Celtics

Brandon Ingram had a special gift for Terry Rozier after Celtics-Lakers

Brandon Ingram had a special gift for Terry Rozier after Celtics-Lakers

Brandon Ingram didn't play against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night, but the Los Angeles Lakers forward found time to give C's point guard Terry Rozier a special gift.

Ingram gave Rozier his home yellow No. 14 Lakers jersey, which included an autograph. Rozier was appreciative of the gesture, and posted the following video to his Instagram story after Boston's 120-107 victory at Staples Center.

There appears to be some kind of message on the jersey, too, possibly a happy birthday note to Rozier, who turns 25 on March 17.

Rozier scored 10 points with three rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes against the Lakers as the C's evened the season series with their rivals at one win apiece.

Ingram was unable to play due to a blood clot in his arm, and he is expected to miss the remainder of the season as well. 

The Celtics continue their California road trip Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. They are a perfect 3-0 on the trip so far.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Celtics Exit Interviews: How will Jayson Tatum evolve?

Celtics Exit Interviews: How will Jayson Tatum evolve?

BOSTON -- As the 2018-2019 regular season drew near, the chatter about Jayson Tatum being an All-Star only grew louder. 

Based upon his first week, you could see why. 

Three games into the season and Tatum was killin’ it on all levels, averaging a double-double of 21.0 points and 10.7 rebounds as the Celtics opened with wins in two of their first three games. 

“Well, we need him to be great,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said after one of the early-season wins powered by Tatum’s tantalizing play. 

Just as quickly as his star rose, the 21-year-old’s meteoric rise soon came back to earth, delivering a sobering reality that he just wasn’t quite ready for the kind of superstardom so many including himself had envisioned he would be in store for during his second NBA season.

With a solid but far from spectacular second season in the rearview mirror, Tatum and the Celtics shift their attention and focus towards the future.

And so we begin the latest installment of our Exit Interviews series with our focus today being on Jayson Tatum. 

With two seasons under his belt, Tatum has to continue to build upon the good habits he has built, while adding new ones to the mix. 

Part of that growth involves his constant evolution as a big-time scorer in this league. 

While only Kyrie Irving averaged more points last season than Tatum, there’s a strong sense that he should have still delivered more than 15.7 points per game. 

“There’s so much to like about Jayson Tatum’s game,” a Western Conference scout told NBC Sports Boston. “The thing that you can tell in watching him play that lets you know he’s a special talent, is how easy the game comes to him. He’ll have bad shooting nights just like all great scorers. But more nights than not, you come away feeling he missed shots he shouldn’t have missed rather than giving the defense credit for doing a good job. He’s that good, on all levels of scoring - at the rim, mid-range and the 3-ball.”

And when Tatum has big scoring nights, that’s usually a good thing for Boston. 

In his two NBA seasons, the Celtics are 23-12 when he has scored at least 20 points. 

And while Tatum has proven that long-range shooting and pull-up jumpers off the dribble are strengths of his game, one of the bigger areas of growth for him this offseason will have to involve the continuing growth, literally, of his body. 

You don’t expect him to come back jacked up like Semi Ojeleye or anything like that, but continuing to improve strength-wise not only benefits him from being able to defend more players for longer stretches of time and not be a liability, but it also enhances his offensive game and allows him to do a better job of finishing in traffic, whether it be a strong lay-up or dunking on an All-Star wing (and no, it’s someone other than LeBron James).

And then there’s the big intangible of all the intangibles that all players tend to talk more and more about as they get older -- and that’s the speed of the game slowing down to a point where they are just out there playing while relying very little on thinking through what they’re doing out there. 

Tatum talked about feeling that way during his rookie season, shortly after being thrust into a more prominent role with Marcus Morris (knee) on the mend and Gordon Hayward (ankle) out for the season. 

But the past is not worth dwelling on when it comes to Tatum, who has one of the brightest futures of anyone in his draft class and certainly among the under-25 years of age set of Celtics. 

However, the question that won’t go away -- at least when it comes to Tatum -- is whether that promise of greatness he has shown will manifest itself in Boston or elsewhere. 

The Celtics front office absolutely loves Jayson Tatum. 

But they have not been the least bit coy about being open to the idea of putting a trade package together for Anthony Davis that would likely include Tatum, who acknowledged what he would do if he had a chance to trade himself for Davis.

With so many players throughout the league getting bent out of shape/hurt feelings when they hear their name brought up in trade rumors, it’s refreshing to see someone as young as Tatum embrace it for what it is and not let it impact his play. 

Whether he stays in Boston or gets shipped out elsewhere, Tatum’s future in the NBA seems extremely bright with what appears to be limitless potential. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Grizzlies reportedly expected to trade Mike Conley; could Celtics have interest?

Grizzlies reportedly expected to trade Mike Conley; could Celtics have interest?

Did the Memphis Grizzlies' NBA Draft Lottery result impact the Boston Celtics in more ways than one?

The Grizzlies shot up to the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, ensuring that selection won't convey to Boston this year. But as The New York Times' Marc Stein reported Tuesday, it also might ensure veteran guard Mike Conley's ticket out of town.

The Grizzlies are widely expected to use the No. 2 pick on Murray State’s Ja Morant and trade the ever-reliable Mike Conley in their last big move to fully leave the Grit ‘n Grind era behind.

It appears Conley is on the trading block, and if Kyrie Irving departs in free agency (and/or restricted free agent Terry Rozier seeks greener pastures), the Celtics would be in the market for a point guard.

So, would a Boston trade for Conley be feasible? The 31-year-old has two years left on a massive deal that will pay him $32.5 million in 2019-20. But as the Boston Sports Journal's Brian Robb laid out recently, there are a couple avenues for the C's to explore landing Conley if they're interested.

TRADE EXCEPTION
If the Celtics execute a sign-and-trade with Irving's preferred team instead of letting him walk in free agency, they'll create a trade exception of about $20 million due to the "Base Year Compensation" rule under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement for which Irving qualifies. Boston could then complete a multi-team trade, likely sending a draft pick and Irving to his preferred destination while that team sends assets to Memphis. The C's would use that $20 million exception to take on part of Conley's contract.

Of course, Irving is under no obligation to do a sign-and-trade, so this scenario falls apart if he simply becomes a free agent July 1.

But there's another option for Boston:

TRADE AL HORFORD OR GORDON HAYWARD
Horford and Hayward, the Celtics' two maximum-contract players, both could match Conley's contract in a trade. Horford, who also can opt out of his contract and become a free agent, probably wouldn't want to go to the rebuilding Grizzlies at age 32.

But Hayward's contract ($32.7 million next season) is nearly identical to Conley's, so the C's in theory could do a one-for-one swap while tossing in a draft pick as a sweetener for Memphis.

The Celtics have other fish to fry. Their first priority is convincing Irving to re-sign, and even if they fail, they'll likely be in heavy pursuit of New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis. It's also hard to imagine Boston parting ways with either Horford or Hayward in a deal that doesn't involve Davis.

It sounds like Conley will be moved either way, though, so he's an intriguing "Plan B" for Danny Ainge and Co. to have on their radar.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.