In memory of Danny Ainge’s pursuit of Kevin Love, let’s have a moment of silence. The only question now is just how long this mourning period will last in Boston.



BEN ROHRBACH

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Four years after NBA experts argued whether Evan Turner or John Wall deserved the No. 1 overall selection in 2010, some of those same folks are debating Turner’s value in relation to undrafted free agent Chris Johnson.

After all, the former No. 2 pick’s agreement with the C’s likely signals the end for Johnson and fellow non-guaranteed signees Chris Babb and Keith Bogans.

Terms of the deal have not been made public, but the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett reports Turner will earn a portion of the team’s mid-level exception. Upon cutting Johnson, Babb and Bogans, the Celtics would fall $5.1 million below the luxury tax, opening the 15th and final roster spot for the 25-year-old. The non-taxpayer mid-level exception for the 2014-15 season is $5.3 million.

Most likely, Turner’s deal will expire in the next two years, allowing him to improve his value before the NBA’s new TV deal sends the salary cap soaring in 2016.

The Ohio State product’s value has never been lower. He only netted Danny Granger‘s expiring contract for the 76ers in February and didn’t warrant an $8.7 million qualifying offer from the Pacers this summer. Acquired to bolster Indiana’s hopes of an NBA Finals run, Turner ultimately lost his bench role to the immortal Rasual Butler in the Eastern Conference finals. No player who earned as many minutes as Turner (2,457) had a worse PER last season (12.4), and his true shooting percentage has never eclipsed 50 percent.

Turner isn’t a complete bust. Compiling respectable career averages of 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists, he started for a Sixers squad that nearly took out the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2012. He’s averaged 14.4 points (50.6 TS%), 5.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 14 career games against the C’s.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens lists Ohio State coach Thad Matta among his biggest influences, and Matta molded Turner into the unanimous college player of the year. Likewise, Turner calls fellow Buckeye Jared Sullingerlike family,” so perhaps that familiarity combined with Rajon Rondo‘s playmaking could help Turner reach his potential.

If that’s the case, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will have added another asset to his closet full of them. If not, the risk in signing Turner at short money for the short term is minimal. However, the signing does create even more of a logjam at the wing, where first-round draft pick James Young may be the odd man out in the D-League. Turner will have to battle both Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace for small forward minutes and both Avery Bradley and Marcus Thornton for playing time at shooting guard, so a career revival is no guarantee.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

The Celtics are finalizing a deal for free agent Evan Turner, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

Turner, the second overall pick back in 2010, averaged a career high 14.0 points per game last season, but he averaged just 7.1 after getting traded from Philadelphia to Indiana in February.

The Celtics are finalizing a deal for free agent Evan Turner, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

Turner, the second overall pick back in 2010, averaged a career high 14.0 points per game last season, but he averaged just 7.1 after getting traded from Philadelphia to Indiana in February.

Turner made headlines in late April when he and Lance Stephenson reportedly got into a fist fight in practice during the Pacers’ first-round series against the Hawks. Turner wound up playing just 12 minutes per game in the playoffs, as he floated in and out of the Pacers’ rotation.

Turner is a 6-foot-7 swingman and former Ohio State star.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

The best place for Celtics news these days seems to come from following the Red Sox.

Wyc Grousbeck

Wyc Grousbeck

The best place for Celtics news these days seems to come from following the Red Sox. After running into Kris Humphries at the MLB All-Star Game, our own Rob Bradford bumped into C’s owner Wyc Grousbeck at Fenway Park.

Grousbeck, of course, provided the now infamous “fireworks” comment earlier this year, and he’s just as disappointed as most Celtics fans about the team’s failure to pair another star with Rajon Rondo so far this summer.

“We had definitely hoped to try to make bigger moves this offseason, to be honest,” he said. “Having said that, it takes two partners to make a trade, so we focused on longterm trying to build the club. We think we’re a better team now — positioned for the future, some new young talent and even more draft picks — but it’s been a patient summer so far, and I’m not always the most patient guy.”

Without saying as much, Grousbeck vaguely referenced the Kevin Love sweepstakes. As rumors link Love’s future with the Cavaliers, the C’s owner preferred instead to focus on his biggest positive of this summer: Brad Stevens.

“I don’t want to talk about anybody else’s player, but I would say this is Brad Stevens‘ first offseason,” added Grousbeck. “Actually, when I think about the offseason, I think about Brad evaluating our players and working with [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] to evaluate the college talent, and it’s actually meshed really well. They were very much in synch on draft night, so that’s a positive for me. Brad is so excited to be here and to be building this thing. He’s impatient as well, but his work ethic is extraordinary.”

Love joining the Cavs would be a disappointment for a Celtics front office hoping to make a splash this summer, but at least Grousbeck is pleased about one storyline you may have heard about in Cleveland.

“I’m really happy for LeBron [James], which is not something I ever thought I would say,” he said. “I’m happy for Cleveland, which is something I never really thought I would say. It makes me feel good about the NBA. The NBA is in a golden era right now, and LeBron has a lot to do with that. And this move just shows his quality.”

While Cleveland’s fortunes have reversed rather quickly, the Celtics continue to plod along what may prove to be a far longer road back to NBA championship contention than Grousbeck would have preferred.

“We’re lucky we got to the top of that mountain one time,” he told Bradford prior to Sunday’s Red Sox game. “It makes you all the hungrier to get back. Actually, now that we’re here at Fenway, I asked John Henry after his second what it was like, and he said it was better than the first, and I hope to have that feeling some day. We’ll see.”

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Last season the NBA took a ton of criticism regarding teams tanking games in order to land a better draft pick. In the end, the Cavaliers jumped up to win their third top overall pick in the last four years. But the Bucks and 76ers — the two worst teams respectively — wound up drafting second and third, selecting potential franchise-altering players.

nba-draft-logoAs expected, altering the draft lottery system has been a major topic of the NBA offseason. Zach Lowe, from Grantland.com, now is reporting that the league has officially submitted a proposal that would allow all 14 teams that miss the playoffs to have significantly more similar odds of taking home a high draft selection.

From Lowe: ‘€œUnder the current system, the team with the worst record has a 25 percent chance of snagging the No. 1 pick, perhaps the most valuable asset in the entire NBA. The team with the second-worst record has a 19.9 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick, and the third-worst team enters the lottery with a 15.6 percent chance of moving up to the top slot. The odds decline from there, with the final five teams in the lottery — the teams with the five best records — each having a 1.1 percent or worse chance of moving up to No. 1.

‘€œThe league’€™s proposal gives at least the four worst teams the same chance at winning the No. 1 pick: approximately an identical 11 percent shot for each club. The odds decline slowly from there, with the team in the next spot holding a 10 percent chance. The lottery team with the best record will have a 2 percent chance of leaping to the No. 1 pick, up from the the minuscule 0.5 percent chance it has under the current system.’€

Firstly, it’€™s pretty clear that there would be a shift in balance amongst the 14 teams eligible to win the lottery. All of them would have between an 11 percent and 2 percent chance at the No. 1 pick, while the worst four teams essentially would have the same odds to win it.

Secondly, rather than the lottery only awarding the top three picks, changes in this format would now allow the top six selections in the draft to be raffled off. This would provide teams with far less incentive to finish lower in the standings with so many picks now to be randomly determined. Imagine tanking to be the worst team and ending up with the No. 7 pick! That would not sit well with any fan base. Problem solved.

Of course, there is a potential issue with the format. It may sound silly, but there is concern that teams may purposely fall out of the 8 seed, opting to take their chances in a low lottery spot, rather than face off with a 1 seed in the playoffs.

When it comes down to it, it would be incredibly tough, not only for a team to lack the competitiveness to fight for a playoff run, but also for an owner to pass on the extra playoff revenue they would be choosing to skip out on. It just doesn’€™t make sense considering there would still be no guarantees in the lottery, simply a better chance.

To play devil’€™s advocate, if a deep, talented draft class (like 2014) came along, maybe a team believes the chance of winning a top-six pick gives it the player it needs to contend in the following season.

The Mavericks were the 8 seed in the ultracompetitive Western Conference last season, losing at the hands of the eventual champion Spurs in the first round. Would passing on that experience/revenue to try to even win the No. 6 pick (Marcus Smart) have been worth it for them? It would definitely make them a better team for the future.

Would Mark Cuban realistically go through with this? Doubtful.

The proposal is in the early stages, and could still involve tweaks, but we all expect to see something along these lines put in place over the next couple of years. No doubt, it is far better than the system currently in place — a win for the NBA.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

Celtics legend Bill Russell collapsed during a speaking engagement in Lake Tahoe, according to WCVB-TV’s Scott Isaacs. He is reportedly conscious and “doing OK.” Russell, 80, underwent open-heart surgery in 2012.

Celtics legend Bill Russell collapsed during a speaking engagement in Lake Tahoe, according to WCVB-TV’s Scott Isaacs. He is reportedly conscious and “doing OK.” Russell, 80, underwent open-heart surgery in 2012.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.

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