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Your Morning Dump… Where Shabazz Napier envisioned himself as a Celtic

Chris Jones April 23, 2014 The Morning Dump 26 Comments

bazz

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

UCONN star Shabazz Napier got the chance to throw out the first pitch at the Red Sox game on Saturday.

Could Boston sports fans get to see a whole lot more of Napier after the NBA draft?

The Roxbury native was asked what it would be like to be drafted by the Boston Celtics. He was very excited about the possibility.

“That would be crazy.” said Napier, “Growing up, that’s something I envisioned myself playing for the Celtics… When you’re from the New England area, you just want to be a part of it because you know how special it is.”

CSNNE – Napier: ‘Envisoned myself’ playing for C’s

I wrote about my desire to draft Napier with our second draft pick this summer (or trade for another late first-rounder). Admittedly, I haven’t seen him play outside of March Madness, but something about his approach to the game impresses me. He’s a tough kid and a big-game type of player. Seems like someone who could learn a whole lot as Rondo’s understudy.

Not that I really want this to happen, but imagine if we landed Noah Vonleh and Shabazz Napier in the draft. We’d be going into next season with three Massachusetts players on the roster: Noah (Haverhill), Napier (Roxbury), and Pressey (Waltham).

Page 2: Change is on the horizon

Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy wrote this piece detailing each player on the C’s roster, and what he thinks will happen to them this summer. Some are what you’d expect, keep Sully unless he’s the next Al Jefferson; consider moving Bass for Asik again this summer. Other make you think.

Avery Bradley

Celtics stats: 60 games, 14.8 points per game, .394 on 3-pointers.

Skinny: He’s an undersized shooting guard — ideally a third guard — who made great strides as a shooter late in the season. His pull-up 3-pointer is a legitimate weapon. He also turned down a four-year, $24 million extension from the C’s that will be hard to recoup now as a restricted free agent. He’s never had a healthy season and might be the kind of player who sacrifices his body too much to stay on the floor. He’s a sign-and-trade option.

During the season, Ainge mentioned that they have every intention to keep Avery Bradley this summer. But when you realize he’s already turned down six million a year, one must wonder if he’ll actually be here. With a draft coming up that’s loaded with shooting guards, a sing-and-trade might be best for both sides.

Kris Humphries

Celtics stats: 69 games, 8.4 points, 5.9 rebounds per game.

Skinny: The impending free agent wants to stay — it would have to be for a fraction of the $12 million he earned this season — and given steady minutes, he’s a double-double machine. That’s also what makes Humphries appealing to contenders as a role player. C’s coaches, though, value his professionalism and leadership with younger players.

How much would you offer Humphries to stay? Remember the original press conference after the Brooklyn trade? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group of individuals so unhappy about making millions of dollars to play basketball. But Kris definitely found a steady pace here in Boston, a place to get away from the media, and a place to re-focus on playing basketball. He seems like a player worth keeping not only for his reliability, but for veteran presence as the team tries to return to contention very soon.

Rajon Rondo

Celtics stats: 30 games, 11.7 points, 9.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds per game, .403 on field goals.

Skinny: So much depends on where the Celtics end up in the draft lottery, as well as whom they take on draft night. If a point guard along the lines of Dante Exum or Marcus Smart is available, much thought will be given to what Rondo can fetch in a trade. But the combinations of picks and players are endless. He’s the cornerstone of this franchise, as co-owner Wyc Grousbeck has said. Unless that right deal comes along . . .

Murhpy’s right about how so much depends on the draft lottery. According to the mock drafts, landing in that 5-7 range this summer means taking a power forward (Noah, Randle, Gordon) or a point guard (Smart, Exum). The Celtics could certainly look to trade the pick, considering they don’t need as much help at power forward or point guard, or they could look into trading Rondo and selecting one of those PG’s. Exum’s largely a mystery, but his scouting videos present a long player who can get to the rim easily. Marcus Smart is a hard-nosed competitor with the mindset one would want from their starting point guard, but he’s still got a ways to go, and his maturity is obviously still a question.

Boston Herald – Change on the Celtics’ horizon

 And finally: Another day, another mock

The Celtics could go a lot of different ways here, but most of those ways duplicate something they already have. The team would love to get their hands on Embiid, as he would help them with one of their biggest needs. But Gordon is intriguing here. He’s a hybrid forward, but his athleticism and motor allow him to thrive at both the three and the four defensively. He adds toughness and does all the little things coaches love. I think he’d be a great fit on this Celtics squad.

Not entirely sure which power forward is considered the best at this point, but I’m also not convinced the C’s are interested in drafting another power forward either way. And for our second pick:

The Celtics could make a long-term move with their second pick. Capela has NBA length and athleticism (think Serge Ibaka), but he’s pretty far away from being an NBA player right now. Whether he sticks in Europe for a year or two or comes over now and learns the hard way, getting someone with athletic tools at this point in the draft is worth the gamble.

Masslive – NBA Mock Draft 2014: Aaron Gordon and Clint Capela to Boston Celtics

The rest of the links:

Masslive - Rondo a finalist for Kia’s season-long Community Assist Award | Popovich wins 3rd career Coach of Year award

ESPN Boston – Report Card: Avery Bradley | Playing the lottery | Ford’s mock draft 4.0

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  • Kahnstantine

    Curious to see the commentariat’s thoughts on Clint Capela. Haven’t seen much of him, just his Draft Express video.

    • Curt Hays

      I can’t really tell that he plays against much competition. I can see him being a Dominique Wilkens type player, but it is impossible to tell when he isn’t playing against “our” guys in the NBA. Also, his numbers really aren’t that impressive for someone so “gifted”.

      • Kahnstantine

        Thanks Curt! Also curious about the possibility of Cleanthony Early. I don’t want to put too much weight on the few times I saw him play, but even when his numbers weren’t great, his motor and on-court demeanor seemed terrific. Any thoughts?

        • Curt Hays

          I also haven’t seen him play much. I didn’t watch Wichita State but once. From what I HAVE seen, he looks like a real baller. My concern is that he’s a Jeff Green. NBA players have to have that ego telling them that they’re the best. Think of Steez. He played far better than he “really is”. That’s Jeff Green’s problem, and it seems like it could be a problem for Cleanthony as well.

          If you notice, he has a sweet release, but he hardly gets off the floor for his jump shot. He can fly, but his shot will need to become more elevated if he’s going to succeed as a 6’8″ player. Wichita State was a great college TEAM. Kentucky puts together all-star Freshmen teams that HOPE to win and get drafted high up while WS stays together and works towards the solitary goal of winning. Early may be a great team player, but so is Jeff Green. I still like Doug McDermott.

  • NE_Celt

    NEED. RIM. PROTECTOR. They need to draft or turn one of their drafts into a big…DA knows this…but he needs to get it done before next season!

    I was impressed with Napiers play in the finals…I also only saw his play in March Madness…but I like the thought of a hometown kid getting a chance for his hometown team (see Pressey, Phil).

    • Curt Hays

      THIS. Rim Protector. We all know it.

      Keep Humphries for 6 million. Keep Rondo. The end.

      • NE_Celt

        Yea…he’s known if for a while…but still waiting to see him fill the spot! And of course he is waiting for the right deal…glad im not in his shoes.

        I wouldn’t be against Hump coming back at the right price…guy did do all the right things this season.

        • Curt Hays

          People keep saying that about Humph. “At the right price.” I think it goes without saying for any player, but it KEEPS being used with him as though he isn’t a machine on the floor every night. Idk what it is that keeps people from wanting him on the team while wanting to trade Bass. Bass probably has a more reliable shot, but Humph really makes more of a difference while he’s in. I know he’s a little short and doesn’t jump very high, but he still out plays Bass IMO.

          I agree that $12M is too much for Humph OR Bass, but I don’t think even Kris expects that much again. It was a sort of divorce gift from Kim, I think. He deserves more or the same money as Bass deserves.

          I say we bring him back but get rid of the duplication of 6’9″ bigs that Danny seems to have been infatuated with for the last 6 years. If we don’t get Kevin Love, then we need Marcin Gortat or Asik to go along with Sully and Kelly.

          • Roy Sanchez

            Completely agree we need size not another undersized pf. Although I love Randels game I don’t think he fits here. We need size whether it’s through trade or draft.

        • Curt Hays
          • zippittyay

            While we are making fantasy trades, why not get Big Al back for Uncle Jeff and Bass? http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=n3pfnoh

          • Curt Hays

            eeh, he’s just a duplication of Sully. We need a 7 foot paint protector like Tyson Chandler or Andre Drummond

  • zippittyay

    I’m sick and tired of Avery being referred to as an ‘undersized shooting guard”. Is there some requirement to be at least 6’6″ to play the 2? I ask you, is there some shooting guard that Avery can’t guard because he’s too small? Does his shot tend to get blocked by taller shooting guards? I don’t recall those being problems for him. Unlike most prototypical twos, he can give the opposing point guard fits. Size is not always the advantage it’s cracked up to be anymore, speed and athleticism rules now.

    • Curt Hays

      You see how Tony Allen is going against Kevin Durant…size matters not.

    • Chris Jones

      The “undersized shooting guard” quote is from Mark Murphy’s Herald piece. Although he certainly is on the shorter side of the shooting guard spectrum, I think the bigger issue has come to be the injuries/availabilty.

      He’s proven his height isn’t an issue.

  • bill_nair

    I like Napier. I think he’d be a better player than both Bayless and Pressey and wouldn’t mind Danny looking to buy him in the second round. But he will have to act quick cause I think he may have played himself into the first round with his tournament. Hes a leader and winner, definitely could use him.

    If we are at 5 id rather draft Vonleh than Gordon and possibly Randle. Hes got good length and could still grow. Add his offensive skill set to the mix and I can see him very well playing the 5. No need to load up on PF’s.

    • Roy Sanchez

      I actually like the idea of Gordon being drafted. He fits our system. He needs to find his jumper but that will come. I’d take him in a heart beat plus hopefully it lights a fire under green

      • Curt Hays

        I have to agree with @disqus_PxbpHGIskj:disqus here. Gordon is just ANOTHER undersized PF that we do not need.

  • zippittyay

    I’d love to see Hump back at a reasonable price. I’m no capologist, but I can assume some other teams will offer him something substantial. He is the best ‘rim protector’ we have right now and has arguably the most reliable mid-range jumper on the team. He is also our second best rebounder after Sully.

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  • RedsLoveChild

    As for Napier…any time you lead your team to the NCAA championship, that`s pretty damn impressive!

    With AB already turning down more than Boston probably really wanted to offer, and Rondo determined to seek max money as a FA…you can bet the Celts are looking hard at Boston born Napier, while thinking in terms of a trade involving either #9 or #0.

    If the Celts can land J Randle {early pick}, and Napier at 17….JACKPOT!

    • Curt Hays

      And use Randle on the Roster? or as trade bait?

  • Mannie

    I think Celtics should pick James young with that second pick if they’ll still have it. He looks to have better potential than green, and he’s a great defender.

  • Kahnstantine

    I don’t see how Bradley gets anything more than a marginal increase over that $6million after seeing him go down with injuries again. Is love to keep him; if he were consistently healthy I’d say pay him as much as $7 (maybe) but sign and trade might work out if there’s something better out there.
    Can’t see us keeping both Pressey and Napier.
    I’d like to see Danny have Cleanthony Early in for a workout.
    My hope is that we find that missing piece and keep as many if “our guys” as possible. However, thinking realistically, there might be a LOT of turnover this summer. I just hope that if there is, it puts us in the East’s upper echelon.

  • bob

    I think Randel is over-rated. Too often I see him out of position when defending. I also believe that Ainge should be getting the best center available in free agency, a trade or the draft and use picks to do so. All of the Celtics players will bring more experience with them next year and their improvements as individuals and as team mates will be reaping benefits next year. They will also have a coach with a year of NBA experience more than he had last year. There will also be only two years left on Wallace’s contract making him just a little more tradable. Bogans will be gone. Just some thoughts!