|10.26.09 at 7:48 pm ET|
The general consensus last week was that Saturday’s deadline to extend players from the 2006 draft class would pass without the Celtics and Rajon Rondo coming to an agreement. Only three players from that class — Portland’s Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge and Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani — have signed agreements at this point.
Now it looks like their might be some movement. WEEI.com learned that the Celtics will offer Rondo a long-term deal and the two sides are expected to talk tonight. Of course “talking” and “signing” are two different things, but presumably the Celtics have an idea where Rondo and his agent, Bill Duffy, want to be on the numbers. Put it this way: There was no indication there would even be talks last week.
If the Celtics are successful in locking up Rondo it would set the franchise’s direction for the post Big 3 era. Although some fans had held out hope for some kind of major foray into the 2o10 free agent class, that scenario realistically went up in smoke when they signed Rasheed Wallace to a 3-year deal in the offseason. An extended Rondo and Kendrick Perkins would become the bridge to the next Celtics era.
Rondo has frustrated some with his style of play, but it’s worth remembering that he is a 23-year-old point guard (he won’t turn 24 until February) who in three years in the league has been the starting point guard on an NBA championship team, an All-Defense defender and probably should have been an All-Star last season. He also memorably averaged a triple double against rising star Derrick Rose in the first round of the playoffs.
Basketball Prospectus’ Kevin Pelton makes an interesting point. If the big stars of the 2010 free agent class decide to stay with their respective teams, what’s to stop one of those teams hoarding cap space from making a strong run at Rondo, even if he’s restricted? Say, the Knicks, who have a crying need for a run and gun point guard to handle Mike D’Antoni’s system. True, the Celtics could match but that would probably at an inflated price.
Of the members of the 2006 draft class who have signed extensions, only Roy got a so-called “max” deal. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnowksi reported that Aldridge signed a deal in the $65-70 million range. Bargani got a few million less than that annually.
Whether Rondo signs an extension or not may come down to a question of value. Using the two Portland deals as a barometer is Rondo a “max” player that you build your franchise around like Roy, or an Aldridge player; i.e. a second star?
|10.26.09 at 6:11 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo is set to talk with Celtics on Monday night regarding his contract, sources close to Rondo told WEEI.com. WEEI.com previously reported the Celtics are prepared to offer Rondo a long-term extension today to prevent him from becoming a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
|10.24.09 at 4:16 pm ET|
‘I just told everybody today that they were too loud and so I said we’re going to have a non-talk practice for the next half hour,’ he explained.
The rule, however, turned out to be difficult to enforce. The players joked that Rivers was running a communist practice and had a hard time following along with the temporary restriction.
‘That’s a little thing that Doc feels as though that once we get to talking smack to each other here in practice that we lose our focus. But the intensity’s there, but we lose our focus,’ said Rasheed Wallace. ‘On some plays he’s right but I think that’s just the character of some of the guys here in the gym. But hey, if that’s what Doc wants, we’ve got to try to do that. We’ve got to try to talk a little more quietly, that’s all.’
Even though Rivers knew the rule would be broken, he felt it was important to make the point.
‘Have you ever seen our guys quiet? That’s what was so amazing. They were saying they couldn’t talk yet everybody was talking,’ River said with a laugh, later adding, ‘There’s no such thing [silence] with this team. This is a very verbal team, which is a good thing actually, but sometimes we want to make sure we keep it under control.’
|10.24.09 at 3:27 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Ray Allen left Celtics practice on Saturday after getting unintentionally elbowed above the left eye and knocked to the ground by Kendrick Perkins, who was playing on the same team. Allen received stitches and is not expected to miss any games.
“The sad thing is it was a skeleton offense. There was no defense,” said Doc Rivers. “We run a lot of hand-off stuff as you know and it didn’t go well. It was a hand-off with Perk and Perk had his elbow up while he was supposed to be handing it off to Ray. And those are the ones that hurt because you don’t expect those cuts to come at that time.”
Allen hit the ground grabbing his eye, according to Rivers who initially thought Allen was joking. “All of a sudden he was laying down and all of a sudden you saw the blood and said, ‘Oh no, I don’t think he’s faking.'”
“We’re still going hard, still intense,” he said. “Unfortunately it happened but we can’t sit up here and be sad and be down on ourselves, like oh man Ray got hurt. No, we’ve still got to go out there and play.”
The Celtics open their season on Tuesday night in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.
UPDATE: Allen received five stitches at New England Baptist Hospital, according to Celtics team officials.
|10.23.09 at 5:25 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Before this season ever starts, nearly everyone in a Celtics uniform wants to make one thing clear. This is NOT 2008.
On Friday, the Celtics held a two-hour practice before going home to get clean and ready for their team dinner Friday night in Boston.
Here’s what a number of them had to say about this year, comparisons to two seasons ago and other miscellaneous items.
|10.23.09 at 5:18 pm ET|
Davis played 16 minutes last Sunday in Toronto, scoring nine points off the bench.
“Scal, his ankle, I don’t expect him to be ready for opening night, but I’m not sure yet,” Rivers said. “Tony is a definite ‘no’ but everybody else is good.”
|10.23.09 at 4:54 pm ET|
This year, the Celtics are likely to do away with many shootarounds on the day of a game and move practices to a slightly later start in the day so that players can sleep in and be well-rested for games.
“Later practices are alright,” Kevin Garnett said on Friday. “It is what it is. Whatever Doc wants. It’s not my cup of tea but whatever the Captain wants that’s what it is.”
Garnett is a notorious early riser and has a reputation of functioning on little or no sleep, especially following road trips. Garnett, like Junior Seau with the Patriots, is known for getting to work early in the morning, getting warmed up and ready to go with practice.
Now, he’s likely going to be able to sleep in, at least a little.
“I don’t sleep anyway,” Garnett said. “It’s good. You’ve got to find good in everything so if that means I get to sleep until 8:30 or 9 [a.m.], then so be it.”
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