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Celtics lose early lead and game to Sixers

07.06.10 at 8:30 pm ET
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76ers 86, Celtics 69

After coming up short on Monday against the more talented Thunder squad in the first day of Summer League, the Celtics once again lost a lead on Tuesday in a loss to the 76ers.

Boston (0-2) came out and quickly took an early 15-3 lead in the first quarter on the strength of Tony Gaffney‘€™s play. After struggling in nearly 25 minutes of play on Monday, Gaffney was much more productive and filled the stat sheet against Philadelphia with 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot.

The 76ers (2-0), however, went on a 20-4 run through the end of the first and beginning of the second quarter to take a six-point lead. Boston was unable to cut down the deficit and went into halftime trailing by four points.

Philadelphia continued its strong play in the second half and built its lead up before eventually winning, 86-79. The 76ers had five players in double digits, with Jodie Meeks leading the way with 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field and 2-for-3 shooting from beyond the arc. Jaycee Carroll and Luke Harangody each had a team-high 14 points for the Celtics, with Harangody pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds.

Boston couldn’€™t find its stroke from 3-point land, where it was only 1-for-11, compared to 5-for-11 for Philadelphia. The Celtics also struggled to keep possession of the ball, turning it over a total of 20 times. Point guard Oliver Lafayette committed five turnovers himself after being hounded by second-year man Jrue Holiday on the perimeter.

Boston returns to action tomorrow at 1 p.m. when it squares off against the Bobcats.

Read More: Celtics, Luke Harangody, Summer League, Tony Gaffney

Report: Celtics to meet with Kwame Brown

07.06.10 at 3:43 pm ET
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The Boston Herald reported Tuesday that the Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers have scheduled a meeting with Kwame Brown for Wednesday in Orlando.

“We’re checking out a lot of possibilities — it’s still very early in the process,” Ainge told the Herald.

Brown spent the last two seasons with the Pistons, averaging 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game in 2009-10. The top overall pick of the 2001 NBA draft has never lived up to that selection, playing for four NBA teams (Wizards, Lakers, Grizzlies, Pistons) and averaging 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds in his nine-year career.

Ainge also told the Herald that he has not set up a meeting with Shaquille O’Neal.

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, Kwame Brown, NBA Rumor Mill 2010

LeBron makes decision to join Twitter

07.06.10 at 2:15 pm ET
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LeBron James opened a Twitter account on Tuesday. His publicist, Keith Estabrook, confirmed that kingjames is in fact the account of the two-time MVP. Though he had yet to make a single post, there were nearly 50,000 followers by 2 p.m. EST.

It has been speculated that James may use this account to officially announce his eventual landing spot. The most famous free agent in the world, James is expected to make the decision regarding his basketball future soon.

Read More: LeBron James, NBA Rumor Mill 2010,

Rivers: Sheed helps C’s by waiting

07.06.10 at 11:54 am ET
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Recent reports indicated that Rasheed Wallace might be reconsidering his decision to retire. Celtics coach Doc Rivers, however, said Monday from the Summer League in Orlando that Wallace is helping the team by delaying an official decision.

“He’s trying to help us out by waiting, which is good,” Rivers said in a story at AOL FanHouse. “He’s still our property so we can use that in a trade or something. He’s doing a great thing for us.”

Rivers said the chances that Wallace will return are “very little or none.”

Wallace is scheduled to make $6.32 next season and $6.79 million in 2011-12.

Read More: Doc Rivers, NBA Rumor Mill 2010, Rasheed Wallace,

Duhon agrees to deal with Magic

07.06.10 at 11:21 am ET
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One day after agreeing to a deal with free agent Amar’e Stoudemire, the Knicks lost their starting point guard. Chris Duhon agreed to a four-year, $15 million contract with the Magic, his agent told ESPN.com. Duhon, 27, averaged 7.4 points and 5.6 assists in New York last season, his sixth in the NBA.

Read More: Chris Duhon, Knicks, Magic, NBA Rumor Mill 2010

Report: Raptors would OK Bosh sign-and-trade with Cavs

07.06.10 at 11:17 am ET
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According to an ESPN report by Chris Broussard, the Raptors are amenable to a sign-and-trade deal that would send free agent forward Chris Bosh from Toronto to Cleveland. The report speculates that Toronto might receive Anderson Varejao and/or J.J. Hickson, Delonte West and possibly Anthony Parker.

However, despite recruiting attempts by LeBron James, Bosh is rumored to have limited interest in playing in Cleveland. The story cites sources as saying Bosh would prefer to team up with James or Dwyane Wade in Chicago, Miami or New Jersey.

Read More: Chris Bosh, LeBron James, NBA Rumor Mill 2010,

Ray Allen’s developing market

07.06.10 at 9:44 am ET
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Now that Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce are back in the fold, the next logical move for Danny Ainge is to work out a contract with Ray Allen. The Celtics want him back. They can offer him the best deal, and Allen has said that he wants to return. But it’s not always that simple.

Allen is being courted by the top tier of free agents, namely LeBron James (Ken Berger of CBSsports.com had the details Monday) and until James makes a decision much of the free agent world is in limbo.

James is said to be unsure of whether he will return to the Cavaliers or take an offer from one of the other teams that is pursuing him — the Knicks, Nets, Bulls and Heat. (It’s safe to assume the Clippers took themselves out of the running, if they were ever a serious option to begin with).

If James does stay in Cleveland, the Cavs would only have the mid-level exception to offer Allen and they also need help in the center department. If James goes elsewhere, those teams would have cap money to spend on supporting players, but they are all basically building teams from scratch and it’s unclear how much of that precious cap room they would be willing to use on Allen.

Both the Knicks and Heat are in desperate need of point guards, while the Nets would have to bring along an expensive power forwards to entice James. The Bulls may be the wild card in this scenario since they have a ready-made team in place for either James or Dwyane Wade, and Allen already has an existing relationship with new coach Tom Thibodeau.

In the end, there may not be a huge deal waiting for Allen when the dust settles, but shooting is always at a premium, and Allen and Mike Miller are the two best shooters available in free agency.

So, the Celtics will wait it out. Because they have Allen’s “Bird rights,” they can go over the cap to re-sign him and don’t have to use the MLE. The key for Ainge isn’t the dollars, however, it’s the years.

Allen will turn 35 this July, and the track record for shooting guards that old is not great. The Celtics are gambling that Allen’s commitment to conditioning will carry him through the latter part of his career and he will be more Reggie Miller than Mitch Richmond, which seems like a decent probability.

A two-year deal would be ideal, but with competition for his services, they may have to go to three. Ainge showed his resolve to bringing the Celtics core back together when he went four years on Pierce’s new contract. If he did go to three for Allen it would allow him to go year-to-year with the veterans as Kevin Garnett‘s contract is up after two more years.

The Celtics won’t be able to be under the cap anytime soon when all this is over, but they may be able to reduce their luxury tax bill, which would also make it easier to continue adding veteran pieces this summer or at the trade deadline. There will also be a new collective bargaining agreement in place after next season, which could significantly alter the NBA landscape.

There is much uncertainty around the NBA these days, but the Celtics’ path is clear. It just may take a few weeks for it to come into sharper focus.

Read More: NBA Rumor Mill 2010, Ray Allen,
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