|02.15.16 at 1:48 pm ET|
While Celtics players continue to get their rest over the All-Star break, their general manager enters his busiest week of the season. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is not just listening to offers for his three first-round picks this June while building his roster for a deep playoff run, he’s trying to move players.
The biggest challenge this week for Ainge might be what to do with center David Lee. His skills might still be valuable to a team that needs depth in the middle.
And while that would certainly seem to be a perfect fit for the team he’s currently on, the Celtics, like every team that has had him, would like to be free of the contract.
Specifically, Lee’s cap hit is $15,493,680, is easily the highest on the Celtics and the sixth-highest such figure among power forwards in the NBA, behind the likes of Chris Bosh ($22.1 million), LeMarcus Aldridge ($19.6 million), Kevin Love ($19.6 million), Blake Griffin ($18.9 million) and Paul Millsap ($18.6 million).
Lee has started just four of 30 games this season, averaging just 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting a career-low 45.3 percent from the field. He hasn’t played since Jan. 10 at Memphis and has been a DNP for the last 18 games.
Now 32, Lee is in the final year of a six-year, $79.5 million deal he signed with the Knicks in 2010, using the Bird exception. The Boston Herald reports that Ainge is unlikely to move Lee before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
“David Lee was tough for Golden State to move all of last year,” the Herald reported, citing a league source. “And it finally came down to him being moved for Gerald Wallace. David Lee has no value. It’s his contract. David Lee‘s value comes in if they get one of these big name players.”
The Celtics acquired Lee and his expiring contract last summer from the world champion Golden State Warriors, sending Gerald Wallace and Chris Babb to Golden State. If Ainge can’t move Lee, the forward could accept a buyout from the Celtics by Mar. 1, allowing him to sign with another team in time for the playoffs.
|02.15.16 at 11:41 am ET|
The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and from a Celtics perspective, one of the biggest questions is whether or not they will trade the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, that likely won’t happen.
“The Brooklyn pick has tremendous value,” Wojnarowski told CSNNE Sunday night. “I can’t imagine a scenario where the Celtics trade that. If they do trade that it’s got to be for a really elite, star-level player. I don’t think that player is out there available for them.
“They don’t want to overreach and give away these assets. They’re looking for that Kevin Garnett-Ray Allen deal that they did to put the previous champion together. Those deals probably aren’t out there for them.”
|02.12.16 at 10:32 pm ET|
Are we really doing this again? We’re doing this again, aren’t we?
The deal would send Carmelo Anthony to Cleveland, with Timofey Mozgov and draft picks going to New York. As with all Love-to-Boston trade rumors, “those talks have not progressed,” the Daily News reported. Surely, he can’t wait to play with Kelly Olynyk.
Keep in mind, “very preliminary discussions” could include Danny Ainge calling Cleveland to inquire about Love, and Cavs GM David Griffin saying, “Yeah, no.” I had a preliminary discussion about dating every good-looking girl in my high school, then.
It sure would be an odd move for the Cavaliers to give up on a 27-year-old Love before giving new coach Tyronn Lue more than a month to work him into an offensive system.
But the inclusion of Anthony, 31, makes for an intriguing return if you’re Cleveland. After all, LeBron James is the de facto GM in Cleveland, and he’s close with the Knicks star. And the Celtics have all the draft picks Phil Jackson could covet in New York.
So, you’re telling me there’s a chance? Well, we’ve seen this story play out before.
If “those talks” never progress, the Daily News suggested the Celtics could be suitors for Anthony, calling Ainge “intrigued” by the nine-time NBA All-Star. Then again, saying Ainge is intrigued by a superstar is like saying Leonardo DiCaprio is intrigued by a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Gee, you think? We’re still six days away from the NBA trade deadline, and we’re just getting started with the rumors, so buckle up.
|02.12.16 at 10:46 am ET|
Many NBA trade rumors have linked the Celtics to the 29-year-old Horford for two basic reasons. First, there’s an obvious need for the Celtics in the post to strengthen their potential playoff run in the East. The Celtics are in third place with a 32-23 record at the All-Star break and could make a run at the No. 1 or 2 seed. Second, the Celtics are one of the few teams with the capital on hand to execute the deal the Hawks are looking for, as Boston holds three first-round picks in the upcoming draft, including Brooklyn’s lottery pick.
But that doesn’t mean Boston would be willing to deal, according to Mannix.
“From everything I’ve been told in the last two or three days, Atlanta’s requests for both Al Horford and Jeff Teague have been borderline ridiculous,” Mannix said Thursday on CSNNE. “The kind of things teams like Boston, or Milwaukee, or Denver simply won’t deal for the players they want.
“Things like this tend to cool off, though. As we get close to the deadline — when we get to the 17th, when we get to the 18th [the trade deadline] — that’s when the real horse trading begins. That’s when [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny Ainge will know if Atlanta is really serious about trading Al Horford.”
Horford has started all 55 games this season and is averaging 15.3 points per game and 6.9 rebounds. The biggest deterrent to making a deal would be the fact that Horford will become a free agent at the end of the season. Teague, at 27, is in the prime of his career. He’s in the third year of a four-year, $32 million contract.
There have been multiple reports that the Hawks are considering trading the two pieces to try to get to the top of the draft and to position themselves for the new salary cap that takes effect next season, with a cap coming in at around $89 million, a jump of $19 million. In two years, the cap mushrooms to $108 million.
|02.11.16 at 11:53 am ET|
Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Thursday morning to discuss the latest Celtics trade rumors, notably Al Horford. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
Mannix feels if the Celtics can get a chance to trade for the Atlanta forward they should do so because he can help the team not only now, but years down the line.
“I think Al Horford — if you’re ranking the free agents out there by tiers, putting them into classes, Al Horford is on that next tier right below Kevin Durant, LeBron, if you want to call him a free agent — he’s right there. He’s a bonafide star at his position.” Mannix said. “He plays both front court spots. He’s a great guy, so he won’t disrupt the character of the locker room. I think he’s going to be a highly productive player for the next three years. You throw a guy like Al Horford into that mix, and while he’s not one of those free agent magnets, what he is is another player to a group of bursting young players that is going to be really attractive to other free agent players to come join up and play with.
“The word is out on Brad Stevens. People want to play for this guy and if you deepen this team and add a potential All-Star like Al Horford to the mix, you got to do it if you have the opportunity.”
The Celtics have a number of future draft picks, including Brooklyn’s first rounder this year. Mannix doesn’t feel they will need to trade that pick for Horford, but a few of their future draft picks should be included in a potential package.
|02.11.16 at 12:07 am ET|
After both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half, the Celtics took a 10-point lead late in the third quarter, but saw that lead disappear in the fourth.
Lance Stephenson’s corner 3-pointer tied the game, 106-106, just before he earned a technical foul for taunting the C’s bench. Still, Los Angeles took a five-point lead on an 8-3 run with 4:04 left. Still trailing by five in the final minute, the Celtics closed the quarter on a 7-2 run.
In that span, Isaiah Thomas scored six points, including a fadeaway jumper over DeAndre Jordan to send the game to overtime. In the extra period, Evan Turner caught fire, scoring half of his 14 points. The Celtics erased a six-point deficit, outscored the Clippers 17-12 in the extra frame and stifled Jamal Crawford‘s last-minute game-tying 3-point attempt to seal a remarkably resilient win.
Thomas’ 36 points led six Celtics in double figures, and Jared Sullinger flirted with a triple-double (21 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists). Chris Paul (35 points, 13 assists) and DeAndre Jordan (21 points, 16 rebounds) both finished with double-doubles for the Clippers.
|02.10.16 at 8:06 pm ET|
“It could be, Pierce said before the game. “I’m not 100 percent sure, but, you know, like I’ve been saying the last two years, I’m taking it year by year, and this could possibly be.”
For 15 seasons, Pierce called Boston his home, and he climbed to second on the team’s career scoring list. Although it’s been nearly three years since he last played a game in a Celtics uniform, coming back to TD Garden as a member of the visiting team is still odd for the veteran.
“I think the weird thing is just being on this side of the bench and this side of the locker room,” Pierce explained. “The locker room is a little weird. I used to walk up the stairs and take a right instead of a left. It’s fun I get to enjoy it because it might be the last time I’m back.”
Pierce also discussed former teammate Kevin Garnett, who he’s kept in contact with despite going their separate ways.
“Usually all we talk about is family,” Pierce said with a laugh. “Kevin is doing good. I always ask if this is it for him; he’s still undecided. Kevin said he was going to retire the last five years in a row and always came back, so I don’t know what he’s planning. We stay in good contact, as do a lot of us — Rondo, the guys who we’ve played with — so I don’t know what his plans are like, and I don’t know what I’m going to do, but it could be the last time.” Read the rest of this entry »
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