Michael Dwyer/AP
7mJacob Wolf

Hayward: Celtics confident in post-LeBron East

Gordon Hayward said the East is still a tough conference after the departure of LeBron James and arrival of Kawhi Leonard, but he expressed confidence that the Celtics have "everything we need to make the run at the whole thing."


Jacob Wolf ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward talks about how his fellow NBA players have adopted esports and gaming in the past few years. Hayward, who has a long-tenured relationship with League of Legends, is promoting Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 at an Xfinity event in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In June, the Fortnite Pro-Am at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles featured six NBA players; Hayward said he was supposed to participate but could not as a result of a second surgery to his leg, which he broke in October in the Celtics' opening game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Jacob Wolf ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward discusses how the Kawhi Leonard trade to the Toronto Raptors affects his team's Eastern Conference opponent. Hayward, a large proponent of esports, is appearing at the Xfinity store in Cambridge, Massachusetts to promote Xfinity and its partnership with Call of Duty Black Ops 4.

Who Will Win The East?

Michael Smith and the national panel debate if the Raptors or the Celtics have a better shot at winning the east, discuss the Angels' statement after Manfred's comments on Mike Trout, Tiger Woods' even par in round 1 and much more.

Elhassan: Celtics' identity embodied by in Smart (1:26)
Marcus Smart's deal shows Celtics commitment to winning (0:49)

Bobby Marks ESPN 

Certainly a win for Boston and Marcus Smart on the four year commitment from both sides. Smart fits both on and off the court for Boston and the Celtics retain a valuable player (trade asset) for the future. Boston is now in the luxury tax for the first time since 2012-13 with a projected payroll (could increase based on how the Celtics structure the contract) of $128M and a current tax bill of $5.8M. Boston now has 14 guaranteed contacts and have a August 1 decision to guarantee Abdel Nader. The former second-round pick has $450K guaranteed that will increase to full ($1.4M) if he is not waived. The Celtics will be faced with looming financial decisions next July with the free agency of Kyrie Irving, Marcus Morris and restricted free agent Terry Rozier. Jaylen Brown will also be eligible for a rookie extension next off-season.

Minnesota 2-1 New England: Quintero's goal holds off Revs (2:01)

William Weinbaum ESPN 

Tor. lefty J.A. Happ had 0 MLB saves until Tue. & 0 former N'western Univ. Wildcats had pitched in an All-Star Game. Mark Loretta, a 2004 Padre & ‘06 Red Sox infielder, was the only previous A-S from NU. Happ allowed a Joey Votto HR (the 1st A-S HR for a Canadian-born player), then retired 3 straight in the AL's 10-inning 8-6 win.

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

I spoke to Craig Kimbrel after the game and he said it was decided to keep him "on his regular schedule" which meant today was a rest day. He also said he had pitched a lot recently so he preferred to get some rest. He did tell me he would've pitched if called upon.

Sale calls All-Star experience 'awesome' (1:13)

David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer 

Chris Sale is starting his third straight All-Star Game, joining Lefty Gomez and Robin Roberts as the only pitchers to do. So that's pretty cool. As A.J. Hinch, it's a reflection of his year-to-year dominance and consistency.

Matt Marrone 

Mookie Betts, the American League's leadoff hitter — and Boston's early AL MVP favorite — takes the field at Nationals Park for some All-Star Game BP.