Chicago Bulls

Mavericks among five teams reportedly contending for Marcus Smart

Mavericks among five teams reportedly contending for Marcus Smart

The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly a contender for Celtics restricted free agent Marcus Smart, along with the Bulls, Suns, Pacers, Yahoo Sports' Jordan Schultz reports.

The Celtics are also going to try to retain Smart.

That report echoes one from Dallas last week that had the Mavs in the running for Smart, who grew up in Flower Mound, Texas, 45 minutes from Dallas. 

As a restricted free agent, the Celtics can match any offer Smart gets. That asking price, of course, is the key issue. Smart told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan immediately after the Celtics were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals that he was worth "more than $12 to $14 million [a year]. Just for the things I do on the court that don't show up on the stat sheet." 

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Jayson Tatum obviously named to All-Rookie first team

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Jayson Tatum obviously named to All-Rookie first team

Jayson Tatum was obviously named to the NBA All-Rookie first team, joining fellow great rookie Donovan Mitchell, second-year player Ben Simmons, the good Lakers rookie (not Lonzo Ball) and an actually amazing Chicago Bulls player. 

Tatum, who started all season for the Celtics, becomes the first Celtic since fellow future Hall-of-Famer Paul Pierce to earn first-team rookie honors. He would have been a unanimous choice for the first team were it not for one insane person who gave him a second-team vote, seemingly in favor of Josh Jackson. 

Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic clarified that he was not the Jackson voter.

Tatum and Lauri Markkanen (the awesome Bulls player) were the only top-10 picks in the 2017 draft selected to the first team. Tatum is also the only lottery pick still in the NBA playoffs. He's averaging 18 points a game in the postseason. Markelle Fultz did not play at all during the Celtics' five-game series victory over the 76ers, who could have taken Tatum but took Fultz instead. 

Monroe tallies first triple-double by a Celtics center since Parish

Monroe tallies first triple-double by a Celtics center since Parish

BOSTON – Greg Monroe was pleased with his play in Boston’s 111-104 win against Chicago, a game in which the 6-foot-10 center had a triple-double of 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. 

But it didn’t really sink in how rare a feat it was until he was told the last Celtics center to tally a triple-double was Hall of Famer Robert Parish who did it in 1987. 

“When you mention it in the same breath, up there, that caliber it’s an honor,” Monroe said. “What he did as a player is unbelievable and one of the greatest players to ever play this game, obviously one of the greatest Celtics ever.”

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Now Monroe has a long, long way to go before you can compare his body of work in the NBA with Parish’s play. 

But for one night, Monroe pushed all the right buttons to finish with his second career triple-double. 

“I thought Greg was really good in the seams,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “That’s one of the things he does best, is pass the ball.”

And with all the injuries the Celtics are dealing with especially in the backcourt, Monroe’s play-making will be a major plus for Boston in the playoffs which start next weekend. 

Stevens said part of Monroe’s success stemmed from how the Bulls were defending Boston’s guards. 

“We knew they were going to blitz pick-and-rolls; they have, they’ve been pretty successful at taking the ball out of guard’s hands and I thought our guards did a good job of getting it to the bigs, and then it’s the bigs’ responsibility to make the play.”

While Monroe was obviously connecting more with his teammates passing the ball than usual, it’s not like dishing the rock is something that’s foreign to him. 

“I think people can see that I’m a good passer,” Monroe said. “That is something I’ve always taken pride in and something I like doing.”

No player seemed to benefit more from Monroe’s passing game, than Jabari Bird. 

Bird, signed to a two-way contract by Boston this season, tallied a career-high 15 points with a lot of his baskets coming by sprinting along the baseline with Monroe finding him in stride for a lay-up or dunk. 

“I’ve been doing a lot of watching and Greg, he’s a great passer,” Bird said. “I just had a feeling if I ran along the baseline he would see me. He did a great job of finding me and got me a few easy buckets.”

And going forward, Stevens believes Monroe will continue to make the most of his opportunities and deliver in a big way when his number is called. 

“If he’s going to play a lot of minutes, he’s going to probably get a double-double for sure,” Stevens said. “But the way that they were playing, again, it was going to open up opportunities, and then it’s a matter of picking out the right pass. And he did more often than not.”

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