Perkins will play tonight for Celtics

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Perkins will play tonight for Celtics

BOSTON -- Six months removed from ACL surgery, Celtics center Kendrick Perkins expects to play tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Carolyn Manno first reported on SportsNet Cental that Perk would be returning. Big Perk will suit up and expects to play for the first time since he tore his MCL and PCL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Perkins was thought to be targeting Dec. 4 against Dallas as his return to the court, but he felt so good in his recent practice sessions that he moved up his deadline.

Perkins' return would be a huge lift for the Celtics, who are dealing with injuries to fellow centers Shaquille O'Neal (hip) and Jermaine O'Neal (knee).

Turner wants to return, but other teams will be in pursuit, too

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Turner wants to return, but other teams will be in pursuit, too

WALTHAM, Mass. – Evan Turner will have a number of teams in pursuit of him this summer, all presenting different opportunities to win along with much fatter salaries than what he was looking at two years ago.
 
But Turner is hoping for his free agency to be a short process that ends with him returning to Boston.
 
“It [free agency] starts July First, hopefully it’s over July First,” Turner said.
 
When asked about his preferences for a team next season, Turner has a couple items that stack up near the top of his list – and money wasn’t one of them.
 
 “I want to go somewhere and have an opportunity to win,” he said. “Money’s cool, but I don’t want to sit there getting our brains beaten in and doing all that. I want to go somewhere ideally where the staff and front office [are] big on winning. Hopefully it’s back here. Other than that, winning and great fit are going to be the most important things.”
 
Regardless of where Turner winds up playing next season, he has positioned himself for a significant pay raise after accepting Boston’s two-year, $6.7 million contract he signed in 2014.
 
Several teams will make a run at Turner with most likely to offer him a contract with an annual salary of at least $10 million.
 
“It’s going to be way better than it was two years ago,” Turner said of his free agency. “It should be cool. I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t know really what I think about during the day, but I know it’s not that. I’ll once again stay out of trouble until then and try to keep bettering myself and growing.”
  
It is that approach to the game that has served Turner well during his two seasons in Boston.

When the Celtics signed the former No. 2 overall pick, there were plenty of questions as to how he would fit in considering how things didn’t work out in Philadelphia or Indiana.
 
But in time, Turner proved himself to be a valuable asset for the Celtics with his ability to score off the bench as well as be a facilitator offensively.
 
His play off the bench this season was so strong that he was among the top vote-getters for the league’s Sixth Man of the year award, won by Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford.
 
And while the decision as to whether he’s back will ultimately come down to his camp and the Celtics coming to terms, there will be at least one member of the Celtics organization – coach Brad Stevens – who will be pushing for a deal to get done so that his favorite player in the fourth quarter of games remains with the team.
 
“It’s definitely huge to be out there in deciding moments,” Turner said. “Once again, you try your best to not let your team down, not let your coach down.”
 
Still, even with the Celtics having a clear interest in him returning and Turner’s desire to remain with the team, Turner knows getting a deal done won’t be an easy thing to do.
 
“It’s a lot of stuff going on now,” Turner said. “I understand it and I understand what’s going to occur with the Celtics and the draft picks and the young guys they want to develop and get a superstar, I comprehend it.”

Thomas to represent Celtics at NBA draft lottery

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Thomas to represent Celtics at NBA draft lottery

WALTHAM, Mass. – Isaiah Thomas has been beating the odds for about as long as he has been playing basketball.

The Boston Celtics are hoping he can do the same for them during next month’s draft lottery when the Celtics learn exactly where their first round pick from Brooklyn will land in the lottery (top-14).
 
Because of the Nets' regular season record (21-61), the pick which came to Boston via the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade in 2013, has the third-best chances of becoming the No. 1 overall pick which would presumably be used to select LSU’s Ben Simmons.

Thomas was asked about representing the Celtics at the draft lottery during his exit interview on Friday.

“I’m going to do it,” Thomas said. “I’m definitely going to be that guy, hopefully bring some luck.”

When asked if he had any particular good luck charms he will bring with him, Thomas responded, “Nah. But I’m going to do my research and find something.”

Thomas was selected with the 60th – and final – pick of the 2011 NBA draft, and has exceeded all expectations of player drafted so late.

Most players selected at that point are fighting just to make an NBA roster.

But the 5-foot-9 Thomas has been among the top scorers from his draft class, and this past season was named to his first all-star team.

This past season he averaged a career-high 22.2 points per game along with 6.2 assists. While the playoffs ended on a sour note for Thomas, he still wound up averaging a team-best 24.2 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.

While some might think being asked to be at the lottery isn’t that big a deal, Thomas sees it as yet another moment that speaks to how far he has come in beating the odds that for most of his basketball career were stacked heavily against him.

“Coming from where I’m from and the story I have, you would never think I would be asked to represent an NBA franchise at the lottery,” Thomas said. “It’s a blessing for him (Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations) to even ask me that. I’m excited to do it. Hopefully I can bring some luck.”

Thomas: 'If you don't want to play for Celtics, you don't know basketball'

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Thomas: 'If you don't want to play for Celtics, you don't know basketball'

The Celtics season came to an end Thursday night as the Hawks took the first-round series in six games.

That stung everybody on the Celtics pretty hard in the moments after the final buzzer. But nobody appeared more upset than Isaiah Thomas, who made it clear that he poured his heart and soul into this season.

The goal now? To get better from within . . . and from the outside. That means bringing in some star talent.

Thomas spoke with reporters Friday after his end-of-season meeting with Celtics President Danny Ainge. He told them that everybody, especially Ainge, can see that the team needs a little more talent.

Acquiring it isn't easy, but having spent a season-and-a-half in Boston, Thomas doesn't see why someone wouldn't want to play for the Celtics.

There's no beating around the bush: Kevin Durant is the prized target this offseason. The Celtics appear to at least be somewhat in the picture. You can bet Thomas will do what he can to help.

The Celtics have an energetic fan base, a young team, and a load of assets. One of those assets will be determined at the lottery. And guess who will be there?