closed Monday’s loss to the Utah Jazz as a unit, and Rodney Hood was the best player on the floor?
  • How long until Jay Larranaga becomes a head coach in the NBA?

… OK, now to the scouting reports. We’ve seen some good and some bad from each of the young C’s in Monday’s 100-82 loss to the Jazz and Tuesday’s 76-62 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Below are the pros and cons we’ve seen so far.

MARCUS SMART

  • Jazz 100, Celtics 82: 26 points (6-20 FG, 2-10 3P, 12-13 FT), eight assists (2 turnovers), five rebounds, two steals and one block in 30 minutes.
  • Sixers 76, Celtics 62: DNP (rest)

PROS

+ Getting to the rim: Using strength to get to basket and draw fouls more often
+ Court savvy: Drawing fouls, posting up smaller defenders, etc.
+ Elite defender: Stopped quick guards Dante Exum and Bryce Cotton in tracks
+ Pick and roll: Improved orchestration of game’s most important offensive play
+ Grit: Constantly fighting for position and not afraid of contact on both ends
+ Court vision: Improved decision-making on interior passes
+ Defensive rebounding: Size and strength helps assist bigs on the glass

CONS

Shot selection: Way too many contested long 2’s and 3’s early in the shot clock
Shooting form: Still doesn’t square up his feet enough
Gambler: Can be beat backdoor defensively off the ball
Reputation: Seemingly inadvertent elbow on Jack Cooley earned a flagrant foul

JAMES YOUNG

  • Jazz 100, Celtics 82: 12 points (4-11 FG, 1-5 3P, 3-4 FT), three rebounds and one assist (1 turnover) in 30 minutes.
  • Sixers 76, Celtics 62: Nine points (2-11 FG, 1-7 3P, 4-5 FT), one rebound, one steal and zero assists (0 turnovers) in 21 minutes.

PROS

+ Improved aggressiveness: Dove for loose balls and battled for rebounds
+ Using picks: Worked himself free along baseline and off curls for open looks
+ Scoring ability: Nice touch on floater, mid-range jumper and 3-point shot
+ Defensive positioning: Defensive issues aren’t for lack of effort

CONS

Decision-making: Poor shot selection, lazy passes and driving into traffic
Moving without the ball: Can be lost on offense if plays aren’t called for him
Defensive instincts: Falls for fakes often and can be beat off the dribble
Quickness: Seems to be a step slow despite fluid movement and athleticism
Shot release: Slow deep shooting form leads to easier close-outs for defenders
Setting picks: More interested in creating own offense than freeing teammates
Getting to the rim: Avoids contact at all costs in transition

TERRY ROZIER

  • Jazz 100, Celtics 82: Seven points (3-8 FG, 1-3 3P, 0-2 FT), five rebounds, two assists (2 turnovers) and two steals in 29 minutes.
  • Sixers 76, Celtics 62: 14 points (4-11 FG, 0-3 3P, 6-7 FT), two rebounds, two steals and two assists (2 turnovers) in 18 minutes.

PROS

+ Defensive quickness: Tremendous on-ball defender with ability to recover
+ Tempo: First instinct is to push the ball in transition and force defense to react
+ Change of pace: Incredible hesitation move allows him to get into the paint
+ Confidence: Appears comfortable with the ball and looking for his shot
+ Scoring ability: Aggressiveness combined with nice floater should lead to offense
+ Decision-making: Sees the floor well and regularly makes the right pass
+ Shooting form: Ability to improve accuracy because of his technique

CONS

Halfcourt offense: Picks up dribble too often and defers before creating
Finishing at the rim: Trouble getting his shot off in traffic because of his size
Shooting touch: Missed badly on several shots that led to errant rebounds
Defensive lapses: Lost his man off the ball on multiple occasions
Free-throw shooting: Looked uncomfortable on both misses

R.J. HUNTER

  • Jazz 100, Celtics 82: Zero points (0-5 FG, 0-3 3P, 0-0 FT), three steals, two rebounds and one assist (0 turnovers) in 21 minutes.
  • Sixers 76, Celtics 62: Zero points (0-3 FG, 0-3 3P, 0-0 FT), three rebounds and zero assists (1 turnover) in 18 minutes.

PROS

Offensive instincts: Constantly moving, finding open spots and calling for ball
+Overall defense: Solid positioning, fights through screens and uses length
Quick release: Gets off his shot with ease
+ Fundamentals: The coach’s kid mentality shows everywhere on the court
+ Transition: Excellent instincts defensively and quick to push the offense

CONS

Shooting form: Keeps the ball low and somewhat offsets his quick release
Gunner: Failed to get his feet set before looking for his shot on multiple occasions
Defensive quickness: Can be beat off the dribble by quicker guards

JORDAN MICKEY

  • Jazz 100, Celtics 82: 16 points (7-8 FG, 0-0 3P, 2-2 FT), four rebounds, three blocks, one steal and zero assists (2 turnovers) in 27 minutes.
  • Sixers 76, Celtics 62: Four points (1-7 FG, 0-0 3P, 2-4 FT), three blocks, two rebounds and zero assists (1 turnover) in 26 minutes.

PROS

+ Mid-range jumper: Showed beautiful touch on several long jump shots
+ Scoring instincts: Impressive post moves and understanding of pick and roll
+ Pick-setting: Working to get his teammates open with regularity
+ Rim contesting: Redirected a number of shots in addition to his blocks

CONS

Defensive understanding: Caught wandering and losing man multiple times
Strength: Outmuscled by bulkier bigs on both ends
— Rebounding: Failed to get position and only corralled boards that came to him

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

The Celtics acquired David Lee from the

The Celtics acquired David Lee from the Warriors, as first reported by Tommy Dee on Twitter and soon confirmed by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

The C’s will send Gerald Wallace and a player to be named later back to the reigning NBA champions, according to USA TODAY’s Sam Amick. The deal will be completed when the moratorium is lifted on Thursday.

Lee will make $15.5 million in the final year of his contract, roughly $5.4 million less than Wallace will before his deal also expires in July 2016.

Lee, 31, is just two years removed from his second All-Star appearance. He averaged 7.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in just 18.4 minutes on a loaded Golden State roster this past season. For his career, he has produced 14.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 31.5 minutes over 10 seasons.

 

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

With a largely underwhelming Celtics free agency period winding down,

Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge

With a largely underwhelming Celtics free agency period winding down, reports have emerged that Danny Ainge is conserving cap space in order to make room for two max deals in 2016.

Multiple big names will be on the market following the 2015-16 campaign, the most notable of which being Thunder forward and 2013-14 NBA MVP Kevin Durant. With the cap set to explode to $89 million due to the league’s new, lucrative television deal that will go into effect next offseason, the Celtics will be in a position to aggressively buy.

Not only will they have the option to pursue max players through free agency, they will also have the assets and cap space to negotiate sign-and-trades for max players as well.

The Celtics only have two players with guaranteed contracts beyond next season (Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas), leaving them with picks and young prospects like James Young and Marcus Smart, who could serve as valuable trade pawns.

Though the C’s have long been plagued with the perception as an undesirable free agency destination, the C’s current situation mirrors the 2007 offseason when they successfully recruited Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join Paul Pierce and form the Big Three. Right now, they can remain content with building pieces and role players for a run at big names in 2016.

Blog Author: 
Justin Pallenik

According to reports, Kevin Garnett will finish his career where he started it, with the Timberwolves.

The 21-year pro will reportedly sign a two-year deal with the same team that drafted him out of Farragut High School in 1995.

Garnett, 39, was traded to the Wolves from the Nets on Feb. 19. He spent the first 12 years of his NBA career in Minnesota before being traded to the Celtics in 2007. He and Ray Allen along with Paul Pierce spawned the Big Three that brought home the franchise’s 17th banner in 2008.

In five years donning the green and white, Garnett averaged 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists, earning an All-Star bid every year except for one. Last season with the Timberwolves and the Nets, Garnett logged 6.9 points and 6.6 boards in 20.3 minutes per game.

Garnett will have the chance to mentor young, rising stars like 2015 first overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns and last year’s No. 1 overall selection and 2014-15 Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins.

The deal will not be official until the NBA’s moratorium on signings is lifted later this week.

Blog Author: 
Justin Pallenik

Former Celtic Brandon Bass will sign with the Lakers, the team announced Sunday.

Former Celtic Brandon Bass will sign with the Lakers, the team announced Sunday.

The terms of the contract have not been revealed because they are dependent on other Lakers moves in free agency, specifically their reported trade with the Pacers for Roy Hibbert‘s $15.5 million expiring contract.

A 10-year NBA veteran, Brandon Bass posted 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds after playing all 82 games of the 2014-15 season. Bass also started all four Celtics playoff games.

He became expendable when the C’s agreed to a deal with free agent forward Amir Johnson. The Celtics also selected LSU forward Jordan Mickey in the second round of the draft.

Bass began his career with the Hornets before moving to the Mavericks and the Magic, and then most recently the Celtics. Over four years in Boston, the 6-foot-8 power forward averaged 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per 36 minutes. During the Celtics 2011-12 playoff run, Bass averaged 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 92 percent from the charity stripe.

In 2013-14, Bass earned the Red Auerbach Award, which celebrates the player who best exemplifies what it means to be a Celtic through performance on and off the court.

The Lakers also said they plan to sign guard Lou Williams, who was last season’s Sixth Man of the Year with the Hawks.

Blog Author: 
Justin Pallenik

For the Celtics, Wednesday was particularly busy. Boston reportedly agreed to terms for new contracts with Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko, in addition to Amir Johnson formerly of the Raptors.

The Celtics were also reportedly in talks with Tobias Harris and Corey Brewer, but Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reported “those pursuits have ended.” Talks for Harris fell through when the Magic made it apparent they were prepared to match any offer given to their small forward, so Boston was out.

Following bringing back Crowder for a five-year, $35 million contract that’s fully guaranteed with no opt-outs on either side, the C’s lost interest in Brewer.

Reportedly, Jerebko will be back at $10 million over two years while Johnson’s deal is worth $24 million through two years.

For more Celtics news, check out weei.com/celtics.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen