OFFSEASON

Dooling now teammates with opposition

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Dooling now teammates with opposition

WALTHAM Keyon Dooling loves the game of basketball. But he, more than any other Boston Celtic, understands it as a business due to his other role as a Vice President on the NBA Players Association's executive board.

Part of doing business was dealing with fellow NBA players who didn't necessarily like the way the executive board handled the negations of a new Collective Bargiaining Agreement.

Now, some of those opposed to him, are now teammates.

Paul Pierce was among the more vocal players who pushed for the union to de-certify - a move they eventually made, well after Pierce and several players pushed for it.

Dooling, acquired via trade from Milwaukee, doesn't expect there will be any issues with Pierce or other players who might have disagreed with some of the decisions made by the board.

"That's life," Dooling said. "Some people are Republicans. Some are Democrats. You may have a different view on things. But at the end of the day, when you have a common goal, you have to come together."

Dooling, who had his first practice with the team on Saturday, said he had a "great" conversation with Ray Allen (he too had some issues with some of the executive board's decisions).

"Our positions are a little different," Dooling said. "You just have to respect that. It is what it is. It won't be a problem or anything like that."

While labor issues dominated Dooling's life for most of the summer and fall, he's not a Celtic because of his beliefs.

He's with the C's because they believe he can help them in their quest at another NBA title.

Dooling's strength in the NBA has always been his ability to pressure ball-handlers.

On Friday, Rajon Rondo discussed how he likes his new teammates, but, "I especially love Keyon Dooling," he said. "You guys are gonna see him pick up the ball (defensively). And you'll start to see me pick up the ball more as well."

Rivers has tried to acquire Dooling on multiple occasions, only to come up short until now.

"I got some length for my position, so I really try and get after it," Dooling said. "Defense starts with heart and effort. I got both of those."

OFFSEASON

Hawks adding Howard could lead to Celtics signing Horford

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Hawks adding Howard could lead to Celtics signing Horford

BOSTON – It’s a toss-up as to which was celebrated more by Boston Celtics fans: Dwight Howard coming to terms with the Atlanta Hawks, or the fact that it significantly improves Boston’s chances of landing one of their top free agent targets Al Horford.

A league executive texted CSNNE.com that Howard being off the market and going to Atlanta, should make the Celtics the favorite to land Horford.

Acquiring Horford, a four-time all-star, would be the biggest free agent signing in the Danny Ainge era. Boston is scheduled to meet with Horford tonight and is expected to offer him a four-year, $113 million max contract.

But as much as the Celtics want Horford, their primary target remains Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant who may be more inclined to seriously consider Boston if they were to acquire Horford.

OFFSEASON

Turner: Ainge 'seemed confident' about Celtics chances of signing Horford

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Turner: Ainge 'seemed confident' about Celtics chances of signing Horford

After signing with the Blazers, Evan Turner has been making the rounds showering praise on the Celtics organization and fans. He also left a farewell gift for those excited about free agency: Turner told the Boston Globe that Danny Ainge “seemed confident” at the Celtics’ chances of signing free agent center Al Horford.

Previous reports indicated that the Celtics plan to make a max-contract offer to Horford when they meet him Friday night in Atlanta. The Rockets are the only other team that has reportedly met with the former Hawks All-Star, and Houston's situation isn’t nearly as attractive as Boston’s.

If the Celtics do manage to land Horford on Friday, they’d obviously be adding a former All-Star who’d immediately help the team on both ends of the floor. Immediately, though, Horford would give them another recruiter. Horford and Durant reportedly would like to play with each other, so having him enter the room might help their chances at luring Durant to Boston during Saturday's meeting.

As for Turner, he told the Globe that Ainge expressed he would like him back, but would've had to take a pay cut and a reduced role.

"I liked Boston a lot, bro. The organization, and it’s just a sports city and the city is super nice," Turner told the Globe. "If you put money and everything aside, I would play in Boston every single day of the week. Seeing all those Hall of Famers come back and everything, that’s a real franchise."

The Celtics will likely be saying singing a similar tune to both Horford and Durant this weekend.

OFFSEASON

Turner on Instagram: Leaving Celtics ‘one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made’

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Turner on Instagram: Leaving Celtics ‘one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made’

On Instagram and on Twitter, Evan Turner thanks the Boston fans after he leaves the Celtics for a four-year, $70 million free agent deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.