• Taking a mid-summer look at Celtics

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    Evan Turner AFP PHOTO

    Evan Turner AFP PHOTO

    They have gone through the NBA Draft, the major portion of free agency and two summer leagues.

    The Celtics are now entering what is usually a quiet time around the league with roughly 2 1/2 months to go before the start of training camp.

    Still, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will continue working the phones and attempting to make roster moves.

    So far, the Celtics have brought in six draft picks and prime free-agent Al Horford while losing Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger.

    Midway through July, the Celtics have 12 players under contract and rookie Jaylen Brown will be added to that list once he signs.

    That leaves two open spots to fill, and options will be kept open in case a trade materializes.

    Here’s a look at some items from the Celtics’ summer of 2016:

    The starting lineup: Barring any deals between now and opening night, it looks like Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder will return with Horford replacing Sullinger up front.

    Horford will bring more consistency and improved offense as he takes over for Sullinger.

    Replacing Turner: The Celtics are going to miss the versatility of Turner, who signed with the Portland Trail Blazers. He could play the point and wing and did a lot of different things.

    The minutes played by Turner may be going to Brown, the third player taken in the draft, and Terry Rozier, who is entering his second year.

    Brown got better with each game in the two summer leagues, showing an ability to get to the basket with an aggressive style. His shooting needs a lot of work, which was the main thing that stood out on his scouting report.

    Rozier, who received little playing time as a rookie, was the team’s best player in the Utah and Las Vegas summer leagues.

    That doesn’t mean a lot come the regular season, but he did show some potential and will get a long look.

    A major trade: As usual, the Celtics are in the middle of a lot of wild and crazy trade rumors linking them to Russell Westbrook and Blake Griffin, two of the best players in the game.

    There is probably not a lot going on in those areas right now, just speculation to pass the time.

    Westbrook is a free agent next summer, so taking him is a huge risk. The Celtics can’t afford to give away a lot to get a player who stays in Boston just one season.

    The same goes for Griffin. Doc Rivers isn’t going to give him away just because he used to work for the Celtics.

    – The chances are there going to be no blockbuster moves, though Ainge will keep trying to obtain big man Jahlil Okafor from the Philadelphia 76ers.

    The draft class: The Celtics had eight picks in last month’s draft but traded a pair of second-rounders away.

    They took Brown and a pair of Europeans – Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic – in the first round. While Brown is most likely going to be playing right away, Zizic is staying in Europe to develop and Yabusele will likely do the same.

    The second-rounders – Demetrius Jackson, Ben Bentil and Abdel Nader – are in a wait-and-see mode.

    The fate of James Young: After two years of making little progress, the 17th pick in the 2014 draft could be on the outside looking in when the season begins.

    The Kentucky product has one more guaranteed year on a contract with a team option for the 2017-18 season.

    The Celtics, with few open roster spots, may decide it is time to move on from Young.

    TNS

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