Celtics

Bean: Everything is turning up Celtics this week

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Bean: Everything is turning up Celtics this week

There have been a lot of great days in Celtics history: The day they won their first title. The day they won their 17th title. The day they got the 76ers to draft Markelle Fultz. The day a brave fan first yelled at Ben Simmons to shoot a 3, coward. 

June 18, 2018 might not be on the same level as any of those, but damn, it was good. I really only needed to see two things happen this offseason: for the C's to keep restricted free agent Marcus Smart and for Kawhi Leonard to end up anywhere for Philadelphia. 

Check and check. What a day. 

Actually, I suppose the stars getting healthy would also be a biggie for the Celtics. 

What a day. 

Let's focus on the Kawhi thing. If he had gone to the 76ers and made friends with some of those goofballs -- enough that he'd want to re-sign at least -- the Celtics would be in trouble. Kyrie Irving could theoretically leave in free agency next summer, and a big three of Kawhi, Simmons and Embiid would likely trump a Kyrie-less Celtics roster longterm. 

But that's not going to happen. Kawhi is in Toronto, perhaps for a year before he goes to the Lakers. In the immediate future, the Raptors are no threat to the Celtics, or perhaps even the 76ers. Longterm, there's a good chance he won't even be in the Eastern Conference. 

So the Celtics' path to the NBA Finals remains clear. As long as everyone -- or really even mostly everyone -- is healthy, they'll get there easily. 

A big part of that will be due to them being the deepest team in the conference, a status that should remain with Marcus Smart banging out a four-year deal with the Celtics for $52 million. (He officially signed on June 19, yes, but the two sides got close to the finish line on June 18.)

It wouldn't have been the end of the world if Smart just came back on his $6.1 million qualifying offer and then walked in free agency next summer, but paying more to have him around for what could be championship runs should have always been the better option. 

Yes, the Celtics are kind of negotiating against themselves because Smart is an RFA and hasn't received an offer sheet, but if after Dante Exum signed for three years at $11 million per, didn't it make sense for Smart to get something similar? 

So Smart got four years and $52 million. That's $2 million more a year to have him for four years. More importantly, it isn't the $16 million some team could have given him to get the Celtics to either overpay or walkaway. Smart isn't one of the Celtics' five best players, but he's one of the better defenders in the league. The Celtics seemingly don't have to pay through the nose to get him for four more years, so they'd be smart to wrap something up for the numbers that have been reported. 

Also, a picture surfaced of Jayson Tatum cropping Stephen A. Smith out of a picture with Denzel Washington. What a day. 

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Breakfast Podcast June 17, 2019: Anthony Davis is going to be a Laker, what does that mean for the Celtics?

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Breakfast Podcast June 17, 2019: Anthony Davis is going to be a Laker, what does that mean for the Celtics?

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1:17 - Jeff Goodman joins the Early Edition crew to give his thoughts on Anthony Davis landing in LA and why he thinks Kyrie Irving had a negative impact on Jayson Tatum this past season.

7:13 - Joe Haggerty and Phil Perry react to Don Sweeney's comments on wanting to keep Torey Krug and David Backes in Boston next year.

12:16 - Lou Merloni, John Tomase and Tony Massaroti react to the Red Sox 2-0 win over the Twins.

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Could Bradley Beal be the next big star that the Celtics pursue?

Could Bradley Beal be the next big star that the Celtics pursue?

In the wake of the Anthony Davis trade, the Boston Celtics no longer have a superstar target in their sights. The trade market doesn't have an obvious superstar available for the first time in what feels like quite a while. But with Danny Ainge still sitting on a treasure trove of assets, the Celtics could still look to be active in attempting to acquire franchise changing players.

In an appearance on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix gave his pick for a potential franchise cornerstone that the Celtics could target. That was Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal. Here's why Mannix thinks that Beal could be the next star-caliber player that becomes available.

I lean towards Beal just because he's the obvious guy that could be moved. Ted Leonsis, the owner in Washington, loves Bradley Beal, but a new GM could walk in there and say look, I've got John Wall probably not playing next season. Bradley Beal has three years left on his contract. He is an enormously valuable trade asset. Can you get a Bradley Beal without throwing a Jayson Tatum in a trade? I don't know. But Bradley Beal is the next big star, I think, that could be available.

And as NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg went on to point out, Tatum and Beal have a relationship as they did go to the same high school. So, in the event that the Celtics did have Beal and Tatum, they would have some immediate chemistry.

The Wizards could be heading towards a rebuild, as Wall will likely miss a good chunk of the upcoming season with a torn Achilles he suffered in late January. Wall is entering the first year of a four-year, $170 million supermax extension, so if he can't get on the floor, the Wizards will have a tough time surrounding Beal with solid offensive weaponry. And if the team struggles to start the season, they could move on from Beal to jumpstart a potential rebuild.

Of course, acquiring Beal would be no easy pursuit. He is coming off a season in which he averaged 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists, all of which are career highs. He made strides as a distributor with Wall out and as Mannix pointed out, he is on a controllable contract that comes in at roughly $25 million annually, well below the max. So, if he does become available, he could be a sought after target and may require the Celtics to ship out some of their young assets.

In fact, the New Orleans Pelicans are rumored to have an interest in Beal. So, if Washington does decide to sell Beal, the Celtics will have to get into the fray and construct a package that could work for the soon-to-be 26-year-old scorer.

There's no guarantee that Beal will become available. But certainly, his scoring would be a good fit with the Celtics. It will be interesting to see what Washington decides to do with him as they navigate a difficult situation with Wall's injury.

Click here for A. Sherrod Blakely's full Mock Draft 6.0>>>

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