Boston Celtics Rumors

Atlantic Notes: 76ers, Celtics, Love, Clark

July 27 at 4:34pm CDT By Zach Links

Philadelphia sports fans are notoriously impatient, but Tom Moore of The Intelligencer has found that many are taking a glass-half-full view of things with the Sixers under GM Sam Hinkie.  “There is no guaranteed path to a title,” one fan said to Moore. “But I like that they have a plan and are sticking to it. I choose optimism.”  Here’s more out of the Atlantic..

  • The Celtics could get in the mix for Kevin Love or another superstar, but they won’t make a deal that they don’t feel is worth it, writes Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.  “Danny [Ainge] has been very disciplined,” Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca said. “He could have made a lot of deals by now, but not for the kind of player we want.”   And while C’s owner Wyc Grousbeck famously predicted that there would be “fireworks,” Pagliuca says that refers more to Ainge’s tireless efforts to improve rather than a guarantee of a blockbuster deal.
  • Because the Celtics are in rebuilding mode, Ainge can now afford to bring in players with either soiled reputations, tradeable contracts, or the ability to blossom.  That thinking has led the C’s to Evan Turner, who should be a strong fit for Boston, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.  Agent David Falk believes that Turner and coach Brad Stevens will be a particularly solid match.
  • Earl Clark has received interest from a number of teams since free agency started three weeks ago, but he continues to weigh his options, writes Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.  “I’ve been hearing from a few teams, but it’s not anything that I’m jumping at right now,” said Clark, who spent last season with the Knicks and Cavs. “It’s been different, man. I’ve been a free agent a few times and this summer seems like it’s going in slow motion. I’m just giving it time and going through the process. I just want the right situation and the opportunity to play. That’s all I want – the opportunity to get out there, play, help the team and prove myself again.”

Eastern Rumors: Harrington, Wiggins, Love

July 24 at 6:33pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Wizards would like to have Al Harrington back, and the matter of whether he plays for the team next year is essentially up to him, according to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. The 34-year-old has decided to play in the NBA next season after contemplating retirement. More from the Eastern Conference:

  • Andrew Wiggins‘ name has come up in trade talks with the Wolves, but the Cavs haven’t offered him as part of any proposal for a Kevin Love trade, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio. That nuanced accounting of the discussions might illuminate some of the conflicting reports about Cleveland’s true willingness to part with the No. 1 pick.
  • Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer thinks the Cavs shouldn’t trade for Love unless they receive full assurance that he will commit for at least two years to the team, considering how difficult it would be to transition from a young, sub-.500 club to a championship contender in just one season. Love is reportedly agreeable to remaining with Cleveland alongside LeBron James, but hasn’t indicated a willingness to opt in for next season’s player option in order to delay his free agency for another year.
  • The Celtics haven’t completely given up hope of landing Love, but they’re prepared to move on, a source tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. That’s why Boston is among the teams trying to function as the third team in a swap that sends Love elsewhere.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Possible Third Teams Emerging For Love Trade

July 23 at 10:08am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Sixers, Nuggets and Celtics are among the clubs trying to get involved as a third team in a Kevin Love swap, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. A deal involving Love is unlikely to involve just two teams, a source tells Deveney. The Nuggets and Celtics are still attempting to acquire Love themselves, but they have interest in acting merely as facilitators, too, with Boston looking to part with draft picks in return for a player who can help the team this coming season.

The Sixers would like to fold Thaddeus Young into the deal, Deveney adds, advancing reports from overnight. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune suggested that it wouldn’t be surprising if Young ends up in Minnesota, while there are whispers that the Sixers have strong interest in Cavs guard Dion Waiters, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.

The Cavs became willing at some point this past weekend to include Andrew Wiggins in a deal for Love, and the Wolves like the packages they’re discussing with Cleveland better than what other teams have on the table, as Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press explains. Still, the 30-day waiting period that would take place once Wiggins signs his contract with Cleveland has the teams on edge, and with the Wolves also looking at bringing a third club into the mix, the balancing act could cause a deal to unravel, Krawczynski adds (All four Twitter links).

Minnesota is also high on what Golden State can put together for Love, providing that the Warriors relent and allow Klay Thompson into such a deal, and the Nuggets’ bid for Love would be next on the Wolves’ list. The Bulls also appear to be making another run at the All-Star power forward, while the Celtics seemingly remain on the fringes.

And-Ones: Kings, Turner, Mudiay, Union, Bulls

July 22 at 12:30pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro told Grantland’s Zach Lowe that the two keys to his rebuilding strategy are to surrender nothing of lasting value in exchange for capable veterans like Rudy Gay and to be willing to take quality players on inflated contracts.

“There are players that are being paid more than the league thinks they should be paid,” D’Alessandro said. “We see those contracts as an opportunity. Our first question is, ‘Do we like the player?’ If we do, then can we use a contract the league doesn’t look favorably on as an opportunity to make our team better?”

We passed along more on the Kings from Lowe this morning, and we’ve got plenty from around the rest of the league here:

  • The Celtics had been in contact with Evan Turner almost every day between the start of free agency and Monday, when they reached agreement on a deal, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay isn’t the first well-regarded high school player to turn pro overseas rather than play in college, but his $1.2MM pact with Guangdong of China makes him the most highly compensated ever to have done so, notes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Three candidates remain for the players association’s vacant executive director position, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. The job has been open since the union ousted Billy Hunter at the All-Star break in 2013 and installed Ron Klempner in an interim capacity. It’s unclear whether Klempner is one of the finalists.
  • Cameron Bairstow‘s deal with the Bulls is for three years, starting at the minimum salary, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. That means the team used all but a sliver of its remaining cap space to sign the rookie out of New Mexico, whom the Bulls picked 49th overall in last month’s draft. The first season of Bairstow’s contract is the only one that’s fully guaranteed, Johnson adds.
  • Chris Andersen‘s two-year deal with the Heat is for a total of $10.4MM, all of which is fully guaranteed, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

Latest On Josh Smith

July 22 at 8:21am CDT By Chuck Myron

TUESDAY, 8:21am: The Smith talks were serious between the Kings and Pistons, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe, contradicting part of Wojnarowski’s report. Lowe also suggests there’s a decent chance that they pick up again at some point.

MONDAY, 1:05pm: Van Gundy has told Smith that reports about trade talk with the Kings have been inaccurate and assured him that he’ll begin this coming season with the Pistons, barring an unexpected turn of events, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Kings had called about Smith, but Detroit never heard an offer it liked, and the discussion never reached a serious stage, sources tell Wojnarowski. Smith likes the idea of remaining with the Pistons, Wojnarowski also hears.

SATURDAY, 2:49pm: A source tells Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press that there are “no legs” to reports suggesting that the Kings and Pistons are discussing a deal involving Smith.

THURSDAY, 8:59am: The idea of a Smith deal didn’t intrigue Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro, tweets Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News, who says it seems like coach Mike Malone is the catalyst for the talks. Stein noted Malone’s fondness for defense in story, one in which Stein also points to Smith’s defensive capabilities as one of the reasons the Kings are pursuing him. Pistons president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy didn’t give Smith any promise that he wouldn’t trade him when they met recently, but while Van Gundy is open to trading the forward, he wants value in return, Goodwill also tweets.

8:14am: The Pistons and Kings are once more discussing trade scenarios involving Josh Smith and are on the hunt for a third team to make a deal work, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Sacramento remains interested in the 28-year-old forward, as the Kings brass is fond of his defensive capabilities and intrigued by the idea of acquiring a player of his talent without giving up a piece of the team’s core, Stein hears.

The teams reportedly had talks last month before the Pistons put a stop to them, and the framework involved then would have seen Jason Thompson and either Derrick Williams or Jason Terry off to Detroit, Stein adds. It’s unclear whether any of that trio are subjects of the latest conversations, but Terry is seemingly agitating for an exit for Sacramento, having spoken of his fondness for the Mavericks and criticized Kings teammates DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay in a recent interview. The Kings would rather trade Terry than let him buy his way out of his contract, according to Stein.

Smith signed a four-year, $54MM contract with the Pistons a year ago, but the team’s decision to line him up next to Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond was ill-fated, and it’s left the club with a dilemma involving Monroe’s restricted free agency. The Pistons had serious talks with the Blazers about a sign-and-trade that would have sent Monroe to Portland, but the Blazers dropped out of the running for Monroe when they struck a deal with free agent Chris Kaman, Stein reports.

Smith has appeal to the Kings based on his relationship with Rajon Rondo, whom the team has long coveted, as Stein points out. Smith would love to play with Rondo, having called him “my best friend” in an interview this spring in which Smith said he and Rondo have had multiple conversations about the possibility of becoming teammates. The Celtics point guard is poised to become a free agent next summer.

Eastern Notes: Williams, LeBron, Love

July 21 at 9:21pm CDT By Zach Links

Nine years after leading the North Carolina men’s basketball team to a national championship, Marvin Williams is thrilled to return the Tar Heel state as a member of the Hornets, writes Steve Reed of The Associated Press.  Meanwhile, at the introductory presser, head coach Steve Clifford said that while he views the 6’9″ Williams as a combo forward, he believes his best position is at the four. Here’s more out of the East..

  • Maverick Carter, LeBron James‘ business partner, says he didn’t push James to return to the Cavaliers, nor did anyone else in his inner circle. “This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart,” Carter told ESPN.com’s Jason Whitlock. “We didn’t push him to do it. We don’t push him to do anything. If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it. We don’t push him.”
  • Should the Cavs trade for Kevin Love?  Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski sure thinks so.  “There’s absolutely not one second of hesitancy. I’d trade for Kevin Love,” Krzyzewski said on the John Feinstein Show, according to the Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press. “That’s not saying anything bad about any of the other (players reportedly involved in a trade). Love’s an all-star. He’s a double-double guy, but he’s a double-double guy that can spread the floor,” Coach K said.
  • The Wizards still have $4.3MM of their Trevor Ariza trade exception after using some of it on Kris Humphries, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.   Speaking of that sign-and-trade deal for Hump, the Wizards sent a 2015 second-rounder to the Celtics.  It’ll be top-49 protected, according to Pincus (link).
  • Sixers second-round picks K.J. McDaniels, Jerami Grant, and Jordan McRae are out to show they were draft steals, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I definitely feel like I can play in this league,” said McRae, who spoke with Hoops Rumors before the June draft. “Just getting a chance to play against guys like [Bulls rookies] Tony Snell, Doug McDermott, it was just playing hard against them and see where I stack up.”

Poll: Evan Turner Vs. Danny Granger

July 21 at 5:03pm CDT By Zach Links

Earlier today, the Celtics reached agreement on a deal for a portion of the mid-level exception with Evan Turner.  Of course, the former No. 2 overall pick was shipped from the Sixers to the Pacers mid-season in a trade of NBA notables.  Danny Granger, who went to Philly, signed with the Heat earlier this month in hopes of joining up with LeBron James.  While that part of the plan didn’t quite pan out, Granger will nonetheless look to get his career back on track in a reserve role for Miami.

In 54 games for Philly last season, Turner averaged 17.4 PPG and 6.0 RPG with a career-high (but still below league average) 13.2 PER.  Things wound up dropping off when Turner was sent to the Pacers as he averaged 7.1 PPG and 3.2 RPG with a 9.7 PER – a total lower than any he’s had in any full season.

Granger, meanwhile, came to the Clippers (after his release from the 76ers) with hopes of boosting his stock before hitting the open market in the summer.  That didn’t quite pan out.  Granger averaged 8.3 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 22.5 minutes per night for the Pacers after returning from injury and his numbers only saw a slight uptick when he headed to L.A.  Of course, on a two-year, $4.2MM deal, he’s a very worthwhile risk for the Heat if he can get back to being half the player he once was.

Between Granger and Turner, who do you see having the more successful 2014/15 campaign?

Celtics To Sign Evan Turner

July 21 at 3:49pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Celtics and Evan Turner are finalizing a deal for a portion of the mid-level exception, reports Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald (on Twitter). The Pacers made the former No. 2 overall pick an unrestricted free agent when they declined to tender his qualifying offer last month.

The Wolves appeared to be Boston’s primary competition for Turner, who was reportedly Minnesota’s top priority even though the team apparently envisioned signing him to only a one-year deal. The length of his arrangment with the Celtics is unclear.

Boston has more than $78.7MM in commitments on the roster for the coming season, a figure that puts them above the tax line but below the tax apron. The Celtics can waive close to $7.018MM in non-guaranteed salary, but in any case, the team won’t be able to sign Turner to a starting salary exceeding $3.278MM without triggering a hard cap of $80.829MM for this season.

Atlantic Links: Nets, Lin, Williams, Celtics

July 19 at 4:58pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Here’s this Saturday’s quick overview of all the latest chatter coming out of the NBA’s Atlantic Division:

  • Daniel O’Leary of the New York Daily News thinks the Nets missed a perfect opportunity to strike a deal for the now-LA bound Jeremy Lin. O’Leary suggests it would have been keen of Brooklyn to craft a deal for Lin that would have dumped Deron Williams‘ lengthy and expensive contract in favor of Lin’s expiring pact.
  • Lou Williams is excited to get a fresh start with the Raptors after an injury-riddled stint with the Hawks, as he tells Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. Thanks to an ACL-tear, Williams played in just 99 games for Atlanta over the course of two seasons,
  • Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com tracks all of the pieces from last year’s Celtics/Nets trade that send Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn in exchange for assets. Forsberg opines that although it’s been just one season since the deal, it isn’t too early to declare Boston the winner of the trade.

Cray Allred contributed to this post.

Wizards Acquire Kris Humphries From Celtics

July 19 at 3:07pm CDT By Chuck Myron

3:07pm: The protected second-round pick going to the Celtics is for the 2015 draft, the Wizards announced. It’ll be Washington’s own second-rounder, since that’s the only one the Wizards had. 

SATURDAY, 12:42pm: The sign-and-trade trade has been officially executed, per a team release from the Celtics.

6:08pm: Michael passes along (via Twitter) that the year in which the Wizards will send that protected second-round pick to the Celtics is yet to be determined.

5:14pm: Boston is receiving a future protected second-round pick in the deal, Wojnarowski reports. It’s so heavily protected that the Wizards are unlikely to ever have to convey it to the Celtics, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

4:25pm: The Celtics and Wizards have reached agreement on the sign-and-trade arrangement, Michael reports. It’s still unclear what Boston is receiving, however.

4:10pm: The first-year salary for Humphries will be $4.3MM, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com, so assuming there are no other players involved, that’s the amount of the trade exception the Celtics will receive.

2:14pm: Boston has had only preliminary discussion with the Wizards about a sign-and-trade involving Humphries, but the Celtics nonetheless appear willing to take part, Wojnarowski reports (on Twitter).

TUESDAY, 1:30pm: Kris Humphries has agreed to join the Wizards on a three-year, $13MM deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The Celtics and Wizards are working to make it a sign-and-trade that would allow the capped-out Wizards, who’ve already used their mid-level exception on Paul Pierce, to give Humphries a deal that large, according to Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling (Twitter links). Washington would use a trade exception from its deal to send Trevor Ariza to the Rockets to accommodate the trade for Humphries, as Zwerling explains. The final season of Humphries’ contract will be a team option, according to Wojnarowski, though it’s possible that it will simply be non-guaranteed.

Houston’s sign-and-trade for Ariza has yet to become finalized, but it’ll allow Washington to create a trade exception worth approximately $8.5MM, depending on the value of the salary in the first year of Ariza’s new deal. That’s more than enough room for Humphries, who’ll replace Trevor Booker after he agreed to join the Jazz earlier today.

It’s unclear what the Celtics would receive in the deal, though it appears they’ll net a trade exception of their own. Humphries recently reiterated his openness to a deal that would keep him in Boston, a stance he took for much of the second half of the season after rumors earlier in the year that he wanted out. The Celtics had interest, as did the Heat, Hornets, Clippers, Mavs and Timberwolves at various points this month, but ultimately Washington won out.

The Arn Tellem client averaged 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game for the Celtics this past season, but he’s only two seasons removed from back-to-back double-digit averages in scoring and rebounding for the Nets. Zach Links of Hoops Rumors pointed to Humphries’ track record in predicting that he would end up with a tidy payday, and while he won’t sock away $12MM as he did last season, he still remains well above the minimum salary.