|02.21.13 at 1:16 pm ET|
A mere hours before the NBA’s trade deadline, Donny Marshall of CSNNE joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to discuss the never-ending trade rumors involving Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Fab Melo and more.
“I love MarShon Brooks,” Marshall said. “I think that he is one of my favorite, if not my favorite first couple of years players. He’s a terrific scorer. … It comes to an end at some point and then you have to start rebuilding. Paul Pierce is the Bob Cousy, the John Havlicek of the Celtics today. He really is. You have a guy on your team that has played for you his entire career and has played through all the ups and downs. … If you can get a guy like MarShon Brooks, if you can get a guy like Kris Humphries; you know what, personality off the court aside, it helps you on the court.”
Another hot topic for the trade deadline has continued to be the possible availability of Hawks forward Josh Smith.
“I don’t know if Doc Rivers wants to coach a guy like Josh Smith,” Marshall said. “The guy has no position, I’m talking basketball alone. He has no position. He has no shot selection. Sometimes you’ll see him shooting 3′s. He’ll shoot air balls, then he’ll make two or three. Then you’ll see him shooting mid-range jumpshots, then you’ll see him in the post. He really has no position. … He hasn’t proven himself as a winner, one. He doesn’t really understand the concepts of what they’re running. Maybe that’s the coach and the system that you can play in Atlanta, but I’m not so sure that he’s a Doc Rivers-type guy.”
While Smith’s athleticism is obvious, his personality and attitude has come into question in the past.
“Everyone across the board [says] ‘We don’t know, we stay away from Josh Smith,’ ” Marshall said. “Because his personality, he will blow up at you. He will walk out of practices. These are reports from guys who are on that team; coaches and players. Obviously you have to have a guy come and experience it for yourself, but guys in the NBA talk. It’s a small fraternity and that bad news can derail, it will stay with you for a long time, and I think a lot of people know that about Josh Smith, apart from his talent on the floor.
|02.21.13 at 12:12 pm ET|
Here’s a roundup of the rumors that are making their way around the web midday Thursday, hours before the 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline.
The Pacers are dangling D.J. Augustin, Gerald Green and Tyler Hansbrough, according to the Indianapolis Star. While they are 33-21 and owners of the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Pacers are looking to strengthen their roster as they look toward the playoffs.
Augustin ($3.5 million) and Hansbrough ($3.05 million) are on expiring contracts. Augustin will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, while Hansbrough will be restricted.
Green, the athletic former Celtic, signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal last offseason but has struggled to find his niche.
‘¢ Magic guard J.J. Redick, who becomes a free agent this offseason, is said to be receiving plenty of interest. Redick makes $6.19 million this season but reportedly wants close to $10 million per year for his next deal, leading to the Magic taking calls. Redick is averaging a career-best 15.2 points and 4.4 assists in 31.6 minutes per game. The Spurs are one of the teams rumored to have an interest.
‘¢ Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Raptors have emerged as the frontrunners to land Suns guard (and onetime Celtic) Sebastian Telfair, crediting league sources. Telfair’s minutes have dropped since the Suns made a coaching change last month (hiring Lindsey Hunter to replace Alvin Gentry).
‘¢ The New Orleans Time Picayune reports that the Hornets are offering guard Eric Gordon. One option has Gordon going to the Warriors for Klay Thompson, although Golden State apparently isn’t very interested in that deal.
|02.21.13 at 11:47 am ET|
The Celtics are trying to land Kings guard Tyreke Evans prior to the 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
Rumors of the C’s interest in the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft have surfaced before, and given Sacramento’s willingness to part ways on Thursday with their first- and second-round picks from this past June’s draft — Thomas Robinson and Tyler Honeycutt, respectively — along with longtime Kings wing Francisco Garcia, it’s no surprise Celtics president of basketball relations Danny Ainge is eager to get Sacramento GM Geoff Petrie on the phone.
Evans has averaged 15.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.1 minutes a night for the miserable Kings organization, but the question is whether the 23-year-old former NBA Rookie of the Year has been part of the problem in Sacramento. He has a $6.9 million qualifying offer for next season.
It’s unclear what the Celtics would offer in return for Evans. Also, Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears reported that both Evans and Kings teammate DeMarcus Cousins “have been given the impression they would not be dealt.”
|02.21.13 at 10:55 am ET|
As Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday, the Celtics are offering Fab Melo to any NBA team that can provide sufficient backcourt help, and ESPN.com senior writer Chris Broussard claimed Wizards shooting guard Jordan Crawford is “on their radar.”
The 24-year-old Crawford has averaged 13.2 points, 3.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 26.2 minutes for a bad Wizards team. Here’s former ESPN.com analyst and current Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger‘s scouting report on Crawford (WARNING: Don’t get too excited.):
- Shoot-happy guard who takes terrible shots. Capable passer when mood strikes.
- Very quick and has a good handle. Can finish, but poor long-range shooter.
- Abysmal defender. Undersized for 2. Must add strength and dial up effort.
Crawford and newly signed Terrence Williams — at least for the remainder of his 10-day deal — would battle for the fourth spot in Celtics coach Doc Rivers‘ point guard-less backcourt behind Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Crawford has shot 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range in two-plus seasons.
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|02.21.13 at 1:14 am ET|
The Celtics gave up 36 first-quarter points to the Lakers, and their defense remained porous for the rest of the night in a 113-99 loss in Los Angeles. The defeat, which came with just over 12 hours left until the NBA trade deadline, was the second in as many games at the start of a five-game trip against Western Conference teams.
Dwight Howard was dominant in the post for the Lakers, hitting 10-of-13 shots en route to 24 points and 12 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. Howard and Earl Clark (14 points, 15 rebounds) gave Los Angeles a huge advantage on the boards, with a 48-34 advantage on the glass. Seven Lakers finished the night in double figures in a well-balanced attack that consistently found clear lanes to the bucket against the Celtics.
The Celtics now have two days to regroup before they face the Suns in Phoenix. Given the uncertainty inherent in the hours leading up to the trade deadline, it remains to be seen what the composition of the team will be when it next takes the floor.
|02.20.13 at 6:00 pm ET|
The Nets offered Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a first-round pick — the same package made to the Hawks for Josh Smith — to the Celtics in exchange for Paul Pierce, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
The C’s want Brooklyn to sweeten the pot with Mirza Teletovic and another first-rounder, but the Nets won’t add to their original offer, according to Wojnarowski, who reported a near Pierce deal with the Nets last season that involved Mehmet Okur‘s expiring contract and a lottery pick that was instead dealt to Portland for Gerald Wallace and became Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard.
The Celtics also separately inquired about Nets backup point guard C.J. Watson, but the conversation went nowhere, Wojnarowski said.
As for Brooklyn’s offer for Pierce, no word on how quickly Celtics president Danny Ainge hung up the phone. The Nets seem eager to get out from underneath the $12 million remaining on Humphries’ deal next season, especially since the controversial big man’s production has been slashed in half since averaging a double-double during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. Meanwhile, the C’s could’ve had MarShon Brooks in the 2011 NBA draft, but instead shipped his rights to the Nets in exchange for JaJuan Johnson. And the Nets currently own the 21st pick in this June’s draft. In other words, a terrible offer.
|02.20.13 at 1:48 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated NBA writer Chris Mannix joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday, one day before the NBA trade deadline, to discuss rumors surrounding the Celtics. Mannix said the Celtics would be wise to do the deal reportedly discussed with the Clippers, but he’s not expecting it to happen.
“Boston was making a lot of those calls about [Kevin] Garnett to the Clippers,” Mannix said. “And the interest in the Clippers, I can tell you, it’s divided out there among the organization. The coaching staff, they want Kevin Garnett, because they want to win now. ‘¦ Whereas the front office, I can tell you this, they’re not all that inclined to give up Eric Bledsoe, who is a potential 10-year starter in this league, and DeAndre Jordan, a sure-fire starter right now, for Kevin Garnett, who could potentially only be giving you a couple more months. Who knows what Kevin Garnett’s future is going to hold? To me, he’s always been on a series of one-year contracts.
“I think at the end of the day, when you throw in the no-trade clause that Kevin has, and you consider the fact that I have not heard a heck of a lot of significant interest surrounding Paul Pierce, I think more likely than not, the core of this team stays together.”
A report Tuesday night had the Clippers pulling out of trade talks. Mannix said he expects Celtics boss Danny Ainge would follow through if the deal is resuscitated.
“I think if the deal is there, he makes it,” Mannix said. “If he can get Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan for Kevin Garnett, you jump at it. I’ve heard some criticisms of this deal from the Boston side; I don’t get it. Has anyone not been watching Eric Bledsoe? As really the fourth guard on this Clippers team — third, I guess, when [Chauncey] Billups is injured — but really, he’s done a lot of things.”
Added Mannix: “You’re dealing with potential right now, because he hasn’t gotten the consistent minutes at the point guard spot because Chris Paul has been there for a couple of years now. But Eric Bledsoe is a guy that could potentially take over as a starting point guard for a team right away, and be an effective guy, be a guy that can score 15 points per game and give you seven, eight assists. Look at the way he’s played this year: He’s up to about 10 points per game. But more importantly, his field goal percentage is in the mid-40s right now, his 3-point percentage is in the low 30s. This is a guy that’s been improving every single year. So I think he’s a guy you would want to get.
“Same thing with DeAndre Jordan, who admittedly is a little bit overpaid, because Golden State threw that massive contract at him last year. But he’s someone that can be a starting center on your team for the next decade.
“And when you make a deal like that, all of a sudden there can be a domino effect. Now you can think about dealing Rajon Rondo next year, when he becomes healthy, because you have Eric Bledsoe already at the starter’s spot. You can trade Rondo for some starting quality pieces or some draft picks, and all of a sudden an old, aging team could suddenly be a fast, rebuilding team on the fly. I think that’s the way it would turn out.”