Jordan Mickey

Kevin Love in concussion protocol, out vs. Hornets

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Kevin Love was held out for the second half of Cleveland’s loss to Miami Tuesday night because he had shown potential concussion symptoms following taking an elbow to the face in the first couple minutes of the game, a play that knocked one of his teeth loose.

Turns out, they were more than symptoms β€” Love has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol, the Cavaliers announced Wednesday.

He is out for sure Wednesday night vs. Charlotte. From there Love has to clear a series of cognitive exams (off a baseline he established preseason) without symptoms, and doing so with increasing levels of physical exertion. It’s not just the team doctors but also a league neurologist who has to clear him for activity. He could miss just a game or two, he could be out a couple of weeks, it just depends.

Without Love and his floor spacing, shooting, and passing, the Cavaliers offense becomes all about LeBron James‘ ability to create with an entire defense focused on him. Cleveland needs Rodney Hood β€” who will start for Love β€” and other role players to step up if the Cavaliers want to hold on to the three seed in the East.

The concussion occurred less than two minutes into Tuesday night’s game in Miami, Kevin Love slid over to try to draw a charge as Heat center Jordan Mickey went through him to try to finish at the rim. Because he got there late, Love was called for the blocking foul, but that was the least of Love’s problems.

Report: Celtics signing Shane Larkin to guaranteed contract, still plan to sign Guerschon Yabusele

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The Celtics lost their third-string point guard (Demetrius Jackson) and plenty of big men (Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, Tyler Zeller and Jordan Mickey)Β  in their quest for Gordon Hayward.

That paid off in a big way, but it’s time for Boston to restock its depth.

Enter Shane Larkin and, as previously expected, Guerschon Yabusele and Daniel Theis.

Jay King of MassLive:

The Boston Celtics have agreed to sign Shane Larkin for point guard depth, league sources confirmed to

The one-year contract, which pulled Larkin away from bigger money in Europe, will be fully guaranteed for the coming season, a source indicated.

Despite adding another guaranteed contract in Larkin, the Celtics still plan to sign 2016 draft pick Guerschon Yabusele


Theis signed a two-year deal with the first-year salary fully guaranteed, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Yabusele will be on a rookie-scale contract for a No. 16 pick.

They, with Larkin, give Boston 16 players on standard contracts – one more than the regular-season limit. All those deals apparently include guaranteed 2016-17 salaries, but the Celtics can always eat (or trade) a contract. It costs onlyΒ money. This just increases the likelihood Boston fields the best possible roster after the preseason.

Larkin showed promise early in his career, opted out of a $1.5 million Nets contract then fell out of the NBA. He adds another viable point guard behind Isaiah Thomas, joining Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier. Smart and Rozier can spend time off the ball, but the 5-foot-11 Larkin probably can’t. Fortunately for Larkin’s chances of making the regular-season roster, the Celtics likely need Smart and Rozier to spend time at shooting guard after trading Avery Bradley.

Report: Celtics discuss sending Jae Crowder to Jazz in Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

A Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade is the rumor du jour.

One reported possibility involves Jae Crowder going from the Celtics to Jazz.


The Jazz and Celtics discussed on Wednesday the possibility of including Crowder into a sign-and-trade agreement for Hayward, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Celtics can trade Crowder to any team, and as long as they receive $2,683,079 or less* in returning salary and renounce all their free agents, they can add Hayward on a max contract. (Other moves, like waiving unguaranteed Jordan Mickey and convincing Guerschon Yabusele to spend another year overseas, would allow Boston to take back more money in a Crowder trade.)

*Qualifying Utah players: Rodney Hood, Raul Neto and Joel Bolomboy

So, there’s no incentive for the Celtics to deal Crowder to the Jazz in particular. Any team would do.

If the Jazz offer the best asset – likely draft pick(s) – for Crowder, they can get him. Hayward, who’s already going to Boston, doesn’t count.

The Celtics gifting Crowder to Utah because they’re getting Hayward is fantasy.

Could Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade allow Celtics to keep Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart?

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Celtics are reportedly shopping Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart to clear max cap space for Gordon Hayward.

One possibility: A sign-and-trade with the Jazz.

Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune:

The Utah Jazz are willing to engage in talks on a Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics, league sources told the Tribune on Wednesday evening, on one condition: Hayward, who committed to signing with the Celtics on Tuesday, would have to agree and get the ball rolling.

Hayward can’t earn more in a sign-and-trade than he could signing outright with Boston. His max is $127,829,970 over four years either way.

Fans often fantasize about a departing player demanding a sign-and-trade as a parting gift to his old team. It never happens. Why would Hayward weaken the team for which he’ll be playing the next three-plus years?

Not only would Hayward have to work against his self-interest to force a sign-and-trade, he’d have to do so emphatically to get the Celtics to go along. Hayward might have some lingering loyalty toward the Jazz. Danny Ainge doesn’t. Even if Hayward tried to engineer a sign-and-trade, good luck getting the Celtics president on board.

If it wants Crowder, Bradley or Smart, Utah will almost certainly have to offer more than all 28 other teams.

But there is a narrow window for a logical sign-and-trade, as pointed out by Ryan Bernardoni of Celtics Hub.

Boston renouncing all its free agents, waiving unguaranteed Jordan Mickey, convincing Guerschon Yabusele to remain overseas another year and trading Terry Rozier and Demetrius Jackson for no return wouldn’t create enough cap room to sign Hayward to a max salary. But if they take those first steps and include Rozier and Jackson in a sign-and-trade, the Celtics could receive Hayward on a max salary.

The difference: The sign-and-trade would allow Boston to go from 10 players and two cap holds to nine players and three cap holds. Dumping Rozier and Jackson then signing Hayward would mean fitting him in with eight players and four cap holds. That single cap hold makes the difference in paying the full max.

Now, perhaps Ainge prefers to keep Rozier and whatever return he gets for Smart, Crowder or Bradley. But maybe the Jazz would send an asset to get Rozier, even with the expense of also taking Jackson. And maybe the sign-and-trade threat could improve offers for Smart, Crowder and Bradley. I’d think just having 29 teams bidding against each other would be enough, but this wouldn’t hurt.

Report: Celtics shopping Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart to clear room for Gordon Hayward

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Celtics can renounce all their free agents – including Kelly Olynyk, whose qualifying offer they already pulled – waive unguaranteed Jordan Mickey, convince Guerschon Yabusele to remain overseas another year and trade Terry Rozier and Demetrius Jackson.

Boston still wouldn’t have enough cap space to give Gordon Hayward the max contract he intends to sign.

That always left three potential trade candidates: Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart. Which will the Celtics deal?

Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Boston Celtics have been aggressively trying to create enough salary-cap room to give Gordon Hayward the four-year, $128 million maximum contract he agreed upon by discussing trades involving Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, sources told ESPN.

The Celtics are wise to shop all three rather than picking one to dump. The right choice depends on the return each would generate.

Crowder is the most valuable of the three. Turning 27 tomorrow, he’s locked into an absurdly cheap contract that pays him just $21,917,475 over the next three years. Crowder is a versatile and fiercely competitive defender who shoots 3-pointers efficiently, an awesome combination in the modern NBA. Even though he said he wanted to stay in Boston, Crowder seemed to know the Celtics signing Hayward could signal his exit. That’s even more likely after Boston drafted Jayson Tatum to join Jaylen Brown at forward.

Bradley is entering a contract year at age 26. He’s a lockdown perimeter defender who can make 3-pointers and has become increasingly adept as a penetrator. The only problem: He’s in line for a massive raise next summer (or a lucrative renegotiation-and-extension this summer if he lands on a team with sufficient cap space).

Smart is also entering the final year of his contract, eligible for a rookie-scale extension this offseason. He’s an aggressive defender who can handle point guards, shooting guards and small forwards. His offense remains a work in progress, and it’s unclear whether can eventually settle in as a lead guard on that end. His spotty outside shooting leaves plenty to be desired off the ball.

Again, it just depends how much other teams offer for each player. Then, Boston can pick the best net return – and sign Hayward.