|Celtics’ free agent options at backup power forward||08.25.11 at 3:06 pm ET|
We’re almost two months into the NBA lockout, and more progress has been made on the crippled U.S. economy than the collective bargaining agreement negotiations, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still examine the likely free agents available to the Celtics for the (fingers crossed) 2011-12 season once commissioner David Stern and players association executive director Billy Hunter kiss and make up.
We’ve profiled the C’s biggest needs — at center and shooting guard — as well as two other critical positions (backup point guards and small forwards), so we move to the final piece of Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge‘s puzzle: Backup Power Forwards.
The Celtics started this past season with a surefire Hall of Fame four in Kevin Garnett, and backed him up with a Sixth Man of the Year candidate in Glen Davis. The C’s version of assistant to the assistant regional manager rotated from Luke Harangody to ‘We Hardly Knew Ye’ Chris Johnson to Troy Murphy, with a dabble of Jeff Green, who played the four for the Thunder but is more suited to the three on the Celtics. Got all that? Good.
As we’ve noted before, the Celtics have six players under contract in 2011-12 for a combined $64.3 million (Garnett, $21.2 million; Paul Pierce, $15.33 million; Ray Allen, $10 million; Rajon Rondo, $10 million; Jermaine O’Neal, $6.23 million; Avery Bradley, $1.53 million), and should match any offer Green receives — unless another team far exceeds his qualifying offer of $5.9 million.
Davis and Murphy are free agents, and while they might sound like a buddy cop duo from Dublin, they’re actually both pretty darn good for second and third options at the four. The addition of first-round pick JaJuan Johnson — a 6-foot-10 senior power forward out of Purdue — likely makes a Murphy-type expendable. But even with Garnett, Green and Johnson expected to be on the 2011-12 roster, the Celtics should seek one more power forward option, in case Johnson isn’t ready and to leave Green on the wing.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the options that should be available to the Celtics at backup power forward (barring overseas exports), separating the current free agent players into four categories and forgetting about David West, because that ain’t happening ‘¦ Read the rest of this entry »
|Delonte West releases latest track: ‘MJ Shwagg’||08.25.11 at 12:17 pm ET|
When Delonte West isn’t applying to Home Depot, Sam’s Club or BJ’s, the free agent Celtics guard/rap star is promoting his “Lockout” mixtape by releasing tracks sporadically. First, we got ‘It’s Bout 2 Go Down’ and ‘Mr. Magnificent.’ Then “Livin’ Life Fast.” And now “MJ Shwagg” (h/t @Jose3030), complete with a Ray Allen reference. Enjoy, as long as you don’t mind the harsh language.
Oh, and if you like that, you’ll definitely enjoy Delonte’s recent Twitter rant about growing up in Virginia. I mean, what other athlete can you get gems like this from: “mike jordan didnt teach me to post up….an old drunk …did …wit a cigerett in his mouth…after he told pretty tonny to hold his beer”
|Your daily Rajon Rondo update: Summer highlights||08.25.11 at 11:28 am ET|
- You: “So, what you been up to?”
- Rondo: “Oh, just playing the Dominican national team with a bunch of former Wildcats.”
- You: “Sounds fun. How’s your elbow feeling?”
- Rondo: “Pretty good. I can dribble with my left hand and everything.”
- You: “You know, you really should work on that jump shot of yours.”
- Rondo: “Get off my back. I have been working on it, Ok. I made four of them.”
- You: “Four? Really? You’re kidding, right?”
- Rondo: “Very funny.”
- You: “Anything else going on?”
- Rondo: “Oh, just working on a sweet Euro step. No big deal.”
- You: “So, tell me, when’s this NBA lockout gonna be over, so you can start working again.”
- Rondo: “I’ve told you a million times: I have no idea. I gotta go.”
|Jeff Green: Joining Celtics was a tough situation||08.23.11 at 5:11 pm ET|
Once again, unrestricted free agent Jeff Green explained the difficulty he experienced trying to integrate himself into the Celtics‘ offensive and defensive schemes after the Kendrick Perkins trade. NBA.com’s David Aldridge discussed the issue with him earlier this month, and Yahoo! Sports reporter Marc J. Spears also pressed Green on his statistical drop-off after leaving the Thunder. Here’s what Green told Spears:
- On joining the Celtics: “They’ve been together for a number of years. They’ve already won a championship, they already have a system, they already have their chemistry and that bond on that team. It was tough to go into that situation.”
- On replacing Kendrick Perkins: “The one thing about me is that I’m not trying to fill anybody’s shoes. Kendrick is a totally different player than myself. People looked at me being the type of player I am and with the name I have going into this situation, they expected me to fill his shoes.”
- On adjusting to the Celtics: “It was tough to gather all that information so fast and try to gather the concepts of what they are trying to do.”
- On remaining with the Celtics: “I’ve been in the gym working, but things have been hairy. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m always going to be prepared. I’m just taking it day by day. There is nothing much I can do right now. When things get done, they get done.”
Green doesn’t ever really say anything about remaining with the Celtics (although he admits his stint with Boston’s Big Three was “amazing”). The C’s have already extended a $5.9 million qualifying offer to Green. Another team would have to offer Green more, and even then the C’s could still match any such offer.
As I’ve noted before, the Celtics would be crazy to let Green go elsewhere, considering his future on the team is the only possible way the team can save face from the Perkins deal — especially since center Nenad Krstic has already signed a two-year deal in Russia.
|DeMar DeRozan: ‘Kevin Garnett’s got a dirty mouth’||08.23.11 at 4:43 pm ET|
The matchup between the Goodman League and Drew League over this past weekend finally gave basketball fans a chance to watch a few NBA stars actually competing against each other, and what would a weekend of basketball be without at least some mention of Kevin Garnett and his dirty mouth.
The news that Garnett might swear once or twice or 10,000 times per game should come as no surprise to anybody that’s been watching the Celtics over the past four seasons. I’m sure you’ll recall his involvement in the Charlie Villanueva “cancer patient” incident or the Channing Frye nut tap fiasco.
The latest comes from Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan — likely a nobody in KG’s eyes — who sat down with The Basketball Jones blogger Holly MacKenzie after his contributions to the Drew League. Here’s the exchange involving Garnett, which also features his nod to Kobe Bryant as the game’s greatest competitor:
|Mainer hit most consecutive no-look half court shots||08.23.11 at 12:52 pm ET|
Bath, Maine native Jason “White Shadow” Gibbons set the (world?) record for most consecutive no-look half court shots earlier this year as part of the Maine Red Claws’ “Shot 4 a Cause” charity program (h/t Record Setter). Gibbons claims he made 49 half court shots last season during breaks of Red Claws games (the Celtics‘ NBA Development League squad). He currently travels the country as a member of the Harlem Superstars comedy basketball team and can be hired through White Shadow55 Outreach.
The obvious question is: Shouldn’t the Celtics sign this guy to an NBDL deal? I mean, this guy just drains shots from half court without looking, and that shot is pretty much impossible to stop. It’s like Kareem’s sky hook or Jordan’s fade away. Just straight butter. He can’t be any worse than Jason Kapono, right?
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics III||08.22.11 at 4:18 pm ET|
On another slow Celtics news day, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 more C’s links of interest we discovered over the past 24 hours (Here are “10 Things I Heard About Celtics” I and II) …
10. By now, I’m sure you’re sick of all the random Rajon Rondo ridiculousness. One week the Celtics point guard is in Louisville. The next he’s in Las Vegas. Then Boston. And Alcatraz. If they don’t get this whole NBA lockout thing settled soon, he’ll be climbing Mount Everest and sailing the Dead Sea before you know it.
Rondo’s latest adventures involve a paycheck — but sadly no basketball. He scoffed at himself in Lakers gear for a Champs Sports commercial and donned a beret and ascot for a series of Foot Locker ads, revealing some classic Rondo “quickness faces” — The General, The Panther Stare and whatever the hell the third one is called (The Grand Millimeter?) — with his signature deadpan delivery. I also enjoyed this advice from Lesson No. 3:
“It’s the fourth quarter, your most bitter rival is about to step up to the line and shoot free throws that will end your season. Don’t let this go down. Get in his mind, talk some trash and wreak havoc.”
9. Even during the lockout, a week doesn’t pass without some sort of Dwight Howard speculation. The latest? Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer claims he’s been told by Magic CEO Alex Martins that a new collective bargaining agreement may include a more significant “Bird Rights”-like clause that would give Howard’s current team an even greater chance of retaining his services over teams like the Lakers or Celtics in 2012 free agency.
“One thing that might give some comfort to Orlando fans is that one of the thoughts in the new collective bargaining agreement is to give an advantage to teams who are trying to keep their incumbent players,” Dyer told the Orlando Sentinel. “That would allow the Magic, for instance, to offer Dwight more money than any other team and (entice him) to stay home.”
How significant that advantage might be for the Magic is obviously up for debate between owners and players.
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