Boston Celtics Rumors
June 19 at 10:44pm CST By Luke Adams
UPDATE 10:44pm: We suddenly have a number of late-night updates, courtesy of Shelburne, who reports that the Clippers have backed off their refusal to include two first round draft picks in the deal. She also reports that the deal should get done by Thursday, and the Clippers believe it will ensure that Paul re-signs with the team on July 1 rather than becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Because coaches cannot be traded, the deal must consist of two separate transactions - first a swap of Jordan for Garnett and then a transmission of the two drafts picks from L.A. to Boston as compensation for the release of Rivers from his contract. Because of this, Shelburne says that the teams will have to then convince the NBA that the two deals are not contigent on each other and that they are, in fact, separate transactions in order to meet the standards of the league's CBA.
8:28pm: A deal will not be finalized tonight, tweets Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times. The talks that resumed today will pick back up tomorrow morning.
6:53pm: Per Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne on Twitter, one source close to the trade talks expressed optimism that the teams could come to terms tonight.
5:56pm: Merely a day after both sides suggested the deal was dead, the Clippers and Celtics have re-opened trade discussions involving Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). While they appeared to be moving on with their coaching search, the Clippers reached out to the Celtics today to resume dialogue and according to Wojnarowski, Chris Paul's insistence was a big reason why. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweets that the Clips are now determined to get a deal done, which could lead to a sweetener in the deal for the Celtics.
We know that Rivers was set to meet with C's GM Danny Ainge today. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles tweets that that meeting has officially ended, curiously at about the same time we heard that talked had been reignited. Citing a source close to Rivers, Shelburne writes that Rivers does want to coach next season but would like another shot at a championship, which he knows will not happen if Boston chooses to rebuild. Washburn also tweets if the C's lose Rivers, expect Ainge to look for a younger replacement like Brian Shaw or Heat assistant David Fizdale.
Meanwhile, sources tell ESPN.com's Chris Broussard that the meeting between Clippers
owner Donald Sterling and head coaching candidate Byron Scott went "very
well," yesterday. Shaw, who was scheduled to meet with Sterling today, is currently at the Clippers' office, tweets Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.
Talks between the two sides reportedly ended yesterday when the Clippers refused to include a second first-round draft pick in an offer that included DeAndre Jordan and one first-rounder. Jordan's $3MM trade kicker and the potential inclusion of Courtney Lee's or Jason Terry's contract were also believed to possible points of contention. There are a ton of balls in the air for both teams in this situation. Stay tuned.
June 19 at 11:32am CST By Luke Adams
According to ESPN.com's Chad Ford, there's very little consensus on this year's draft class beyond the top six prospects -- Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, Alex Len, Anthony Bennett, and Otto Porter. It seems likely those six players will be selected in some order to start the draft, which means the Kings, picking 7th overall, could be the draft's first real wild card. As we look forward to see what the new regime in Sacramento decides to do with that pick, let's round up a few items out of the Pacific Division....
- While some fans and onlookers may be surprised to see the Clippers pull away from trade talks with the Celtics, Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com explains why it makes some sense for Los Angeles. As Arnovitz writes, there's no real rush for the Clippers, since they could theoretically still work out a deal for Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers after July 1st. Arnovitz also thinks the Clippers are right to be protective of their first-round picks, since those selections are more valuable under the new CBA.
- For years, the Suns have employed general managers who didn't get to hire a head coach of their choosing, or coaches who weren't hired by the current GM. But having hired Ryan McDonough and Jeff Hornacek this offseason, there's a feeling of synergy and energy in Phoenix, as president Lon Babby tells Bob Young of the Arizona Republic. "It’s palpable," Babby said. "You can feel it through the whole
organization. We always envisioned it working this way, and we have a
chance now to make it work."
- Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times explains in detail why the Lakers are extremely unlikely to acquire a player via sign-and-trade this summer.
- Although his lengthy run as the Kings' head of basketball operations came to an end this year, Geoff Petrie is happy to see the franchise stay in Sacramento, writes Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. "That's where my heart was in the whole thing," Petrie said. "In spite of
being grateful to the Maloofs and working for them all those years, I
had really strong feelings that the team needed to stay here. My hat's
off to those people." Petrie also spoke to Jones about sticking around the team helping with draft preparation over the last several weeks, even as his contract is set to expire on June 30th.
June 18 at 8:27pm CST By Michael Pina
A few random notes from around the league as the Spurs and Heat do battle in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
- Former Spurs guard Stephen Jackson says he isn't bitter about being waived by the team earlier this season, and maintains he'll land somewhere else this summer, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. Jackson also said three teams called him after he was waived, but wouldn't specify on which did so.
- Tim Healey from WEEI.com wrote a profile of Providence guard Ricky Ledo, and how the scorer who took last season off can help the Celtics, who hold the 16th pick in the upcoming draft.
- Hoopsworld.com's Alex Kennedy reports a rumor that the Spurs will take French forward Livio Jean-Charles in the draft and then allow him to develop overseas for at least one year.
June 18 at 3:28pm CST By Luke Adams
3:28pm: Rivers is scheduled to be in Boston on Wednesday, and plans to sit down with Ainge, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter).
12:41pm: With trade talks between the Clippers and Celtics dead in the water, it doesn't appear Doc Rivers will be coaching in Los Angeles next season. What remains to be seen is whether he'll be coaching in Boston. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Rivers is unsure about returning to the Celtics as the team's head coach.
As Wojnarowski reported earlier today, when talks between the Clippers and Celtics ended, GM Danny Ainge called Rivers to inform him he still wanted to see Doc return to Boston and coach the remaining three years on his contract. While Ainge and Rivers are close, it's hard to envision Rivers back on the sidlines for the Celtics next season, considering how far along things got with the Clippers. As one source tied to Celtics ownership and Rivers told Wojnarowski: "You don't just move on from this and act like nothing happened."
Rivers' contract with the Celtics includes a non-compete clause that would prevent him from coaching another NBA team over the next three years, unless Boston received satisfactory compensation. If Rivers were to part ways with the C's, he would likely have plenty of options available to him as a broadcaster.
Resolution on the situation is expected within the next several days, according to Wojnarowski. As the Yahoo! scribe notes, until the Clippers hire a new head coach, it's possible trade talks could be re-opened, but for now it appears the two sides are going their separate ways.
June 18 at 2:33pm CST By Luke Adams
2:33pm: According to tweets from Ramona Shelburne and Arash Markazi of ESPN.com, financial concerns weren't the reason the Clippers pulled out of the deal. The team was prepared to give Rivers a big contract, but didn't want to give up two first-round picks in the move (Twitter links).
11:46am: According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Ainge has called Rivers to inform him that talks are over and that he still wants Rivers back as the Celtics' coach.
11:41am: Sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link) that the Clippers got "cold feet" over the financial commitment necessary to complete the deal. Even if Terry and Lee weren't involved, the Clips would have been paying Jordan's trade kicker and committing a $6-7MM annual salary to Rivers.
11:31am: The Clippers don't appear to be posturing when they say talks are over, according to Turner, who tweets that the deal is "dead, dead, dead." Amick and Dan Woike of the Orange County Register are also hearing the same thing (Twitter links). Celtics GM Danny Ainge confirms to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) that negotiations are over from Boston's perspective as well.
11:01am: After days of negotiating, the Clippers appear to have called off a potential deal with the Celtics that would have sent Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers to L.A., according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). Turner hears from a Clippers executive that the Celtics were asking for too much in the proposed swap.
Earlier today, we heard that while the Celtics would have liked to include Jason Terry's or Courtney Lee's contract in the deal, Boston was willing to hang on to those players if the Clippers gave up two first-round picks. However, according to Turner (via Twitter), the Clippers were unwilling to part with multiple first-rounders in addition to DeAndre Jordan. Los Angeles will move forward with its head coaching search, as owner Donald Sterling prepares to meet with Byron Scott today and Brian Shaw tomorrow, says Turner (via Twitter).
I'm a little surprised that a second first-round pick would be the sticking point for the Clippers, considering how many other concessions the Celtics appear to have made, including agreeing not to include Eric Bledsoe in the deal. The Clippers figured to be a perennial contender in the West for the next several years if they locked up Chris Paul to go along with a roster that would also include Blake Griffin, Garnett, and whatever other assets the team acquired this summer, so those future picks would likely have landed late in the first round.
It would seem to be in the best interests of both teams to get something done -- for the Clippers, it virtually guarantees Paul would re-sign with the team in July, while for the Celtics it would mean starting their rebuilding process in earnest. Both sides wanted closure one way or the other early this week, so it's possible that talks are indeed dead, as Sam Amick of USA Today is also hearing (Twitter link). But as Amick notes, until the Clippers officially hire a head coach besides Rivers, it's hard to believe both teams would truly walk away from this deal.
June 18 at 10:00am CST By Luke Adams
Although one report yesterday suggested that the Cavaliers were leaning toward selecting big man Alex Len with the first overall pick in next week's draft, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio hears that's not the case. Amico reports (via Twitter) that there's still no clear frontrunner for the Cavs' No. 1 pick, which likely means Len remains in the mix along with prospects like Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, and Otto Porter. As we enjoy the uncertainty of not knowing which player will be picked first overall, let's round up a few more of today's draft-related news and rumors....
- If the Celtics end up acquiring the Clippers' 2013 first-round pick (25th overall), Ricky Ledo represents a likely target for Boston, tweets ESPN.com's Chad Ford.
- Like a number of international prospects we heard about yesterday, Norvel Pelle has also withdrawn from the NBA draft, according to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. Pelle, who missed workouts with several NBA teams due to foot issues, remained eligible to withdraw from the draft up until yesterday's deadline, since he didn't attend college.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link) hears that Cody Zeller will work out for the Bobcats on Wednesday.
- In an Associated Press report (via ESPN.com), Glen Rice Jr. talks about attempting to become the first player drafted in the first round after playing in the D-League.
June 18 at 8:28am CST By Luke Adams
Even with Game Six of the NBA Finals less than 12 hours away, the hottest topic around the Association remains the trade talks between the Clippers and Celtics involving Kevin Garnett, DeAndre Jordan, and Doc Rivers. We rounded up a ton of reports on the story yesterday, but by the end of the night, the two sides had yet to reach an agreement. As the two sides continue to negotiate, we'll round up the latest rumors on the proposed deal below, with any additional updates coming throughout the day:
- As we noted last night, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the deal may get done without the Clippers giving up Eric Bledsoe or taking on Jason Terry's or Courtney Lee's contracts. In that scenario, Boston would be seeking Jordan and two first-round picks. Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported that the Clips were unwilling to acquire both Terry and Lee, but still may take on one of the two -- however, according to Wojnarowski, L.A. has refused to take on additional salary "in any combination."
- In the event an agreement is reached, the Clippers would have to pay about $3.5MM for Jordan's 15% trade kicker and would also be prepared to offer Rivers a five-year contract worth about $35MM, writes Wojnarowski. So the move would represent a significant financial commitment for the franchise even without Terry or Lee involved.
- While there's still optimism that a deal will get done, the Clippers are preparing a contingency plan for their head coaching opening, having owner Donald Sterling meet with Byron Scott on Tuesday and Brian Shaw on Wednesday, according to Shelburne and Stein. As for Rivers, he remains "torn" on whether he'd return to the Celtics should this deal fall apart, says Wojnarowski.
- Although various outlets are reporting slightly different details on the talks, all of the latest reports, including those from ESPN.com, Yahoo!, and Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, agree that Bledsoe is off the table and won't be part of the deal if it gets done.
June 17 at 10:31pm CST By Luke Adams
The trade talks between the Celtics and Clippers aren't quite dead yet, but they also didn't move forward at all yesterday, as we detailed in a pair of posts rounding up Sunday's updates. Though the two sides have reached a stalemate for now, they continue to engage in talks and hope remains of finding an agreement, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). We'll keep tabs on today's new items right here, with any further updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- The price to complete the deal may come down to the Clippers' willingness to include a second first-round pick, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. After pushing for the Clippers to take back long-term contracts, the C's relented and have shown willingness to complete the deal for DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks. The Clippers are willing to give the Celtics Jordan and one draft pick, but are resisting a second future pick. Boston has also dropped their pursuit of Eric Bledsoe, which could help speed things along.
- The two sides have decided to leave the office for the evening and will reconnect tomorrow morning, league sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
- Some sources insist to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (on Twitter) that the two sides are just posturing and a deal will eventually get done.
- Whether Rivers is L.A.-bound or not, Garnett would waive his no-trade clause to go to the Clippers if they have the right coach and Paul is there, a source tells Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (on Twitter).
- The Celtics are waiting to hear from the Clippers on a couple of options that would give Boston payroll flexibility in a Doc Rivers deal, sources tell Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). "The Celtics aren't winning a championship next year, so if they don't have to pay their coach $7MM, that's a home run," one source said (link). Sources also tell Berger (link) that Boston's motivation to do a deal goes beyond moving Kevin Garnett's contract and another multiyear deal, such as Jason Terry or Courtney Lee.
- A Clippers source says that they're not planning any press conferences right now, Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com tweets.
- While Paul Pierce isn't part of the deal being discussed by the two teams, there's an expectation around the league that he'd eventually get to the Clippers if this trade happened, says ESPN.com's Marc Stein (Twitterlinks). That would likely mean Pierce being bought out on or before June 30th by the Celtics or another team (if he's traded in a separate deal).
- A deal between the two sides is "close to being done very, very soon," a source tells Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
- If the Clippers were willing to take on either Courtney Lee or Jason Terry in the trade, the Celtics would be open to relenting on Bledsoe, tweets ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
- According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter), the Clippers have also talked about adding Caron Butler's $8MM expiring contract to the deal.
- Talks between the Clippers and Celtics have slowed down, according to
Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, who says the deal will come down to
how creative the two teams can get (Twitterlinks).
- A source insists to Bulpett that Danny Ainge would have no problem welcoming Doc Rivers back to Boston's bench -- it's just a matter of how uncomfortable it would be for Doc and the players (Twitter link).
- With both teams requiring some sense of clarity and closure, expect talks
to reach a conclusion one way or the other today or tomorrow, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- As the two sides search for a compromise, the Celtics have shown a
willingness to find another asset to supplant Eric Bledsoe in the deal, according to Wojnarowski.
- Wojnarowski reports that the Clippers are prepared to give Rivers a
five-year deal, and believe that acquiring Garnett and hiring Rivers
would ensure that Chris Paul re-signs with the team.
- The idea of bringing back Rivers next season has become less appealing to Boston, as one league executive tells Wojnarowski: "There's no putting the genie back in the bottle. You can't pretend this didn't happen and just go back to work."
- Resolution on the proposed deal is expected in the coming days, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, who says the Clippers aren't likely to relent and include Bledsoe. If Celtics GM Ainge decides that acquiring DeAndre Jordan and first two-round picks is fair compensation for losing Garnett and Rivers, the deal will get done, writes Amick.
- Amick also suggests that if Rivers were willing to give back some of his earnings as a way to "ease Ainge's pain," it could move negotiations along. I'd be surprised if it came to that though.
- Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald agrees with Amick's report, writing that it seems clear Boston won't get all the pieces (Bledsoe, Jordan, two first-round picks) that they want out of the deal. If neither side is willing to budge, the proposed trade would have to be changed or expanded to include other pieces, says Bulpett.
- Bledsoe is the linchpin holding up the deal, says Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe. As Amick writes in his piece, the Clippers want to keep Bledsoe out of the deal with the Celtics because it would allow them to try to use him as a trade chip in another move, whether it's for Arron Afflalo, Danny Granger, or even Dwight Howard.
- If the Celtics do part ways with Rivers, don't expect the team to pursue former assistant Tom Thibodeau, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Despite some "whispers" about the possibility, Cowley says the Celtics know the Bulls wouldn't grant them permission to speak to Thibodeau.
June 17 at 9:55pm CST By Zach Links
Earlier today, Bucks guard Monta Ellis informed the Bucks that he'll be exercising his early termination option this offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. The guard, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, has the Lakers on his wish list, but that seems pretty far fetched given their cap situation. Well, we can add another fiscal longshot to the bunch as Ellis likes the Grizzlies too, according to Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times (on Twitter). Ellis probably isn't a fit for the stats-driven Memphis front office either, as his 16.3 PER was good for 27th last season amongst point guards. Here's more from around the Association..
- Time is on the Clippers' side in their trade talks with the Celtics, a source tells Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (on Twitter). "[The] Clippers can be patient and [the] C's will be in position to get something rather than nothing," the source says.
- The Bucks announced that they will host a mini-camp for free agents this week. Damion James, Dominique Jones, and Salim Stoudamire will be among those with NBA experience in attendance.
- J. Michael of CSNWashington.com (on Twitter) isn't convinced that the Wizards have to target size after seeing the Heat and Spurs do well with small lineups.
- The Suns withdrew from contract talks to make Roy Rogers an assistant coach on Jeff Hornacek’s new staff, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
June 17 at 1:04pm CST By Luke Adams
With the deadline for international prospects to withdraw from the draft coming up in a matter of hours, Mouhammadou Jaiteh remains undecided on whether or not he'll keep his name in, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. As fellow HoopsWorld scribe Steve Kyler writes, Jaiteh is seeking a first-round guarantee, so if he exits the draft, he was probably unable to secure that promise. You can check out today's full list of draft decisions by international prospects right here.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:
- Assuming Doc Rivers parts ways with the Celtics, former Nets head coach and Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank may emerge as a candidate for the Boston job, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
- Kevin McHale, on the other hand, wouldn't be a candidate for the Celtics' position, since the Rockets wouldn't let him leave, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
- Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel spoke to Ray Allen and James Jones about their player options for 2013/14, which they'll have to decide on within the next couple weeks. Allen was noncommital on his decision, but Jones told Winderman he expects to exercise his, which is no surprise. Jones played only 221 minutes for the Heat in 2012/13, so he's not about to turn down a $1.5MM salary.
- The Bucks have added Nick Van Exel and Bob Bender to Larry Drew's staff as assistant coaches, according to the team (Twitter link). Drew worked with both Van Exel and Bender in Atlanta as well.
- New MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke has fired longtime Raptors employee Alvin Williams, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, who thinks the decision to fire a fan favorite who wanted to spend his career with the franchise sends a bad message.
- Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports has inquired with the NBA about the procedure for getting individuals certified as NBA agents, tweets Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal.