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Report: Nets to take Favors at No. 3

06.24.10 at 10:29 am ET
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According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, the Nets plan to select Georgia Tech freshman power forward Derrick Favors over Syracuse small forward Wesley Johnson with the third pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft. The story indicated the Nets want to make sure they have a frontcourt presence and consider Favors a more tradeable asset.

The top two picks are expected to be Kentucky’s John Wall (Wizards) and Ohio State’s Evan Turner (76ers).

Read More: Derrick Favors, NBA Draft, Wesley Johnson,

Report: C’s offer Perkins for pick

06.24.10 at 7:05 am ET
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According to a report at AOL FanHouse, the Celtics have offered center Kendrick Perkins and their No. 19 draft pick to teams with high lottery picks leading up to Thursday night’s NBA draft. Perkins, who has an expiring contract worth $4.4 million next season, is preparing for surgery after tearing his medial collateral ligament and partially tearing his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Game 6 of the NBA finals vs. the Lakers.

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, NBA Draft,

Ainge on Big Show: Doc ‘needs some time’

06.23.10 at 6:30 pm ET
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Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge talked with The Big Show Wednesday afternoon about the Celtics offseason, and one of the big topics of discussion was Doc Rivers and his decision whether to stay on as coach or leave for family reasons. Either way, Ainge believes that Rivers should take his time in making his decision.

“I know everybody wants to speculate, but the reality of it is he has not made a decision. I don’€™t want him personally to make a decision too soon,” Ainge said. “I know that Doc is one of the great competitors around. I think that it’€™s really tough on him with the loss. He sees the bright side of what the team accomplished, and it accomplished more than he probably thought a few months ago and all the things we just discussed. I know that it’€™s still really hard. A coach invests so much more than the players in my opinion, and he invests a ton and left it all out on the table. So he needs some time to get himself right before he makes a decision.”

Below is a transcript of some of the other highlights from Ainge’s interview. To hear the entire interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

Have the Phoenix Suns contacted you about their GM job as was reported by Sports Illustrated?

No, they have not. I have a contract, and I love what I’€™m doing. I love the people I work with. I have a great relationship with the ownership, and we have still things to accomplish here. So that’€™s just a rumor that has no substance.

Has Doc Rivers told you of his decision?

No, he has not. Doc has not made a decision. I know everybody wants to speculate, but the reality of it is he has not made a decision. I don’€™t want him personally to make a decision too soon. I know that Doc is one of the great competitors around. I think that it’€™s really tough on him with the loss. He sees the bright side of what the team accomplished, and it accomplished more than he probably thought a few months ago and all the things we just discussed. I know that it’€™s still really hard. A coach invests so much more than the players in my opinion, and he invests a ton and left it all out on the table. So he needs some time to get himself right before he makes a decision. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers,

Ainge on Big Show: No Doc decision yet

06.23.10 at 6:06 pm ET
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Danny Ainge appeared as a guest on The Big Show Wednesday afternoon and touched on a number of topics swirling around the Celtics, including his own future. Here are some highlights:

ON RUMORS HE WOULD GO TO PHOENIX

Ainge said the Suns have not approached him about their general manager job. “I have a contract [with the Celtics] and I love what I’m doing and the people I working with. We have things to accomplish here. That is just a rumor. It has no substance.”

ON DOC RIVERS

“Doc has not made a decision. I know everyone wants to speculate but the reality is he has not made a decision. I don’t want him, personally, to make a decision too soon.”

“Doc and I spoke yesterday and the day before and today. We don’t talk necessarily about his decision, we’re just talking about the team and different things. Doc is taking his time and he’ll take some time with his family this weekend. He’ll make some decisions, I believe, probably by next week or shortly thereafter.”

Quick take: The Celtics can afford to wait. Ainge said Rivers is not very involved in the draft process. The longer this plays out, the better the chances are for a return. Ainge also said he would take his time if he needs to hire a new coach and that he wouldn’t rush to hire a replacement. “I don’t think it needs to be done quickly,” Ainge said. “It needs to be done right.”

ON KEEPING THE CORE OF THE TEAM TOGETHER

“We had lots of conversation that revolved around Ray [Allen] at the trade deadline, but we felt like our team could win. I feel like this is still a good team and has another run in them.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Big Show, Danny Ainge,

Thibodeau announced as Bulls coach

06.23.10 at 12:36 pm ET
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On Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls announced Tom Thibodeau as their new head coach.

‘€œI am very excited to be here and to join the Bulls organization. Chicago is a great city with great fans and a storied history,’€ Thibodeau said. ‘€œI would like to thank Jerry Reinsdorf and [general manager] Gar Forman for presenting me with such a terrific opportunity. We have a talented team with a good nucleus of players, and I am eager to get started.’€

Thibodeau served as an assistant coach for the Celtics from 2007-10. He had been drawing interest for head coaching positions since helping lead the C’s to the 2008 championship as an assistant coach. The Celtics repeatedly have credited his emphasis on defense as a key to their success.

‘€œI am extremely pleased to welcome Tom Thibodeau as our new head coach,’€ Forman said. ‘€œAs I went through the process to search for the next head coach of the Chicago Bulls, the longer the process went it became apparent that Tom was a perfect fit for the Bulls. He is a great communicator and teacher of the game, and he fits our organizational philosophy from a defensive standpoint. With his experience and knowledge of the NBA, I am confident he will be a great leader for our team.’€

The Celtics will look to replace Thibodeau on the sideline this summer.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Tom Thibodeau,

The 19th pick in the NBA draft

06.23.10 at 8:11 am ET
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On Thursday, the Celtics will put the past behind them and look to the future with the NBA draft in New York City. The C’€™s are going to have plenty of gaps to fill, with the possibility of Rasheed Wallace retiring, the future of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in question, and other players, namely Nate Robinson and Tony Allen, becoming free agents.

The Celtics have one pick in the first round of this year’€™s draft, just beyond the halfway point, at 19. A pick at that number typically is not somebody a team can build around, but a pick that can be a role player or a deal-maker in trades. A role player would be just what the Celtics would need.

Looking over the past picks at No. 19, a few names stick out. There’€™s Hakim Warrick from 2005, Zach Randolph from 2001, Jamaal Magloire from 2000, Scot Pollard from 1997, Rod Strickland from 1988 and John Paxson in 1983. Boston has had the 19th pick twice in the past 15 years: 1993 (Acie Earl) and 1990 (Dee Brown). The Celtics also got 1996’€™s No. 19, Walter McCarty, a year after his rookie season. Back before the NBA-ABA merger, the 19th pick was in the second round, but there were significant picks, like Jerry Sloan in 1964 and the list’€™s lone Hall of Fame No. 19, Nate Archibald in 1970.

Here’€™s a list of the No. 19 picks in the past 25 NBA drafts.

2009 ‘€“ Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
2009-present: 71 games, 228 points, 122 assists, 67 rebounds, 39.6% FG

2008 ‘€“ Cleveland Cavaliers: J.J. Hickson, NC State
2008-present: 143 games, 934 points, 49 assists, 565 rebounds, 54.3% FG

2007 ‘€“ Los Angeles Lakers: Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech
2007-2009: 113 games, 595 points, 201 assists, 276 rebounds, 44.2% FG Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, NBA Draft,

Celtics draft prospects

06.22.10 at 3:51 pm ET
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The revamping, or possibly the rebuilding, of the Celtics begins Thursday night with the NBA Draft. The C’s still have a number of unanswered questions heading into the offseason, but they do stand to select a player who can contribute next year.

This year’s draft is top-heavy with two sure things: John Wall and Evan Turner. After that the next five picks figure to be (in some order): Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins, Wesley Johnson, Greg Monroe and Al-Farouq Aminu.

That’s where the draft begins to take on an unexpected flavor. There doesn’t appear to be much separation among the next 20 or so prospects, which could lead to a wild night of trades if teams have zeroed in on a specific player.

If the Celtics stay at 19 they are likely to be looking at either NBA-ready wing players or developing big men. While not perfect, Danny Ainge has a strong track record of drafting both types of players. He hit on numerous second-round picks such as Ryan Gomes, Leon Powe and Glen Davis and he also drafted solid role players late in the first round in Delonte West and Tony Allen.

Ainge also tabbed Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson out of high school. The misses tended to be on projection players like Gerald Green.

His biggest hit was acquiring a first round pick from Phoenix to draft Rajon Rondo and there may also be the chance to draft a another point guard if either Avery Bradley or Eric Bledose falls to them.

This is an important draft for the Celtics. If they bring their core back for another run the draft can add some needed youth. If circumstances force them to adapt their plan, getting a player to grow with Rondo would be an important step.The 19th pick is no sure thing, see below, but based on the scouting reports and mock drafts they should be able to get someone who can be useful in whatever direction they wind up taking.

LAST FIVE PICKS AT 19

2009: Jeff Teague, Atlanta

2008: JJ Hickson, Cleveland

2007: Javaris Crittenton, Lakers

2006: Quincy Douby, Sacramento

2005: Hakim Warrick, Memphis

Here’s a look at some of the players that may be available: Read the rest of this entry »

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