Boston Celtics Rumors

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Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Robinson, Jackson

March 1 at 7:30pm CST By Zach Links

Isaiah Thomas has opened eyes with his three point shooting, but there is another aspect of his game that has impressed the Celtics, according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. The newly acquired guard, who came to Boston from Phoenix in a deadline-day deal, has eight three-pointers in his first three games as a Celtic.  Coach Brad Stevens said his ability to space the floor is just as valuable.  “We started the season playing very skilled at the 4 and the 5,” Stevens said, “but I think the ability to get in the paint, again, off of his (Thomas’) creation — but then the next guy getting into the paint because of it — is probably the key.”  More from the Atlantic Division..

  • The 76ers grabbed Thomas Robinson off waivers to spite the Nets, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.  They needed another contract on the books since they’re at the salary floor and wanted to take a closer look at the forward, but GM Sam Hinkie also knew that they playoff-hopeful Nets were interested in his services.  Hinkie was at odds with Nets GM Billy King over the handling of Andrei Kirilenko, who was traded from Brooklyn to Philly with the belief that he would be bought out.  Instead, the 76ers demanded that he report to the club and then eventually waived him.
  • One year later, there are still questions about whether Phil Jackson can build the Knicks into a contender, Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News writes.  Jason Kidd‘s young and athletic Bucks, less than a year into Kidd’s time in Milwaukee, are closer to being a real contender for the title than the Knicks are, or might be anytime soon.  Knicks fans clamored for the Zen Master in 2014, but it’s now unclear if he’s the answer for them or whether Derek Fisher has what it takes to be a successful coach.
  • In a video interview, new Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko tells A. Sherrod Blakely of that he is enjoying his “fresh start” in Boston. He has averaged 12 points and 5.3 rebounds in three games since being traded from the Pistons. “I appreciate Detroit and all they did for me, but it was time for me to move on,” Jerebko said. “I feel great in this new situation. It’s a great organization and I’m honored to play for the Boston Celtics.” 

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Crowder, Anthony, Beasley

February 28 at 8:58am CST By Eddie Scarito

Celtics swingman Jae Crowder‘s stock has risen, fallen and risen again following his inclusion in the Rajon Rondo trade, as Chris Forsberg of examines. The 24-year-old’s contract is up at season’s end, but Forsberg suggests it’s likely the Celtics will tender the qualifying offer worth more than $1.181MM necessary to match offers for him this summer.

Here’s more from out of the Eastern Conference:

  • There are many around the league who question Carmelo Anthony‘s decision to play 30 minutes in the NBA All-Star game after missing significant time for the Knicks while nursing his injured knee, Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders writes. Chauncey Billups, ‘Melo’s former teammate, was vocal in his disappointment with Anthony’s choice, Beer adds. “If you are hurt and you know you are going to shut it down, just get the surgery and make that commitment that the Knicks made to him and just get better and not worry about playing for the fans and the All-Star Game,” Billups said. “I thought it was poor judgment but to each his own.”
  • Billups also believes that Anthony needs a strong leader to help guide him in New York, Beer relays. “My perception of him [is] he really needed my guidance, he needed my leadership,” Billups said. “I don’t know that he quite knew how to lead a team or a franchise, but at that time he was young. I can’t expect him to. He was already a great player, but he is best served when he doesn’t have to be the leader of the team.”
  • Michael Beasley was not re-signed by the Heat last summer due to concerns with his defense, consistency and maturity, but Chris Bosh’s season-ending injury changed Miami’s thinking regarding the player, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown, when providing a status update for injured rookie Joel Embiid, said, “It would be misleading to say anything that’s promising about him playing this year,” Tom Moore of Calkins Media tweets.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Jennings, Wizards, Jerebko

February 26 at 10:12pm CST By Dana Gauruder

Brandon Jennings might not have been thrilled the Pistons traded for another point guard but after meeting with coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy, he understands why the move was made, according to David Mayo of Jennings, who suffered a season-ending torn left Achilles tendon January 24th at Milwaukee, could wind up sharing time with recently-acquired Reggie Jackson next season if Jackson signs with the club as a restricted free agent, Mayo continues. Jennings, who has one year and approximately $8.34MM remaining on his contract, will be tough to trade this summer as he tries to return from the injury, Mayo adds.

In other news around the league:

  • The Wizards indeed used part of their Trevor Ariza trade exception to absorb Ramon Sessions‘ salary in last week’s trade, allowing them to create a new $4.625MM trade exception equivalent to Andre Miller‘s salary, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). There had been conflicting estimates about how the Wizards handled the exceptions, as I noted earlier this week. The Ariza exception is now worth $2,252,089.
  • The Pacers, Knicks and Lakers are eyeing 28-year-old Lithuanian shooting guard Mantas Kalnietis, with Indiana showing the most interest, agent Tadas Bulotas tells Lithuania’s Sport 1 (YouTube link; transcription via Kalnietis went undrafted in 2008, so no NBA team holds his rights.
  • Jonas Jerebko, who is in the final year of a four-year, $18MM deal he signed with the Pistons in December 2011, believes his time with the Celtics is an opportunity to showcase his true potential, reports Chris Forsberg of After spending his first five-plus NBA seasons with the Pistons, Jerebko was traded with Luigi Datome to Boston last week in exchange for Tayshaun Prince.
  • Monty Williams is acting like a coach with his job on the line even though he has a year left on his contract, John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reveals. The Pelicans coach has been forced to deal with injuries to his star player, Anthony Davis, but he is still under heavy pressure to win because of a frustrated fan base, Reid adds.

Will Joseph and Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Sullinger, Early, Sixers

February 26 at 4:28pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Jared Sullinger has not met conditioning goals in an interview today on 98.5 FM The Sports Hub in Boston, as Brian Robb of transcribes (Twitter link). Sullinger suffered a season-ending stress fracture in his left foot on Sunday. Ainge said that he has addressed Sullinger’s conditioning issues “many, many times,” and was not impressed by the results this season. “All of our players have met conditioning, body fat, goals set by trainers, and Jared has not met them,” Ainge said. Sullinger told reporters Wednesday that he plans to use his rehab from a left foot fracture and the offseason to transform his body.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • With only 26 games left, it’s getting late for Knicks rookie forward Cleanthony Early to prove his worth, writes Al Iannazzone of Newsday. Early is one of four Knicks with a guaranteed deal for next season, but it doesn’t mean he definitely will return, especially if his salary helps facilitate a trade, Iannazzone noted. Early, the No. 34 pick, has struggled, and he missed six weeks after undergoing right knee surgery in November.
  • The Sixers saved a little less than $2MM when they claimed Thomas Robinson off waivers, as Kevin Pelton of writes in an Insider-only story. Robinson’s contract takes them over the NBA’s minimum team salary. Prior to the claim, they had been set to have to distribute any shortfall from that amount among their players, but the 76ers now pay only the balance of Robinson’s salary, Pelton notes.
  • Dumping productive players prior to the NBA trade deadline has become an increasingly popular tanking strategy, and is a problem that the league needs to address, Filip Bondy of The New York Daily News writes. Bondy notes that the deals the Knicks have made this season are a good example of the practice. “It’s been going on for a while, that particular instrument,” said Rod Thorn, NBA president of basketball operations. “More now, because we have so many teams under the cap. Five, six years ago, there were only a handful under the cap. Now half the teams or more are under the cap, and it puts them in position to gain an asset by taking a player that a team is trying to get rid of. There are more trading partners.”

Will Joseph contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Carter-Williams, Anthony, Nets

February 25 at 8:28pm CST By Dana Gauruder

Michael Carter-Williams believes that Sixers coach Brett Brown did not approve of the trade that sent the point guard to the Bucks, according to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News. The 2013/14 Rookie of the Year award winner felt it was solely a front office decision by GM Sam Hinkie, the story continued. “I think the ultimate thing that it comes down to is coach Brown coaches and Sam does the moves,” Carter-Williams said. “I think that’s what it comes down to and I think that’s the agreement and that’s all I really know. I think that if it was up to coach Brown, I don’t think I would have been moved, to be honest.” Carter-Williams was still surprised because he felt he was in the team’s long-term plans along with lottery picks Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, Cooney added in a tweet.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • Derrick Rose‘s injury history was a major reason why Carmelo Anthony chose to stay with the Knicks rather than signing with the Bulls when he was an unrestricted free agent last summer, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. Anthony, who is out for the season with a knee injury, told friends last summer that there was no guarantee he would win a championship in Chicago because of Rose’s recurring health issues, according to Berman. Rose could miss the remainder of the season after suffering another knee injury.
  • Kevin Garnett mentioned the uncertain ownership situation surrounding the Nets when he spoke about his decision to waive his no-trade clause and join the Timberwolves, notes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post.
  • Isaiah Thomas could be the long-term answer for the Celtics as their starting point guard, Chris Forsberg of speculates. Thomas, who was traded by the Suns to Boston last week, has three years left on his contract and it could be more sensible to have him start alongside Avery Bradley and move rookie Marcus Smart to a sixth-man role, Forsberg adds.
  • Knicks coach Derek Fisher is having a hard time adjusting to being a first-year coach of one of the league’s worst teams after playing for winning teams throughout his career, according to Fred Kerber of the New York Post. “I’m not comparing this to any other time in my basketball career. This is the first time I’ve been in this position,” Fisher said to Knicks beat reporters.

Pacific Notes: Thomas, Warriors, Green, Karl

February 24 at 12:15pm CST By Chuck Myron

Isaiah Thomas insists he didn’t verbally push the Suns to deal him to the Celtics last week, as Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald relays. Suns GM Ryan McDonough said Thomas’ desire to start was the catalyst for last week’s swap, notes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.

“They said that? I did want to start, who doesn’t?” Thomas said. “I don’t get that. I was a team player, didn’t complain about anything. The guys who complain, you see it in the media. I didn’t say anything. For the most part, it was good. When we did play together it was positive and it worked, but it’s tough to do when you have three talented point guards who need the ball to be effective. It’s three point guards that want the ball.”

Thomas qualified that remark, saying that he would have liked to have played more, according to Coro. He called the Phoenix backcourt “a tough situation” that’s “not what I expected” in November, but later made comments indicating he was pleased with the setup. Here’s more from around the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob reiterated that he’s willing to pay the luxury tax next season, telling Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard that the team has no choice but to do so barring “some massive deal.” “[GM] Bob [Myers] keeps saying I must have the only owner in the NBA who says, ‘Stop worrying about the luxury tax,’” Lacob said. “Even today I said, ‘I don’t care about the luxury tax.’ I don’t want to make decisions based on the luxury tax. We want to get better. Our job is to get better. Secondarily, we’ll worry about the money.”
  • Lacob wouldn’t address soon-to-be restricted free agent Draymond Green directly but said to Ballard, “It would take a lot to not sign our core players. Does that answer your question?”
  • George Karl said he spoke with Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro about the idea of adding a point guard but added that he’d prefer not to make any more changes, observes Matt Kawahara of The Sacramento Bee. Darren Collison has missed the last six games with a right hip flexor strain and doesn’t appear on his way back anytime soon, so Karl has turned to Andre Miller and is giving him a much greater role than he had with the Wizards, as Kawahara examines.
  • Karl’s reps impressed upon the Kings during negotiations earlier this month that the coach would likely have other opportunities in the offseason, putting pressure on Sacramento to hire him as soon as possible, according to Scott Howard-Cooper of

Financial Impact Of Deadline Trades: Atlantic

February 24 at 9:59am CST By Chuck Myron

Last week’s trade deadline was a dizzying affair, with 39 players and 17 teams involved in a dozen trades, including a trio of three-team transactions. The day had wide-ranging effects on the salary structures of those 17 teams, and we’ll examine the aftermath for each of them in this multipart series.

Today we’ll look at the Atlantic Division, where every team except the Raptors entered the deadline with a sub-.500 record, and every team except the Raptors took part in a trade. The salary figures listed here denote this season’s salaries, though we’ll also discuss salary for future seasons.

Boston Celtics

In: ($13,488,606)

Out: ($16,282,865)

The Celtics went from a team salary that put them in danger of crossing the tax threshold as the season began to one that dipped below the $63.065MM salary cap after the deadline, demonstrating just how active Celtics president of basketball operation Danny Ainge was not just at the deadline but all season long. Boston is still technically over the cap, since Ainge has elected not to renounce his exceptions, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders notes (Twitter link), and a cupboard already bursting with trade exceptions got a little more crowded with last week’s deals.

The team acknowledged the creation of a $7.7MM trade exception when it formally announced the Tayshaun Prince trade. To be precise, that exception is worth the equivalent of Prince’s $7,707,865 salary. That means Boston used previously existing exceptions to take in Jerebko’s $4.5MM salary and Datome’s $1.75MM pay. Jerebko could have gone into the $12,909,090 Rajon Rondo exception or the $5MM Brandan Wright exception, and Pincus estimates that it went into Wright’s (Twitter link). Datome would have fit into either of those, although he and Jerebko wouldn’t have both fit within Wright’s exception. The Celtics also had a $2,439,840 Austin Rivers exception that would work for Datome, and that’s the one Pincus estimates that they used.

Ainge and company can create a smaller new exception worth the difference between the salaries for Marcus Thornton and Isaiah Thomas, which comes to $1,336,394. They also had the option of sticking Thornton’s salary into the Rondo exception so that they could create a $7,238,606 exception for Thomas, but the release from the Celtics made no reference to that, and there’s a logical reason. The Celtics have only about $40.4MM in commitments for next season against a projected $68MM cap, motivation to officially open cap space and chase free agents. Doing so would wipe out all of their trade exceptions, rendering moot the value that could be gained by eating part of the massive Rondo exception to make new exceptions that expire at next year’s deadline instead of this coming December.

However, Pincus suggests the Celtics are unlikely to open that cap room this summer (Twitter link). That $40.4MM doesn’t include a cap hold for the C’s own pick or the one the Clippers owe them. It also doesn’t take into account anyone salary the team might acquire around draft time using its trade exceptions. Boston wouldn’t have to officially renounce its exceptions until after the July Moratorium, at which point many marquee free agents have often already made their decisions. Few stars clamor to join a team in a cold-weather city with no other discernible star on the roster, so Ainge may be better served staying above the cap and using his exceptions to scour the trade market, where players have less control over their destinations. His decision to take on Thomas for the expiring contract of Thornton and add nearly $6.913MM to next year’s commitments as a result is further hint that the Celtics won’t go under the cap this summer.

So, the Celtics would have had some motivation to have bitten into the Rondo exception last week to buy themselves a little extra time to make deals next season, but keeping that exception intact to see if they can shake loose a trade candidate with an eight-figure salary was probably too tempting.

Brooklyn Nets

In: ($9,660,869)

Out:  ($12,000,000)

The Nets gave up future cost certainty for a tax break this season and a fairly useful trade exception, but that exception isn’t quite as valuable as it might otherwise have been, thanks to Brooklyn’s recent success. The league considers it likely that Young will receive his $250K bonus for playing on a postseason team, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). That’s because the Nets made the playoffs last season, even though they were a game out of the final postseason spot at Thursday’s deadline. That’s money that he certainly wouldn’t have seen if he’d stayed with the last-place Timberwolves. So, Young costs that much more to Brooklyn than he did to Minnesota, meaning the trade exception the Nets can reap from the difference between Garnett’s salary and Young’s is $2,339,131 instead of $2,589,131, as Pincus notes (Twitter link).

Brooklyn can still save that $250K from counting against its luxury tax payments if it misses the playoffs, but the Nets have already shrunk their tax bill considerably from the record amount of more than $90MM they paid for last season. The Garnett-for-Young trade figures to have saved the Nets almost $6MM in tax payments on top of the more than $2.3MM it saved them in raw salary. They’re now in position to pay only about $20MM in tax this season, though the final tax numbers won’t be known until season’s end.

Still, the Nets will almost assuredly pay some sort of tax this season, setting themselves up to pay the onerous repeater rate next season if they’re still a taxpayer at the end of 2015/16. Young’s early termination option will be worth nearly $10.222MM if he’s still on the roster and the Nets make the playoffs next year and $9.972MM if they miss. Either way, it would be a significant addition to an already stacked payroll. The Nets will have nearly $86MM in commitments if Young and Lopez opt in, and that would put the team over the projected $81MM tax line for next season.

Philadelphia 76ers

In: ($12,066,482)

Out: ($2,807,376)

Only GM Sam Hinkie‘s Sixers could make three trades that net $9,259,106 in additional payroll for this season and still wind up almost $4MM shy of the $56.759MM minimum team salary. That’s nonetheless where Philadelphia stood after the deadline, and while a few more moves like this weekend’s waiver claim of Ish Smith would help the team make it up to the salary floor, the Sixers are on track to miss that mark. There’s no real penalty, of course, since the only consequence is that the Sixers would have to distribute the difference between that amount and their team salary to their players, which would seem like a just reward for their patience amid the team’s rebuilding.

More significantly, Philadelphia took on an eight-figure salary commitment for next season with JaVale McGee on the books for $12MM in 2015/16, and no buyout deal on the way. Isaiah Canaan, the other player the Sixers traded for, has a partial guarantee of nearly $758K. Philadelphia parted with Michael Carter-Williams‘ rookie scale salary of close to $2.4MM for next season, bringing the total addition to next year’s payroll to $10,358,780. That means the Sixers have more than $53MM committed against a projected $68MM salary cap, and with as many as four first-round picks, Philadelphia won’t have tons of cap space like it did this year, when Hinkie used it to take on unwanted salary from other teams at the cost of draft picks and other future-focused assets.

New York Knicks

In: ($3,282,057)

Out: ($1,662,961)

The Knicks had to use one of their existing trade exceptions to make their deal with the Rockets work, since Alexey Shved‘s salary exceeds the 125% plus $100K of Pablo Prigioni‘s that New York, as a taxpaying team, would otherwise be allowed to take in. The assumption here is that team president Phil Jackson and company took Shved into the $3,637,073 exception leftover from their offloading of Raymond Felton to the Mavs this past summer, rather than their $5,982,375 J.R. Smith trade exception. Going that route would virtually wipe out the Felton exception but allow the Knicks to retain the full value of their Smith exception, which is larger and expires later. However, it’s still uncertain just what direction New York went.

There’s a slight savings involved for next season, since Shved is on an expiring contract while Prigioni is due a $290K partial guarantee. However, that savings is muted if Jackson and company envision retaining Shved’s Bird rights, since he has a larger cap hold than Prigioni. The trade adds nearly $2.429MM to New York’s tax burden this season, and while owner James Dolan has never shown any skinflint tendencies, the Knicks could have saved a bundle more than that if they’d shed an amount of raw salary not far removed from the $1,619,096 they took on. Thanks in part to Amar’e Stoudemire‘s forfeiture of $2.5MM, as Pincus shows on the Knicks salary page at Basketball Insiders, New York entered the trade deadline with a team salary for tax purposes of close to $79.694MM, or only about $2.865MM away from going under the tax line. If the Knicks had shed that amount of salary, no Herculean task, they could have avoided paying the repeater rates next season in the event that they once more become taxpayers.

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

And-Ones: Embiid, Johnson, Spurs, Thomas

February 24 at 12:16am CST By Zach Links

The Sixers were willing to trade rookie center Joel Embiid for a high draft pick, according to Mark Heisler of Philadelphia drafted Embiid third overall last June, but he had offseason surgery to repair a broken bone in his right foot and has yet to take the court for the Sixers. Philadelphia was unable to work out a deal for Embiid, but did send reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams to the Bucks in a three-team deal that brought back the Lakers‘ top-five protected first round pick for this year.

There’s more news from around the league:

    • The Rockets announced that they have recalled Nick Johnson from the D-League, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 (via Twitter).  Johnson’s assignment was his fourth trip down this season, as our assignments/recalls log shows.  The 22-year-old guard has seen time in 18 games for the Rockets this season, averaging 3.1 PPG and 1.3 RPG in 10.3 minutes per contest.
    • Some people, like Charles Barkley, aren’t so wild about analytics.  However, Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express News writes that the Spurs are undeniable proof that analytics can help to build a tremendous roster.
    • New Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas did his best to squash rumors that he was unhappy with his role while with the Suns, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe tweets.  “The guy that complained, you seen it in the media. I didn’t say anything,” Thomas said.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: AK47, Prince, Blatche, Bass

February 23 at 6:14pm CST By Zach Links

Andrei Kirilenko said he doesn’t understand why the Sixers kept him for more than two months, waiving him only this weekend instead of cutting him soon after they traded for him in December, as he told Pavel Osipov of Sport-Express (translation via Aris Barkas of He said he didn’t hear anything from Sixers brass for two weeks following the trade, and the forward confirmed that he went on unpaid suspension when he refused to report.  Here’s more from the Atlantic..

  • The Celtics promised Tayshaun Prince that they would buy him out but reneged when they traded him to the Pistons, a source told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.  The Clippers, he adds, were likely disappointed when Prince was shipped to Detroit.
  • The Nets don’t have any other moves planned at this time and they’re not willing to eat any of their current contracts to make space for Andray Blatche, according to Robert Windrem of NetsDaily (on Twitter).
  • While his role in Boston has fluctuated, Brandon Bass told A. Sherrod Blakely of that he would “definitely” be open to signing a new deal to stay with the Celtics.  “If I’m wanted back then yeah, I would want to be back for sure,” said Bass. “It’s been a blessing for me to be here four years, to finish out my contract here. I’m excited about that. Hopefully everything will continue to go in a positive direction.”   Bass is earning $6.9MM in his walk year.
  • A chance to get on the floor was among the many reasons Gigi Datome was excited when he learned that he had been traded to the Celtics, A. Sherrod Blakely of writes.
  • 76ers GM Sam Hinkie is stockpiling second-round picks because, out of a handful, he figures to hit on at least one, as Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.  “We will not bat 1.000 on every single draft pick,” Hinkie said. “We have them by the bushelful in part because of that, because we don’t have any hubris that we will get them all right. We’re not certain we have an edge over anyone else. We’re not certain we have an edge at all. That’s OK. It’s a hard league, with 30 teams trying to clamor to the top of the same mountain.” The GM continued his polarizing rebuild plan at this year’s trade deadline when he moved Michael Carter-Williams for draft considerations.
  • New Nets acquisition Thaddeus Young is motivated by the death of his mother and the promise of making a playoff push, Lenn Robbins of writes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Aldridge’s Latest: Thunder, Lopez, Jackson

February 23 at 2:36pm CST By Chuck Myron

The Thunder aren’t making moves simply out of fear that Kevin Durant will jump ship in 2016 and Russell Westbrook will follow suit the next year, a league source tells TNT’s David Aldridge for his Morning Tip column on Still, it’s been an active season for GM Sam Presti, who went over the tax line to acquire Dion Waiters and stayed above it after Thursday’s swap that sent out Reggie Jackson and brought in Enes Kanter. Aldridge has much more in his column, and we’ll hit the highlights, many of which are Thunder-related:

  • The Thunder let the Nets know they wouldn’t do the proposed Jackson/Brook Lopez trade just 15 minutes before the deadline, Aldridge reports. The Nets likely would have dealt Jarrett Jack to the Wizards if they’d done that deal, Aldridge adds.
  • The concern that Arron Afflalo would turn down his player option and hit the open market dissuaded the Thunder from trading for him, as Aldridge explains.
  • The Rockets preferred Goran Dragic to Jackson and the Celtics weren’t willing to trade young players for the then-Thunder guard, Aldridge writes.
  • The Thunder didn’t have plans to re-sign Kendrick Perkins in the summer even before they traded him at the deadline, according to Aldridge.