Friday Free Throws: Rondo interns at GQ, the Dooling Effect

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Friday Free Throws: Rondo interns at GQ, the Dooling Effect

Last summer Rajon Rondo starred in Nikes Educators sneaker campaign.
This offseason, hes being educated.
The stylish point guard will intern for GQ during Fashion Week in New York City. According to GQ.com, Rajon will be interning at GQ for the next few days, helping our game out and learning a thing or two about menswear and the magazine industry.
Rondo also posted photos from his day in the GQ office on his Facebook page.
The runway is about to get Rondod.

Erman Promoted in Warriors Staff
Putting in countless late night and early morning hours is paying off for former Celtics coaching assistant Darren Erman. Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Erman has been promoted to the number three assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors following the Wes Unseld Jr.s departure. He served four seasons as a member of the Celtics coaching staff before joining the Warriors in 2011. Prior to his NBA career, Erman was a lawyer.

Former Celtics to Play for Charity
While Rajon Rondo is in the Big Apple, some of his fellow University of Kentucky alum are preparing for the Alumni Charity Game, taking place at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. on September 15. Members of the 1996 championship team, including former Celtics Antoine Walker and Walter McCarty, are expected to play. (Rondo was six years old when that squad won it all.) Tickets are available online through Ticketmaster and proceeds will benefit four charities.

The Dooling Effect
Keyon Dooling has been sharing his wisdom and enthusiasm throughout the NBA during his entire career with his eagerness to connect and catchy phrase, Whats driving you? His outreach goes beyond his own teammates. Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight, who attended high school in Doolings hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recently discussed Doolings mentorship.
"Hes given me so much advice; I talk to him all the time," Knight told the Sun Sentinel. "A lot of the advice he gives me is off-the-court stuff, not necessarily basketball.
The Celtics re-signed Dooling as a free agent this summer.

And Ones
Ray Allen, who spends his summers in Connecticut, played pickup at Gampel Pavilion this week with members of the Huskies basketball team, according to the Hartford Courant.
Former CelticOklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins will be making an appearance with Thunder mascot, Rumble the Bison, at the Second Annual Weatherford Wind Festival on September 15. Perkins is slated from 11:30am 1:30pm. Visit the citys website for complete details.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Hall of Famer Tiny Archibald was born on September 2, 1948. Archibald played five seasons with the Boston Celtics, winning a championship in 1981. He averaged 18.8 points and 7.4 assists during his 13-year NBA career. Another Hall of Famer, John Thompson Jr., turned 71 on the same day. Thompson won a pair of championships (1965, 1966) in his two-year career with the Celtics. He went to become a top college basketball coach. Celtics big man Chris Wilcox celebrated his 30th birthday on September 3. Wilcox re-signed with the Celtics this summer after undergoing season-ending heart surgery. He averaged 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game off the Cs bench last season. Kevin Stacom, a member of the 1976 championship Celtics team, turned 61 on September 4. John Thomas, who played half of his rookie season with the Celtics in 1998, will celebrate his 36th birthday on September 8. The Celtics traded Thomas to the Toronto Raptors as part of the Chauncey Billups trade.

This Week in Celtics History
On September 2, 2009, the Celtics signed Marquis Daniels as a free agent. He re-signed with the team in 2011. The Celtics traded Quinn Buckner to the Indiana Pacers on September 3, 1985 for a 1989 second round pick. The C's made a pair of trades on September 6: In 1985, the Celtics dealt Cedric Maxwell and a 1986 first round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for Bill Walton. In 1979, the C's traded Bob McAdoo to the Detroit Pistons for two first round draft picks.

Pick or trade? Celtics find themselves in similar position to 2014 Cavs

Pick or trade? Celtics find themselves in similar position to 2014 Cavs

BOSTON – Even before the Boston Celtics landed the top overall pick in next month’s NBA draft, there has been talk about Boston potentially trading it away.

While Danny Ainge has made no secret about being open to all options involving the top overall pick, there are a couple of things to remember.

Moving the number one overall pick is not a decision that’s made lightly.

That’s why only twice since the ABA-NBA merge in 1976, has the number one overall pick not played for the team that selected him.

But in looking at the two instances when it did happen, 1993 with Chris Webber (drafted by Orlando, traded to Golden State) and 2014 with Andrew Wiggins (drafted by Cleveland, traded to Minnesota), the Wiggins deal best resembles the kind of situation that the Celtics now find themselves in with the top overall pick in hand.

In 2014, Cleveland wound up with the number one overall pick for the second straight year. In 2013, they shocked many in selecting UNLV’s Anthony Bennett which turned out to be a huge mistake.

But the following year, taking Andrew Wiggins out of Kansas with the top pick was more of a no-brainer.

The Cavs were soon faced with the kind of problem every team would love to have.

Just a couple weeks after the draft, LeBron James announced that he was taking his talents back to Cleveland.

The number one pick and James returning to Cleveland?

Does it get much better than that for a Cavs fan?

As it turned out … yeah. It got a hell of a lot better, actually.

While a James-Wiggins-Kyrie Irving Big Three will probably win you a lot of console championships, in the real world of NBA basketball it wasn’t going to work.

The Cavs knew this, which is why they made no secret about willing to part ways with the top pick (Wiggins) for the right player.

That player was Kevin Love, who had grown tired of all the struggles he endured with the Timberpups who never grew up enough to win enough games to get to the playoffs.  

Minnesota, understanding that they may be better off down the road without Love, decided to move him for a bunch of pieces centered around Wiggins who went on to become the league’s Rookie of the Year.

Cleveland’s motivation for making the deal had a lot to do with being in the best position to compete for a title right now, without having to do major work at the front-end of their rotation.

LeBron James. Kyrie Irving. Kevin Love.

Fill in the rest of the roster with good players who are great fits, and just like that ... you're a title contender. 

Boston finds itself in a similar position to the Cavs in 2014.

Unlike most franchises with the top overall pick, Boston doesn’t need that player to come in and carry the franchise from Day One.

Remember, Boston advanced to the Eastern Conference finals this season with one of the younger teams in the playoffs.

Of the players under contract for next season, Al Horford – he’ll be 31 years old on Saturday – is the oldest player.

So with all that youth still developing their games, still figuring out how best to impact the Celtics, Boston knows they would be much better served if they can convert that top overall pick into a proven, established All-Star that can move them that much closer to title contention sooner rather than later.

That’s why Cleveland was so eager to trade the pick, knowing it would likely return a proven star for a team that at the time felt they were one piece away from being a true title contender.

Boston, which lost to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference finals last week, is at least one high-impact performer (I believe two personally) from posing a stronger threat to the Cavs’ dominance than we saw in a conference finals that Cleveland ended in five games.

There are a few big names that the Celtics have shown interest in the past, and they could once again come into play this offseason.

Indiana’s Paul George is a player Boston has had its sights on for a while now. The only real concern the Celtics have with George is whether he’ll re-sign with them next summer when he becomes a free agent.

Rumors have circulated for a few months that the Palmdale, Calif. native is longing to be closer to home and play for the Los Angeles Lakers who have identified him as a primary free agent target when he becomes available.

Indiana might be motivated to move him sooner to ensure they’ll get something for him if he does, in fact, decide to move on.

But are the Celtics willing to risk giving up the number one overall pick (along with other key assets) for a player who may only be around for one season?

And while it is a long shot and on paper makes little sense, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis shouldn’t totally be discounted, either.

The Pelicans are a franchise right now that’s not going anywhere with their current allotment of talent, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

They gave up their first-round pick this year as part of the DeMarcus Cousins trade, so they’re not on the clock until the 40th selection, or 10th pick in the second round.

It would take a significant amount of assets to acquire Davis, but considering his age (he’s just 24 years old), talent, and versatility at both ends of the floor, he becomes an instant game-changer if the Celtics can get him.

Boston also likes Jimmy Butler of Chicago, although the Celtics aren’t likely to need to give up the number one pick to get him.

The Bulls have been hesitant to move Butler for many reasons.

For one thing, he’s a hell of player.

In addition, his contract (he has three years left on a five-year, $92.3 million deal that began with the 2015-2016 season) is very team-friendly for a player regarded as being among the top-15, top-20 in the NBA.

With the salary cap steadily rising, Chicago would likely have to pay significantly more than that if they traded for say, Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley, who each hit free agency in the summer of 2018.

No matter what direction the Celtics decide to go with the number one overall pick, there will be some risk involved.

But with that risk comes the tremendous potential to be rewarded with a great player who could be just what this franchise needs in order to bring home Banner 18. 

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

BOSTON –  Terry Rozier was having a rough stretch where his minutes were limited and when he did play, he didn’t play particularly well.
 
Among the voices in his ear offering words of encouragement was Avery Bradley who knows all too well what Rozier was going through.
 
For all his time as a Celtic, Bradley has let his work on the floor do the talking for him.
 
But as the most tenured Celtic on the roster, his leadership has to be about more than just getting the job done, but servicing as a vocal leader as well.
 
For a player whose growth from one year to the next has been a constant, being a more vocal leader has been the one dynamic of his game that has improved the most during this past season.
 
And it is that kind of leadership that will carry into the summer what is a pivotal offseason for both Bradley and this Celtics franchise which was eliminated by Cleveland in the Conference finals, the first time the Celtics got that deep in the playoffs since 2012.
 
He is entering the final year of the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in 2014. And it comes at a time when his fellow Tacoma, Wash. native and backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas will likely hit free agency where he’s expected to command a max or near-max contract that would pay him an annual salary in the neighborhood of $30 million.
 
At this point in time, Bradley isn’t giving too much thought to his impending contract status.
 
Instead, he’s more consumed by finding ways to improve his overall game and in doing so, help guide the Celtics to what has to be their focus for next season – a trip to the NBA Finals.
 
While Celtics players have said their focus has always been on advancing as far into the playoffs as possible, it wasn’t until this past season did they actually provide hope and promise that Banner 18 may be closer than you think.
 
It was an emotional time for the Celtics, dealing with the unexpected death of Chyna Thomas, the younger sister of Isaiah Thomas, just hours before Boston’s first playoff game this season.
 
And then there were injuries such as Thomas’ right hip strain that ended his postseason by halftime of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland.
 
But through that pain, we saw the emergence of Bradley in a light we have seldom seen him in as a Celtic.
 
We have seen him play well in the past, but it wasn’t until Thomas’ injury did we see Bradley showcase even more elements of his game that had been overlooked.
 
One of the constant knocks on Bradley has been his ball-handling.
 
And yet there were a number of occasions following Thomas’ playoff-ending injury, where Bradley attacked defenders off the dribble and finished with lay-ups and an occasional dunk in transition.
 
Among players who appeared in at least 12 playoff games this year, only Washington’s John Wall (7.9), Cleveland’s LeBron James (6.8) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (5.2) averaged more points in transition than Bradley (4.7).
 
Bradley recognized the team needed him to be more assertive, do things that forced him to be more front-and-center which is part of his evolution in Boston as a leader on this team.
 
“It’s weird but players like Al (Horford) definitely helped me get out of my shell and pushed me this year to be more of a vocal leader,” Bradley said.
 
And that talent combined with Bradley doing what he does every offseason – come back significantly better in some facet of his game – speaks to how he’s steadily growing into being a leader whose actions as well as his words are impactful.