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Trade rumor: Fab Melo for Jordan Crawford?

02.21.13 at 10:55 am ET
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As Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday, the Celtics are offering Fab Melo to any NBA team that can provide sufficient backcourt help, and ESPN.com senior writer Chris Broussard claimed Wizards shooting guard Jordan Crawford is “on their radar.”

The 24-year-old Crawford has averaged 13.2 points, 3.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 26.2 minutes for a bad Wizards team. Here’s former ESPN.com analyst and current Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger‘s scouting report on Crawford (WARNING: Don’t get too excited.):

  • Shoot-happy guard who takes terrible shots. Capable passer when mood strikes.
  • Very quick and has a good handle. Can finish, but poor long-range shooter.
  • Abysmal defender. Undersized for 2. Must add strength and dial up effort.

Crawford and newly signed Terrence Williams — at least for the remainder of his 10-day deal — would battle for the fourth spot in Celtics coach Doc Rivers‘ point guard-less backcourt behind Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Crawford has shot 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range in two-plus seasons.
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Read More: 2013 NBA Trade Deadline, Boston Celtics, Fab Melo, Jordan Crawford

As trade deadline approaches, Celtics get blown out by Lakers

02.21.13 at 1:14 am ET
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The Celtics gave up 36 first-quarter points to the Lakers, and their defense remained porous for the rest of the night in a 113-99 loss in Los Angeles. The defeat, which came with just over 12 hours left until the NBA trade deadline, was the second in as many games at the start of a five-game trip against Western Conference teams.

Dwight Howard was dominant in the post for the Lakers, hitting 10-of-13 shots en route to 24 points and 12 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. Howard and Earl Clark (14 points, 15 rebounds) gave Los Angeles a huge advantage on the boards, with a 48-34 advantage on the glass. Seven Lakers finished the night in double figures in a well-balanced attack that consistently found clear lanes to the bucket against the Celtics.

In defeat, Paul Pierce — at a time when he’s been subject to trade rumors — scored 26 points with four rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes. Courtney Lee added 20 points.

The Celtics now have two days to regroup before they face the Suns in Phoenix. Given the uncertainty inherent in the hours leading up to the trade deadline, it remains to be seen what the composition of the team will be when it next takes the floor.

Trade rumor: Nets offer Kris Humphries in package for Paul Pierce

02.20.13 at 6:00 pm ET
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Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

The Nets offered Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a first-round pick — the same package made to the Hawks for Josh Smith — to the Celtics in exchange for Paul Pierce, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

The C’s want Brooklyn to sweeten the pot with Mirza Teletovic and another first-rounder, but the Nets won’t add to their original offer, according to Wojnarowski, who reported a near Pierce deal with the Nets last season that involved Mehmet Okur‘s expiring contract and a lottery pick that was instead dealt to Portland for Gerald Wallace and became Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard.

The Celtics also separately inquired about Nets backup point guard C.J. Watson, but the conversation went nowhere, Wojnarowski said.

As for Brooklyn’s offer for Pierce, no word on how quickly Celtics president Danny Ainge hung up the phone. The Nets seem eager to get out from underneath the $12 million remaining on Humphries’ deal next season, especially since the controversial big man’s production has been slashed in half since averaging a double-double during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. Meanwhile, the C’s could’ve had MarShon Brooks in the 2011 NBA draft, but instead shipped his rights to the Nets in exchange for JaJuan Johnson. And the Nets currently own the 21st pick in this June’s draft. In other words, a terrible offer.

Read More: 2013 NBA Trade Deadline, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Kris Humphries

Chris Mannix on M&M: ‘More likely than not, the core of this [Celtics] team stays together’

02.20.13 at 1:48 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated NBA writer Chris Mannix joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday, one day before the NBA trade deadline, to discuss rumors surrounding the Celtics. Mannix said the Celtics would be wise to do the deal reportedly discussed with the Clippers, but he’s not expecting it to happen.

Eric Bledsoe

Eric Bledsoe

“Boston was making a lot of those calls about [Kevin] Garnett to the Clippers,” Mannix said. “And the interest in the Clippers, I can tell you, it’s divided out there among the organization. The coaching staff, they want Kevin Garnett, because they want to win now. … Whereas the front office, I can tell you this, they’re not all that inclined to give up Eric Bledsoe, who is a potential 10-year starter in this league, and DeAndre Jordan, a sure-fire starter right now, for Kevin Garnett, who could potentially only be giving you a couple more months. Who knows what Kevin Garnett’s future is going to hold? To me, he’s always been on a series of one-year contracts.

“I think at the end of the day, when you throw in the no-trade clause that Kevin has, and you consider the fact that I have not heard a heck of a lot of significant interest surrounding Paul Pierce, I think more likely than not, the core of this team stays together.”

A report Tuesday night had the Clippers pulling out of trade talks. Mannix said he expects Celtics boss Danny Ainge would follow through if the deal is resuscitated.

“I think if the deal is there, he makes it,” Mannix said. “If he can get Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan for Kevin Garnett, you jump at it. I’ve heard some criticisms of this deal from the Boston side; I don’t get it. Has anyone not been watching Eric Bledsoe? As really the fourth guard on this Clippers team — third, I guess, when [Chauncey] Billups is injured — but really, he’s done a lot of things.”

Added Mannix: “You’re dealing with potential right now, because he hasn’t gotten the consistent minutes at the point guard spot because Chris Paul has been there for a couple of years now. But Eric Bledsoe is a guy that could potentially take over as a starting point guard for a team right away, and be an effective guy, be a guy that can score 15 points per game and give you seven, eight assists. Look at the way he’s played this year: He’s up to about 10 points per game. But more importantly, his field goal percentage is in the mid-40s right now, his 3-point percentage is in the low 30s. This is a guy that’s been improving every single year. So I think he’s a guy you would want to get.

“Same thing with DeAndre Jordan, who admittedly is a little bit overpaid, because Golden State threw that massive contract at him last year. But he’s someone that can be a starting center on your team for the next decade.

“And when you make a deal like that, all of a sudden there can be a domino effect. Now you can think about dealing Rajon Rondo next year, when he becomes healthy, because you have Eric Bledsoe already at the starter’s spot. You can trade Rondo for some starting quality pieces or some draft picks, and all of a sudden an old, aging team could suddenly be a fast, rebuilding team on the fly. I think that’s the way it would turn out.”

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Read More: Danny Ainge, DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard, Eric Bledsoe

Trade rumor: Celtics take Rajon Rondo off market

02.20.13 at 12:32 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo

Despite ESPN.com senior writer Chris Broussard‘s insistence that Celtics president Danny Ainge has made injured point guard Rajon Rondo available on the trade market, Rondo’s agent Bill Duffy told USA Today’s Sam Amick that Ainge “assured him” on Wednesday that the four-time All-Star will not be dealt.

Meanwhile, CBSSports.com columnist Ken Berger reports Rondo would only be dealt for Dwight Howard, Chris Paul “or a massive haul of assets” similar to what the Nuggets received for Carmelo Anthony. As you might remember, Melo, Chauncey Billups and three low-level NBA talents returned Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a first-round draft pick, two second-round picks and $3 million in cash from the Knicks in 2011.

Those scenarios are a pipe dream for Ainge, considering Rondo’s season-ending ACL surgery that leaves him rehabbing for training camp next season.

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Read More: 2013 NBA Trade Deadline, Boston Celtics, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard

Trade rumor: Celtics dangle Fab Melo ‘to fortify’ current roster

02.20.13 at 12:07 pm ET
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Fab Melo

Fab Melo

Celtics president Danny Ainge has placed rookie center Fab Melo on the trade market in hopes of adding depth to his backcourt and bolstering the current roster, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski.

Considering Melo has scored all of two points in eight minutes for the Celtics this season, making more headlines when he collapsed inside a folding chair and suffered a concussion upon walking into a doorframe, his addition to the long list of available Celtics comes as no surprise.

After all, Rajon Rondo (for Dwight Howard), Paul Pierce (for Josh Smith), Kevin Garnett (for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan), Jeff Green and Brandon Bass (for Smith) have all been involved in various trade scenarios.

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Read More: 2013 NBA Trade Deadline, Boston Celtics, Fab Melo, NBA

False start: Celtics stumble in Denver to open second half

02.19.13 at 11:27 pm ET
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In their first game following the All-Star break, the Celtics couldn’t keep pace with the Nuggets in a 97-90 loss in Denver on Tuesday night.

Jeff Green

Jeff Green

Playing a Nuggets team that, at 23-3, is one of the most dominant at home in the NBA, the Celtics’ balanced offensive attack proved insufficient. After arriving at halftime with a 50-49 lead, the Celtics were outscored 29-20 in a game-changing third quarter, with the eight-point deficit entering the final period proving too much to overcome.

In defeat, the Celtics featured five scorers in double figures, led by Jeff Green‘s 20 points off the bench on 8-of-12 shooting. Avery Bradley chipped in with a season-high 17.

However, Paul Pierce struggled both from the floor (shooting 2-for-14 en route to 10 points) and with foul trouble, fouling out in the final seconds. The Nuggets attempted more than twice as many free throws as the Celtics (34 to 16).

The Nuggets were led by forward Danilo Gallinari, who had 26 points, and guard Ty Lawson, who had 24 points along with six rebounds and six assists.

Boston falls to 8-16 on the road with four games remaining on the current Western Conference swing. The Celtics are 28-25 on the season.

For a complete recap, click here.

Read More: Jeff Green, Paul Pierce,
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