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.  

Tracy McGrady: Carmelo Anthony should retire

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Carmelo Anthony seems done with the Rockets.

Where should the former star go next? Tracy McGrady has a recommendation.

McGrady:

I honestly think Melo should retire. I really do. I don’t want him to go through another situation like this, and people are just pouring negativity on this man’s legacy. I really think, because it hasn’t worked out the last two teams, just go ahead and — you have a Hall of Fame career — just go ahead and let it go.

For what it’s worth, McGrady talked about coming back in 2014. Maybe he retired too soon. However, he said he’d return only if a team made him its focal point.

Some stars transition well into being a role player. Vince Carter is a prime example.

Others don’t. Anthony seems to fit the latter category.

But that doesn’t mean he should retire.

Anthony shouldn’t worry about McGrady or anyone else struggling to watch him decline. If he wants to keep playing and an NBA team will sign him, Anthony should sign. He doesn’t owe it to us to ensure we feel comfortable with his career. It’s his career.

Besides, Anthony’s legacy will be defined by his time with the Knicks and Nuggets. These late years will be forgotten. McGrady is known for the Magic, Rockets and Raptors. Nobody remembers his time with the Knicks, Pistons, Hawks and Spurs. The Basketball Hall of Fame practically even said his time San Antonio didn’t count!

That said, it might not be Anthony’s call. Maybe there’s a team so desperate for a scoring backup power forward, it’d benefit despite Anthony’s ego and defensive deficiencies. But Anthony might just be finished.

If that’s what NBA teams collectively decide, that’s how it goes.

But whatever say Anthony say still has, he shouldn’t worry about McGrady or any of the many like-minded watchers.

Report: Jazz confident they could have signed Kyle Lowry last year, but waited for Gordon Hayward instead

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Entering 2017 free agency, rumors swirled Kyle Lowry would leave the Raptors. He ultimately re-signed with Toronto, but maybe that was only due to the timing of Gordon Hayward‘s decision to leave the Jazz for the Celtics.

Andy Larsen and Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune:

according to multiple Tribune sources, the Jazz spoke extensively to Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry’s representatives about bringing the All-Star point guard to Utah. After those discussions, the Jazz felt confident about their ability to land Lowry, but chose to pull out of any potential deal because signing Lowry would have required cap space earmarked for the Hayward

Lowry would have been huge for the Jazz, who instead traded for Ricky Rubio to start at point guard. Utah still won 48 games and a playoff series last season, but the team would have been even better off with Lowry.

Perhaps, Lowry wouldn’t have signed with the Jazz. Just because they felt confident means only so much. They might have misread his actual thoughts. At minimum, Lowry wasn’t willing to wait on Utah.

Lowry agreed to re-sign with Toronto on July 2. Hayward, after a twisting saga, announced his choice of Boston on July 4.

If Lowry were truly willing to commit to the Jazz, they erred by not accepting his pledge. Maybe that was a reasonable strategy, but it was still an error. Waiting on Hayward proved to be a mistake.

In Utah, many will blame Hayward for stringing along the Jazz. But he was a free agent with a right to decide on his own timeline. I believe he had legitimate desire to return to the Jazz. He just had greater desire to join the Celtics.

If the Jazz were completely on top of their game, they would have had a better read on Hayward’s decision and locked in Lowry rather than spending time recruiting Hayward. Again, maybe that would have been unreasonably difficult to know without hindsight. But that would have been the optimal way to proceed.

Draymond Green addresses argument with Kevin Durant: ‘I’m not going to change who I am’

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Warriors forward Draymond Green knows the perceived significance of his argument with teammate Kevin Durant.

“I’ve read a lot about how, is this the end of the run? Or is it over? Or did I ruin it? Or did I force Kevin to leave?” Green said.

But don’t expect Green to bend amid those high stakes.

“I’m not going to change who I am,” Green said.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic:

Green is correct: His emotional, stubborn, feisty style has led to more good than bad both for himself and Golden State. Reigning that in could have adverse effects.

But there’s still room for personal growth. Green can handle some situations, including this one, better without losing his edge. Every level of the organization agreed.

Blake Griffin calls out Raptors president Masai Ujiri while praising Dwane Casey

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Dwane Casey reportedly holds a grudge toward Raptors president Masai Ujiri for firing him.

Casey got revenge last night, coaching the Pistons to a win at Toronto. Casey called two quality plays in the final seconds, the latter producing Reggie Bullock‘s game-winner.

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

A Toronto reporter asked Blake Griffin if it gives Pistons players a degree of confidence in their coach when he gives them those tools to win games.

“We know that. This isn’t like we just discovered this for the first time today,” he said. “We’ve put in plays like that all the time in practice. He demands execution and we executed. Maybe to Toronto fans – or certainly their GM, maybe – it was a surprise. But not to us.”

The win had to be gratifying for Casey. Having his star player take up his greater cause must even more satisfying.