Danny Ainge: 'Anticipate trade talks to heat up in mid-December'

Danny Ainge: 'Anticipate trade talks to heat up in mid-December'

BOSTON – The Celtics do not have an imminent trade on the horizon, but make no mistake about it, they’ll once again try to be active players in trade talks.

Such discussions typically don’t begin to pick up steam until after Dec. 15, which is the earliest teams can trade players signed in the offseason. 
Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations for the Celtics, acknowledged that he has had discussions with other teams about potential deals.
Still, conversations at this point mean little, with many centered around determining if certain players are even available. 
“There’s a lot of talk that leads nowhere and groundwork that leads to something,” Ainge said in his weekly conversation with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show. “Teams are still trying to feel what their team is, what direction they’re headed, what the mix is, the fit.”

And the Celtics are indeed one of those teams that he described. 
They began the season without Kelly Olynyk who was still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He has been able to play in Boston’s past 12 games. 

Boston then lost Al Horford for nine games with a concussion. Horford, who signed a four-year, $113 million contract in the offseason, would later miss a 10th game this season due to the birth of his daughter Alia.
Throw in the ankle injury to Jae Crowder, which cost him eight games and limited him in at least a couple more, and it’s clear that the Celtics have no concrete feel for their team just yet. 
In terms of strengthening the roster, the Celtics’ greatest need right now appears to be finding an able-bodied rebounder.
One player whose name continues to pop up as a possible target for Boston is DeMarcus Cousins, whose Sacramento Kings will be in town on Friday night. 
It’s unclear just how interested the Celtics are in adding the All-Star center and whether Boston has enough of the right kind of assets to entice the Kings into doing a deal. 
But Ainge cautions that trade talks aren’t likely to take on a serious tone until the middle of this month. 
“[Now] It’s not the time of year where there’s a lot of activity for a lot of different reasons,” Ainge said. “From the middle of December through the middle of February, it’s really heated up and we anticipate our phones will be ringing.”

Jaylen Brown drills two half-court shots in awesome Celtics practice video

Jaylen Brown drills two half-court shots in awesome Celtics practice video

Jaylen Brown recently deactivated his Instagram account to focus on basketball.

It appears that plan is working.

The Celtics held their second practice as a team Saturday since entering the NBA "bubble" at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Orlando, and according to the team's social media, Brown was the star of the show.

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Here's a terrific 40-second clip of the Celtics wing sinking not one but two half-court shots before celebrating with what we'll call a cartwheel:

Brown gleefully said, "I got my money" after hitting the first shot, but his opponent -- our guess is that's point guard Kemba Walker -- matched him, leading the 23-year-old to knock down another shot and send his teammates into a frenzy.

Who said there's no fun in the bubble?

The NBA's Twitter account posted another angle of one of Brown's makes in addition to footage of big men Tacko Fall and Enes Kanter getting their work in.

The Celtics have two weeks to shake off the rust before their restarted 2019-20 season begins with a July 31 matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Boston currently is the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, but some believe the C's have a legitimate shot to contend for an NBA title this summer.

If that's the case, the Celtics will need Brown -- who was averaging a career-high 20.4 points and 6.4 rebounds before the season was paused -- to display more of the talent he flashed Saturday on the practice court.

Jayson Tatum shouts out Celtics' Kara Lawson for landing Duke head coach job

Jayson Tatum shouts out Celtics' Kara Lawson for landing Duke head coach job

Kara Lawson is pulling a reverse Jayson Tatum.

The Duke women's basketball team announced Saturday it has named Lawson its new head coach, meaning she'll leave her role as a Boston Celtics assistant coach after this season to join the Blue Devils.

The Celtics will be sad to see Lawson go after her lone season as the first female assistant coach in franchise history. But Tatum, who starred at Duke before coming to Boston, approves of her next gig.

From one Tatum "family" to another.

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Lawson technically leaves behind two Duke alumni, as Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye played two seasons for the Blue Devils from 2013 to 2015 before transferring to SMU.

Tatum is a proud supporter of his alma mater -- where he spent just one season in 2016-17 before the Celtics drafted him No. 3 overall -- so his excitement for Lawson is understandable.

Tatum also will be hoping Lawson can help the Blue Devils back on track after they failed to reach the NCAA Tournament last season for just the second time in 25 years.