|06.24.09 at 10:01 am ET|
Ever since the Draft Lottery was held the word was that the Washington Wizards would try to move the fifth pick in Thursday’s draft for veteran help and they pulled the trigger last night getting Randy Foye and Mike Miller from Minnesota for Etan Thomas, Darius Songalia, Oleksiy Pecherov and the pick. (ESPN is reporting that there are some procedural things to work out regarding Thomas and his early-termination option for the deal to be official).
The trade accomplishes two things. First, it makes the Timberwolves a major player in the draft now that they have the fifth and sixth picks in the lottery and two more –18 and 28–later in the first round. Already talk is that the T-Wolves will try to leverage all those picks to move up and get Ricky Rubio.
More importantly from the Celtics perspective and the rest of the Eastern Conference, the trade makes the Wizards a playoff contender again. Shooting has long been Washington’s problem and Miller and Foye will go a long way toward curing the issue. Foye also gives the Wizards some protection if Gilbert Arenas is not 100 percent. Foye isn’t really a point guard but he’s a lot better than what Washington had last year when Agent Zero was on the shelf.
While this doesn’t put the Wizards into the Celtics/Magic/Cavs tier of top contenders it does put them right in the mix of teams just below that range and if everyone stays healthy (a big if) maybe even a little better than that.
|06.24.09 at 9:56 am ET|
The Celtics may ‘love’ Rajon Rondo, but that does not mean he is immune from being held accountable. On Wednesday, Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge revealed on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show Rondo had been fined for being late to games last season. Ainge deemed the tardiness ‘unacceptable.’
Rondo showed up an hour before gametime during the playoffs this season. He explained his late arrival last week on WEEI and chalked it up to a pregame routine.
‘People are going to make assumptions, everyone has opinions. I actually do try to come to games as late as possible because I don’t like to go in the locker room and talk and waste time…Different guys have different opinions on why they like to get to the game so early,’ he said. ‘Some people may look at it as late but I look at it as just coming to play.’
Regardless of his explanation, Ainge insists that team rules are rules.
“There was just a couple of situations where Rajon was late,” Ainge said. “I don’t know if he was sitting in his car, but he showed up late and the rest of the team was there, and he was late. There are team rules in place and he said he was in traffic. That was unacceptable.”
This offseason Rondo has been linked in nearly every Celtics trade rumor. The Celtics have until October to decide whether or not to extend his contract.
|06.23.09 at 8:15 pm ET|
So what does this mean for the Boston Celtics?
The Spurs are back as a threat in the West.
After owning the Celtics for the majority of the Tim Duncan era, the Spurs have been susceptible to the Cs over the past three seasons. Now they have re-established themselves as legitimate title contenders in the Western Conference.
The acquisition of Jefferson gives the Spurs an offensive weapon on the perimeter to compliment the frontcourt/backcourt tandem of Duncan and Tony Parker. Last season Michael Finley started at the small forward position in two games against the Celtics, in which he averaged just seven points (23% FG). Read the rest of this entry »
|06.23.09 at 2:50 pm ET|
WALTHAM – From the future of his starting point guard to the depth of Thursday night’s NBA Draft to his hopes for another title run in 2010, Celtics GM Danny Ainge hit on a number of topics on Tuesday in a pre-draft briefing with reporters at the team’s training facility at the Sports Authority complex in Waltham.
Here are the highlights: (click on the green for the audio)
First on the future of Rajon Rondo: “He showed up late for a playoff game so we’re going to trade him. None of those things is true. We love the kid and we think he’s got a very bright future. I don’t anticipate any trades happening this offseason involving any of our core players.”
“The notion that we might be trading him for some reason other than we think that we could be better or trading any player because of some reason (like) his contract,” Ainge said. “I’ve heard speculation of we’re dissatisfied with him or his attitude. That stuff is so false.”
This is still a championship caliber team: “We’ve won 128 games in the last two years. We won 66 games the year before and the championship and then this year we won 62 and had major injuries. So, I think we’re crazy (n0t to think we can’t win). We’re a championship contender for sure the last two years and we feel like we’ll be better this year. We’ll have a better team on the court.
|06.23.09 at 10:20 am ET|
WALTHAM – Danny Ainge has heard all the same rumors that everyone else has about the future of Rajon Rondo.
Only he, as Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Celtics is actually in a position of authority to comment on it and take action.
Ainge will gladly do the first part but as for the second part, don’t expect Rondo to be headed out the door anytime soon.
“The notion that we might be trading him because of some reason other than we think we could be better, or trading any other player of some reason, his contract situation,” Ainge said Tuesday morning at Healthpoint in Waltham. “I’ve heard speculation that we’re dissatisfied with him or his attitude. That stuff is so false.” Read the rest of this entry »
|06.23.09 at 12:51 am ET|
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has reported the Boston Celtics offered Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo to the Detroit Pistons in a package deal that included Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stuckey. According to Wojnarowski, the deal was proposed by a lower-level Celtics executive last weekend and was rejected by the Pistons before the conversations escalated to a discussion between general managers Danny Ainge and Joe Dumars.
“This isn’t an uncommon occurrence for a GM like Ainge to dispatch an underling to make that kind of a call, if for no other reason to give the top executive some level of deniability that he’s shopping his stars,” Wojnarowski wrote.
Both Allen and Rondo have been mentioned in nearly every Celtics trade rumor this offseason, largely because of their contracts. Allen is entering the final season of his deal while the Cs have to decide whether or not to extend Rondo’s contract by this October. Rondo recently told WEEI he does not expect to be traded this summer.
|06.22.09 at 11:34 pm ET|
It has been five years since the Vin Baker saga ended in Boston. Now the 37-year-old is trying to restart his basketball career in South America.
According to several reports, Baker has signed with the Marinos de AnzoÃ¡tegui of the LPB (Liga Profesional de Baloncesto) in Venezuela. However it is unclear how much the 6-11 forward will play. The Marinos are already competing in their postseason and Baker is not listed on the roster on their official website.
Baker was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the eighth overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He joined the Celtics in 2002, but his career in Boston was overshadowed by alcohol problems. Baker was suspended in February of 2003 and received treatment for alcoholism, only to be suspended indefinitely by the Celtics the following season for violating his aftercare program. He was released in February of 2004 with $35 million remaining on his contract and filed a grievance with the NBA player’s union. Baker and the Celtics reached a financial settlement that April.
This isn’t the first time Baker has attempted a comeback. His NBA career ended six games into the 2006-2007 season when he was released by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was arrested seven months later for drunk driving in June of 2007. Baker tried to resurrect his career in late 2008 with Liaoning Hunters in China. He was cut after just two days for poor conditioning.
Marca.com reported Baker has ‘serious economic problems.’ His former home in Durham, Connecticut was foreclosed last year.
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