Boston Celtics Rumors

Celtics Willing To Trade Rajon Rondo

December 17 at 10:19pm CST By Eddie Scarito

10:19pm: The Celtics are also talking to the Knicks and the Kings, though the discussions with the Mavs are the most serious, Stein reports. The Mavs would most likely send Wright and at least one first round draft pick to Boston for Rondo, Stein adds.

9:15pm: The Mavericks are serious suitors for Rondo, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link). Brandan Wright and Monta Ellis are among the players being mentioned who could potentially head to Boston, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com notes (Twitter links). The Rockets have also discussed a potential deal for the point guard with Boston as well, Wojnarowski adds.

4:29pm: According to Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link), word around the league is that the Celtics are the ones making preliminary calls to teams about Rondo. Mannix also notes that the Kings are the team to watch in regards to acquiring Rondo.

4:12pm: The Celtics are showing a renewed willingness to pursue trade packages that include point guard Rajon Rondo, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. According to Wojnarowski, Boston’s front office has left a strong impression with rival organizations around the league that it is prepared to make a deal that includes the veteran guard. Boston has been engaged in discussions described as “serious” in recent days, but no trade agreement is imminent, the Yahoo! scribe adds.

Trade discussions involving Rondo have been focused more toward Western Conference teams than with those in the East, Wojnarowski notes. The Celtics’ asking price for the 28-year-old remains “pretty high, probably higher than most want to pay,” one league official told Wojnarowski. Rondo is averaging 8.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 10.6 assists in 31.8 minutes per games this season.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge has been consistently shopping forward Jeff Green, in an attempt to secure a trade package that includes a first-round draft pick, Wojnarowski notes. With Boston now seemingly willing to trade Rondo, this would suggest that Ainge is prepared to embark on a full rebuild of the franchise, and perhaps attempt to guide the team toward a much higher spot in June’s NBA draft, Wojnarowski writes.

With Rondo set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and 2014 first-rounder Marcus Smart showing quite a bit of promise, trading Rondo instead of running the risk of losing him for nothing would seem like a wise move on the organization’s part. The Celtics have been hesitant to to commit to the idea of a maximum-salary deal for Rondo, something he will likely be seeking in free agency.

If Ainge is indeed looking at Western Conference teams, the two most likely suitors would probably be the Kings, who were previously said to be interested in acquiring Rondo, and the Lakers, another franchise also known to have significant interest in the point guard’s services. If Boston decides to try and deal with an Eastern team, the Knicks and the Pistons would immediately come to mind as potential suitors, though that is just my speculation.

Eastern Notes: Thornton, Hardaway Jr., Wallace

December 17 at 8:01pm CST By Eddie Scarito

With Dwyane Wade‘s injury history and the lack of production from the bench, one possibility for the Heat to correct this deficiency is Celtics shooting guard Marcus Thornton, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes. Miami wanted to sign Thornton this past offseason, but Thornton was unable to come to terms on a buyout arrangement with Boston, Jackson notes. In 20 games for the Celtics this season, Thornton has averaged 8.2 points and is nailing 42.3% of his three-pointers. The 27-year-old is currently suffering from a small tear in his left calf and is expected to miss a few weeks of action.

Here’s more from the East:

  • The deal with the Nets that garnered Boston three first round draft picks, but also required the Celtics to take back Gerald Wallace‘s bloated contract is looking better for Boston every day, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes. Though Boston would jump at the chance to trade Wallace and the remaining $10.1MM that he is owed for next season, the veteran is providing value as a leader and a spot defender, notes Forsberg.
  • With J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert currently out for the Knicks with injuries, Tim Hardaway Jr. has been struggling with his increased minutes, but Hardaway says the pressure to make his case for more playing time in the future isn’t a factor in his struggles, Fred Kerber of The New York Post writes. “I’m not going to hold my head. I’m not going to get frustrated,” Hardaway said. “I’ve just got to go in the gym and work on it. I’ve got to see the ball going in the basket. That’s what I’m going to do.
  • The play of Sixers‘ 2014 first-rounder Dario Saric overseas has Philadelphia’s coaches and front office excited for the future, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Saric is currently the only player in the Turkish Basketball League who is averaging at least 11.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, notes Pompey. “I pay attention to him [in] all the games he plays,”  Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “I’ll go and either watch a portion or all of it or highlights. We play text tag all the time. [GM] Sam [Hinkie] was just over there last week. The exciting thing is he’s ours. He will be a Philadelphia 76er and we all have to be excited about that.

And-Ones: Lopez, Matthews, Kings

December 16 at 10:27pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Though there don’t appear to be any deals currently imminent, there is a tremendous amount of trade discussions going on amongst teams currently, far beyond the traditional mid-December volume, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter links). According to Wojnarowski, the most active franchises in terms of discussions are the Celtics, Pistons, Suns, Timberwolves, Hornets, Clippers, Pacers, Nets, Nuggets, and Rockets.

Here’s the latest from around the league:

  • Robin Lopez‘s broken right hand will likely keep him out longer than expected. While the initial prognostication was that the Blazers big man would miss four weeks, Lopez tweeted (hat tip to The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman) that it would be six to seven weeks before he would be back on the hardwood again.
  • The Cavs have made numerous attempts to work out a trade with the Blazers for Wesley Matthews, but barring an unexpected free fall in the standings, Portland isn’t expected to deal the swingman, Chris Haynes of The Northwest Ohio Media Group writes. Matthews will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, but the Blazers have every intention of re-signing him, Haynes adds.
  • The Kings‘ firing of Mike Malone may provide an unexpected benefit to the franchise, Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders writes. Many expect the Kings to regress under interim coach Tyrone Corbin, and if that occurs the team should be able to hold onto its 2015 first-rounder. Sacramento’s 2015 first round draft pick is owed to the Bulls if it falls outside of the top 10.

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Celtics, Stephenson

December 16 at 9:14pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Despite the Pistons‘ struggles thus far this season, team owner Tom Gores is happy with the direction that team president Stan Van Gundy has the franchise heading, David Mayo of MLive.com writes. “The hardest part for me actually was Stan wants to win so bad,” Gores said. “He genuinely just wants for us to make progress. So the hardest part for me is I know everybody’s working hard, and when you’re not winning, and you’re working hard, it’s kind of tough. Maybe it’s not going to show on the court every night, but I’m personally so comfortable that he’s doing the right things every single day, and eventually, it’s going to convert to wins.”

Here’s more from the East:

  • The multitude of injuries the Heat have endured this season will test Pat Riley‘s patience and willingness not to sacrifice future cap space for a quick fix, Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report writes. Although, Miami’s lack of tradeable assets might make Riley’s decision easier than it would be otherwise, Skolnick adds.
  • Based on the Celtics‘ current record (8-14) and their roster composition, it’s far more likely for them to be sellers than buyers on the trade market, Brian Robb of Boston.com writes. Brandon Bass and Jeff Green are especially likely targets since the pair are putting up strong offensive numbers over the first quarter of the season, notes Robb.
  • As tempting as it may be for the Cavs to take a run at acquiring Lance Stephenson from the Hornets, Cleveland should steer clear of the mercurial player, Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. Fedor asserts that Stephenson’s selfish attitude and disruptive locker room personality would far outweigh any good his skills would bring to the Cavs.
  • There will be numerous complications involved for the Hornets in trying to rid themselves of Stephenson, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. This is a situation that might require patience, notes Bonnell, since teams often don’t get serious about making an equitable deal until the trade deadline is near.

Eastern Notes: Dudley, Rose, Magic

December 13 at 11:03pm CST By Arthur Hill

Clippers coach Doc Rivers never wanted to part with Jared Dudley, writes Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Dudley came to the Bucks via trade last summer after a frustrating season in Los Angeles. “We just had to create roster room,” Rivers said. “We actually really wanted to keep him. He was the one who had the most value. We really haven’t used the [salary] space yet, but we think we may need it at some point.”

There is other news from the Eastern Conference:

  • The BullsDerrick Rose is slowly regaining his MVP form, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com. Rose scored 31 points in Friday’s win over Portland, his largest outburst since March of 2012. “We all feel he is going to be back to the guy he was,” coach Tom Thibodeau told the team’s official website. “He is going step by step. He has to keep building, keep attacking. When he is aggressive like that, there is no one like him.”
  • Magic coach Jacque Vaughn warned his young guards that they have to take better care of the ball if they want to stay in the game, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. The Hawks turned up the pressure in Friday’s game, forcing three turnovers by Victor Oladipo and two by Elfrid Payton“You try to prepare them with a solution,” Vaughn said. “But you also want them to be able to go through the situation and try to swim their way through it as well.”
  • Jared Sullinger‘s sudden scoring slump has hit at the same time as the Celtics‘ three-game losing streak, writes Chris Forsburg of ESPNBoston.com. Sullinger missed all six of his shots from the field in Friday’s loss to the Knicks, but the Celtics are remaining supportive. “Sully’s a really good player who’s had a couple tough games in a row,” said coach Brad Stevens. “I think the most important thing we can do is encourage him, but we certainly need him to be good. But there’s a lot of things when you lose a game that factor into losing the game, and so I don’t think it’s any one person’s play or any two people’s play — it’s a collective effort, win or lose.”

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Stevens, Kirilenko

December 13 at 6:29pm CST By Arthur Hill

It may be time for Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony to consider knee surgery, suggests Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Citing Anthony’s troublesome knee pain and the Knicks’ miserable 5-20 record, Begley writes that shutting down their star player for the season might be the best solution. Anthony, whose status is uncertain for Sunday’s game with the Raptors, said he considers surgery a last resort. He is in the first season of a five-year,  $124MM deal he signed with the Knicks after being one of last summer’s most hotly pursued free agents.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Despite the Knicks‘ lousy start, Anthony isn’t having second thoughts about staying in New York, writes Mike Lupica of The Daily News. “After all the work I did to get here and get back here? If I was to get up and want to leave now that would just make me weak, make me have a weak mind,” Anthony said in response to a question after Friday’s victory over the Celtics. “I’ve never been a person to try to run from any adversity or anything like that so I’m not going to pick today to do that.” 
  • Are the rigors of another losing season taking their toll on Celtics coach Brad Stevens, asks A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. At 7-14, Boston is two wins behind its pace of last season and ranks 28th in the league in points allowed. But Stevens, who built a successful college program at Butler before coming to the Celtics, retains respect around the league. “He runs a lot of good stuff that works for the players they have,” an unidentified Eastern Conference scout said of Stevens. “But other than Marcus Smart, they’re not very good defensively and the Smart kid keeps getting hurt. Most nights, it’s their defense that kills them.”
  • Seventeen months ago, the Nets‘ signing of Andrei Kirilenko seemed like a steal, recalls Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily. The veteran forward, a Russian native just like team owner Mikhail Prokhorov, agreed to join the Nets for less than a  third of the $10MM annual salary he was making with the Timberwolves. But the relationship quickly soured. Back spasms kept Kirilenko off the court early in the year, and he saw limited playing time throughout the season and playoffs. Kirilenko was traded to the Sixers earlier this week.

Eastern Notes: Aldemir, Young, McDermott

December 12 at 10:07pm CST By Eddie Scarito

The Sixers‘ potential signing of Furkan Aldemir to a four-year deal was first reported back on November 24th. But since then, there have been numerous issues with getting the agreement finalized. Aldemir’s Turkish club was initially reluctant to let him out of his contract, and once that hurdle was taken care of, Aldemir was then said to be awaiting his FIBA letter of clearance which would allow him to sign with an NBA team. It’s been almost two weeks since there has been any movement on bringing Aldemir to Philly, and Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Daily News tweets that it still doesn’t look like the signing will be completed anytime soon, if at all.

Here’s more from the East:

  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens gave an update on James Young, who injured his shoulder during a D-League game earlier this week, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com reports (Twitter link). Stevens said that Young has a “little bit of muscular damage” in his right shoulder, and will rehab the injury in an attempt to avoid surgery. Young is currently listed as being out indefinitely.
  • The Bulls have announced in a press release that rookie forward Doug McDermott will have arthroscopic surgery on Saturday to repair damage to his right knee and will be out indefinitely. Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com was the first to report this news (Twitter link). In 17 appearances this season McDermott is averaging 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 11.6 minutes per game.
  • The sale of the Hawks is moving more swiftly than before, as USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt notes. There has been little chatter regarding the sale since late October, when it was still unclear just what percentage of the team would be on the market.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Davies, Weems, Rondo

December 11 at 10:10pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Sixers coach Brett Brown isn’t happy that Brandon Davies was traded to the Nets, Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com reports. Brown will miss Davies because of the player-coach relationship the two had, which helped ease the sting of enduring the Sixers’ escalating loss totals, Lynam adds. “When you start losing people that you are very fond of and have tremendous respect for … there is a human side of it that bothers me because you are trying to grow chemistry, you are trying to grow a culture,” Brown said. “That takes a hit when teammates lose teammates. There is a respect, effort-wise, of how they go about their business. There is a reality to our job that is just business in the NBA, but it doesn’t mean it has to feel right.”

Here’s more from the East:

  • Sonny Weems turned down multiple offers from NBA teams this past offseason, including a fully guaranteed deal from the Hawks, as he tells David Pick, writing for Basketball Insiders. Weems instead remains overseas on a long-term deal with CSKA Moscow that will pay him $10MM over the course of the contract, according to Pick. Money, contract length and timing were some of the stumbling blocks that kept Weems out of the NBA, Pick writes, adding that Weems is widely accepted as the best small forward not in the NBA.
  • Rajon Rondo has been receiving his fair share of criticism for the Celtics‘ struggles this season, and he’s been benched late in games recently, but it is something he has downplayed, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes. “I’ve been playing here for nine years, I’m one of the best at what I do, and I’m human,” Rondo said. “I make mistakes. I own up to my mistakes and that’s just part of the game. It’s not weighing on me at all. It’s a team effort. I am the captain, but there are 15 guys on this team and we’re all in this together.”
  • Prior to leaving Washington, current Clippers assistant Sam Cassell played a major role in helping the Wizards land Paul Pierce this past summer, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. “I talked to him [Pierce], told him how well he’ll do with them two guys John Wall and Bradley Beal] and he viewed it and made his decision,” Cassell said. “He took it seriously. He looked at the roster that we had and he realized it was a pretty good roster. He saw where he could fit in and do well at. Why wouldn’t he come and be a part of the Wizards?

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, De Colo, Celtics

December 11 at 6:10pm CST By Eddie Scarito

It might be time for the Knicks to end any thoughts of rebuilding the franchise around their existing core, and change their focus to completely tearing down their roster instead, Harvey Araton of The New York Times writes. The only thing that should prevent New York from doing so is if it can add a premier free agent next summer to partner with Carmelo Anthony, notes Araton. But team president Phil Jackson had admitted that he worries that this season’s disastrous turn will make New York an unattractive option to potential free agents like Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge, both of whom the Knicks would love to sign, Araton adds.

Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Despite losing their last 10 games, the Knicks‘ biggest concern right now is Anthony’s left knee, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes. According to Anthony, surgery is the last option that he will consider, Begley notes. “I’m not even looking forward to even discussing the surgery or anything like that,” Anthony said. “I’ll explore as many other options as I can before I go under the knife and get surgery. We really don’t know exactly what’s the problem.”
  • The Celtics have recalled James Young and Dwight Powell from the Maine Red Claws, their D-League Affiliate, the team announced. In Maine’s win over Delaware last night, Powell contributed 19 points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Young also dropped 19 points, including nailing five three-pointers in seven attempts.
  • The bad news regarding Young’s latest trip to the D-League is that he injured his shoulder and will be out indefinitely, Julian Edlow of WEEI 93.7 FM reports. “I guess his shoulder subluxed and they’re doing more tests to see the extent of the injury,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “Those can be very, very short-term things or they can be a little bit longer, but that’s the extent of what I know. He’s getting X-rays right now.”
  • The Raptors and other NBA teams reached out last summer to express their interest in Nando De Colo, who wanted to re-sign with Toronto, but those clubs were too late, since he’d already committed to sign with CSKA Moscow, David Pick Of Basketball Insiders reports.
  • The Knicks are unlikely to make any deals that would impact their cap space for next season unless they can acquire All-Star level player, Chad Ford of ESPN.com reports in his weekly chat.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Nets, Celtics, Knicks

December 10 at 4:41pm CST By Eddie Scarito

A number of experts around the NBA opine that the Sixers have a brighter future than the Knicks, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv writes. When Zagoria asked an NBA executive which franchise is in a better position to improve, the executive said, “If [Joel] Embiid is Hakeem Olajuwon instead of Greg Oden, the answer is Philly. The Knicks have one first-round pick in the next two years, zero second-round picks and zero worthwhile International Rights guys. Philly has two first-round picks this year, four second-round picks in the next two and the rights to [Dario] Saric and [Vasilije] MicicCarmelo Anthony is better than any current 76er but Philly has a far better coach [Brett Brown] and more talented young players. The Knicks need to start building a roster and stop waiting for a miracle free agent. There are too many destination markets with cap room and better rosters and a weak ’15 free agent class.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Despite the recent reports that the Nets are willing to trade Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson, Williams isn’t concerned he might be dealt, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post writes. “I’m not worried about it, man,” Williams said. “I’m a Net until they tell me otherwise. It is what it is. It’s a business, so stuff like [trade rumors] happens. I don’t see any problem [dealing with it]. Brook [Lopez] has dealt with it, so I don’t see it being a problem for him, and I don’t think Joe [Johnson] is too worried about it. No matter what’s being written or whatever, I’m still here. I’m still a Net. My priority is to play for this organization.”
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been using Marcus Smart during the fourth quarters of recent games at the expense of playing time for Rajon Rondo. But no matter how well Smart plays, the idea of him replacing Rondo as a starter this season would be crazy, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com opines. If things ever get to the point where that becomes a serious consideration, Boston would just as soon trade Rondo rather than have him become Smart’s backup, but the rookie’s steady progression can do nothing but hurt Rondo’s trade value in the eyes of potential suitors, Blakely adds.
  • After a horrendous 4-19 start to the season, the Knicks could be looking at even more difficulties ahead. Anthony has been playing in pain all season courtesy of a sore left knee, and now he may require surgery to correct the problem, which would keep him out of action indefinitely, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News reports.