Turner open to idea of 'hometown discount' with Celtics

Turner open to idea of 'hometown discount' with Celtics

BOSTON – Evan Turner has enjoyed his two seasons with the Boston Celtics, a time that has seen Turner morph from a perceived lottery-pick bust into one of the best sixth Men in the NBA whose versatility and all-around skillset has been instrumental in the Celtics putting together back-to-back playoff appearances.

And while he will have several suitors this summer when he hits the free agency market, Turner said he is open to the idea of leaving some money on the table and re-sign with the Boston Celtics.

When asked if he would be open to giving the Celtics a “hometown discount,” Turner said, “Of course. I joke with people, this is the first time I left an exit interview and the team wanted me back. I don’t take that lightly, you know what I’m saying? At the end of the day, I’m grateful for that.”

Turner said his exit interview with Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, was a candid conversation about Boston’s goals and aspirations this summer.

“He (Ainge) was honest,” Turner told CSN following a fundraising event for Horizons for Homeless held on Sunday. “Hopefully we can figure out a way to make it work. It’s a lot going on with the team, with the roster and with the draft picks and things like that. There’s definitely admiration on both sides. I trust Danny will do what’s best for the organization.”

In his two seasons in Boston, Turner has become a favorite among fans as well as a hit with the media.

But more important, he has gained the trust of head coach Brad Stevens who trusts the 27-year-old as much as any Celtic especially in the fourth quarter.

Turner, who finished fifth in the voting for the league’s Sixth Man of the Year, led all reserves with 118 assists in the fourth quarter which also ranked fifth among all players.

Having been drafted by Philadelphia with the No. 2 overall pick in 2010, Turner began his career dealing with the enormous weight and expectations that come with being a high draft pick.  Ironically, Turner’s best season statistically led to him being traded to Indiana in 2014 which turned out to be a bad fit for Turner and the Pacers.

And the fact that he was hitting the free agent market the summer of 2014 led to him paying for it with few teams showing sincere interest in signing him and even fewer willing to give him the kind of contract a former No. 2 pick receives in his first contract after he’s no longer on the rookie scale. So Turner wound up settling on a two-year, $6.7 million deal with the Celtics.

Rest assured, the deal he signs this summer will pay more than that in the first year.

There will be several teams like the New York Knicks and the Orlando Magic in hot pursuit of Turner this summer because of his versatility and as one league executive told CSNNE.com recently, “the way he impacts winning.”

The executive added, “He doesn’t put up big numbers, but he’ll help you win big games.”

And if Turner has his way, he’ll continue doing that “in a crazy sports town like Boston.”

Turner added, “To be able to have that type of support, I don’t take that lightly.”

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. 

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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.”