Celtics dump Kemba Walker contract, get back Al Horford

Kemba Walker Celtics

The Kemba Walker experiment is over in Boston. The Celtics thought that he could be part of a big three with Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown but it didn’t work out. Now they had to dump his huge contract, and new GM Brad Stevens didn’t waste any time.

The Celtics traded Walker and their 2021 first-round pick (No. 16 overall) to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a package that includes Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-rounder according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Thunder love accumulating draft picks, and now they get another first-rounder to assume Walker’s contract. He could be traded as well.

Horford has been a mess since leaving Boston so he’s probably happy to return.

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The Best of the NBA: Superteams of the 2010s

It is a significant source of joy for NBA fans whenever they see three or more All-Star superstars playing together in one team, forming what is now known as a superteam. This has grown to be quite a popular talking point for over 15 years now. Fans love seeing the best players in the sport teaming up.

However, there is a split of opinion since a section of the fanbase believes that there isn’t any competitiveness when players start combining forces to challenge a trophy win. There has been a recent development where there is a possibility of James Harden leaving the Houston Rockets and joining the Brooklyn Nets.

The seasoned star will be joining the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, forming another one of the coveted superteams. This speculation is what has brought forth new debate over the matter.

The Brooklyn Nets will now stand a higher chance of becoming the 2020/21 NBA champions if James Harden joins them. But that won’t be the only superteam in the recent past. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the most successful superteams of the 2010s. The infographic below, taken from a Betway NBA article outlines the latest NBA Superteams.

NBA Superteams

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2013 NBA Update

As we move into the second half of the NBA season, some unexpected teams are surging to the top of the ranks. Of course, nobody is surprised by the Miami Heat’s position at the top of the Eastern conference, but the wrong team from Los Angeles seems to be at the top, the Clippers. Many expected the Lakers to be the dominate team in the Western Conference, but they are not even in the picture right now. Here’s a quick look at where we stand as of right now:

Eastern Conference

1. Miami Heat
2. New York Knicks
3. Indiana Pacers
4. Atlanta Hawks
5. Chicago Bulls
6. Brooklyn Nets
7. Milwaukee Bucks
8. Boston Celtics

Biggest Surprises in the East

Probably the biggest surprise is the rivalry matchup sitting in the 2 and 3 seeds currently. Both Indiana and New York were expected to be in the playoff hunt, but not sitting right behind Miami with a legitimate chance to win the East. The Atlanta Hawks can also be thrown into this surprise group, as they are right behind the Pacers and not far behind the east leading Heat.

It’s going to be an exciting run to finish the season and snagging Indiana Pacers tickets for one of the final games, as they renew their historic rivalry with the Knicks, can lead to an exciting and memorable experience. All eight teams have winning records and the top four teams all have a real chance to win the conference.

Western Conference

1. Los Angeles Clippers
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
3. San Antonio Spurs
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Golden State Warriors
6. Houston Rockets
7. Denver Nuggets
8. Portland Trailblazers

Biggest Surprises in the West

The biggest surprise found in the western conference has to do with the team not in the playoff picture, as of right now. The 15-20 Los Angeles Lakers were picked to possibly win more games than any other NBA team in history, at the beginning of the season, but they currently sit 10 games back from the 8th and final playoff seed. Another huge surprise lurking even further back than the Lakers is the Dallas Mavericks.

Both of these teams have recently experienced quite a bit of success, but neither is even close to the playoff hunt right now. Without a long winning streak in the second half of the season, we may see the Lakers miss the playoffs for only the 6th time in franchise history and the first time since 2004-2005. We will most likely also see the playoffs played without Dallas for the first time since the 1999-2000 seasons.

Predictions

With the two biggest surprises coming from the west, predicting the NBA finals teams isn’t all that easy. At the beginning of the year, many experts picked Miami and Los Angeles Lakers to make the finals. However, it’s necessary to re-evaluate the picture now and it’s very likely a team, such as the Indiana Pacers or the New York Knicks could build enough momentum to overtake Miami in the playoffs.

The west is all up for grabs and the most likely team to go to the finals is the San Antonio Spurs, simply because they know how to get there. Another team to look out for is the Oklahoma City Thunder, as they are young and capable of making a playoff run.

Whichever teams end up in the playoffs and the finals, this season has created quite a bit of excitement. The top teams in both conferences are only a few games apart from each other and nobody is running away with the conference titles. It will be exciting to watch and fun to see how it all shakes out.

Ray Allen turns his back on Boston and the Big Three

Ray Allen joins one “super team” for another.

The issues chasing Ray Allen out of the Boston Celtics and into the arms of their most despised opponent stacked higher and higher, and suddenly everything crystallized in the hours basketball’s most persuasive recruiter, Pat Riley, captivated him. The emperor of the Miami Heat sold Allen on never hearing his name in trade talks and a run of championships awaiting him. After all these years, Allen needed to feel wanted again, needed the recruiting, and Riles had such a willing soul sitting with him in the breeze blowing over Biscayne Bay.

“He felt he was getting respect that he hadn’t gotten from [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and [coach] Doc [Rivers] anymore,” a source close to him said Friday night. “…The presentation was incredible.”

Respect comes in different ways, but make no mistake: The Celtics had offered two years and $12 million – respect for someone’s who’s 37 and coming off ankle surgery – and it didn’t matter to Allen. He hated the way Ainge dangled him in trade talks, hated that the Celtics told him he was on his way to Memphis in a deal at the March deadline only to have Rivers later tell him the trade was dead. Allen hated that Rivers didn’t give him his starting job back after he returned from a late-season ankle injury, and hated that it always felt like he was the Celtics star made to sacrifice above the rest.

Adrian Wojnarowski goes on to detail Allen difficult relationship with Rajon Rondo and how that must have contributed to this decision as well.

Boston fans will be livid, and it will be interesting to see how this drama affects Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Allen fits in well with what Miami is doing, assuming Lebron continues to play in the paint like he finally decided to do last season.

Meanwhile, I wonder whether Boston will miss him much. Allen could alter a game, but he did so much less frequently over the past couple of seasons. Jason Terry might be a better fit with this Boston team that may have improved considerably with the additions of Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo in the draft.

Let’s talk Celtics!

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce reacts after being fouled by the Miami Heat during the third quarter of Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series in Boston, Massachusetts May 7, 2011. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Here are five questions about the C’s that ESPN posed to its network of basketbloggers along with my take.

1. Fact or Fiction: Rajon Rondo’s up-and-down play is a concern.
Fact! Of course you don’t want up-and-down play from your point guard. That’s a silly question.

2. Fact or Fiction: The Celtics should consider trading Ray Allen.
Fiction. What’s the point? The C’s are in “win now” mode, so why trade away one of the best shooters in the game? On the off chance that Kevin Garnett undergoes a resurgence and the C’s can get back into contender status, wouldn’t they want Jesus Shuttlesworth out there knocking down three-pointers?

3. Fact or Fiction: Boston should bring back Jeff Green and Glen Davis.
Fiction-ish. It depends on what Green wants to return. I think he could still be part of Boston’s future, but he’ll probably get more money than he’s worth. As for Davis, he looked lethargic last season and I’m not sure he can trim down enough to earn a new deal.

4. Fact or Fiction: The C’s will go as far as Kevin Garnett takes them.
Fiction, but KG is the key. The Celtics are a team in the truest sense of the word and will need contributions and good play from several players if they hope to make another title run, but Garnett has to get back to All-Star level play on both ends of the court if the C’s are going to go anywhere.

5. Fact or Fiction: The Celtics’ title window has closed.
Fact. It’s not completely closed, but if you’re standing a few feet away, it sure looks like it’s closed. It would take a perfect storm of good play and good health by the Celtics along with disaster striking in both Miami and Chicago (not to mention the Western Conference contenders) to re-open the window to let anything more than a draft through.

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