[sarcasm] Breaking News: Celtics interested in a free agent! [/sarcasm]
To the shock of exactly nobody, the Celtics are interested in good free agents. One of those guys happens to still be playing in the playoffs. Or he should be if and when he can return from a bone bruise injury.
DeMarre Carroll has been a revelation for the Atlanta Hawks this year, which has made him a hot commodity.
There's a long list of teams already prepared to pursue Carroll this sumer, including the Celtics, Lakers and Pistons.... The Hawks want to keep Carroll, but his price has been driven up. With his defense and versatility, one league exec estimated his next deal at more than $15 million per year. The Lakers, a source said, have big-time interest in Carroll.
Carroll has been hot in the 2015 postseason, and has averaged 16.2 ppg and 6.4 rpg in 35.2 minutes per game. He's shooting 51.3 percent from the field. During the 2014-15 regular season, he shot 48.7 percent, with 12.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg in 31.3 minute per game.
Would Carroll be a good fit in Boston? You bet. He's pretty much a prototypical Brad Stevens kind of guy and a great fit for the modern NBA game. Signing him does not preclude the Celtics from re-signing Jae Crowder either. There's room on the wing for both.
Carroll could slip into the starting lineup to provide more spacing, and his defensive versatility would be a major plus. Lineups with him, Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder -- assuming the Celtics keep the restricted free agent -- would be able to switch just about every screen across the perimeter.
This isn't the first time that Danny Ainge and the Celtics have shown interest in Carroll. I recall some trade rumors over the years where Carroll was mentioned as a target for the Celtics. In fact, you can trace the interest all the way back to the KG/Pierce era.
Then in February 2011, I was traded to Houston, but they didn't give me a shot and waived me two months later. I used that as motivation during pickup games that summer at the 360 Health Club in Reseda, Calif. Playing against All-Stars like Tyson Chandler, Elton Brand, Kevin Garnett, Paul George, Danny Granger and Paul Pierce, I was really locking up guys, playing great defense and shooting the ball pretty well.
That's when KG and Paul Pierce tried to get Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to bring me in because they thought I could replace Tony Allen, who signed with the Grizzlies the summer before. The Celtics got with my agent, Mark Bartelstein, but that didn't work out. To this day, Paul Pierce always tells Danny, "I told you DeMarre was going to be good."
See, the moral in this story is to always listen to what Paul Pierce says.