Celtics trade No. 25 pick, get Purdue's Johnson

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Celtics trade No. 25 pick, get Purdue's Johnson

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn BOSTON The Boston Celtics got more than just a solid player with the No. 25 pick.

They turned the pick, used to select Providence's high-scoring guard Marshon Brooks, into Purdue's JaJuan Johnson, who was selected by New Jersey - for the Celtics - with the No. 27 pick. Boston will also receive the Nets' 2014 second-round pick.

"We like it a lot," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We didn't think he'd be there, and he was."

In addition to Johnson, the Celtics were also considering Boston College's Reggie Jackson and Marquette's Jimmy Butler, who were drafted No. 24 and No. 30, respectively.

"He's a terrific shooter for his size and extremely athletic," Rivers said of Johnson. "He rebounded well in college, which you hope translates over to the pros."

Johnson, a 6-foot-10 forward, provides help for the Celtics on multiple levels.

While playing for the Boilermakers, Johnson distinguished himself as one of the more complete players in the conference. He was named the Big Ten player of the Year and the league's Defensive Player of the Year last season -- something that only two other players in conference history can lay claim to achieving.

He averaged 20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game for the Boilermakers last season, and was a First Team All-American.

Johnson's strong senior season was not a surprise when you consider his play improved steadily throughout his four year career.

"He's athletic and a rangy, face-up big man," said ESPN analyst Jay Bilas.

And for the C's, he provides some much-needed size in the post as well as a player who has shooting range, which allows him to help the C's in the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop game.

"He doesn't shoot a great percentage from 3, but he can stretch you," Bilas said. "I do like his ability to defend and run."

But what might have eventually won the Celtics over was the one thing Johnson did often at Purdue -- win.

He was part of 107 wins, a school record he shared with teammate E'Twaun Moore who was drafted by the Celtics with the No. 55 pick.

"It helps," Rivers said. "It tells you that Johnson can play with a team and fit in, and be a winner on that team and still play well. That's always important."

Moore, a 6-4 combo guard, was an honorable mention All-American as a junior and senior. He became just the third player in school history to amass 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists and became the second player in school history to earn all-Big Ten honors in each of his four seasons with the Boilermakers.

It's too soon to tell what their roles will be with the Celtics next season.

However, Danny Ainge believes both players can contend for a rotation spot.

"E'Twaun is a good shooter, good all-around player, tough kid, good experience," said Boston's president of basketball operations. "Terrific talent, and JaJuan has good length . . . just a good all-around player. he's light in the hips, but he's long, athletic and he can score. I think both of those guys can find a fit on our team."

But when you consider the Celtics have only six players under contract, chances are pretty good that both will get an opportunity to play their way into a relatively meaningful role off the bench.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcs

Isaiah Thomas still unsure whether hip will require surgery

Isaiah Thomas still unsure whether hip will require surgery

WALTHAM, Mass. –  Isaiah Thomas said it will be at least another month before he and the Boston Celtics will know for sure if he’ll need surgery on his right hip or an alternative means of treatment.

“Take it day by day and whatever happens in the next four to six weeks, then go from there and attack that as is,” Thomas said on Friday.

Thomas took a hard spill on his right hip against Minnesota on March 15, and re-aggravated the injury during Boston’s second-round series against Washington. The Celtics’ medical staff treated the injury for several weeks, but the pain began to increase and the potential risk of it becoming a long-term problem only grew.

In the first half of Boston’s Game 2 loss to Cleveland in the conference finals, the hip began to severely limit his play which was evident by him scoring two points in the first half of that game while missing all six of his shots from the field.

The Celtics medical team examined him at halftime and determined that in the best interest of his long-term health, he had to be shut down for the rest of the playoffs.

Needless to say, that did not go over well with Thomas.

“They had multiple people come in and talk to me about what’s more important,” Thomas recalled. “I definitely wasn’t trying to hear that at that point in time.”

Not only because of his competitive nature, but also because the Celtics were in the Conference finals for the first time since 2012.

“Conference finals, that’s the biggest stage I’ve ever been on,” Thomas said. “To not be able to go back out there in the second half … was painful; it hurt me.”

Now Thomas finds himself having to be patient and allow his body to heal up, realizing the big picture – his future – has to take precedence over what he’s accustomed to this time of year which is to take a couple weeks off and get right back in the gym to start working on his game and prepping for next season.

Not only is this a big summer in terms of him getting his body right, but he’s also eligible for a contract extension.

When asked about an extension, Thomas quipped, “That means more money? I’d love that.”

He added, “if it don’t happen, I'm the last person to be bothered by that. I know everything happens for a reason. So when my time comes, I know … God will bless me.”

The two-time all-star will earn just $6.26 million in the final year of the four-year, $27 million deal he signed in 2014 with Phoenix.

While being hurt isn’t ideal when talks center around an extension, Thomas isn’t overly concerned about his contract status and whether or not it changes this summer.

“That time will come. Whatever happens, happens,” Thomas said. “I’ve proved myself. The world knows what I bring to the table. I can’t do anything to control anything else. Whatever happens this summer with contracts, it happens. If not, we’ll wait until next summer and see where we go.”

While his contract status may be unclear, there’s no mistaking that Thomas wants to stay in Boston long-term.

“Boston has changed my career, changed my life,” said Thomas who came to Boston via trade in February of 2015. “I’d love to be here long-term and win championships here. As you guys know it’s a business; anything can happen. And I know that, I understand that. I would love to be here. This has been everything to me.”

Reports: Holt (concussion) shut down indefinitely; Red Sox’ concern goes beyond baseball

Reports: Holt (concussion) shut down indefinitely; Red Sox’ concern goes beyond baseball

After visiting a concussion specialist in Pittsburgh, Red Sox utility man Brock Holt will be shut down from baseball activity indefinitely, according to multiple reports.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox’ concern for Holt, who turns 29 June 11, goes well beyond baseball. 

Holt first suffered a concussion more than a year ago while diving for a ball against the Oakland A’s. He hasn’t played in the major leagues since April 20 when vertigo and post-concussion symptoms returned. His minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket the past month has been interrupted by the recurrence of vertigo.