Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

The Los Angeles Clippers win the Kawhi Leonard Sweepstakes and also get Paul George via Trade   Leave a comment

Image result for Russell Westbrook Trade

 

The second-biggest offseason domino has finally fallen. Kawhi Leonard is going home to Los Angeles…as a member of the Clippers. Not only that, he’s bringing fellow hometown All Star Paul George with him. News broke overnight after the entire NBA world was kept waiting all week for Leonard’s decision to be known. By daybreak, the NBA world got hit with another blockbuster announcement: Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to a trade that will send Paul George to LA.

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Odds makers updated their predictions favoring the Clippers to go all the way to the NBA Finals. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis being joined by DeMarcus Cousins, The Battle for Los Angeles Basketball is on!

 

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…I would be remiss if I did not mention longtime OKC Superstar Russell Westbrook.

The latest reports indicate he and his agent plan to meet with OKC executives soon about his future and it’s believed he will be traded. Westbrook has played his entire career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Clouds of doubt surrounded Westbrook after former team mate Kevin Durant left for the Golden State Warriors and James Harden, whose trade to the Houston Rockets many viewed as a mistake emerged as an All Star.

When Paul George elected to sign a longterm contract with the Thunder, a lot of the doubts about Westbrook being able to play with another All Star team mate finally went away.  With PG-13 now gone after two years with OKC, signs point to Westbrook being on the move and that means the Thunder will be in full rebuild mode come next season.

Let the speculation on where Westbrook could go commence!

 

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Breaking NBA Free Agency News: The Brooklyn Nets win the Kevin Durant Sweepstakes and other News   Leave a comment

Image result for Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets

 

….I may be up until midnight today LOL.

1 hour before Free Agency officially begins, All Star forward and 2-time NBA Champion Kevin Durant announced he will sign a 4 year, $164 Million contract with the Brooklyn Nets. He will miss his first year as a member of the Nets due to the injury he suffered during the 2018-19 NBA Finals. He will be joined by Kyrie Irving (Free Agent, played last 2 seasons with the Boston Celtics), who will sign a 4 year $142 Million contract with the Nets as well as DeAndre Jordan (Free Agent, played with the Dallas Mavericks and ended the season with the New York Knicks last season).

The Nets had the cap space to sign 3 Max Contract Players but the caviat is they would automatically have to renounce the rights to D’Angelo Russell who is now an Unrestricted Free Agent. D-Lo’s looking to sign with the T-Wolves next which is cool since Derrick Rose–remember him?–intends to sign with the Detroit Pistons. Actually wait forget I said that. Looks like D-Lo’s gonna be a Warrior this coming season. Se below for more on that.

Thus, the Nets’ 6 year oddyssey of having their draft picks held hostage by the Celtics is finally over. The Nets sold their future to Boston as per the terms of the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston to Brooklyn 6 years ago. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are three of the many players drafted with the Nets’ picks. It’s considered the most lopsided trade in sports history for a reason!

It would be more than fair to say the balance of power has shifted.

The Warriors are basically the NBA’s version of the New England Patriots right now in which it’s assumed they’ll contend if not return to the NBA Finals next year. They did it 3 times in a row without Durant so…yeah. Klay Thompson, who was injured in what ended up being the final game of the NBA Finals may return for the second half half of the coming season. We’ll see.

The next biggest domino is easily Kawhi Leonard. He is reportedly only looking at either the Raptors, who he just won his second NBA Championship with or the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers just got Anthony Davis. With Irving and Durant now commited to the Nets, they’ll likely be looking to fill their roster. As of right now they only have 3 signed players: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma (!). No, really.

 

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It would be more than fair to say the New York Knicks are the biggest losers in this blockbuster announcement. The failed to get Irving, Durant, Zion Williamson and just lost DeAndre Jordan. The Knicks last made the playoffs in 2013 (first round exit) and and last won an NBA title back in 1976. A shame that bad luck didn’t rub off on the Yankees, who swept the Red Sox in the London series this weekend.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith had an emotional meltdown likely shared by countless other Knicks fans. He was so emotionally devastated, Knicks officials put out a statement to the effect of “trust the process”. LOL.

 

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News broke this morning the Celtics were looking to execute a Sign and Trade involving the Nets and the Charlotte Hornets (which seems to have fallen through). Irving’s obviously gone to Brooklyn and with Kemba Walker coming in, the Celtics threw Michael Jordan an assist to avoid becoming the Nets 2.0 or the 76ers 2.0 (Tanking on purpose). It will be a changing of the guard as Terry Rozier will be going to Charlotte while Kemba Walker, who is in Boston will finalize his 4-year, $141 Million contract with the Celtics. Rozier will sign a 3-year, $58 Million Contract with the Hornets. Rozier showed flashes of how good he could be when he damn-near led the Celtics to the NBA Finals the season before.

Veteran Center Enes Kanter (traded to the Blazers from the Knicks mid-season) is reportedly very interested in the Celtics as well as his current team so we’ll see.

 

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Rising star Kristaps Porzingis, who was traded from the Knicks mid-season to Dallas has reportedly signed a new 5-year $158 Million Contract with the Mavericks. Porzingis, who was looked at as the protege of now retired NBA Legend Dirk Nowinski (played entire career with the Mavs) appears to be their new franchise superstar.

 

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Minutes after news broke Jimmy Butler is going to sign with the Miami Heat, news broke regarding Veteran Center/Forward Al Horford electing to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers. Joel Embiid always said the only player who gives him problems was Al Horford. Now they’re team mates. Horford joining Embiid, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons makes them instant contenders and makes up for Butler’s departure. Enough to get past the Celtics, Bucks and Heat (with Butler) next year and all 3 teams plus the Nets the year after? I doubt it personally.

 

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D-Lo is now a Warrior.

In exchange for Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors have signed D’Angelo Russel to a 4 year, $117 Million Contract via the Brooklyn Nets. The Warriors essentially exchanged Durant forRussell, who made waves last season after the Lakers, who gave up on him sent him to Brooklyn two years ago to make room to sign LeBron James.

There was talk of the Lakers possibly interested in taking him back but the Warriors called the Nets and made the deal on the spot. The Warriors will start the coming season with 3 All Stars in Steph Curry, Draymond Green and now D-Lo. Thompson is projected to return mid-season while the status of DeMarcus Cousins, who is a UFA is currently unknown. He may be signed on with the Warriors longterm given they just pulled the trigger on a trade involving veteran Center Andre Iguodala going to the Memphis Grizzlies. With this move, the Warriors retain their standing as title contenders.

….Whew.

Ok I think I’ll call it a night now. The second-biggest domino that still has yet to fall is of course Kawhi Leonard. Will he stay in Canada or will he go home to Los Angeles and play with the Clippers?  We’ll have to wait and see.

I do agree with analysts who’ve been saying since Free Agency began that for the first time in a while, there is no one team you can look at and say “They’re definitely going to the NBA Finals next season”. That’s how wide open it is. I’ll provide another update once the next round of big moves takes place. It helps most of them happened in the first 6 hours!

 

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As the Boston Celtics introduce their newly drafted players, Free Agency is just around the corner [UPDATED]   Leave a comment

Left to Right: Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters.

 

With the Celtics losing two of their 3 All Stars to Free Agency–Kyrie Irving and Al Horford–it’s hard to disagree with many who’ve said the Celtics missed the mark in not drafting Bol Bol, who was ultimately drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 44th Pick in the NBA Draft. The Celtics made up for it the next day by signing Tacko Fall, who shockingly went undrafted. At the same time they traded away backup Center Aaron Baines, presumably to make cap space ahead of the start of Free Agency (June 30th at 6PM EST).

Celtics GM Danny Ainge defiantly defended the decisions made on Draft Night and even pulling the trigger on the trade that brought Kyrie Irving in Boston from Cleveland in exchange for Isaiah Thomas (now with the Denver Nuggets) as well as Jae Crowder (now with the Memphis Grizzlies) and Ante Zizic (still with the Cavs). It was a trade that shocked the NBA World because of what Isaiah Thomas went through just a few months earlier between a season-ending injury and the sudden death of his sister. Then to be traded just like that…yeah. New Lakers All Star Anthony Davis’ father pointed to that trade as why his son would never sign with the Celtics long term.

When the Lakers and Pelicans finalized the trade for Davis, the Celics revealed they would not agree to include Jayson Tatum in a potential trade for Davis. Even with Irving and Horford gone, it would be fair to say this isn’t a rebuild but a reshuffle. Marcus Morris has notified the Celtics he is going to test Free Agency but plans to sign a new contract with the Celtics. We’ll have to wait and see.

We know Irving will be gone and plans to sign with the Nets. We also know he’s trying to recruit Kevin Durant to join him in Brooklyn. Given the way he left Cleveland and now Boston, one can’t help but wonder if “being worried Durant won’t come with him” is the only reason the Nets are reconsidering signing him. Nevermind all the reports about his not being happy living in Boston or not liking Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge. Irving being Irving and trying to force Hayward as a starter led to what we saw this past season. Brad Stevens took the blame for how the season and playoff run ended though at the time, everyone outside the locker room probably didn’t know all of the reasons he blamed himself. I do agree with some who’ve said the decision to push Hayward as a starter at the beginning of the season may not have entirely been Stevens’ decision though.

…As for Horford, his reason for leaving is purely for money. The Celtics weren’t going to pay him what he was looking for. The timing with everything else is a coincidence. The Mavs, Clippers and Lakers have all expressed interest in him. We will have to wait at least until this Sunday evening at 6PM for Free Agency to begin and see who the Celtics may be looking to sign.

 

All that said, here is one noteworthy Free Agent signing that is all but official:

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Multiple outlets reported all week Charlotte Hornets Guard and 3-time All Star Kemba Walker is Shipping Up to Boston. As of this afternoon, Walker will sign a 4 year, $141 Million Max contract with the Celtics. Analists view him as a slight downgrade from the outgoing Kyrie Irving statistically. He is also a team player and won’t be a PR problem like Irving turned out to be on his way in and now on his way out of Boston. He could certainly be the missing piece Hayward, Brown and Tatum need to come together. The latest news states Walker wants to make it official ASAP.

That still leaves the Celtics in need of a big Center or two to replace Horford and Baines. DeAndre Jordan (Played with the Clippers but was delt to the Mavs as part of the 3-Team trade that sent Blake Griffin to Detroit, then traded to New York for Kristaps Porzingis), Tyler Zeller (Played in Boston for 3 years, released to free cap space to sign Gordon Hayward), Bismark Biyombo (would have to waive his Player Option but would join his teammate Kemba Walker in Boston if he does), Robin Lopez or even Greg Monroe (signed a 1-year contract with the Celtics after Hayward missed the previous season due to injury).

We’ll surely find out where the chips will fall as soon as Free Agency begins Sunday at 6PM EST!

 

Update 6/29/2019:

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The Celtics have renounced the rights to Restricted Free Agent Guard Terry Rozier, making him an Unrestricted Free Agent. The move was done to clear cap space ahead of the signing of Kemba Walker. Rozier, 29 was drafted by the Celtics and proved during the previous playoff run he can be a primary ball handler. Several teams have expressed interest in him and is now free to sign with whoever he wants.

You can’t help but feel for him–and dread the next time he faces the Celtics on the court. He’ll have vengeance on his mind for sure!

 

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In general, I like to be consistent in what I do and say   Leave a comment

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When I first launched this blog 7 years ago, it was meant to be a backup to my old website Serene Adventure.net. I never would have imagined back then that I would have gone on to make 10–soon to be 11–more blogs on WordPress. I spent almost $500 on just operating costs with my original website over an 8 year period. I was able to do WAY more than that for free these past 7 years with WordPress.

My personal life has been in limbo over the last three–no, five–years in particular. Even so, I have learned a lot over the last 3 years I have been unemployed. My work as an Independent Consultant is a new venture I started late last year. I’ve got some big aspirations but I am also realistic. I know my limitations but I don’t think that disqualifies me from needing and wanting to make some big life changes.

Priority #1 is being able to support myself financially. To that end, I decided to start a Consulting Firm. Of course it’s not currently licensed or registered but that will change once I have the money to make it happen. At the same time, I am still looking for employment. The money I do make as an Independent Consultant isn’t much and isn’t consistent enough to really be considered income. I can’t even report it for tax purposes or I would have already.

This is something I have been saying to the people I’ve met in the last few years a lot lately: People have learned to love things and use people when it should be the other way around. You’re not rich until you have something money can’t buy. I have no interest in being rich or famous. Doing things for others makes me happy at the end of the day. At the same time, I am far more likely to go out of my way for someone who I know will appreciate the help I provide.

Every time I get a Like for one of my blog posts, I know someone appreciated the effort I put into it as well as the content. I have written almost 1,000 articles across my 11 blogs. I took my time putting every single one of them together.

For almost two years now, you’ve seen this at the end of every article:

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details, I need the help. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

 

The New England Patriots acquires Michael Bennett via Trade and his brother Martellus could join him   Leave a comment

Image result for The Bennett Brothers NFL

 

At one time the Bennett brothers were adamant about always wanting to play on separate teams. Above are the brothers pictured after the Patriots won Super Bowl 51 back in 2016 (the game was in 2017).

Michael Bennett candidly said this during an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2017:

 

 

Then with the Seattle Seahawks, Michael Bennett’s team lost to the Patriots a few years back. The Elder Bennett left the Seahawks for the Miami Dolphins until he was traded to New England today. His brother became a free agent after Super Bowl 51 and played a year with the Green Bay Packers before he retired. Marty B teased in a video he posted on Instagram after the Patriots won their 6th Super Bowl last month he might unretire and rejoin the Patriots to play with Tom Brady again. Now that his brother is going to be a Patriot, it should come as no surprise he is very interested in playing for another Super Bowl title. Michael’s a Defensive End and Martellus is a Tight End. So…yeah. They would join twin brothers Jason and Devin McCourty as the second pair of brothers to play on the same team at the same time. I mean all four playing together on the same team. Rob Gronkowski and his brother Eric both played together on the Patriots for a season a few years ago.

It would be fair–or unfair if you hate the Patriots–to say New England is already favored to repeat next season before today. The addition of both Bennett brothers could see the Patriots make a serious run at trying for an undefeated season again. Even as a Patriots fan, I understand all too well how…demoralizing everyone outside New England feels knowing the Patriots will be in the Super Bowl again next year. LOL.

 

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An important warning to parents and Educators about The “Momo Challenge” and Self-Harm Videos that target kids   Leave a comment

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I was preparing to make a blog post to comment on the sudden rise of self-harm videos that have been reported on YouTube Kids all month when I got word of this imfamous Momo Challenge that has been reported worldwide. At this point I think it would be fair to say it’s not an urban legend and is in fact a real thing. Local Law Enforcement are trying to get the word out because the Momo Challenge threatens and encourages kids and teens to do dangerous things and eventually, suicide.

Here’s how it starts: Users are asked to add Momo as a WhatsApp contact via YouTube, Facebook or some other social media platform. It specifically targets kids, teens and in some cases Young Adults. Once the connection is made, things immediately get scary…and dangerous…and possibly deadly, too. The entity known as Momo makes contact and immediately threatens and intimidatinng the victim into doing what it says, saying things like “I’m watching you” or “If you tell anyone, you’ll die”. Kids as young as six years old have apparently been targeted by this Momo Challenge. It specifically targets children and teens because they’re far more likely to accept what they see at face value and do what they’re being told.

I do believe Momo is actually a botting program that is being intentionally spread online. There certainly are chat bots sophisticated enough to carry a conversation as if it was a real person. They do what they’re programmed to do in short. Of course, I would be able to tell the difference fairly quickly between a bot or a real person. A child? Absolutely not. Certainly not a 6 year old. On the one hand, it’s fine to ignore the messages. On the other hand, kids are being specifically targeted. So…yeah.

I mentioned other self-harm videos.

Even worse is both the Momo Challenge and other self-harm videos seem to have hijacked YouTube Kids, which is a kid-friendly version of YouTube. Google, which is aware is trying to address the problem but for now it’s highly reccommended you uninstall the YouTube and YouTube Kids Apps from your kids’ devices for now and block the site on your computers at home. Why go that far? Well, the self-harm videos, which describe in graphic detail how to commit suicide are disguised as innocent-looking cartoons kids are familiar with. It starts looking normal but then it gets dark and scary. Even worse is it ends by encouraging kids to go through with it.

…Yeah.

There are some sick, sick people out there sadly.

I would recommend Educators take 5 to 10 minutes to talk to their class about internet safety in general. I would also reccommend school staff hold a meeting to discuss this important subject and send a notice home the parents. It would be an alert to let parents know the school is aware of both the Momo Challenge and Self-Harm Videos being shared on YouTube.

I would reccommend parents sit down and talk to their kids about the Momo Challenge as well as the Self-Harm videos. Tell them if they see anything online telling them or showing them how to hurt themselves to report the content immediately and don’t do what it says. Let them know all actions have consequences not just for them but everyone they know.

I intend to repost this on a few more of my blogs to help spread the word on this. One death from this foolishness is too many.

To the internet tough guys and trolls who think this is hoax, “Don’t see a problem” or feel “They’re doing parents a service”, you won’t feel that way when it’s your child or the child of someone you know. I promise you that. While yes, I certainly don’t think kids as young as 3 shouldn’t be using the internet unsupervised, that doesn’t excuse the malicious and vile actions of the people who are doing and spreading these things online. Show me a 3, 4 or 5 year old child who has never seen one of these videos before who would watch them and think it’s just ‘harmless fun”.

There is absolutely nothing “harmless” or “fun” about what these self-harm videos and the Momo Challenge are looking to intimidate and scare kids into doing. Yes, they revealed some glaring flaws in YouTube and YouTubeKids’ (and Facebook’s) prescreening algorithms but it doesn’t change the fact someone is deliberately doing this. The disturbing content is embedded in episodes of kids’ programming and uploaded to YouTube. In other words, someone is deliberately doing this for the sole purpose to traumatizing a child at best and coercing them into doing what they’re being told at worst. To date, 2 kids in Columbia (the country) have committed suicide because of these self-harm videos.

The disturbing content appears about 14 to 16 minutes into an otherwise normal episode of children’s programming and lasts for about 20 to 30 seconds. Short enough to not get picked up by YouTube’s pre-screening algorithims but still long enough to deliver its vile message. I have seen the messages myself and for reasons that should be obvious, I am not sharing here what is said. I will say for the Momo Challenge users are directed to add a phone number from Mexico, Russia or India to their contacts and contact Momo via WhatsApp under threat of death to them and/or their friends. Again: young children are being specifically targeted. They have no way of knowing they have nothing to fear from what they saw.

Like I said before, I do believe Momo–like Blue Whale before it–is a chat bot. It’s not an actual person but a scripting program someone made to sow chaos. I also believe the phone number is randomly generated and this is also why I am not sharing any numbers. Again, a young child would not know it’s not a real person. All they know is they’re being told to hurt themselves or put themselves in dangerous situations in very specific ways and if they don’t do what they’re told, something bad will happen to them or the people they care about. They are directed to not tell anyone or “I will know” and “I can see you right now so I’ll know if you tell anyone” obviously. Again, young kids who don’t know better are being exposed to this.

I am urging folks to reblog this post and help get the word out. The whole world is talking about this. That’s how serious this is. No one is taking this as “a hoax”. Kids are getting hurt at worst and in two cases, someone has died. This is one “game” that needs to be stopped immediately.

 

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Anthony Davis firmly rules out the Celtics as a longterm destination but the Pelicans clearly feel otherwise   Leave a comment

Image result for Isaiah Thomas traded to Cavs

 

The trade involving Kyrie Irving and former All Star Isaiah Thomas from two years ago pissed off Anthony Davis’ father (also named Anthony Davis) so much, he put out a public statement last week saying it’s the reason why he does not want his son to play for the Celtics. It wasn’t the trade itself but the way the trade went down that shocked the sports world and pissed off a lot of NBA Players as well as fans of Isaiah Thomas. As a reminder, Isaiah Thomas’ sister died suddenly during the Celtics playoff run two years back. He was also forced to have season-ending hip surgery during the Eastern Conference Finals, which the Celtics lost to the Cavs 5-1 (their one victory coming after IT was forced out of the lineup ironically).

Two months later and a week after the Celtics signed Gordon Hayward, the trade involving him (as well as Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic) for Kyrie Irving went down. Thomas (and the other two players involved) never saw it coming and found out the same way everyone else did: From the news. He didn’t hear it from the Celtics in advance and after what happened with him during the playoffs…well, he wasn’t wrong to feel disrespected. As everyone knows, Kyrie Irving was the one who demanded the Cavs trade him ASAP right after the Cavs lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. The Celtics made the Cavs an offer and the trade went down.

The problem wasn’t the trade itself. Isaiah Thomas is well aware it was business decision but and no one is untouchable. Given what happened to him two months earlier, to then be traded a little over a week after the Celtics signed Gordon Hayward without advance notice would understandably make anyone feel disposable. More so given he was a fan favorite. Isaiah Thomas and Danny Ainge eventually sat down and hashed things out.

The man once known as the King of the Fourth only played a handful of games with the Cavs last January before he was traded to the Lakers and was released at the end of the season (The Lakers didn’t make the playoffs last season). He was signed to the Denver Nuggets during the offseason at the Veteran minimum. Just the season before, he was in the All Star game. Isaiah’s public criticism of the Cavs and referencing his experiences with the Celtics during press conferences during his tenure with the team is pointed to as the main reasons he was traded mid-season last year.

On that note, I do think IT4 will return to the Celtics in the next few years. Most likely as a Free Agent in my book. I don’t see the Celtics trading for him personally. I think Kyrie Irving would want it since the trade came during a very low point in IT4’s life and it’s obvious he wants to return to the Celtics. At the same time, the undeniable fact is IT4 was a defensive liability. No one doubts his explosive offense but off the ball, the Celtics had to have him switch off with another defender or otherwise “hide” him.

Case example:

Image result for Lebron James Dunks on Isaiah Thomas

 

The obvious size difference aside…yeah. LBJ literally mopped the floor with him during that playoff series. THIS is why Danny Ainge pulled the trigger and traded him. IT4 is useless on defense against (much) bigger players like Lebron James, Giannis, Durant, Simmons, Westbrook and so on. Until he figures it out like Nate Robinson did, I don’t think the Celtics should take him back.

Isaiah Thomas aside. Anthony Davis himself said he would only consider playing with the Lakers, Knicks, Clippers or Bucks longterm and everywhere else would be a one-year deal. So, there is little to no point in the Celtics pursuing him knowing that. The Pelicans and AD’s agent both announced yesterday he will not be traded before the deadline. Given the Celtics just moved a player to open up a slot, that automatically makes them the frontrunner for AD come July 1. The big problem is the knowledge that he will be a 1-year rental so…yeah.

 

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