Archive for June, 2011

Cavs make Kyrie Irving first overall selection

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Duke guard Kyrie Irving was taken with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft Thursday night, going to the Cavaliers. A 6-foot-3, 193-pound guard who only played 11 games this past season with Duke, he averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists per game with the Blue Devils.

Doc Rivers on The Big Show: Calling himself a Celtic for first time was ‘great feeling’

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined The Big Show Thursday afternoon for the first time since signing his five-year contract extension after last season. He told the guys that the thought behind the extension was Rivers’ willingness to not only give it another go with the team he had in place but also future teams whatever they may be.

“[Celtics GM Danny Ainge] and I had been talking all year,” Rivers said. “I told him my thoughts early on and so I think that gave Danny the belief that I was going to be here or not coach for a year or two. It was going to be one or the other. It’s a good place. I just thought for me, so much movement and change and chasing different teams if you know what I’m saying, when we were bad, they were very loyal to me. We hopefully have at least a year to go after this one more time with the older guys and then eventually we’re going to have to make changes. I think I need to be a part of that as well.”

Here’s more highlights of that interview, including Rivers’ thoughts on Glen Davis and what the C’s need heading into next season.

On getting into the Bruins:

I enjoyed it. I didn’t know what I was watching.

On four Boston coaches each of whom has won a championship since 2004:

This group of coaches, we do have a good camaraderie. I went to Game 6 [of the Stanley Cup finals] and I went because of that. I just thought I should go. I had a ball. My young son went and for him who had never seen a hockey game, saw scoring like no other in the first five minutes. He thinks this is how hockey should be played all the time.

On taking a picture with the other three coaches:

I agree with that. Somebody actually asked me we should all have our rings or trophies and stand there and do something for charity. “City of Champions” or something. That would be pretty cool. (more…)

NBA draft-day rumors: Celtics ‘leaning towards Jeremy Tyler’ says Chris Mannix

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

There can be a lot up in the air when a team has the 25th pick in any draft, but that doesn’t mean a team can’t have a preference for a particular player when selecting at that spot.

Despite rumors that the team is considering trading their 25th pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, Sports Illustrated writer Chris Mannix tweeted “Boston leaning towards Jeremy Tyler w/ 25th pick, source says.” Mannix had told the Dennis & Callahan show that Tyler was a possibility for the C’s on Wednesday.

For a breakdown of Tyler, who played abroad in Japan last season, click here.

Highlights from Wyc Grousbeck and Bob Epstein’s appearance on The Big Show

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

On the day of the NBA draft, Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Bob Epstein joined The Big Show to talk about a myriad of topics including how the 2011 season ended, the Doc Rivers contract extension and even just precisely who Danny Ainge would have selected had he had the first pick in the 2007 NBA draft (hint: he led the NBA in scoring last season).

Here’s a transcript of that interview. (To hear the entire segment, visit The Big Show’s audio on demand page.)

On how the season ended:

WG: You know what they say, the ring adds 10 years. No, we’re all wearing the rings but we want another one. We had a good shot this year. They beat us fair and square, but we had a good shot. If Rondo doesn’t go down and practically break his arm in that deathhold that he was in and some few other things happened, but they beat us fair and square. This team might have a chance a la Dallas, along those lines, to contend next year if we can get them some help. That’s probably Plan A.

On continuing on the same course:

WG: That’s the question. First of all, we don’t want to talk about roster moves in depth on air before they’re even thought of. … Also, we’d have to consider if we did decide to change things wholesale, would you be able to get a contending team back in the near term? That’s part that goes into it. We consider this team as a good team. It needs to get better. We’re going to try to do that. (more…)

Kevin Garnett’s blog: ‘Wish the season ended better’

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

For the first time since the end of the 2010-11 Celtics season, Celtics forward Kevin Garnett contributed to his Anta shoe company blog, expressing his desire to start working on next season and discussing his upcoming trip to China this summer. Here’s the entire entry:

What’s up China? Having a great summer right now. Wish the season ended better, but making the best of my time. Been relax’n and catching up with some things that I don’t get to do during the season. Getting ready to get back to the “lab” and get my body right! Thinking about getting everything set up for my trip back to China! Man, can’t wait! Sitting at the crib listen’n to my man Damani’s album “On Vacation from Vacation.”

Thanks for the support and catch up with you all soon. Maybe by blog or when I’m in China! Geeked for the trip!

All the best and Reach Higher

KG

Unlike Garnett, Glen Davis seems to contribute to his Ayo Baby Blog every chance he gets. If you have any interest in seeing Davis as a lobsterman, you can do that below. What will these guys do when there’s actually a lockout?

(more…)

NBA draft-day rumors: Josh Smith to Timberwolves for second-overall pick?

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Josh Smith continues to jockey for the position of the MVP of the rumor mill.

The latest report, coming from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, has the Hawks trying to trade the high-flying forward to Minnesota for the second-overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. The Timberwolves were believed to be heavily considering Derrick Williams out of Arizona at that spot, and Wojnarowski didn’t mention the team as being interested in any deal involving Smith.

The Hawks would most likely take center Enes Kanter, who has drawn the eye of Hawks GM Rick Sund, with the second pick if they were able to acquire it.

Celtics draft day scenarios

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

In what is considered a weak draft, the Celtics are no illusions that they will be able to find a true difference-maker in the first round.

“When you’€™re drafting where we’€™re drafting, I’€™m not trying to put a negative spin on this, I’€™m trying to be realistic,” team president Danny Ainge said on Wednesday.  “The 25th pick in the draft is probably not going to help us, immediately. But there are some players that we think can fit our roster, fit into the personality of our team and have a work ethic that can make our team better in practice and add depth to our roster.”

Ainge also said that he’s not interested in packaging their future first-rounder from the Clippers obtained in the Kendrick Perkins trade to move up in this draft. (The pick is top-10 protected through 2015. If the Clippers and Timberwolves both have picks in next year’s draft out of the top 10, then the Celtics would get the lower of the two choices.) That would take a player like USC center Nikola Vucecic out of the mix.

That said, Ainge can still go in a number of different direction in the draft. Here are a few of the scenarios:

IF THEY TRADE THE PICK

ESPN’s Chad Ford reported this morning that the Celtics  would be looking to add a young veteran in exchange for the pick and they have the Marquis Daniels trade exception — valued at just under $2.4 million — to help the cause. The player should be young, relatively cheap and tall.

SI’s Zach Lowe compiled a helpful list of players who could be available in that scenario. It includes players like Antony Tolliver, Lou Admunson and most intriguingly Sacramento’s Jason Thompson who is easily the best player on the list. The Celtics need two things: size and shooting and if they could begin the process of addressing one of them in the draft that would be a success.

IF THEY KEEP THE PICK: OPTION I — THE COLLEGIAN

There will be a number of experienced college players available at 25 and Ainge has done well in this regard over the years, most notably taking Ryan Gomes and Leon Powe in the second round. (Click on the name for a mini-profile).

Jimmy Butler, Marquette: Butler is getting the most buzz because the Celtics had him in for a workout this week. He’s long and athletic for a wing player, which are two things the Celtics have in mind. They feel that one of their problems in the playoffs against Miami was that the Heat got to way too many loose balls and long rebounds. That’s not effort as much as it’s athletic ability. A player like Butler would help in that regard.

Reggie Jackson, Boston College: One of the biggest mysteries in the draft. Jackson was considered an obvious first rounder with the chance to sneak in the lottery when the process started, but he didn’t participate in the combine and hasn’t worked out for teams. Rumors are everywhere that he has a promise from some team to take him in the first round and if he isn’t picked, the Heat are expected to snatch him up with the first choice in the second round.

Tyler Honeycutt, UCLA: Like Butler, Honeycutt is long and athletic. UCLA players tend to be better pros than collegians and he has an intriguing upside.

Justin Harper, Richmond: Harper is 6-foot-10 with range and the Celtics love big players who can stretch the floor.

Kyle Singler, Duke: Singler is a fairly well-known commodity, but with Jeff Green likely back it’s hard to imagine a scenario where he would get playing time with the Celtics.

Nolan Smith, Duke: Ainge has never really worried about having a true backup point guard behind Rajon Rondo, but Smith is experienced enough to compete for backup minutes as a rookie.

IF THEY KEEP THE PICK: OPTION II — THE PROJECT

Jeremy Tyler: His backstory is well-known. Tyler skipped his senior year of high school to play professionally in Israel. Things didn’t go as planned mainly because of maturity issues, but he had a better year playing in Japan for former NBA coach Bob Hill. Tyler is big and talented, but it’s unrealistic to think he can help the Celtics immediately.

Doc Rivers offered his take on big men projects: “Usually if size is available at the 25th pick, I don’€™t know if that’€™s a good sign or a bad sign honestly. Sometimes you can get lucky. Danny, I’€™ve said it for years, if there’€™s a guy there at that size who can play he’€™ll know it.”