Beyond Vitor Faverani (injured midseason) and Joel Anthony (too old to fit into the Celtics’ long-term plans), Boston didn’t have a true center last season – a fact Celtics coach Brad Stevens made no effort to disguise.
Power forwards Kris Humphries, Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger took turns manning the pivot, a decent stopgap for a tanking team, but not a long-term solution.
So, it’s clear the Celtics could use a center. Sullinger’s father, Satch Sullinger, explains just how big a priority that is to Boston.
Satch, via ABC 6:
“Next year, I think he’s going to get finally get to play his true position of power forward. And so, at that point, he’s going to come home and he’s going to trim down and shed some pounds, so he gets a quicker step and a little more mobility. Because they’ve kind of promised him that they’re going to get a center.”
Sullinger has played well when healthy, 13.3 points and 8.1 points per game last season. If he loses weight, that could help him avoid injury.
Getting a center – both due to him and the reverberations throughout the lineup – would help the Celtics. Enough to make the 2015 playoffs? Depends on the center.
If Boston wants to rebuild patiently with another lottery pick, a center wouldn’t be a huge priority, because missing one would serve that purpose. Perhaps, this indicates the Celtics want to win next season – but that might depend on the results of the lottery.
Last May, Magic Johnson tweeted that the Lakers chase LeBron James, Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan in free agency. All three players were still under contract with their teams until July 1.
In response to that apparent tampering, the Lakers announced Johnson had asked the team to remove his title of Vice President.
Too little, too late.
William Weinbaum and Steve Delsohn of ESPN:
Outside the Lines learned this week — and confirmed with a senior Lakers official — that the NBA fined the team over Johnson’s communiques about players under contract to other teams.
If Drake got the Raptors fined for tampering by pitching Durant during a concert, the Lakers deserved this fine.
Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian are dating. There are mixed reports about whether they’re engaged.
No matter their exact terms of their relationship, it brings increased attention to the Cavaliers – who are already in the spotlight as LeBron James‘ team and the defending NBA champions.
LeBron might not welcome increased scrutiny.
Gabriella Ginsberg of Hollywood Life:
LeBron James hasn’t been happy that Tristan Thompson is dating drama magnet Khloe Kardashian, and we hear that the teammates had a locker room showdown before the Cavs’ home opener game.
“Tristan isn’t taking any crap from his teammates anymore. As far as he’s concerned, Khloe’s coming to every damn game she chooses,” the insider reveals. “Tristan told LeBron straight up before last night’s game that Khloe was coming and that was that.”
There’s nothing wrong with LeBron, as a friend, advising Thompson about his personal life. They share an agent, Rich Paul, and that obviously means a lot to LeBron.
But at a certain point, LeBron should back off. Neither coworkers nor friends have a right to determine who someone dates.
76ers players are unsure how to respond to their franchise blocking Sevyn Streeter from singing the national anthem because she wore a “WE MATTER” jersey.
Justise Winslow is seemingly trying to nudge Philadelphia in a certain direction.
The Heat forward posted a photo with himself and the 76ers’ Jerami Grant raising fists and captioned it “WE MATTER”:
I’m unsure when this photo was taken, but my best guess is after the Miami-Philadelphia preseason game – which was preceded by the national-anthem singer kneeling during her performance.
Was Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha making the smart play to beat the defender or just showing off?
Either way, I’m glad he did it.