Also working out for the Celtics: Cuttino Mobley, Rashad McCants, and Trenton Hassell

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cuttino_mobley.jpgThe Boston Celtics currently have 17 players on their roster, but that hasn’t stopped them from batting their eyelashes at a handful of available free agent wings. As Kurt mentioned earlier (via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports), Adam Morrison is among them. He’s the headliner, in a way. As a 26 year-old former No. 3 overall pick and a former NCAA Co-Player of the Year, Morrison has some standout lines on his résumé and plenty of prime years left, even if he hasn’t proven much on the pro level.

Along with Morrison, Boston has brought in the thought-to-be-semi-retired Cuttino Mobley, the out-of-work-but-not-yet-retired Rashad McCants, and the probably-should-be-retired Trenton Hassell. It’s an odd bunch, each with their own quirks and red flags.

Mobley is attempting a comeback to the NBA after spending a season away from the game, which is rarely a promising sign for a 35 year-old wing. Apparently Mobley doesn’t view his potentially career-ending heart condition as quite so career-ending, and should he play his way into roster consideration, it’ll be interesting to see what Boston’s doctors have to say.

Regardless, it’s hard to see what Mobley can offer that the Celtics that they don’t already have. He’s an average three-point shooter that plays the type of defense you’d expect of a player his age at his position. I guess that makes him a fine Michael Finley substitute, but Boston doesn’t really need that.

McCants, too hasn’t played NBA ball since 2009, and his biggest contribution to the league since that time has been a denial by the staffers at last year’s Summer League. McCants can score, though he’s typically given his coaches headaches in his various NBA stops. Part of that stems from McCants’ personality, but I’m sure it has more to do with his reluctance to move the ball and stay focused on defense. NBA franchises seem to think that McCants is more trouble than he’s worth, particularly due to the one-dimensional nature of his game. He’s a scorer (not a particularly efficient one, at that) and nothing else, and teams can generally find such players in spades.

Hassell was once considered a defensive stopper, which was more indicative of his offensive limitations than his defensive prowess. He found ways to earn minutes, I’ll give him that, but Hassell has long benefited from a reputation for playing strong perimeter defense while his on-court product has been a bit less impressive. Hassell can still get the job done in spots, but he isn’t Bruce Bowen. He’s not even Quinton Ross. He’s an aging defender with nothing to contribute on offense.

Due diligence is encouraged, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Boston bringing in players for workouts or camp. Yet the Celtics are already absurdly deep, and have perfectly capable players deep on their bench. Given Boston’s current roster, the probability of any of these four players making it through training camp is quite slim.  

Report: Timberwolves, Pistons discussing Ricky Rubio for Reggie Jackson trade

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 28: Ricky Rubio #9 of the Minnesota Timberwolves brings the ball down court against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on December 28, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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A year ago, Reggie Jackson looked like the future paired with Andre Drummond in Detroit. But since he came back from injury this season things have not meshed as well — the Pistons are being outscored by 8.1 points per 100 possessions when those two are on the court together.

Minnesota is loaded with young talent, but they need some floor spacing shooting and the sense there is a different feel from the point guard spot than Ricky Rubio is providing.

So, maybe the two sides swap problems? Marc Stein and Chris Haynes of ESPN report the two sides are talking.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons have discussed a potential swap of point guards Ricky Rubio and Reggie Jackson, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that no deal appeared imminent Friday but said the teams have engaged in dialogue this week on a potential multiplayer exchange that would be headlined by Rubio and Jackson….

The Wolves have been openly trying to move Rubio for some time and reportedly are willing to attach swingman Shabazz Muhammad to offers featuring the veteran Spanish point guard‎.

At first glance, I don’t love the fit of Rubio in Detroit — if you’re going to play four out with Drummond in the middle, you need shooters and Rubio is a step back from Jackson there. Actually, several steps back — Jackson is shooting 37 percent from three this season, Rubio 24 percent.

However, to actually evaluate this deal I’d need to see who else is involved because this would expand to multiple players.

Wizards’ assistant coach Lowe fined $5,000, team $15,000 for coach’s distraction of Knicks shooter

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Down just three points 13.7 seconds left in the game, the Knicks needed a three. Carmelo Anthony had the ball and passed to an open Courtney Lee, who passed up a clean look at a three-pointer, instead passing to Brandon Jennings, who turned the ball over, and the Wizards got the win. Lee said after the game he passed because he felt someone near him.

I’m looking at Oubre closing out next to me, and I’m hearing somebody right next to me saying, “I’m here. I’m here. I got your stunt. I got your stunt.” And, so I don’t shoot it. I drop the ball, thinking it is going to be a double closeout. And then I try to make a play to Brandon, and I think he bobbled the ball a little bit, and that’s the end of the game….

I thought it was one of their players because you’re getting ready to shoot – in my peripheral you see a body right there, and he’s saying, “I’m right here. I’m right here. I got your stunt.” Usually in basketball terminology, that’s we’ll switch or I am going to jump out. So, I shot-faked and drove. But I still should have shot the shot.

Turns out the guy on the court making those comments was Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe. The Last Two-Minute Report on the officiating said the referees missed the call and Lowe should have been called for a technical for being on the court and trying to impact the play.

The league took that one step further — Lowe was fined $5,000 and the Wizards’ organization $15,000 for “Lowe’s standing on the playing court and potentially impacting game action.”

Hopefully, this is the first step in the league and referees cracking down on coaches stepping on to the court. Look for it during a game, some teams do it a lot.

Sixers sign Mo Williams off waivers, then waive him again, sign Chasson Randle to 10 day contract

CLEVELAND, OH -  JUNE 22: Mo Williams #52 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates with fans during the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 championship victory parade and rally on June 22, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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This is how the salary cap game is played.

Mo Williams is dead money, owed $2.2 million this season by the Cleveland Cavaliers, he decided he didn’t want to play anymore. The Cavaliers kept Williams on the roster and the books in case they could use that salary in a trade, and they did shipping him to Atlanta as a throw in with the Kyle Korver trade. Atlanta then traded him to Denver, because the Nuggets wanted to add $2.2 million to their payroll and bring them closer to the salary floor. But they didn’t want him on the roster, so they waived him.

Enter the Philadephia 76ers.

But the Sixers were not done.

Now we see if one of the handful of teams with a worse record than the Sixers decides they would rather have the salary on their books.

To be clear, teams under the salary floor still have to pay that money to the players. Let’s say a team ends up $2 million under that floor, then the team pays $2 million to be divided among the players on that roster. So, bringing in a player like Williams just saves them cash.

NBA report: Wizards should have gotten technical for assistant coach being on court vs. Knicks

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The Knicks were down 113-110 with just 13.7 seconds remaining when Carmelo Anthony passed to an open Courtney Lee, who passed up a clean look at a 3-pointer from the corner, instead passing to Brandon Jennings, who turned the ball over, and the Wizards got the win.

After the game, Lee said he didn’t shoot because he felt and heard what he thought was a defender near him, but it turned out to be Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe, who came onto the court and barked words implying he was switching out onto Lee.

The NBA’s Last Two Minutes Report sides with Lee, saying the Wizards should have gotten a technical. From the report:

A WAS assistant coach stands on the floor close to Lee (NYK) for several seconds and should have been assessed a technical foul.

This is an area the NBA needs to crack down on, coaches walk out onto the court all the time. Far too often. Frankly, I have an issue with coaches on the bench stomping their feet or yelling at shooters near their sideline, but Lowe took it a step further.

Much like telling a six-year-old to stop licking their shoes this isn’t something NBA officials should have to deal with, it should be common sense, but the league needs to crack down on coaches stepping onto the court. Maybe this will push the league to start enforcing that rule.