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Jeff Van Gundy on D&C: Doc Rivers has personality to pull off return to Boston if trade falls through

06.18.13 at 8:32 am ET
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ABC/ESPN basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to offer his take on the reported Celtics-Clippers trade talks.

The Celtics are said to be considering sending Kevin Garnett along with coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles. There has been widespread speculation that Rivers’ tenure in Boston is over either way, but Van Gundy isn’t so sure.

Said Van Gundy: “There’s a lot of people that don’t think he can still come back to Boston. I think it would work fine. He’s got the personality to pull it off. I think he’d be starting over with a different team anyway. It will be interesting to see what happens with Doc. Certainly these are interesting times in Celtic land.”

The Celtics reportedly would acquire young center DeAndre Jordan in the deal.

“I think everybody focuses on some maturity issues and his free throw shooting, and both need improvement,” Van Gundy said. “I like Jordan. I think he is a terrific athlete who has really improved defensively. He’s not like a physical guy, but he is a freak athlete who I think has shown great levels of improvement, where he came in as a second-round pick from Texas A&M after one year, not really accomplished in college. I think he’s continued to improve. Obviously, when you’re such a horrendous free throw shooter it limits how much you can play. But he is active, he can rebound.

“He’s a piece, if you’re trying to rebuild. Is he overpaid a little bit? Who’s not in the NBA? So he can just join the crowd on the long list of overpaid. But I like him better than how some people view him right now. I think he’s still an ascending player. If you’re going to go into a rebuild, he’s someone that’s intriguing.”

Touching on the NBA Finals — the Spurs have a 3-2 series lead heading into Tuesday night’s Game 6 in Miami — Van Gundy said there are intriguing story lines for both teams.

“There’s a lot on these two games for a lot of people on both sides,” Van Gundy said. “I think San Antonio played a great, great Game 5 offensively. I am so interested to see how they come out in Game 6. Do they do what Dallas did two years ago where they came in and they played a great game and beat Miami? Or do they take a sigh of relief and think that they have two games to win one, and so don’t play really as sharp or as desperate in Game 6 as they did in 5?

“And likewise, on the other hand, does the pressure get to Miami where they crack a little bit? Or have they been steeled by these last three years of long playoff runs, and do they show their championship mettle and find a way to win these two games? I’m really looking forward to it.”

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: DeAndre Jordan, Doc Rivers, Jeff Van Gundy, Kevin Garnett

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Miami PG Shane Larkin

06.17.13 at 1:50 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’€™s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

SHANE LARKIN

Position: Point guard

School: Miami

Age: 20

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 176 pounds

Achievements: AP/ESPN/NABC All-America second team (2103), ACC Player of the Year (2013), All-ACC first team (2013), ACC Tournament MVP (2013), Lute Olson National Player of the Year (best non-freshman) (2013), Bob Cousy Award finalist (top point guard) (2013), All-ACC freshman team (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 40.6 percent 3-point shooting percentage

What he brings: Larkin drew high marks as a point guard in his time with the Hurricanes. Even though he is a bit smaller than some of his peers, Larkin makes up for it with his quickness and accurate shooting. Analysts note that he improved his passing ability in his second year, and he is especially dangerous shooting and passing on the pick and roll.

His size, including a wingspan of 5 feet, 10.75 inches, could present problems on the defensive end, but he is generally regarded as one of the most all-around athletic potential first-round choices. His 44-inch vertical leap was second best in the history of the NBA combine. Larkin does not seem to have any character issues, much of which is attributed to him learning how to act professionally and handle the spotlight from his father, Barry Larkin, the Cincinnati Reds‘€™ Hall of Fame shortstop.

Notes: Originally set to attend DePaul, the homesick Larkin left after just a few practices in August 2011, citing an unspecified family medical issue as reason to be immediately eligible at closer-to-home Miami. ‘€¦ Aside from his father’€™s successful baseball career, three of Larkin’€™s uncles also played big-time college sports: Byron Larkin (Xavier basketball), Mike Larkin (Notre Dame football) and Steve Larkin (Texas baseball).

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Video: Courtesy of the ACC, here are highlights of Larkin at Miami.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Shane Larkin,

Report: Celtics, Clippers talking again, considering alternatives to Eric Bledsoe

06.17.13 at 1:04 pm ET
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Trade talks between the Celtics and Clippers, which reportedly were put on hold over the weekend, resumed again Monday, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge reportedly has been holding out for the Clippers to include guard Eric Bledsoe along with center DeAndre Jordan and a first-round draft pick in a deal that would send Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles, but Wojnarowski writes that the teams are discussing alternatives to Bledsoe.

There also has been speculation that Rivers would find it difficult to return to Boston now, with one league executive telling Yahoo!: “There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle. You can’t pretend this didn’t happen and just go back to work.”

Read More: Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Eric Bledsoe, Kevin Garnett

Stephen A. Smith on D&C: ‘A 50-50 shot’ Doc Rivers ends up with Clippers

06.17.13 at 10:24 am ET
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Basketball analyst and ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning, and he was unsure about whether or not a deal involving Celtics coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers would get done.

With Rivers still under contract for three more years, there are potentially a lot of moving pieces in such a trade. But fortunately for the Celtics, president Danny Ainge has a ton of leverage in the negotiations.

Still, Smith pegged the chances of a trade actually going through at just 50 percent.

‘€œUltimately, all the cards are being held by Danny Ainge,’€ Smith said. ‘€œIt’€™s a 50-50 shot either a deal gets done or Doc Rivers stays in Boston. I don’€™t think Doc Rivers will sit out for the year, then do television and all this other stuff. I think he’€™s going to stay and coach in Boston this year, or he’€™ll move on because Danny Ainge will see an opportunity to get young and to get a box-office attraction to some degree, if not Blake Griffin, then some quality young guys you can build around.

‘€œClearly, you have to go in that direction [getting younger]. If you’€™re Danny Ainge, it’€™s going to be a deal you want to make because you’€™re an older squad now, and it’€™s time to move in a different direction. Doc is the one hot commodity that he has. [Kevin Garnett] is 37. Paul Pierce is an aging 35. They’€™re not what they used to be, even though they can still contribute to a championship situation.

‘€œThey’€™re not the guys to build around anymore, and if you’€™re Danny Ainge you know this better than anybody. As a result, it will behoove him to get a deal done. And Doc Rivers is the one piece you have that’€™s an ace. You have to maximize it.”

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Read More: blake griffin, Danny Ainge, DeAndre Jordan, Doc Rivers

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Greek SF Giannis Adetokunbo

06.16.13 at 11:39 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

GIANNIS ADETOKUNBO

Position: Guard/forward

2012-13 team: Filathlitikos (Greece)

Age: 18

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 196 pounds

Achievements: Greek League All-Star (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocks

What he brings: Adetokunbo can play any position on the floor and is extremely versatile and an explosive athlete. He is a smooth ballhandler and a smart passer who gets his teammates involved. While he is not a bad outside shooter ‘€” he shot 34 percent from 3-point range last season ‘€” he is better at getting to the basket and using his length and quickness to score from in close.

Defensively, he shows great potential, but he is not refined yet, according to Draft Express’ scouting report. Due to his lack of experience with top-level competition, he is raw defensively and needs to be more physical. However, he is a good defensive rebounder and uses his length to disrupt offenses.

Notes: Adetokunbo, whose parents fled Nigeria in 1992 for Greece, began playing basketball with his brother Thanasis in 2003. The two were spotted by Spyros Veliniatis, coach of Filathlitikos, who invited them to play for his academy after watching them play a casual game on a local court. He and his brother ‘€” who is a 6-foot-7 small forward ‘€” helped the academy get promoted six times in 10 seasons all the way up to the second-tier A2 League. The team finished one spot away from being promoted to the top-tier Greek Basket League this past season. … Adetokunbo has signed a four-year contract with Zaragoza of the Spanish league but reportedly has an affordable NBA buyout clause.

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Video: Here’€™s a highlight mix of Adetokunbo.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Giannis Adetokunbo,

Report: Celtics ‘deep in discussions’ about trading Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers to Clippers

06.15.13 at 4:57 pm ET
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The Celtics and Clippers are “deep in discussions” about a trade that would send coach Doc Rivers and surefire Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowksi.

Garnett would waive his no-trade clause to join Rivers in L.A., according to the report, but the C’s insistence on acquiring Eric Bledsoe in addition to the current Clippers package of DeAndre Jordan and a pair of first-round draft picks could be the last remaining hurdle of a blockbuster deal.

A swap of Garnett for Jordan and Bledsoe works under the salary cap, and the draft picks would reportedly be enough to entice the Celtics into allowing Rivers to walk from the three years and $21 million remaining on his contract and take assistant coach Tyronn Lue with him to Los Angeles.

On Saturday, Rivers and Chris Paul may discuss the All-Star point guard’s plan to re-sign with the Clippers should Garnett join him, Wojnarowski reported, but both the Celtics and their coach are willing to walk away should the deal not be finalized in the next couple days.

Read More: Boston Celtics, DeAndre Jordan, Doc Rivers, Eric Bledsoe

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Louisville C Gorgui Dieng

06.15.13 at 11:46 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

GORGUI DIENG

Position: Center

School: Louisville

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 230 pounds

Achievements: All-Big East first team (2013), Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2013), Big East All-Tournament Team (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 9.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 blocks

What he brings: Dieng has the size to be a strong defender at the NBA level. With his 7-foot-4 wingspan, he is a blocking machine who averaged 3.2 blocks per game his sophomore year of 2011-12 at Louisville. As a defender, the main thing he needs to improve on is his strength, while he could improve his defensive discipline as well.

Offensively, Dieng is an excellent passer for a big man, averaging 2.5 assists per 40 minutes last season. He is strong around the rim, converting 66 percent of shots from in close last season. However, he is not a great shooter, hitting just 28 percent of his shots from the post last season.

At 23 years old, Dieng is among the oldest players who are expected to be taken in the 2013 NBA draft. While he is more likely have an immediate impact than some players slated to be taken in the first round, his potential for growth is a bit limited.

Notes: Dieng was named MVP of the 2009 Basketball without Borders event in South Africa before enrolling in Covenant Christian Academy in Georgia. … The Senegal native missed the draft combine due to a sprained ankle.

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Video: Here’€™s a highlight video of Dieng in the national championship game.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Gorgui Dieng,
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