Friday FT's: Pierce the next YouTube sensation?

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Friday FT's: Pierce the next YouTube sensation?

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA

Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that may not have made the headlines but are still worth a read.

Shaquille O'Neal starred in Kazaam. Ray Allen stole the show in He Got Game. Rajon Rondo made a cameo appearance in Just Wright. Glen Davis was a top candidate for the lead role in The Blind Side.

Now Paul Pierce is showing off his theatrical skills.

Pierce tweeted a YouTube video promoting the Sports Illustrated Kids SportsKid of the Year contest. While there may not be an Emmy Award in his future, Pierce was a good sport as he committed to each and every one of his characters. A sneak preview of his many roles:

Football player: "Touchdown! Wooooo!"

Top student: "Ooh ooh ooh me! The Louisiana Purchase . . . X equals 34 . . . Photosynthesiiiiiis!"

Crossing guard: "Attention little old ladies: I'm here to help you cross the street."

As mentioned a few weeks back, Pierce will also appear on an episode of HGTV's "Home by Novogratz" this month.

State of Nate

3,000 miles away in Boston, there was never any question the city of Seattle always stayed near to Nate Robinson's heart. (The city skyline on his neck was a prime example.) Prior to being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, I even had a discussion with him about the sting he felt every time he played in OKC , where the SuperSonics had relocated to -- "When we play in Oklahoma City, I kind of get pissed. It kind of eats me alive, knowing were in Oklahoma and we could be in Seattle." This summer Robinson is bringing the spotlight back to his hometown in "State of Nate," an online documentary about his life during the lockout. Among his goals of the videos: "show the people that life's not all about basketball" and "put Seattle on the map." And to make his dedication to the city known from the start, he introduces himself as "Nate Robinson, playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, aka: Seattle SuperSonics." Check out the first episode on www.stateofnate.com.

Scholarships from the Shamrock Foundation

This week the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation provided full scholarships to 13 sixth grade students from Boston area schools during a week-long summer program at the Museum of Science. During this program, students learn about being a medical student at the Mini Med School and explore forensic science at the Crime Lab Boston. Lucky was on hand to celebrate with the students.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@iambigbaby11: "Look at me when I was a baby!!! Ayo baby http:lockerz.coms127918017"

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Former Celtics draft pick Lester Hudson turned 27 on August 7. Hudson, selected with the 58th overall pick in 2009, played 11 games for the Washington Wizards last season . . . Togo Palazzi, drafted by the Celtics with the 5th overall pick in the 1954 NBA Draft, turned 79 on August 8. He played for the C's during the 1955-57 seasons . . . Hall of Famer Bob Cousy turned 83 on August 9. Among Cousy's accolades include multiple NBA Championships, 13 All-Star Game appearances, an MVP Award, two All-Star Game MVP Awards, and a career average of 18.4 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game . . . Antoine Walker turned 35 on August 12. Walker, a three-time All-Star, was drafted by the Celtics with the sixth overall pick in 1996 and played the first seven seasons of his career in Boston. He returned to the C's during the 2005 season and played in 24 games.

The Week in Celtics History

On August 6, 2004, the Celtics traded Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones, and Chris Mihm to the Los Angeles Lakers for Rick Fox, Gary Payton, and a 2006 first-round draft pick. The Celtics went on to trade the pick to the Atlanta Hawks, who dealt it to the Phoenix Suns. In 2006, the Suns used that pick to select Rajon Rondo 21st overall in the NBA Draft and traded him to the Celtics.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.

Sources: Bulls asking for picks, young veterans in trade for Jimmy Butler

Sources: Bulls asking for picks, young veterans in trade for Jimmy Butler

NEW ORLEANS – All-star weekend is winding down and the Boston Celtics once again are seemingly at the epicenter of most trade discussions.

That’s in part because they have the pieces to help pull off a blockbuster deal for themselves, or become the third team to help facilitate a trade coming to fruition. 

But in talking with league executives and scouts this weekend in New Orleans, all agree that the Celtics are focused more on making a blockbuster-type move, rather than a deal that could make them slightly better than they are now. 

“Anything is possible as you know,” said one Eastern Conference executive. “But they’re not Toronto which is basically 'all in' this year to try and get past Cleveland. Boston’s in the thick of it all, but not pressed to do anything unless it makes them a lot better and to be frank, there aren’t a lot of those potential deals out there for them.”

That’s because the Celtics (37-20) have the second-best record in the East despite their preferred starting five (Isaiah Thomas; Avery Bradley; Jae Crowder; Al Horford and Amir Johnson) having played a very limited number of games (21) together thus far this season.

Even when everyone’s healthy, Boston understands that they still may not be enough to get past the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers. So the addition of a likely role player at the cost of one or more of their major assets (this year’s right to swap picks with Brooklyn or next year’s Brooklyn pick outright), is reason enough for Boston to pause and assess whether the benefit outweighs the cost of what they will have to give up. 

Boston can make a push for Denver’s Danilo Gallinari or his teammate Kenneth Faried who are both available and would help Boston’s overall talent base. They could also revisit Jahlil Okafor discussions or Nerlens Noel with Philadelphia, too.

But for what they need to significantly improve upon where they are now, they have to add a game-changing difference-maker to the mix. 

Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Indiana’s Paul George and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins are three players who on paper at least, would meet that criteria. 

Multiple league sources this weekend confirmed that each of their respective teams isn’t making a push to trade them. But like every team in the league, they will certainly listen to any and all offers. Only Indiana and Sacramento have come out publicly to say they are not planning to trade their players, with the Pacers indicating they’re willing to give up their first-round pick in order to add a stable, proven talent to the mix in order to help George going forward. 

Meanwhile, the Bulls have been somewhat indifferent to potentially moving Butler, who is playing his third all-star game tonight. 

That’s why several teams, the Celtics included, have inquired about Butler’s availability. While the Bulls haven’t set any specific parameters, league executives believe they are seeking some combination of high draft picks and young veterans (players with experience who are either near the end of their rookie deals or have team-friendly contracts) just to consider moving Butler.

Boston has exactly what the Bulls are looking for if they decide they are going to move on from Butler and rebuild, but how much are the Celtics willing to give up?

That more than anything else, is what will ultimately determine if a deal between the Bulls and the Celtics comes to pass. Boston loves Butler, and believes he could be part of their continued surge towards becoming an elite team that can bring home Banner 18. But the Celtics are not convinced that the addition of Butler would necessarily catapult Boston to the same level of Cleveland or ahead of them. 

Even if the Celtics decide to stand pat with its team as they are now and let the Feb. 23 trade deadline pass without making a move, the Celtics are still working from a vantage point that few teams in the NBA can work from – a team near the top of their conference with relatively young players all with good team-friendly contracts, and draft picks in the next two years that are each likely to be high lottery (top-14) picks.

"They’re well positioned for the future,” said Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors and the West all-star team. “Because of the young talent, because of the coach (Brad Stevens) and because of the draft picks that they have coming up. They could end up with the number one pick in the draft which is remarkable.”

Kerr added, “That doesn’t happen often when you’re talking about a team that’s one of the best in the league already. Boston’s in a great place.”

Wojnarowski thinks Celtics are perfect candidate for Jimmy Butler trade

Wojnarowski thinks Celtics are perfect candidate for Jimmy Butler trade

Most NBA teams would benefit from adding Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler. But few NBA have the assets to acquire him. The most legitimate suitor in the NBA resides in Boston.

"The potential of a Boston-Chicago deal for Jimmy Butler -- I think it will loom over the entire week," Yahoo! NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said Saturday. "These teams have engaged on the potential of this trade. They have not gotten far down the road on it. There still needs to be alignment within the Bulls organization -- from ownership to management -- that they want to make the decision to enter a full rebuild.

He added: "But the poential of this deal really illustrates the State Farm right combo, because these are two teams that have exactly what the other wants. Boston has been hoarding assets for years for a couple of season, trying to get in the position to get a star player."

Wojnarowski suggested the first building block for the Butler trade would start with either the 2017 or 2018 Brooklyn Nets' first-round pick, which the Celtics acquired in 2013 in the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade.

"And Jimmy Butler in Boston, paired with Isaiah Thomas and this Celtics team -- it would put this Celtics team in a position to seriously challenge Cleveland [Cavaliers] in the east, not only in the short term, but also in the long term."

Butler's contract extends to 2020, and then Wojnarowski explained Boston could then sign the guard to another long-term deal. In the meantime, he could help Boston surpass a vulnerable-looking Cavaliers team.