OFFSEASON

Sources: Lawrence Frank a frontrunner for Vols' job

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Sources: Lawrence Frank a frontrunner for Vols' job

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Multiple league sources have confirmed that Boston Celtics lead assistant coach Lawrence Frank is among the early frontrunners to become the next head coach at the University of Tennessee.

Although Frank is known primarily for his time as the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, he also spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Tennessee under then-head coach Kevin O'Neill.

That experience, more than anything else, is why the Vols are indeed an option that Frank is considering.

His interest in the Tennesee job speaks not only about his desire to once again become a head coach -- regardless of the level of play -- but also about the likelihood of Doc Rivers returning next season as the Celtics' head coach.

If Frank had any inclination that Rivers was indeed planning to step down after this season as the Celtics head coach, he understands that he would be one of the first to get serious consideration for the job.

Rivers has maintained all season that he won't make that decision until after this season.

If Tennessee were to name Frank as their new head coach, he would inherit a team that in all likelihood will be hit with some sanctions courtesy of his predecessor, Bruce Pearl.

Frank would certainly demand a long-term contract that in all likelihood include some type of out-clause that would allow him to return to the NBA.

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

OFFSEASON

Hawks adding Howard could lead to Celtics signing Horford

Hawks adding Howard could lead to Celtics signing Horford

BOSTON – It’s a toss-up as to which was celebrated more by Boston Celtics fans: Dwight Howard coming to terms with the Atlanta Hawks, or the fact that it significantly improves Boston’s chances of landing one of their top free agent targets Al Horford.

A league executive texted CSNNE.com that Howard being off the market and going to Atlanta, should make the Celtics the favorite to land Horford.

Acquiring Horford, a four-time all-star, would be the biggest free agent signing in the Danny Ainge era. Boston is scheduled to meet with Horford tonight and is expected to offer him a four-year, $113 million max contract.

But as much as the Celtics want Horford, their primary target remains Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant who may be more inclined to seriously consider Boston if they were to acquire Horford.

OFFSEASON

Turner: Ainge 'seemed confident' about Celtics chances of signing Horford

Turner: Ainge 'seemed confident' about Celtics chances of signing Horford

After signing with the Blazers, Evan Turner has been making the rounds showering praise on the Celtics organization and fans. He also left a farewell gift for those excited about free agency: Turner told the Boston Globe that Danny Ainge “seemed confident” at the Celtics’ chances of signing free agent center Al Horford.

Previous reports indicated that the Celtics plan to make a max-contract offer to Horford when they meet him Friday night in Atlanta. The Rockets are the only other team that has reportedly met with the former Hawks All-Star, and Houston's situation isn’t nearly as attractive as Boston’s.

If the Celtics do manage to land Horford on Friday, they’d obviously be adding a former All-Star who’d immediately help the team on both ends of the floor. Immediately, though, Horford would give them another recruiter. Horford and Durant reportedly would like to play with each other, so having him enter the room might help their chances at luring Durant to Boston during Saturday's meeting.

As for Turner, he told the Globe that Ainge expressed he would like him back, but would've had to take a pay cut and a reduced role.

"I liked Boston a lot, bro. The organization, and it’s just a sports city and the city is super nice," Turner told the Globe. "If you put money and everything aside, I would play in Boston every single day of the week. Seeing all those Hall of Famers come back and everything, that’s a real franchise."

The Celtics will likely be saying singing a similar tune to both Horford and Durant this weekend.

OFFSEASON

Turner on Instagram: Leaving Celtics ‘one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made’

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Turner on Instagram: Leaving Celtics ‘one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made’

On Instagram and on Twitter, Evan Turner thanks the Boston fans after he leaves the Celtics for a four-year, $70 million free agent deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.