Celtics

Celtics can turn their attention to acquiring a big with Kemba Walker secured

Celtics can turn their attention to acquiring a big with Kemba Walker secured

BOSTON -- There was a series of pre-free agency maneuvering and angling throughout the NBA, with the Boston Celtics among those prominent in such discussions. 

But none bigger than the four-year, $141 million contract the Celtics agreed to with Kemba Walker according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The three-time All-Star fills the void left by Kyrie Irving who has reportedly agreed to join Kevin Durant in Brooklyn next season. 

Adding Walker to the mix became more than a pipe dream for the Celtics when it became clear that the Hornets were not going to come close to paying Walker the five-year, $221 million super-max contract he was eligible for after being named to the All-NBA's third team this season. 

In fact, the offer to Walker was significantly less than that, in large part because of the Hornet’s luxury tax concerns. 

That, combined with the Celtics’ max contract offer and a better opportunity for Walker to make a deep playoff run, became important factors in Boston’s efforts to convince the 29-year-old to leave the Hornets after having spent his first eight seasons with the franchise. 

Now the Celtics must set their sights on adding another big man to the mix as a potential replacement for Al Horford. 

But before we move on from Horford entirely, there were reports on Sunday of a potential three-team trade involving Brooklyn (for Kyrie Irving) and Charlotte (for Terry Rozier) hat could essentially create an opportunity for Boston to sign Walker and bring Horford back and generate the full mid-level exception worth $9.8 million. 

Terry Rozier is prepared to sign a three-year, $58 million contract with the Hornets according to multiple reports on Sunday which could potentially be worked into part of the three-team deal. 

However, NBC Sports Boston reached out to a league source who indicated while it is very possible of such a deal coming about, they placed the chances of it happening as “highly unlikely” because of the Brooklyn component.

“Boston has to make it worth Brooklyn’s time to do something like this,” the source said. “Why would they? A draft pick? Boston will probably have to come off more than just a pick, unless it’s a lottery-type pick or a likely lottery-type pick. And if you’re Boston, is that really worth it?”

In other NBA-related free agency news … 

Kevin Durant (four years, $164 million) has signed on with the Brooklyn Nets.

Kyrie Irving (four years, $141 million) has signed with the Brooklyn Nets.

Khris Middleton (five years, $178 million) and Brook Lopez (four years, $52 million) will be returning to Milwaukee on multi-year contracts. 

The Dallas Mavericks and Kristaps Porzingis (five years, $158 million) have come to terms on a new deal. 

J.J. Redick has agreed to a two-year, $26.5 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. 

Thadeus Young (three years, $41 million) will take his talents to the Chicago Bulls.

More to come … 

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Celtics' Marcus Smart (ankle) probable for Wednesday game vs. Clippers

Celtics' Marcus Smart (ankle) probable for Wednesday game vs. Clippers

Marcus Smart is listed as probable for the Celtics' Wednesday night game in against the Clippers in Los Angeles after the guard had to leave the Monday night win in Phoenix with a scary-looking ankle sprain. 

Smart vowed after the game Monday that he would play against the Clippers even after being helped off the court when he was injured in the fourth quarter.

Smart appeared to be moving well on the ankle Tuesday, according to Celtics.com's Marc D'Amico.

Gordon Hayward, recovering from the fractured bone in his hand and expected back around Christmas, is out for the Celtics. 

The Celtics (11-2) sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. Following an opening night loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston won its next 10 before losing to the Sacramento Kings by one point on Sunday and bounced back with the 99-85 victory in Phoenix on Monday night. 

They'll take on the Clippers on Wednesday and Denver Nuggets on Friday to complete their Western trip before returning home to face the Kings and Brooklyn Nets next week. 

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Clippers, which tips off Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.  

 

Shoulder injury casts doubt on Kyrie Irving playing against Celtics next week

Shoulder injury casts doubt on Kyrie Irving playing against Celtics next week

Brooklyn Nets point guard, and former Celtic, Kyrie Irving may not play against Boston next week -- shocker, right?

The 27-year-old already has been ruled out for the Nets matchup Wednesday with the Charlotte Hornets with a shoulder impingement. It'll be the third game in a row he's missed and the Nets are 1-1 without him. 

Irving has only eight days to recover from the injury before a highly-anticipated return to TD Garden on Thanksgiving Eve. If he misses the remainder of the Nets' games this week, it's more than likely he won't play in Boston -- especially considering he'll be in for a rather unfriendly reception from C's fans.

He certainly didn't leave Boston on a high note after first committing to re-sign with the Celtics, then backing off that in what became a disappointing season where his leadership was questioned and he had well-publicized differences with his younger teammates. That led to his eventual free-agent departure to Brooklyn to join his friend Kevin Durant, who is out for the season after tearing his Achilles in the NBA Finals with Golden State. It appears there are leadership questions in Brooklyn, too, after reports of his "mood swings" irritating Nets' officials. 

Nonetheless, through 11 games, Irving is averaging 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists. If he does end up playing against the Celtics, his reception, and how he performs against his old teammates, will be interesting to watch. 

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Clippers, which tips off Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.