Celtics' focus shifts to Evans with Williams off the table

Celtics' focus shifts to Evans with Williams off the table

WASHINGTON – While one potential trade target of the Boston Celtics is off the market, another one remains very much in play. 

Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams has reportedly agreed to a three-year extension to remain with the Clippers.

MORE - Celtics humbled by Raptors in lopsided loss

Boston was among several teams to inquire about the 6-foot-1 guard’s availability leading up to Thursday’s 3 p.m. EST trade deadline. 

Williams, a Sixth Man of the Year award winner in 2015, has had a borderline all-star type season, averaging a career-high 23.3 points per game along with 5.3 assists. 

Memphis wing Tyreke Evans remains in play for the Celtics who are one of the front-runners for the 28-year-old Evans.

Memphis has made no secret about wanting a trade package for Evans that would include a first-round pick, something teams – the Celtics included – have been reluctant to do thus far. 

The Grizzlies have already shut down Evans from playing, to ensure he remains healthy leading up to the trade deadline. 

In addition to Boston, Philadelphia, Denver and Miami are viewed as the front-runners for him.

While this has been a rough season for the Grizzlies who record-wise (18-35) are one of the NBA’s worst teams, Evans has actually had one of his best seasons as a pro. 

The former Rookie of the Year award winner is averaging 19.3 points per game, shooting 45.8 percent from the field and a shade under 40 percent (39.2 percent to be exact) from 3-point range. 

Evans’ versatility as a scorer and ball-handler, combined with his strong 6-foot-6 frame and experience in the NBA, has made him a player that could certainly strengthen a Celtics bench that’s already going to be stronger once the trade deadline passes. 

Veteran center Greg Monroe came to terms on a one-year deal worth $5 million with Boston that will become official sometime shortly after the trade deadline passes tomorrow afternoon. 

NBC Sports Boston learned that Monroe arrived in Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning which is where the Celtics will play the Washington Wizards tomorrow night. 

Monroe’s deal could be completed prior to the game, but that’s still no guarantee that he’ll be in uniform for Boston’s game against the Wizards. 


There have also been reports that the Celtics are interested in trading Marcus Smart, with the latest rumor involving the Denver Nuggets. 

Boston would reportedly want a package that included a first-round pick in return, but NBC Sports Boston has been told that even that might not be enough to pry Smart out of Boston. 

“This time of year, everybody’s asking price is too high,” said a league executive. “That’s what GMs are supposed to do; ask for the world. But I don’t see them moving (Smart). I just think at the end of the day, he’s more valuable to the Celtics as a player who can really help them get to the NBA Finals this year, than whatever first-round pick they might be offered that’ll probably have some type of protections on it. I think they’ll keep him.”


CELTICS TALK PODCAST: Robert Williams' college coach Billy Kennedy discusses the C's draft pick

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CELTICS TALK PODCAST: Robert Williams' college coach Billy Kennedy discusses the C's draft pick

Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely bring you the latest in Celtics and NBA news in this episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast...

1:40 - The Celtics select Robert Williams with the 27th overall pick. Draper and Blakely discuss why he was still on the board and if the reward will outweigh the risk.

5:15 - Blakely says that a comparison to Roger Williams could be Clint Capela, with maybe a chance to be even better. Also, a discussion about why the Celtics did not move up in the draft.

8:27 - 18:18 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely are joined by Texas A&M head basketball coach Billy Kennedy. Kennedy describes the potential he sees in Robert Williams, if he thought he would go higher in the draft, and what part of his game he will need to improve in the NBA.

18:53 - All eyes will be on Roger Williams during the Celtics summer league. What will he be able to bring to the Celtics?

20:04 - Would you want the Celtics to sign Dwight Howard? Or would you rather have Aron Baynes return to Boston?

26:02 - The Spurs are not going to be able to get full value for Kawhi Leonard and how it's looking less and less likely that the Celtics will trade for Leonard.



Grande: Celtics drafting of Williams a very Spurs-like move

Grande: Celtics drafting of Williams a very Spurs-like move

Are the Boston Celtics turning into the San Antonio Spurs?

Appearing Friday morning on "Toucher & Rich" on 98.5 The Sports Hub, long-time Celtics radio play-by-play announcer Sean Grande said that drafting Texas A&M center Robert Williams -- once speculated as a potential lottery pick -- late in the first round was a play straight out of the Spurs' playbook.

"With the caveat that every team pretty much wakes up this morning and says ‘Wow, we nailed it’, it’s hard to imagine the Celtics could do better," Grande said. "I don’t want to say they’ve become the Spurs, but this is what the Spurs, picking every year in this spot, would do. You wake up the next day, and say, ‘Wow, how did the Spurs get a really good player? How’d they get a player they weren’t supposed to get late in the first round?’"

And the Celtics have their own discipline to thank for this, Grande added.

"I think the key to this draft, wasn’t it really, was to not overreact, not to get involved in all the crazy, and the Celtics are exactly where they wanted to be 24 hours later," he said.