Evan Turner: 'Hopefully it’s not my last game in a Celtics uniform'

Evan Turner: 'Hopefully it’s not my last game in a Celtics uniform'

BOSTON - With 44.7 seconds remaining in Thursday's Game 6 loss to the Celtics, Evan Turner was removed.

His hope is, though, is that it's not the last time he walks off the court as a member of the Boston Celtics.

Turner, who signed a 2 year, $6,703,510 contract with Boston two offseasons ago is now headed for unrestricted free agency, and after two successful seasons in Boston in which he turned his game around, is due for a bit of a pay day.

Will Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge be the guy who gives it to him? Turner hopes so, but at this stage it's too soon to say.

"I really don't know," Turner said about his future in Boston. "I would love to come back but at the same time, lot of things, lot of variables that are going to occur and things like that that I can't control. Whenever July hits we'll talk about it."

Turner knows that Ainge's job is to do what's best for the Celtics. In that same sense, Turner has to do what's best for him, which means joining a team that checks off all the boxes. So what are those boxes?

"Just fit obviously," Turner said. "I want to get a decent amount of money, you know what I'm saying? But at the same time the fit is going to be huge and the opportunity to play on a winning team. I have played on [crap] teams a couple times and it's not fun. But obviously the fit, the opportunity to play, and the opportunity to progress and win."

It just so happens that Turner was able to do all those things in Boston. Just taking a look at his last contract, it's easy to see he wasn't wanted by many other teams in the NBA. Labeling Turner a "reclamation project" might be a bit of a stretch, but not by much. Either way, Brad Stevens was able to get to him and by the end of his two year deal was one of Stevens' favorite players, and one he counted on in just about every big situation. Turner played so well in whatever role was given to him that he ended up in the running for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award.

Whether or not Turner does return to Boston, he knows how much Stevens has done for his career. Turner can expect to cash in on a deal that will earn him north of $10 million per season this summer.

"He's done a lot. He's a smart guy. He rekindled my fire for the game. Just enjoy it," Turner said.  I think he's definitely helped us all becoming better pros and doing the little things. I think everybody in this locker room he's put in positions to succeed so definitely appreciate that and most importantly off the court he's a great friend and great guy."

But the love goes beyond Stevens. It goes through the organization to the fans and the city. Turner couldn't help but think walking off the court that it could all be just a memory in a couple months.

"It’s a thought for sure," Turner said. "I love playing for the Celtics, I love the city and everything. It’s definitely been a blessing. Hopefully it’s not my last game in a Celtics uniform. The coolest thing is to wear the uniform. I don’t take that for granted. The tradition and opportunity and the energy around it is great."

The feeling seems mutual, but as always in the end, money talks.

Against Magic, C's do what they're supposed to

Against Magic, C's do what they're supposed to

Beating one of the few teams already eliminated from the playoff race is in itself not that big a deal.

It’s called doing what you’re supposed to do.

But for these Celtics, their 92-83 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night was more than just another victory.

It was the latest installment in a season filled with teachable moments and lessons that can bolster in some fashion their chances at a deep playoff run.

While there’s no way they’re going to go far without their core guys Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, getting guys to fill in for them and still manage to win, is important in this team’s overall development in both the present and future.

No one on the Celtics’ roster can score like Irving, the league’s 11th-ranked scorer at 24.4 points per game.

Still, getting his fill-ins Terry Rozier and Shane Larkin to go for 17 and 10 points certainly helps.

And Jaylen Brown’s ability to play both ends of the floor at a high level is huge, but rookie Abdel Nader has shown he too has some potential to be a solid two-way talent.

Smart’s defense sets him apart from others, but the Celtics collectively were able to make up for that with an impressive defensive rating of 83.1 against the Orlando.

And their collective efforts serve as yet another teachable moment for the Celtics.

Here are five takeaways from a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score might lead one to believe: 

There may not be another Celtic whose stock has risen more than Terry Rozier’s this season. He has become a reliable two-way talent off the bench whose capable of giving you starter-like production when needed. He had 17 points against the Magic along with seven rebounds and five assists.

With Marcus Smart (right thumb) out for the rest of the regular season, Terry Rozier in the starting lineup along with Marcus Morris, those are three really big chunks of Boston’s second unit no longer coming off the bench. The second unit players might have been different, but that didn’t affect the Celtics’ bench from impacting the game in a significant way. Against the Magic, they outscored Orlando’s backups, 39-28. 

He signed with the Boston Celtics at a time when a role for him was far from defined. His patience and Boston’s faith in him has paid for both as Larkin continues to be that utility player that Brad Stevens has leaned on at times. Larkin was solid off the bench, scoring 10 points.

This may be one of the closest Coach of the Year votes we have ever had in the NBA. Regardless how short the list may be, you can bet Brad Stevens will be on it. The way he has been positioning the Celtics to be among the last teams standing despite all the injuries they have endured this season, speaks to his ability to not just draw up X's and O’s but also his ability to develop players who when called upon to play, are more than ready for the challenge.

It’s fair to expect the Celtics are going to be short-handed for the rest of the season, which means those still around have to step their game up – Horford included.

For Horford, stepping up involves being more assertive as a scorer and not rely as much on his skills as a play-maker. We saw that from Horford on Friday, as he tallied a near double-double of 15 points and nine rebounds but more important, he took a game-high 18 shot attempts.


'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

AP Photo

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

Former Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was arrested last month in a hotel room in Aberdeen, Maryland, with more than 126 grams of marijuana and more than $92,000 in cash.

Davis, 32, who played on the Celtics 2008 championship team was last in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015, was arrested Feb. 7 after the hotel owner at the Aberdeen Hampton Inn smelled marijuana coming from Davis' room, WMAR-TV in Baltimore reported.

“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” Aberdeen Police Lt. William Reiber told WMAR. “In addition to that, there was a briefcase that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”

Davis is charged with seven counts of drug possession and distribution.

Police said the strains of marijuana were from a Los Angeles wholesaler that court records show Davis told police he was in business with.

He told officers he was visiting family in Maryland. Davis' attorney told WMAR the former Celtic (2007-11) adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court next month to clear his name.