Danny Ainge made his final weekly appearance on 93.7 WEEI's Salk and Holley Show to share his thoughts on the team heading into the offseason. Ben Rohrbach of WEEI passed along the highlights of the interview, notably mentioning that Ainge feels that Paul Pierce has "a lot of basketball left in him" and that he thinks Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers will be back next season. You can read more about Ainge's comments below:
- Determining the future of Pierce will be the first difficult decision Ainge will have to make this summer.
- He downplayed recent rumors which suggested that he and Rivers are questioning whether they can continue to coexist or not: "(Those rumors) are silly. Those are a waste of time to even acknowledge...I think I have the best coach in the NBA, and I'm not the least bit tired of hearing his voice...I think Doc'll be coaching the Celtics (next year)."
- Garnett will be given some time to himself before the team approaches him about next season: "I'll touch base w/him some time next week...He needs time to chill and contemplate his life. I do anticipate KG will play."
- On a side note, Leandro Barbosa has been rehabbing at the team's facility, leading Rohrbach to wonder if Boston will consider bringing him back to the team next season.
- Rajon Rondo has "looked good" as he continues to recover from his ACL injury and should be ready to go by training camp.
- Ainge thinks that the team is more than one player away from contending (unless it's a great player) and added that it would be tough to become a championship team with the way the Celtics are currently constructed.
Despite ongoing criticism directed at Derrick Rose
for not returning to action yet after being medically cleared nearly two months ago, the Bulls superstar remains unfazed, primarily because he doesn't put himself in a position to hear about any of it, observes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times
. As for the theory that the "Rose camp" - whether it involves his brother Reggie, Adidas, or agent B.J. Armstrong
- has decided to keep him out of action, Rose dispelled the notion, telling Cowley, “Who said that? If anything, it’s up to me...My brother and them can’t tell me what to do with my body. They give me control. I’m in control of the whole process. It’s really all on me.’’
Rose also mentions that he's still trying to prepare himself mentally for a return and downplayed the idea that the Bulls have put pressure on him to make haste on a comeback. Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
As rumors fly long past the NBA's trade deadline, Marc Stein of ESPN.com checks in with a Weekend Dime that's heavy on items about Josh Smith, as well as plenty of news about the Rockets. There's even a link between Smith and Houston, so let's dig in.
- The Bucks came closest to acquiring Smith at the deadline, as a source tells Stein that Atlanta's talks with the Sixers were never as serious as they were with Milwaukee.
- Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported earlier today that the Hawks nearly sent Smith to the Celtics, but Stein hears Atlanta's brass shared the concerns of many NBA teams that C's basketball president Danny Ainge would get cold feet about dealing one of his stars. Paul Pierce would have been sent to the Mavs in the rumored Smith-to-Boston trade.
- The Hawks preferred to send Smith to the Western Conference, but were rebuffed by the Mavs, who refused to add a draft pick to a package that already included Vince Carter, Chris Kaman, Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright and Dahntay Jones. Many of those Mavericks were also part of the proposed three-way trade with the Celtics.
- If the Rockets don't land top target Dwight Howard this summer, they'll turn their attention to Smith and Andrew Bynum next, sources tell Stein.
- Aaron Brooks forfeited just under $3.4MM in his buyout from the Kings, Stein hears. Brooks was set to make $3.396MM next season on a player option, so presumably the buyout simply entailed him declining that option.
- I took a look in January at all the former Rockets the team still has on the payroll, a list that's since grown even longer, as Stein notes. Houston has waived or bought out 10 players this season, all of whom are still on the team's cap.
- Stein catches up with Thomas Robinson, who was surprised when the Kings drafted him last year and "shocked" when they traded him to the Rockets at the deadline.
- There's a schism in thought around the league about whether Monta Ellis is leaning toward staying with the Bucks next season or exercising his early-termination option to hit free agency this summer.
- Samuel Dalembert is hitting free agency no matter what, but echoing his report before the trade deadline that Milwaukee was no longer trying to move Dalembert, Stein says the Bucks have some interest in re-signing the Haitian center.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on WEEI radio in Boston to talk about what transpired during the trade deadline as well as his thoughts on the team moving forward. Greg Payne of ESPN Boston has the highlights, including Ainge's thoughts on why Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce weren't dealt, the CBA having a significant impact on the trade deadline, the long-standing interest in Jordan Crawford, and whether or not he would have been able to convince Garnett to waive his no-trade clause. Here's more out of the Atlantic Division tonight:
76ers center Andrew Bynum still hasn't set an exact return date for his practice debut, telling reporters that he expects to be able to join the team in "a week, could be two" (reports Jason Wolf of USA Today). The young center provides a distinction between returning to practice and going up against "live defenders," the latter of which he doesn't think he'll be ready for until a couple of weeks from now. Slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July, Bynum remains confident he can still return to NBA action at some point this season. Here's more out of the Atlantic Division tonight:
- Baxter Holmes of Boston.com looked further into Danny Ainge's uncertainty about the Celtics getting a trade done within the coming days. Ainge admitted that he's been involved in a lot of conversations due to their misfortune with injuries, also mentioning that he's had to field a lot of "waste-of-time calls from the media and other teams."
- Paul Pierce thinks that the Celtics need to add help - whether through trades or free agency - for practice and preservation's sake (CSNNE.com report). Coach Doc Rivers thinks the team needs two guards (at least one for practice), but also made it clear that they won't go after somebody they don't want.
- Knicks big men Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby had limited participation in today's practice, although head coach Mike Woodson says that they still have a lot to show him before he can consider putting them back into games (Barbara Barker of Newsday reports).
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on 93.7 WEEI FM in Boston to discuss a number of topics about the team, most notably saying that a tough week lies ahead in terms of making personnel decisions. Here's an outline of some of the highlights from the transcript:
- Trade options right now have dwindled since the team dealt with injuries to Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger, and Leandro Barbosa.
- The team "will eventually get some help", but Ainge feels that there aren't any players out there who could make the same impact that those three have made when healthy. Anyone comparable to Barbosa is currently under a "multimillion dollar and multiyear contract", and no one who impacts the dynamic of team rebounding the way Sullinger does is available, which would make the task of acquiring replacements very challenging.
- They'll take this next week to explore trades and free agent signings, and Delonte West is one of the players on their long list of targets. According to Ainge, West is "someone who we certainly know, probably better than anyone in the NBA." However, Ainge also added that it'd be difficult for someone to have sat out for almost a year and immediately contribute.
- He didn't perceive the team would do so well after Rondo got hurt, saying that short samples can sometimes be deceiving.
- One key for the Celtics moving forward hinges on how well they can exploit the matchup advantages that Jeff Green can create offensively.
Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge appeared on WEEI on Thursday and gave a radio interview in which he covered a variety of topics relating to the Celtics' handling of Rajon Rondo's knee injury and the team's plans for the trading headline. Brian Robb of CelticsHub.com has a transcript of some of Ainge's comments.
On the likelihood of a trade:
“I think whether we win every game or whether we struggle, I think it all depends on what opportunties are presented, so we are open and listening and are having discussions regarding a lot of different possibilities, but we don’t feel pressure to do anything. We want to make some change to help improve our team, but we don’t feel pressure.”
On the possibility of trading Paul Pierce:
Nothing is close to being done. I too, would like to see Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic. That would be great. We are all attached to Paul. He’s been great for the city, the franchise, each of us individually, he’s been a true pro. Having said that, if something came up I would talk to Paul, but my job is do what’s best for the Boston fans, and what’s best for the Boston Celtic team, regardless of my personal ties and personal relationships with players.”
On discussions with the Grizzlies prior to the Rudy Gay trade:
“Memphis with new management has been pretty active. We’ve had discussions but nothing that ever got close. It’s been well documented what they were trying to accomplish, to get under the tax and get for Rudy. They got some good players though, and time will tell.”
It's been a busy night both on and off the court in the NBA, as the Lakers appear to be on their way to elimination at the hands of the Thunder, while the Magic are making wholesale management changes. Here's the rest of the late-night story:
- The Blazers have not asked for permission from the Celtics to speak with Danny Ainge about their GM opening, Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com tweets.
- The Rockets remain interested in trading for Pau Gasol, salary cap guru Larry Coon says, via Twitter.
- Coon also believes the union will not prevail in its quest to secure Bird rights for players who were claimed off waivers (Twitter link).
- Pacers assistant Brian Shaw is drawing interest for head coaching positions elsewhere, but the Pacers place a high value on him, Chris Mannix of SI.com notes (Twitter link).
- Jason Fleming of HoopsWorld profiles the top five vote-getters for Executive of the Year.