Celtics

Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren says 'nearly any kind of transaction is in play' this summer

Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren says 'nearly any kind of transaction is in play' this summer

This summer is going to be an interesting one for the Celtics.

Obviously, all eyes will be on Kyrie Irving as he decides where to go in free agency. Along with that, the C's have three first-round draft picks and are sure to be involved in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. There's a chance Boston ends up being one of the more active teams in the NBA in the upcoming offseason.

Mike Zarren is ready for it.

The Celtics' assistant general manager talked with Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe about how busy the team expects to be in these next few months.

“Given the state of our roster and the draft assets we have now and going forward, nearly any kind of transaction is in play. To trade for players around the league, to move up or down in the draft, for future picks, to use our picks,” Zarren told Himmelsbach. “We’ve got a lot of flexibility this summer, but also a lot of big decisions to make. So the next two months are going to be very, very busy.”

Buckle up, Celtics fans.

Fortunately for Zarren, he'll have "Trader Danny" by his side during the hectic offseason. The Celtics' president of basketball operations is "back at it" after suffering a heart attack on April 30.

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Paul Pierce praises this player as 'biggest unsung hero' of 2008 Celtics

Paul Pierce praises this player as 'biggest unsung hero' of 2008 Celtics

The 2008 Boston Celtics will forever have a special place in the hearts of fans throughout this region, and winning the NBA Finals that season might not have been possible without one key veteran in particular.

James Posey played a pivotal role at both ends of the floor on that championship-winning Celtics team. His perimeter defense ranked among the best in the league. Posey did a tremendous job guarding Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, which was instrumental in the C's winning the 2008 NBA Finals in six games. Bryant was held by Posey and others to 40.6 percent shooting in the series, including a 26.8 percent mark from 3-point range.

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It's hard to overstate Posey's value to the 2008 Celtics, and Paul Pierce went as far to say on a recent episode of the The Players’ Tribune’s “Knuckleheads” podcast with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles that Posey was the "biggest unsung hero" of that C's squad.

“That was the year Posey was a beast,” Pierce said. “He was hitting big shots. And he would go and lock up and take pressure off of me. Posey was like one of the big glue guys you want to have. Like, guys like that are guys that help you win championships, for real.”

Posey's best performance of the playoffs came in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The Celtics overcame a 24-point deficit to beat the Lakers at Staples Center and take a 3-1 series lead. Posey, in addition to his excellent defense, scored 18 points on 4-for-8 shooting from 3-point range. A couple of those shots came in the second half, including a clutch 3-pointer that gave the C's a 92-87 lead with 1:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Posey didn't stick around in Boston for long. He earned a well-deserved contract with the New Orleans Pelicans the following summer as a free agent, and there's no doubt the C's missed Posey's presence in the 2010 NBA Finals rematch with the Lakers. 

The 2008 Celtics will go down as one of the best in franchise history, and while Posey wasn't one of the team's "Big 3", his definitely ranks among that squad's most valuable players.

Blakely: Not bad for an encore ... Tatum drops 36 in win

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Why Jaylen Brown's reaction to Jayson Tatum's strong play should thrill Celtics fans

Why Jaylen Brown's reaction to Jayson Tatum's strong play should thrill Celtics fans

The Boston Celtics' 2018-19 season got derailed in part because there were too many mouths to feed.

You could argue the same scenario is possible on the 2019-20 Celtics: With Jayson Tatum blossoming into a superstar alongside established All-Stars Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward, a young talent like Jaylen Brown may get overlooked.

But that scenario doesn't seem possible -- because Brown refuses to let it happen.

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Here's the 23-year-old wing after Tatum went off for 36 points in Tuesday's 118-106 win over the Portland Trail Blazers:

"You’ve got to want for your brother what you want for yourself," Brown told reporters. " ... He’s playing unreal. He’s playing the best ball of his career. So let’s keep going. Let’s see how we can keep feeding it to him. If he keeps making shots like that, I don’t see why not, right?"

Brown and Tatum share a close bond as No. 3 overall picks in the 2016 and 2017 NBA Drafts, respectively, both thriving during the 2018 playoffs in the absences of Hayward and Kyrie Irving.

While Brown is enjoying his own career season -- he tallied 24 points Tuesday and is averaging 20.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game -- Tatum has skyrocketed past him as an elite NBA talent who earned his first All-Star nod this season.

Yet Brown bristled at the notion that Tatum's recent success has "motivated" him to elevate his own game.

"I don’t look at it as he motivates me," Brown said, via Mass Live's Tom Westerholm. "I’m supporting him, and I think we’re on the same team so it’s not a contrast one against the other.

"I know a lot of times people try to dichotomize Jaylen. We’re on the same team. As he’s doing well, I’m doing well. If I’m doing well, he’s doing well, because we’re on the same team."

That response should be music to Celtics fans' ears after chemistry issues hastened a second-round playoff exit for last season's talented squad.

This season's Celtics are certainly benefiting from Tatum and Brown's success: Boston is 23-4 when Tatum scores 24 or more points and 15-1 when Brown drops 24 or more.

"He’s one of the biggest reasons we’ve been winning," Tatum acknowledged of Brown after the game.

Tatum and Brown's ability to thrive together is a big reason why the Celtics own the NBA's fourth-best record.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Jazz, which begins Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.