Tanguay: If Celtics can get Okafor, they should do it now

Tanguay: If Celtics can get Okafor, they should do it now

The only good thing to come out of last night’s NBA Draft Lottery was the buzz that the Sixers could be stupid enough to trade Jahlil Okafor to Boston for the No. 3 overall pick so they can bring Providence College’s Kris Dunn to Philly.


Let’s be real: Anything after the first and second picks in this draft is a crap shoot. For drafting purposes, three sounds better than five and six. That’s the only advantage to picking third in this draft. This year, there's no guarantee you'll get a better player at No. 3 than you would at No. 5 or No. 6.

So if the Philadelphia Dumbsixers want Kris Dunn so bad that they're willing to give you their best player to get him, DO IT NOW!

Last season as a rookie, Okafor put up 17.5 points and 7 rebounds per game. He's only going to get better, and with the Celtics he'd be a beast. Boston has a better coach (sorry, Maine’s Brett Brown) and players who will get him the ball. If Okafor had been a Celtic this season, Boston could have won the Hawks series. The Celts probably still couldn't have beaten Cleveland, but Atlanta? He might've made the difference.

I understand Okafor has a checkered past. But a couple of bar fights and busting the century mark while cruising the Ben Franklin Bridge is small potatoes compared to the murder, drug use and domestic abuse that we've seen with other athletes.

And how about this idea? (Full disclosure: I'm stealing this from someone in the CSN newsroom, but I forgot who.) If the Celtics could land Okafor and then bring in Al Horford as a free agent, the team would improve a lot and still have Brooklyn’s first-round pick next year.

So, all is not lost. Danny Ainge just needs to get Jalhil Okafor for that third overall pick.

Because to actually have to use it would be a real bummer.

Isaiah Thomas isn't ruling out return to Celtics

File Photo

Isaiah Thomas isn't ruling out return to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas back in green? Maybe there's a chance after all.

The former Celtics guard, now with the Lakers, started a Q&A session on Twitter and was asked whether he'd consider returning to Boston this offseason. This was his answer...

That's not a no.

Thomas has had a rough go of it since leaving the Celtics. His brief tenure in Cleveland didn't go according to plan, and things haven't gotten a whole lot better out in L.A. The 29-year-old is averaging 15.3 points per game just a year after averaging 28.9 with Boston.

Let the speculation begin.


Horford not making any excuses after C's rough outing vs Pelicans

Horford not making any excuses after C's rough outing vs Pelicans

Al Horford understands that there’s plenty of blame pie to go around following Boston’s 108-89 loss to New Orleans. 

Considering how Pelicans stud Anthony Davis dominated the game on so many levels Sunday night, Horford was quick to acknowledge his role in the loss. 

“[Davis] was able to get behind our defense a lot,” Horford told reporters after the loss. “Some mistakes on my end; gotta give him credit. He dominated tonight. I’ll definitely take the blame for that.”

Davis finished with a double-double of 34 points and 11 rebounds, a total that would have been higher if not for the game being so lopsided which allowed Davis to head to the bench early in the fourth. 

MORE - Blakely's stars, studs, and duds from C's-Pelicans

And Horford’s struggles defensively were just as problematic on offense as the five-time All-Star tallied just six points on 3-for-11 shooting to go with four rebounds and three assists. 

Boston has been a team whose collective sums have fueled their success. 

But Horford understands he has to be a high impact performer, a job that’s even more vital when key starters like Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) and Jaylen Brown (concussion) are out as well as top reserves Marcus Smart (right thumb) and Daniel Theis (torn meniscus). 

And by Horford’s own admission, he just didn’t bring it on Sunday at a level to give him and the Celtics a legit shot at winning the game.

“Defensively we had too many breakdowns,” Horford said. “And the game got away from us in the second half. So there’s no excuses. I didn’t give us a chance, either; missing a lot of looks offensively. I just need to be better.”

And he’ll have to be if Boston (47-23) is to get back on track with a win on Tuesday against a talented Oklahoma City squad led by Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. 

At full strength, the Thunder would be a significant challenge for the Celtics. 

But having a roster with a number of key players out with injuries, it becomes even more imperative for Boston’s top players to elevate their play. 

And as you scan this Celtics roster and examine those who are healthy enough to play, it’s clear that Horford more than any other Boston player, has to find a way to become more impactful.

Certainly, more points and rebounds would help. 

But as we’ve seen time and time again with Horford, often his greatest contributions to winning games don’t necessarily show up in the final box score. 

That being said, a six-point, four-rebound game doesn’t cut it. 

Horford has to be better, something he knows better than anyone. 

“I’ll definitely look at the film and see how I can be better individually,” Horford said. “The good thing about the NBA, is we have a chance to play on Tuesday. Hopefully we’ll learn from this game and be ready to go Tuesday at home.”