Erden interested in potential return to Boston

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Erden interested in potential return to Boston

BOSTON As Semih Erden walked the streets of Boston on Saturday, he was pleasantly surprised to know that folks around town still remembered him.

Having played just 37 games for the C's last season, Erden, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, has fond memories of his time with the Green Team.

Being a free agent this summer, Erden tells CSNNE.com that the Celtics will be on his short list of teams he'll consider playing for.

"Why not?" Erden said. "We will see what happens. I was in the street yesterday, everybody know me; that was exciting, they did not forget me. I was like, 'oh, that's nice!' To be here, this was my first (NBA) experience. I'm happy."

While there will likely be a few teams also interested in Erden, the Cavaliers are not expected to be one of them.

Erden comes into tonight's game having not played (coaches decision) in Cleveland's last three games. For the season, he's averaging 3.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Cleveland coach Byron Scott doesn't mince words in describing why he has elected to not play Erden.

"I was a little disappointed (in Erden)," Scott said. "This stint of three games that he hasn't played, what I'm hoping is that gets through his head, and when he gets another opportunity, he'll take advantage of it.

Scott added, "the same thing I told Semih. If he plays hard every night, he has a chance to be a good player."

Prior to the season, Scott even gave some thought to Erden as the team's starting center.

"He has to play a lot harder," Scott said.

While Erden certainly had his flaws and shortcomings with the Celtics, he often showed the kind of toughness that a number of his teammates lacked.

For the bulk of his stint with the C's, he played with a shoulder injury that he put off having surgery for until the offseason.

And there were times seven actually when Erden had to play with the starters due to injuries.

To his credit, Erden made the most of those games, one of which being a 102-101 win over Philadelphia on Dec. 9, 2010.

In that game, Erden had eight points and three rebounds, a strong performance considering he had a handful of not-so-impressive performances leading up to that game.

Kevin Garnett was among those to praise Erden following that game.

"I think he (Erden) plays better with the first group," Garnett said at the time. "I think he knows what to expect. We know what to expect out of him."

Because of that comfort level by both, a return to Boston wouldn't be that big a stretch for the 7-footer from Turkey.

Prior to tonight's game, Erden spent some time in the C's locker room chatting up Garnett, Paul Pierce and others.

"I miss Boston," Erden said. "It's good to be here."

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to deal away Carlo right now

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to deal away Carlo right now

There’s been smoke for weeks signaling trade talks between the Boston Bruins and the Colorado Avalanche, and things are reportedly heating up with the Bruins potentially reaching a tipping point with their subpar play on the ice. According to Bleacher Report columnist Adrian Dater, things may be progressing between the two teams because the Bruins are beginning to entertain the idea of trading away 20-year-old top pairing rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo.

Bruins Director of Player Personnel John Ferguson Jrwas expected to be out in Colorado scouting the Avalanche/Blackhawks game on Tuesday night, and perhaps getting a long look at players like Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie among others.

The expectation is that 24-year-old Landeskog is in the middle of these trade discussions, and that he would be one of the players targeted by a Bruins team that could use more size on the wing, and more players that can put the puck in the net. Certainly Landeskog has done that in his brief NHL career after being a No. 2 overall pick, and has four 20-goal seasons on his resume prior to a disappointing, injury-plagued current season in Colorado.

The word around the league was that talks fizzled between the Bruins and Avs previously when Joe Sakic asked about the availability of the Colorado Springs native Carlo, and those discussions hit the same crunching roadblock that Winnipeg did in discussions with Boston about Jacob Trouba.

Perhaps that has changed in the last 24 hours after Cam Neely and Don Sweeney watched their Bruins completely no-show against the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the New York Islanders, on Monday afternoon. Now one would expect that Bruins management is getting desperate feeling that a third “Did Not Qualify” for the Stanley Cup playoffs could be in their future if they don’t make a bold, swift move to shake up their dazed hockey club.

But let’s not pull any punches here. The entire Bruins management group should be fired on the spot if they trade a 20-year-old, top pairing shutdown defenseman on an entry level contract like Carlo unless they are getting a bona fide superstar in return. Carlo, Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak should all be young, untouchable assets for a Bruins organization that is years away from legitimately holding a chance at a Stanley Cup.

Landeskog is not a bona fide superstar. He’s a good player that’s topped out at 26 goals and 65 points in the NHL, but he’s also the Captain on a horrendous, underachieving Avalanche team over the last three years.

If the price were right for Landeskog it would make all the sense in the world for the Bruins to deal him, but it’s a giant honking red flag that Colorado is looking to unload a player like him that’s signed for a reasonable $5.5 million price tag over the next four seasons. Teams don’t trade young players like that with term unless there’s more to the story, and that’s something the Bruins would do well to consider before giving up a player that could be a top-4 shutdown defenseman in Boston for the next 10 years.

Teams like the Bruins that are in reloading mode also shouldn’t be trading 20-year-old players for 24-year-old players that have already cashed in on their second contract. That’s exactly how the Bruins can get right back into salary cap trouble, and do it with a team that’s producing far less than the Peter Chiarelli groups that were at least still making the playoffs.  

Certainly the Bruins have other young D-men like Charlie McAvoy, Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon coming down the pipeline, but none of those defensemen are in the mold of a true shutdown D like the 6-foot-5 Carlo. With Zdeno Chara in the final few years of his career with the Black and Gold, the B’s are going to need Carlo to slide into that defensive stopper role given his size, strength, wing span and willingness to do the dirty work the D-zone.

That goes beyond the simple fact that rebuilding the back end with ALL of those young stud D-men is the best way to actually build the Bruins back up into a legitimate Eastern Conference power. 

It would be a giant mistake for the Bruins to ship away a player like Carlo with the hope Landeskog can put Boston over the hump for the playoffs this season, and perhaps ease some of the intense pressure currently weighing on Sweeney and Neely. That kind of desperate move smacks of doing it for all of the wrong reasons, and that’s one way to ensure that the Bruins will never escape the web of mediocrity that they’re currently caught in.