Boston Celtics Rumors

And-Ones: Celtics, Rockets, Draft, Price, Parker

April 21 at 10:59pm CDT By Zach Links

Celtics GM Danny Ainge says he doesn’t feel pressure from ownership to make a big trade like the one that brought Kevin Garnett to Boston, writes Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe. “I don’t think that would be very smart, to put pressure on myself,” Ainge said. “That one happened to work out and we were very fortunate that Minnesota was moving in a different direction, that they loved Al Jefferson, and so we were able to get a deal done. But there’s been a lot of deals that I thought we had a way better chance of doing that we couldn’t end up doing.” More from around the Association..

  • The Rockets announced (via Twitter) that Robert Covington and Isaiah Canaan have been reassigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League.  Covington and Canaan have been bounced back and forth from the Rockets’ varsity squad to the D-League affiliate a number of times this season, as shown in our running list of assignments and recalls for the 2013/14 season.
  • Veteran Ronnie Price is happy to help take on a leadership role with the young Magic, writes Ken Hornack of FOX Sports Florida.  ”This year has been kind of refreshing for me in a lot of ways,” the 30-year-old guard said. “And I can’t really explain where it came from or why I feel that way. I feel like a kid again. I really enjoy the game.”  Price will be a free agent this summer and if Jameer Nelson winds up elsewhere, Hornack writes that Orlando can’t afford to get too young at the point guard position.
  • Spurs stars Tony Parker and Tim Duncan have found success together, but their relationship did not start off on such spectacular terms, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “He didn’t talk to me for a whole year,” Parker said, reflecting on his rookie season in 2001/02. “It was kind of weird coming from France and you have your superstar player that doesn’t talk to you as a point guard, it’s kind of tough, you know? Because you’re supposed to talk to everybody.

And-Ones: Celtics, Cleamons, Mudiay

April 20 at 12:00pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Jim Cleamons is interested in joining the Knicks organization now that Phil Jackson has taken over, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. According to the article, Cleamons would have interest in anything Jackson has to offer, including a position in the personnel department. Berman also writes that Cleamons is a big fan of Steve Kerr, and his ability to be a head coach because of his “quick learning curve.’’

More from around the league:

  • The Celtics season was a rough one in their first year of rebuilding, with the team finishing with a record of 25-57. Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald hands out the final grades for the players and the organization.
  • Incoming SMU freshman Emmanuel Mudiay will be in the conversation for being the first overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, writes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link).
  • Dion Waiters said the firing of Cavs GM Chris Grant really affected him, writes Bob Finnan of The News Herald. Waiters said, “That’s a guy who took a chance on me, a young kid like myself coming from where I come from. He made my dream come true. You never want to see (anybody) get fired. He’s got a family. You’ve got to feed your kids. What could we have done differently? Did it take him getting fired for us to start playing the way we did? You never know. I know I took it hard because if we’d have been taking care of business like we were supposed to the beginning of the season, he would still be here.”
  • Jim Buss believes the Lakers future is bright, writes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Buss also promised to resign in a few years if the fortunes of the franchise weren’t reversed. He said, “There’s no question in my mind we will accomplish success. I’m not worried about putting myself on the line.

Atlantic Rumors: Sixers, Celtics, Bogans

April 19 at 10:21am CDT By Cray Allred

We rounded up the Knicks news earlier today. Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Sixers owner Joshua Harris tells Dan Gelston of The Associated Press that Philadelphia’s 19-win season has been a “huge success” towards rebuilding the franchise. While Harris said the Sixers don’t use the term “tanking,” he does think that their losing season was more beneficial than a better, but mediocre performance would have been. “All these pieces are in place to make this an elite team that will compete consistently for the NBA championship,” Harris said. “There [are] no shortcuts to it. Unfortunately, it takes a long time. I’m really happy with the progress.”
  • Celtics GM Danny Ainge tells Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com that he is working to duplicate the kind of turnaround he has pulled off before in Boston, as early as this offseason. “We’re hopeful,” said Ainge. “I have some ideas and some plans that I’d like to do, but there are just no guarantees that we can do it. We need to find good trading partners. We always are trying to make fireworks. Every summer, we try to do something that’s unique and special and we will definitely try this summer.”
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens said in an interview with Boston.com that he is ready to give his input on this year’s draft crop. “I know a lot of the kids that are coming out,” said Stevens. “We have two picks in the top 18, so they’ve gotta be good. They’ve gotta be good for us as far as fitting in with our team for us to continue to progress.”
  • Stevens also commented on Keith Bogans, who parted ways with the team early in the season“That was a mutual situation where he wasn’t playing a whole lot, so he decided and we decided that if he wanted to go back home and spend time there then that was okay with us,” said Stevens. “Sometimes you don’t have the exact role that you envision when you start a season. I don’t see a reason why Keith won’t continue to have success and be a player in this league.

Terrence Williams To Play In Puerto Rico

April 18 at 6:20pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Former NBA player Terrence Williams has signed a deal to play in Puerto Rico with Brujos de Guayama, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The details and length of the deal haven’t been announced. The NBA veteran has struggled to earn a roster spot and playing time since showing some flashes in 78 games as a rookie with the Nets in 2009/10. His last NBA stint was during the 2012/13 season when he appeared in 24 games with the Celtics.

Williams has played two games in Turkey with Turk Telekom Ankara and averaged 4.0 PPG this season. He also played in the NBA D-League with Los Angeles D-Fenders scoring 20.6 PPG with 5.1 RPG and 6.3 APG in 34 games.

In parts of four NBA seasons, Williams’ career numbers with the Nets, Rockets, Kings, and Celtics are 7.1 PPG,  3.6 RPG, and 2.4 APG in 19.1 minutes per game.

Projected 2014 First-Round Draft Order

April 18 at 1:54pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The NBA has announced the winners of random drawings that broke ties in the draft order among teams that finished with the same records. Only one of those drawings involved lottery teams, and the Jazz were the beneficiaries, snagging the fourth-most lottery combinations instead of the Celtics. It’s only a slight advantage, since the Jazz will have a 10.4% chance at the top pick, while the Celtics will have a 10.3% chance, but perhaps most importantly, Utah will pick ahead of Boston if neither move up on May 20th, when the lottery is held.

Here’s the complete order, with places determined by drawing in bold:

  1. Bucks
  2. Sixers
  3. Magic
  4. Jazz — won drawing against Celtics
  5. Celtics — lost drawing against Jazz
  6. Lakers
  7. Kings
  8. Pistons — will send pick to Bobcats if the fall to ninth or lower in lottery
  9. Cavaliers
  10. Pelicans — will send pick to Sixers unless they win one of top three picks in lottery
  11. Nuggets — will send least favorable of own pick and Knicks’ pick to Magic
  12. Knicks — will send pick to Nuggets
  13. Timberwolves — will send pick to Suns if Phoenix passes them in the lottery
  14. Suns
  15. Hawks
  16. Bulls — from Bobcats
  17. Celtics — from Nets; won drawing against Suns
  18. Suns — from Wizards; lost drawing against Celtics
  19. Bulls — won drawing against Raptors
  20. Raptors — lost drawing against Bulls
  21. Thunder — from Mavs
  22. Grizzlies
  23. Jazz — from Warriors
  24. Bobcats — from Trail Blazers; won three-way drawing against Rockets and Heat
  25. Rockets — finished second in three-way drawing against Bobcats and Heat
  26. Heat — finished third in three-way drawing against Bobcats and Rockets
  27. Suns — from Pacers
  28. Clippers
  29. Thunder
  30. Spurs

Joel Anthony To Opt In For 2014/15

April 17 at 4:59pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Joel Anthony intends to exercise his $3.8MM player option to return to the Celtics next season, a source tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. The news comes as no surprise, though Haynes hears Anthony “isn’t too thrilled” playing for a rebuilding team in Boston after having spent the past few years on a championship squad in Miami. Still, the guaranteed salary is simply too much for the 31-year-old center to pass up, the source tells Haynes.

The seventh-year veteran saw a career-low 5.6 minutes per game this season, though he logged somewhat more frequent playing time after arriving in Boston in a January trade. Anthony was an integral part of the Heat’s championship team in 2011/12, starting 51 games and averaging a career-high 21.1 MPG, but he came off the bench for most of the playoffs, and he increasingly became an afterthought from then on.

The C’s have slightly more than $44.7MM in commitments for next season, so Anthony’s option will bring that number past $48.5MM. The figure doesn’t include the cap hold for Boston’s own first-round pick, as well as the Nets’ pick the Celtics are receiving via previous trades. Those selections should add close to $5MM to Boston’s books for 2014/15.

Celtics Notes: Rondo, Trades, Draft, Humphries

April 17 at 3:08pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Rajon Rondo declined an extension offer from the Celtics, as president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said today on WEEI radio. That’s no surprise, given that Ainge said in January that they’d spoken about an extension but that the discussion had ended. Most veterans in Rondo’s position don’t sign extensions, since the collective bargaining agreement makes free agent contracts much more player-friendly, though Ainge said in January that he’d continue to try to strike up talks as the point guard’s 2015 free agency approaches. Ainge made plenty of remarks today on WEEI and 98.5 The Hub, and we passed along Ainge’s willingness to bring back Paul Pierce earlier today. Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com chronicled Ainge’s comments today, and we’ll hit the highlights. All links go to Rohrbach’s Twitter account, unless otherwise noted:

  • Rondo’s name has also appeared in trade rumors, and while Ainge said that he can envision the point guard back in Boston next season for the final year of his contract, he also said no one on the roster is off-limits for a trade.
  • Ainge and his staff will consider trading this year’s lottery pick, and Ainge added that he doesn’t have patience for another losing season.
  • The team might bring back soon-to-be free agent Kris Humphries, too, Ainge says, but at a pay cut from his $12MM salary this season. Ainge nonetheless suggests that he might include Humphries in a sign-and-trade that would benefit him financially.
  • Ainge isn’t putting a timetable on the team’s return to title contention after a rough 2013/14, as Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com chronicles.

Celtics Open To Return Of Paul Pierce

April 17 at 9:00am CDT By Chuck Myron

Paul Pierce can envision playing for the Celtics again, and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge can see Pierce returning to Boston, too, if the price and circumstances are right, as Ainge said this morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, tweets Ben Rohrbach of WEEI. The 36-year-old Pierce becomes a free agent in the summer, though the Nets would like to re-sign him, too.

Pierce spent all 15 of his NBA seasons with the Celtics before they traded him to the Nets this past summer. He talked teammate Kevin Garnett into waiving his no-trade clause to help facilitate the move, but Pierce was emotional upon his return to Boston to play against the Celtics this season, and said he never wanted to leave. Much of Pierce’s decision this summer might come down to whether Garnett, who has one more year left on his contract, retires at the end of this season.

The Nets have Pierce’s full Bird rights, though it’s almost certain that he’ll have to take a pay cut from his current salary of more than $15.3MM. The Celtics have about $45MM in commitments for next season, though that doesn’t include the rookie salary for Boston’s lottery pick and a $3.8MM player option for Joel Anthony that he’s almost certain to exercise. Anthony and the rookie would give the Celtics nine players and roughly $10MM worth of cap flexibility, plus some form of the mid-level exception, so there’s probably a path back to Boston for Pierce if both sides are motivated enough to get a deal done.

Western Rumors: Love, Gasol, Cousins

April 13 at 10:49pm CDT By Cray Allred

DeMarcus Cousins received his 16th technical of the season during tonight’s Kings/Wolves game. If the technical isn’t rescinded by the league, he will incur an automatic one-game suspension and have his season ended prematurely. Here’s more from out west:

  • A group of writers at Basketball Insiders looks at which marquee players could be traded this summer, including Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo, and Carmelo Anthony.
  • Mitch Kupchak told Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News that the Lakers are interested in re-signing Pau Gasol this summer. “There’s great interest in re-signing Pau back,” the Lakers GM said. “I don’t know why there would not be interest. He’s a Hall of Famer. But by virtue of being a free agent, he’s in the market place. By being in the market place, we have to see how things play out.”
  • For his part, Gasol told Mike Trudell of Lakers.com he’s excited about meeting with multiple teams when he becomes a free agent, including the Lakers (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Anthony, Mudiay, Draft

April 13 at 12:21pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Knicks square off with the Bulls tonight at Madison Square Garden. With New York being eliminated from the playoffs the attention will be fully on Carmelo Anthony and if he re-signs with the Knicks or not. Chicago is one of the teams mentioned as a possible landing spots for ‘Melo if he leaves. Coach Tom Thibodeau had quite a few compliments for Anthony, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Thibodeau said, “He can score so many different ways. He can hurt you a lot of different ways. He can score the ball very easily. It doesn’t take him much to get going.” When asked about Anthony’s reputation as a “selfish ball-stopper,” Thibodeau said, “It’s interesting because with USA Basketball, they talk about him being a playmaker. He scores and if you a guy is open, he passes the ball. I think oftentimes it’s who he plays with. It’s interesting, a lot of the things that you hear about him, I heard about Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and Paul Pierce before they came together and won it. That changes perception. Carmelo has been one of the elite scorers in the league for a long, long time.

More from around the league:

  • Incoming SMU freshman Emmanuel Mudiay will be a big factor in the 2015 NBA Draft according to coach Larry Brown, writes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Brown said, “He’s going to be a lottery pick if I don’t screw up.” Mudiay is projected as the fifth pick in the 2015 Draft by DraftExpress.com.
  • The staff at Basketball Insiders debate the about the best sophomores from the 2013 draft class.
  • Adam Zagoria weighs in with his thoughts on last night’s Nike Hoops Summit, and the potential 2015 lottery picks that were on display.
  • Sam Amick of USA Today takes a look at what’s next for the Knicks, Celtics, and Lakers.