C's have had 'no discussions' about Atlanta's Smith

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C's have had 'no discussions' about Atlanta's Smith

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn The Boston Celtics have every intention of becoming a younger, more athletic team in the near future.

But that future does not include Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith.

A league source told CSNNE.com on Monday night that the Celtics have had "no discussions whatsoever" with the Atlanta Hawks about acquiring Smith. The same source added there were no plans to open up such dialogue any time in the near future.

"You can never say never," the source said, "but there's nothing going on there."

A report by Yahoo! Sports indicated that a source close to Smith said that if he were to demand a trade, Boston would be one of the teams Smith would have interest in playing for.

The report also made it clear that Smith has not requested a trade.

When you look at the Celtics' roster, the C's don't have a lot of players to offer up as trade bait.

The two that stick out the most are Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Garnett is due to make 21.2 million this season, so the Hawks would have to include additional players to make a trade work money-wise. Smith has two years and 25.8 million left on his contract, which will pay him 12.5 million this season.

Allen, who recently picked up a 10 million option to remain with the Celtics, would appear to have been the more likely target of Atlanta for a number of reasons.

The Hawks aren't sure whether they will be able to re-sign Jamal Crawford, who will become an unrestricted free agent next week. Adding Allen, the NBA's all-time 3-point king, would give Atlanta a major boost on the perimeter.

In addition, Atlanta general manager Rick Sund is familiar with Allen from their days in Seattle (now the Oklahoma City Thunder).

As for the Celtics, adding Smith would provide a major boost in terms of athleticism and shot-blocking. However, adding him in many ways would be replicating the skillset of Jeff Green, who the Celtics acquired at the Feb. 24 trading deadline from Oklahoma City. Green is set to become a restricted free agent this summer after the Celtics make him a qualifying offer, something the Celtics have maintained will happen before the June 30 deadline.

When you throw in the fact that losing Allen would strip the Celtics of not only one of their leaders but also a key in their ability to space the floor offensively, it makes sense that the Celtics haven't had discussions about making a deal for Smith - and apparently have no interest in changing that stance anytime soon.

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

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

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“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”