OFFSEASON

Gone Fishin': Darko's game expands to the great outdoors

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Gone Fishin': Darko's game expands to the great outdoors

WALTHAM Darko Milicic has already professed he will kill someone on the court if thats what it takes to help the Boston Celtics win. A few days later, he used the padded wall along the practice court as a punching bag. The newly acquired Cs big man is ready to go.

Milicic must have a way to relax, though right?

Give him a pristine lake or a wooded area in his native country of Serbia and hes a happy camper er, fisherman and hunter.

I am a simple guy, Milicic told CSNNE.com. I like to hunt, I like to fish, so thats what my hobbies are.

Milicic began fishing as a child and took up the sport professionally five years ago. He has competed in carp fishing tournaments with his team, Melezra, during the offseason where he lives 45 minutes outside of Belgrade.

I fish carp professionally back home, said Milicic. I go to the World Cups, European Championships. I have a team so thats what I enjoy the most. Ive got an RV here from the US. We travel, we fish for four to seven days straight.

When hes not on the water, he likes to hunt, which he got involved in three years ago. Since the seasons alternate, he is able to participate in both sports while in Europe.

I have a group of people and we hunt back home, Milicic said. When its hunting season, its not fishing season. Every time I have something to do. Its good stuff.

OFFSEASON

If not this year for Durant-to-Celtics, then next?

If not this year for Durant-to-Celtics, then next?

BOSTON – The Celtics are considered long shots at landing Kevin Durant during free agency, which begins next week.

Still, if they come up short this summer, league sources tell CSNNE.com that the Celtics will be on a “watch list” of sorts by Durant’s camp when the former league MVP is expected to hit the free agent market once again in the summer of 2017.
 
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Durant will have teams meet with him in New York beginning next week. In addition to the Celtics, his current team Oklahoma City will sit down with him, as well as Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs.
 
Durant can re-sign with the Thunder for as many as five years with the total value of his contract worth slightly more than $150 million.
 
However, by signing a one-year deal or a two-year pact with a player option for the second season, Durant would make a projected $25.9 million for the 2016-2017 season and can then hit the free agent market again in 2017 when the salary cap is expected to cross the nine-figure threshold.
 
And at that time, if he decides to stay with the Thunder, he can ink a five-year deal that, when combined with his salary in 2016-2017, would be more than $230 million over six years – that’s about $80 million more than he would get by re-signing a long-term deal with the Thunder now, and would more than double what he would make by signing a maximum-salaried four-year deal with another team.
 
That’s why it makes a lot of sense for him to sign a short-term deal now and better position himself for a bigger payday the following summer when his starting salary will likely be on the north side of $35 million.
 
For the Celtics, Durant going through free agency back-to-back years affords coach Brad Stevens and the Celtics one more opportunity to continue their ascension up the Eastern Conference standings while still being a team that’s clearly in need of adding at least one additional All-Star talent to play with Isaiah Thomas.

In his three seasons as the Celtics coach, Stevens has improved the team’s win total each season.
 
However, they have failed to win a playoff series after having been knocked out in the first round each of the past two seasons.
 
While Durant is the team’s No. 1 priority on the free agent market, the Celtics will quickly pivot their attentions to other highly-regarded players as well with Atlanta’s Al Horford being among their targets.

Depending on how quickly Durant’s free agency gets taken care of, the Celtics might be able to turn their attention towards potentially re-signing Evan Turner, who was sixth in the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year voting last season.

OFFSEASON

Celtics' Isaiah Thomas continues recruitment of Durant with tweet

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Celtics' Isaiah Thomas continues recruitment of Durant with tweet

With the Celtics reportedly in the running in the Kevin Durant Derby, C's guard Isaiah Thomas is continuing his recruiting pitch with this playful tweet.

Thomas said in a radio interview earlier this week that the Celtics "definitely have a shot" at landing Durant and a few months ago, Thomas' essay in the Players Tribune is perhaps his best sales job of all.