|07.02.10 at 9:59 am ET|
Multiple outlets are reporting that the Celtics have reached an agreement with Paul Pierce on a new contract that will likely keep him in Boston for the duration of his career. A source told Jeff Goodman of WEEI.com/FoxSports.com that the total package would be worth $61 million over four years, with all four years guaranteed.
Pierce left $21.5 million on the table for next season by terminating the final year of his contract and the new deal gives him certainty in what promises to be an uncertain NBA. The collective bargaining agreement is set to expire after the 2010-11 season, and the expectation is that the owners will try to rein in player’s salaries.
Pierce’s new deal will take the Celtics over the salary cap, but it may provide some luxury-tax relief in the long run, which is no small consideration.
There are risks for the Celtics. Pierce will be 36 years old in the final year of the deal, which can’t be finalized or officially announced until next week. It will also take him well beyond Kevin Garnett’s contract, which has two seasons remaining.
But four years is the cost of keeping the team together for another run at a championship and that has been Danny Ainge’s plan all along. Doc Rivers elected to return for the final season of his coaching contract earlier in the week, but the work is only half done. Read the rest of this entry »
|07.02.10 at 9:30 am ET|
Jeff Goodman of WEEI.com/FoxSports.com has learned that Paul Pierce has agreed to a four-year, $61 million deal with the Celtics. The Boston Herald was first to report the agreement. Free agent contracts can’t officially be signed until July 8.
Pierce opted out of the final year of his previous contract Wednesday, walking away from what would have been a $21.5 million salary in 2010-11 to test the free-agent waters.
Pierce has long stated that he wanted to retire as a member of the Celtics, and this contract should allow him to do so. The 12-year veteran has scored 19,899 points in his career, third only to John Havlicek (26,395) and Larry Bird (21,791) in franchise history.
For more see the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.
|07.01.10 at 11:54 pm ET|
Jeff Goodman of WEEI.com and FoxSports.com has learned from a source familiar with the situation that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was first to contact free agent forward David Lee once the NBA free agency began after midnight Wednesday night. The 6-foot-9 Lee, 27, played in all 81 regular season games for the New York Knicks last season, averaging 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. It was Lee’s best season, having averaged 13 points and 9.6 rebounds per contest throughout his five-year pro career. He has played in 81 games in each of the last three seasons. For more see the Celtics team page by going to weei.com/celtics.
|07.01.10 at 11:53 pm ET|
“I can’t go into who but I can tell you we started at 12:01 last night like everybody else did,” he said. “The first call we called Ray. We sat around and we have these names on the list and we said hey guys our most important guy is Ray. We gotta get Ray back. Paul and Ray. And we already talked to Paul because we could. Ray is a vital part to our basketball team, huge.”
Allen, an unrestricted free agent, will undoubtedly be receiving several phone calls from around the league. According to a recent report in the Miami Herald, LeBron James contacted Allen about playing alongside he, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Allen stated during the season he would like to return to Boston.
|07.01.10 at 11:25 pm ET|
Earlier this week, the Celtics and Xfinity hosted a harbor cruise on the Spirit of Boston and raised over $50,000 to benefit the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation.
Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis, and Brian Scalabrine joined over 100 Celtics fans on the two-hour Boston Celtics Harbor Cruise. C’s legends Cedric Maxwell, Dana Barros, and former ‘American Idol’ finalist Ayla Brown also attended.
‘It’s always great to come out and support the Shamrock Foundation because it’s all about giving back to the kids,’ Perkins said. ‘It’s fun to have the opportunity to spend some time with the fans away from the court.’
The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation benefits children directly through programs that provide education and support, including partners Perkins School for the Blind, Children’s Hospital Boston, Horizons for Homeless Children, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC). More information on the Shamrock Foundation is available at www.celtics.com.
|07.01.10 at 12:27 pm ET|
ESPN NBA analyst Jon Barry joined the Dale & Holley show Thursday on the first day of the free-agency period in the NBA and discussed the Celtics‘ two biggest free agents, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. He said that both players have some ‘mileage’ on them and that although Boston wants to bring the pair back, it should be cautious before jumping right in and signing each.
‘I know Boston’s a great organization, and I know they want these two guys back,’ Barry said. ‘They’d love to make a run with the same team and see if they can do it again. But you have to use your head and decide whether these guys can get you back to that level.’
Barry also dished on who he thinks has the best shot at LeBron James‘he says it’s the Bulls’and just how bad it would be for Cleveland if it lost its King.
‘They’ll win no more than 28, maybe 30,’ he said. ‘They’ll be devastated. This guy means absolutely everything to this team. It’d be horrendous. Cleveland’s gone through so many hardships throughout the years with all their teams, but nothing can get worse than this. This would absolutely ruin this franchise.’
Some highlights from that interview are below. To hear the interview in its entirety, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Does Doc Rivers coming back help the Celtics have a chance at getting back to where they were halfway through Game 7?
Well, I honestly didn’t think they’d get into Game 7 this year. You saw this team. They were 27-27 in the last 54 games. This is a team that no one thought would have gotten to the finals. I didn’t write them off just because of their championship pedigree and the guys they have on this roster. I think that’s what made it so attractive for Doc to come back that it’s an intriguing group, it’s a different group. I think it’s a really special group that he has there. You think about what they’ve done. They put this together. They got a title in the first year that Garnett and Allen come in. If Kevin Garnett‘s not hurt last year, they have a real good opportunity to win again. Then this year, they have a 13-point lead in the second half of an NBA finals Game 7. You’re talking about a team that was on the cusp of winning three straight NBA titles so I guess to him that’s something attractive to come back and give it one more try.
What is the perception around the league of Paul Pierce?
I would just say aging. Two years ago when they won this thing, he was the best player in the playoffs. He outplayed Kobe Bryant. He outplayed LeBron James. He was the best player in the playoffs bar none. He was unbelievable. Just saw some chinks in the armor this year. He got banged up. He got injured. Looked to me to be a tired player at the end of the season last year. Quite frankly, I’d say Ron Artest outplayed him in Games 6 and 7, which I would have never thought possible. So he’s an aging guy. I think he’s only 31, but he just seems to have a lot of mileage on him. You know, an aging superstar. He’s still a superstar player though. Read the rest of this entry »
|07.01.10 at 12:35 am ET|
Yahoo! Sports has reported the Celtics are trying to trade Rasheed Wallace‘s contract in order to keep their midlevel exception. Should Wallace’s money come off the books, one target for the Celtics could be restricted free agent J.J. Redick, according to Yahoo!:
Wallace has yet to file retirement papers, so the $6.32 million owed him next season and $6.79 million in 2011-12 would come off a team’s books after Wallace is traded to them. They could do a deal and not take on his money. Ainge is trying to use the Wallace contract to bring back a power forward or center to replace Wallace and the injured Kendrick Perkins.
The Celtics could then use their midlevel exception for a different player. Several sources believe that Ainge’s target is Orlando’s J.J. Redick, who is a restricted free agent.
The Magic have made a qualifying offer to Redick, which allows them to match any offer he receives this summer. Redick averaged 11.2 points (50% 3PG, 95.8% FT) against the Celtics this season in the Eastern Conference semifinals. During that series, Doc Rivers deemed Redick, who studied Ray Allen’s game in college and contained him defensively, the Magic’s “most consistent player.”
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