|Irish Coffee: Celtics hope to sign-and-trade Big Baby?||11.28.11 at 12:35 pm ET|
With half the roster still to be filled, expect a whole lot of Celtics rumors to fly around the interwebs between now and Christmas Day — and here’s the first, courtesy of Sporting News NBA writer Sean Deveney’s Twitter account: “From what I’m told, the Celts are happy about the whole sign-and-trade issue for tax teams, because that’s the plan with Big Baby [Glen] Davis.”
At some point during the haze that was the NBA lockout, we discussed the realistic sign-and-trade options for Davis at length. Options included old friend Tony Allen, Warriors forward Dorell Wright, Kings center Jason Thompson and Bucks swingman Carlos Delfino, among others.
In an interview with the Boston Herald, Davis said he’ll have “a pen and pad and two phones up to my ears” as he listens to offers elsewhere, preferably for a starting position. He also expressed his interest (once again) in returning to the Celtics.
“I’ve been in the playoffs every year on that team — twice in the Finals,” Davis told the Herald. “I think of the legacies that Kevin [Garnett] and Ray [Allen] have built here, and that’s the path you want to take. I’ll take a look at them first to see what we can do here, and then if I have to, I’ll look into where else I can go.”
Big Baby’s relationship with Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has been a contentious one at times, but Danny Ainge may have no better option on the sign-and-trade or free agent markets than to re-sign Davis, whose value to the Celtics as a veteran who knows the system at both the center and power forward positions may have actually increased as a result of the shortened training camp and 66-game NBA season.
CELTICS VETERANS NOT CONCERNED
Considering the manner in which last season ended, with a five-game loss to a younger and more athletic Heat team in the Eastern Conference semifinals, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the Celtics. But that doesn’t faze the team’s veteran core, at least not publicly.
“If there’s a 50- or 60-game season, advantage Celtics,” Paul Pierce said after his appearance at the Boston Charity Classic earlier this month. “I think the last four years we’ve probably been the best team in the first three months of the season.”
For Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, it’s not the six players on the roster that concern him. It’s the players not yet on the roster he’s worried about.
“I know you think guys are old, but I see them daily,” Rondo said after his charity event. “I know they’re working, and they’re three of the hardest workers on the team. They’re always in the best shape. Obviously, it takes a wear and tear on your body with the age, but they’re in the weight room, they’re in the gym, getting extra cardio in. I’m not worried about those guys. It’s just the guys we bring in. We only have, what, five or six guys on contracts.”
Count Allen among those who have faith in Ainge to piece together a title contender in the next couple weeks.
“I’m not concerned,” Allen told the Herald. “I have faith in the organization and in Danny. For the last four years he’s put together a team that could contend for the championship and be one of the best teams in the league.”
While training camp isn’t scheduled to begin until Dec. 9, Allen advised his teammates to arrive in shape. There’s little doubt that Allen, who has been working out at UConn during the offseason, will show up ready to play.
Likewise, Garnett, another guy who chose not to participate in any of the exhibition games during the lockout, is expected to participate in Impact Basketball trainer Joe Abunassar’s one-week boot camp (intensive training and 5-on-5 scrimmages) in Las Vegas while the players wait for the new deal to be ratified, according to a HoopsWorld report (h/t Celtics Town).
Of course, Allen, Pierce and Rivers have all committed to play in President Barack Obama‘s all-star campaign fundraising game in Washington D.C. on Dec. 12, so C’s training camp will likely already be cut short by a day.
QUICK RELEASE: CELTICS LINKS
Apparently, the Arizona Cardinals often hand out the “Paul Pierce Award” after games to players who miraculously recover from injuries — an ode to Pierce’s wheelchair episode in the 2008 NBA Finals. The most recent recipient was Cardinals running back Beanie Wells, whose 53-yard touchdown run after clutching his knee in pain following a fumble led to a 228-yard afternoon. Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald told The Arizona Republic, “He Paul Pierced us, and he got caught from behind twice on two long runs. But we still love him.” …
Even though he said he told Danny Ainge not to make the Kendrick Perkins trade as a result of his Achilles injury, Shaquille O’Neal apologized to his Celtics teammates and fans for letting them down. He told The Globe, “Every time I text them and every time I see people from Boston, I always tell them I’m sorry for letting them down.I do believe that if I wouldn’t have gotten hurt that we would have made it pretty far.’’ …
Along with the Heat, Magic, Suns and Lakers, the Celtics were among the handful of teams pushing hardest for the new labor deal, according to ESPN.com‘s Marc Stein. …
A couple of Celtics-related items worth reading: 1) An Orlando Sentinel feature on Doc Rivers’ adopted son, Adam Jones, now a freshman on the Fairfield University basketball team in Connecticut, and 2) And an NBA.com piece on the unique road Jon Jennings took to president and general manager of the Maine Red Claws (the C’s NBA Development League affiliate).
(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’s Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach on Twitter.)
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