Celtics

NBA rumors: Lakers, Clippers, Mavericks interested in Al Horford in free agency

NBA rumors: Lakers, Clippers, Mavericks interested in Al Horford in free agency

Boston Celtics center Al Horford reportedly has declined his player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he's expected to draw interest from several NBA teams.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported an update Wednesday on Horford's potential suitors, and three teams from the Western Conference are expected to be in the mix for the 32-year-old veteran.

The Mavericks are considered favorites to land Celtics free-agent big man Al Horford, according to league sources, and the two Los Angeles teams are said to also have interest, though they both have their sights set on bigger fish like Kawhi Leonard.

UPDATE (Wednesday, June 19 at 3:25 p.m.): The Athletic's Shams Charania has listed two other potential suitors for Horford: the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets.

--End of Update--

The Mavericks are an interesting spot for Horford. Dallas' roster is highlighted by likely 2018-19 Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic, as well as talented center Kristaps Porzingis, who did not play at all last season after tearing his ACL as a member of the New York Knicks in 2018. Horford's defense, rebounding, leadership and 3-point shooting would make him an excellent fit on the Mavericks. However, the addition of Horford would not make the Mavs a real contender for an NBA championship next season, so Dallas isn't the best spot if winning, not money, is the priority for him in free agency.

The Lakers recently agreed to acquire superstar center Anthony Davis in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, but they still have around $25 million in salary cap space to pursue a top-tier free agent such as Horford. The Clippers have been mentioned throughout the season as the likely landing spot for Toronto Raptors superstar forward Kawhi Leonard in free agency. A Leonard/Horford duo instantly would make the Clippers one of the best defensive teams in the league next season.

Horford averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds, while shooting 36 percent from 3-point range for Boston last year. He spent the last three seasons with the Celtics and made one All-Star appearance (2017-18).

Where do C's turn with Irving and Horford likely leaving?>>>

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Isaiah Thomas out 6 to 8 weeks after latest injury for ex-Celtics star

Isaiah Thomas out 6 to 8 weeks after latest injury for ex-Celtics star

Isaiah Thomas just can't seem to stay healthy since leaving the Boston Celtics two years ago.

Thomas underwent left thumb surgery Wednesday and is expected to miss six to eight weeks as he recovers, the Washington Wizards announced.

Thomas suffered the injury -- a rupture of the radial collateral ligament in his thumb -- during "routine workouts" Monday, according to the team.

It's another tough break for the 30-year-old point guard, who's appeared in a total of 76 games over the last three seasons due to a nagging hip injury that required surgery last March.

Thomas' hip injury, which he sustained during his career season for the Celtics in 2016-17, essentially derailed his career to date, as he's bounced between the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets since then.

Thomas finally appeared healthy after signing with the Wizards in July, but it appears his Washington debut will have to wait. The Celtics' first matchup with the Wizards isn't until Nov. 13 -- exactly eight weeks from Wednesday -- so there's a chance Thomas can return for a Boston reunion.

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That time Enes Kanter almost made Celtics coach Brad Stevens go viral

That time Enes Kanter almost made Celtics coach Brad Stevens go viral

Enes Kanter loves social media and is a big fan of Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

But Kanter recently discovered something his new boss: Stevens and social media don't mix.

Kanter recently joined the "Celtics Talk Podcast" for an exclusive chat and regaled co-hosts Kyle Draper and Chris Forsberg with a great story about Stevens' love for basketball -- and for staying out of the spotlight.

"I've never worked with a guy like Brad. He's amazing, man," Kanter said. "One time, we finished practiced, right? And he's playing 1-on-1 with the ball boys. And I'm like, 'Man, this is crazy. This is the only head coach I've seen trying to play 1-on-1 with the ball boys.'

Kanter, who's extremely active on social media and posts videos of his daily workouts on Twitter and Instagram, naturally wanted to document this important moment. But Stevens wasn't having it.

"He was actually pretty good," Kanter said. "He was blocking shots, making 3-pointers. I've still got the film. I was actually filming him, and he saw me and was like, 'No, no, no.' He didn't want it to go viral. But he was actually really good."

Imagine if Kanter had posted a video of Stevens (who played college basketball at Division III DePauw University, by the way) swatting a Celtics ball boy's shot into the cheap seats? Yeah, that might have gone viral...

The 27-year-old big man honored his coach's wishes and kept the footage under wraps, but maybe Stevens will allow Kanter to show us one day.

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