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Boston Celtics linked to trade with Cavs for Kyrie Irving, report says

Boston Celtics linked to trade with Cavs for Kyrie Irving, report says

Kyrie Irving has reportedly given the Cavaliers four teams - the Heat, Spurs, T'Wolves and Knicks - which he would prefer to be traded to, but that has not stopped the Boston Celtics from expressing interest. That's according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported this on Friday:

The Celtics are monitoring, but it's unclear how aggressive they'll get -- and how motivated the Cavaliers would be to make a deal with their fiercest conference rival.

Okay, this is an interesting one to dissect on many accounts, including from the perspective of those who follow the Wizards. At first blush, of course the Celtics make sense for an Irving trade. They, as you may have heard, have plenty of tradable assets, so many that they got panned for not trading for stars like Paul George and Jimmy Butler when they were available.

[RELATED: One team rising, another falling in Kyrie sweepstakes]

But Irving is a very intriguing fit for Boston if (and pretty much only if) they part with Isaiah Thomas in such a deal. It does not seem like Thomas and Irving could play with each other, given how handicapped the Celtics would be in terms of size on the defensive end of the floor.

What if they traded places, though? Say the Celtics shipped Thomas and another piece to Cleveland for Irving. Another piece may need to be involved on Boston's end because Thomas has one year left on his contract compared to two plus a player option for Irving. If they traded places, the Cavs would replace Irving with an even better scorer at the same position. Meanwhile, the Celtics would get a similar player under contract for an extra year.

From the Wizards' perspective, any deal involving those two teams would be fascinating. Depending on what you think of the Raptors, the Cavs and Celtics could be the only two teams in the East who will be favored over Washington entering the 2017-18 season. A deal could work out well for both sides, or it could disrupt what they already had going and be a net positive for the Wizards.

[RELATED: Below the Rim: Smart or dumb for Kyrie to leave the Cavs?]

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Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 33 - Sneaker special... it's all about the kicks

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CSN

Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 33 - Sneaker special... it's all about the kicks

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast, we focused entirely on sneakers and how they intersect with the culture of basketball. Chase Hughes and Chris Miller were joined by CSN producers (and sneakerheads) Ajay Atayee and Terrence Stroder in studio.

The four of them brought on two expert guests on the phone. First was Cool Kicks sneaker store owner Daniel Habtemariam. Second was Michael Sykes, a blogger at SB Nation.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

[RELATED: Keef and Dolph: an odd couple friendship within the Wizards' organization]

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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Jason Smith's improvement as a shooter should help Wizards bench

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USA Today Sports

Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Jason Smith's improvement as a shooter should help Wizards bench

As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Jason Smith's season...

Player: Jason Smith

Position: Power forward/center

Age: 31

2016-17 stats: 74 G, 14.4 mpg, 5.7 ppg, 0.3 apg, 3.5 rpg, 0.3 spg, 0.7 bpg, 52.9 FG%, 47.4 3P%, 68.6 FT%, 58.5 eFG%, 110 ORtg, 108 DRtg

2017-18 storyline: Smith's first season in Washington didn't get off to a great start, much like the team as a whole. He was among several players struggling on the Wizards' bench early on, shooting just 36.7 percent from the field in 11.8 minutes a night through 16 games. Smith ultimately found his niche despite inconsistent minutes as a key player on the bench with Ian Mahinmi out most of the year due to injury.

Smith made his impact as an energy guy off the bench. At his best, he disrupted shots in the lane and spread the floor with an improving three-point shot. Smith hit two threes in October, November and December. From January on, Smith made 35 of them at a 46.7 percent clip. By March he was knocking down multiple threes per night on a regular basis.

[RELATED: HOW THE NBA CAN PREVENT TANKING]

Smith's emergence as a three-point threat was unexpected, as it happened in his Age 30 season. But it wasn't just luck and it didn't happen overnight. For years Smith practice threes and he had already developed into a solid midrange shooter. It was last year that his range extended beyond the three-point line.

Whether the Wizards can count on Smith to hit threes at a high rate this season is unclear, but that versatility is what could help him remain in head coach Scott Brooks' rotation. If Mahinmi can stay healthy, that will likely mean less minutes for Smith. But if Smith can spread the floor, he can be a nice complement to Mahinmi or Marcin Gortat as a stretch-4.

For as much continuity as there will be in the Wizards' starting lineup, their bench has many new faces. That group also includes Mahinmi, who played only 31 games last year. Smith have a full season in Brooks' system will help him hit the ground running this season in a second unit that will require an adjustment period.

Potential to improve: Chemistry with other bigs, free throw shooting, rim protection.

MORE WIZARDS' ROSTER PREVIEWS:

Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

What is the next step in Otto Porter's development?

Markieff Morris can be an X-factor this season

Will Marcin Gortat's role change or be the same this year?

Will Kelly Oubre, Jr. make a big leap this season?

Can Ian Mahinmi make a bigger impact in his second season?

Will Tim Frazier be the solution at backup point guard?

Jodie Meeks could make big impact off bench

Mike Scott can add toughness to Wizards' bench

[RELATED: WHO WILL BE MOST-IMPROVED ON THE WIZARDS THIS YEAR?]

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