News is light today, but let’s start with Jared Sullinger, who is getting in shape on the beach. Doesn’t sound like a bad summer, right? Get ripped, be next to the ocean, what could be better?
Relaxing, for starters, something Sullinger’s trips to the beach appear to be sorely lacking. From his Telly account:
If you’ve ever gone for a run on the beach before, you know how tough it is to propel yourself forward with the sinking sensation underneath you on every step. Meanwhile, lateral drills will wear you out quickly in an empty gym with a wood floor and grippy sneakers. Combine the worst (best?) of both, and you have a pretty nasty workout.
It’s great to see Sullinger hitting his offseason hard, though. There’s a faction of Celtics internet and Twitter that doesn’t want to see him lose weight because he’ll lose an asset as a rebounder: His ability to clear space just by existing under the hoop.
That’s a discredit to Sully. To use an appropriate scouting cliche, he has a nose for the ball — a solid understanding of where the ball is going to come off the rim. If he could drop some significant weight in his first injury-free offseason since joining the league, he might find getting to those spots a little easier without some of the extra poundage that slowed him down after his back surgery. He would also improve exponentially as a defender — it’s tough to move quickly enough to defend a high PnR when you are 265 (or so) pounds.
Anyway, this video indicates nothing except that Sully is putting in some time and apparently does extremely difficult workouts in sweatpants. Hopefully some of these lateral quickness drills translate this season.
The idea that Jeff Green might be supplanted by Evan Turner is depressing, but here we are. To no one’s surprise David Falk, who represents both players, told Steve Bulpett at the Boston Herald that he believes Danny Ainge plans to give both players a role on the team. Falk, incidentally, also represents Jared Sullinger.
But Falk dropped some other #hot #takes regarding Jeff Green that deserve some ridicule, so here are the quotes (also from Bulpett’s story).
“(Jeff Green)’s probably in the top 10 percent of the players in the league that really know how to play and have that raw athleticism. Usually you have one or the other.
“(Sullinger) obviously is an old-school player who’s tremendously skilled and intelligent, has a high basketball IQ, but I’m sure he would love to have Jeff’s athleticism. So Jeff is freaky that way.”
“I think Jeff is really going to come into his own next year,” he said. “I think he gives Brad (Stevens) a lot of flexibility. I think Jeff can play the 2, the 3 or the 4.”
Here are three counterarguments, in order of importance.
1) Falk is correct that Jeff Green knows how to play and has raw athleticism, but I would direct your attention back to this story from Jay King at MassLive, after Green told reporters that he sometimes settles for jumpers because it’s difficult to get into the paint as the number-one option on offense.
That’s something I say, and I’m a 26-year-old sports writer who gained 35 pounds after quitting college basketball and eats Burger King six times a week. I can barely run up and down the court four times during men’s league games without needing a timeout, an inhaler or a beer. [...] Jeff Green’s one of the world’s best athletes. He’s tall, strong and finely-conditioned and he can almost touch the top of the backboard when he jumps.
Just because a player can do or be something doesn’t mean he will do it or be it.
2) It’s ironic that Falk lauds Jeff Green’s athleticism versus Jared Sullinger’s high basketball IQ and skill, given that he once absolutely hammered John Wall for only being athletic, saying that Kyrie Irving’s skill made him better in every single way.
3) It’s late July which, of course, means it’s time for the “Jeff Green can play three positions” and “Jeff Green is going to come into his own next year” stories to start piling up. Next: “Jeff Green has added 10 pounds of muscle.”
We covered this yesterday, but A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE says that the Celtics are moving on from the Kevin Love trade talks, at least for the time being (translation: Flip Saunders finally blocked Danny Ainge’s number). More notable: Blakely, later in that story, said he thinks Rondo will still be a Celtic when the season starts.
Boston’s most tradable asset is Rajon Rondo, but the market for him is unclear because teams aren’t sold on the four-time all-star returning to the form he displayed prior to suffering a torn right ACL injury in 2013.
That’s why Boston will likely enter the season with Rondo still on the roster, providing him a chance to play his way into the max or near-max deal he wants, while increasing his value in case the Celtics decide to trade him and hand the keys to the roster over to his heir apparent, Marcus Smart who was selected by Boston with the No. 6 pick in last month’s NBA draft.
The Timberwolves are finding that patience is a virtue in their Love discussions. Patience prevented them from biting quickly on a Harrison Barnes/David Lee package, which led to a potential Andrew Wiggins package, which led to a potential Doug McDermott/Taj Gibson/Nikola Mirotic package, which might lead to an Andrew Wiggins/Anthony Bennett/picks package. You can certainly play the waiting game too long, but the Wolves don’t appear to have done so yet.
The Celtics would be wise to take notes. Trading Rondo for pennies on his dollar (LOOKING AT YOU, RUMORED HOUSTON ROCKETS PACKAGE) doesn’t make much sense at this point in the offseason. He’s likely to look much better in 2014-15 than he did last year, which will drive up his value as teams gain confidence in his repaired knee. Why would Boston decide whether to trade or keep him before then?
Ainge doesn’t quite have Minnesota’s flexibility. By making Love available earlier, the Wolves got a chance to drive up his price entering the final year of his contract. Rondo is in the same position contractually but has never been made publicly available, save for during the Chris Paul sweepstakes. Boston doesn’t exactly know what the trade offers might be, except that — if reports thus far are to be believed — the offers have been disappointing. But don’t be surprised if rumored trade talks increase in volume — and if the packages start to sweeten a bit — as the regular season rolls around.
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