Washburn On Harden, Jones, Rockets

Free agent swingman Mickael Pietrus has made it clear he isn't willing to sign for the veteran's minimum, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Pietrus has expressed an interest in playing for the Celtics and taking the team's $1.95MM biannual exception, but Boston will likely hold onto it until the regular season, using it on a player who's been waived by another team. 

Here's the latest news and headlines from Washburn…

  • Magic Johnson recently voiced his opinion on the moves the Lakers made this offseason. “It was a great move for the Lakers, not just for now but for the future because now we’ll have somebody we can build the Lakers around once Kobe is gone,”Johnson said. “I think that Steve Nash was also a key trade because Steve will make everybody better like Dwight Howard will make all the players better because he’s a great defender and he can get out on that break and run the pick-and-roll well.”
  • The Thunder's decision to re-sign James Harden isn't a lock even after helping the United States win a gold medal this summer in London. Team general manager Sam Presti may be reluctant to offer him a new contract due to Harden's struggles during the NBA Finals in which he missed 16 of 20 shots in Game 3 and 4 losses to Miami. “We’ll be open in saying that there are a lot of inherent challenges this organization faces as a result of the new CBA,” Presti said. “With that said, we also maintained that we’re going to figure out a way to build a team that’s competitive within the new system and capable of competing."
  • Former Cavs guard Damon Jones has moved on from his playing days and is now looking to make a career as a coach. He helped out friend Tyronn Lue with the Celtics this summer during the team's summer league and truly enjoyed the experience. “When you play like I have for 12 years, there’s so many different things that I saw during the course of my career that I can extend to younger players,” Jones said. “The players that we have here are very receptive. It’s been fun. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
  • Rockets general manager Daryl Morey approached the summer in search of a superstar player to build his roster around but enters the fall with Jeremy Lin as his big ticket acquisition of the offseason. While Morey didn't add the franchise player he was looking to acquire, the general manager is excited about what Lin brings to his team. "We’re always looking for opportunities to upgrade our team," Morey said. "We really like that we have Jeremy [Lin] and the other young players that we have and the other young players improving over time."

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