|NBA Free Agency: James Jones agrees to re-sign with Heat||12.09.11 at 11:55 am ET|
Jones is known for his 3-point shooting ability. He scored 5.9 points per game for Miami last season while shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. Jones also won the 2011 NBA 3-point shootout during All-Star Weekend, beating out Celtics Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
With Jones re-signing, the Heat will be have plenty of depth at small forward, as the team also cut a deal with Shane Battier this week. Mike Miller is expected to miss up to eight weeks at the beginning of the season after undergoing hernia surgery.
The Heat also agreed to re-sign point guard Mario Chalmers on Friday morning, according to ESPN.com. Chalmers averaged 6.8 points and 2.5 assists last season but upped his points per game to 11.8 in the NBA finals.
|Chris Mannix on D&C: Chris Paul to Celtics an ‘extreme longshot’||12.09.11 at 11:06 am ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to discuss the NBA blocking a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers.
On Thursday, the Hornets, Rockets and Lakers reached an agreement to send Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and Luis Scola to New Orleans. But according to multiple reports, commissioner David Stern intervened and blocked the trade because league owners were irate that the trade was being allowed to go through.
The Celtics have been reportedly interested in acquiring Paul ever since the lockout unofficially ended, but Mannix does not expect that Boston will be able to trade for Paul after the Lakers deal was blocked.
“Do you know what [Lakers owner] Jerry Buss would do if the NBA approved [Paul to the Celtics]? He would make Mark Cuban look like a guy on Xanax because he would go absolutely ballistic over something like that,” Mannix said. “You can’t veto a trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers and all of a sudden trade him to your arch rival.”
Added Mannix: “I would say right now it’s an extreme longshot that Chris Paul would wind up with the Celtics.”
Mannix explained that Stern and the NBA rejected the trade for a number of reasons.
“I think he did for a few reasons. No. 1, the small-market owners certainly had an influence. I’m sure by now you’ve seen Dan Gilbert‘s letter. ‘¦ I’m sure Dan Gilbert and some of the other small-market owners, like Robert Sarver, maybe Michael Heisley in Memphis, put some pressure on Stern,” Mannix said. “But guys I’ve been saying for two weeks right now the biggest road block to Chris Paul getting traded is the commissioner’s office. Because No. 1, they’ve spent five months trying to legislate against players doing exactly what Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are trying to do right now. They don’t have a problem with super teams. ‘¦ They have a problem with how these super teams are formed. They don’t want players independently going out there and saying, ‘I want to play in such-and-such market, if you don’t trade me there, I’m going to walk at the end of the season.’”
|Jackie MacMullan on M&M: Veteran teams play well in shortened seasons||11.29.11 at 1:30 pm ET|
ESPN.com’s Jackie MacMullan joined Mut & Merloni to give her thoughts on the Celtics and how they will fare now that the union and the owners have come to a tentative agreement to end the NBA lockout. Boston is set to face the Knicks on Christmas day in the first game of a shortened 66-game season.
MacMullan pointed to the 1999 NBA season, which was shortened to 50 games due to another lockout, and how older teams like the Spurs, the Magic and the Knicks were among the best in the league.
“You look at who came out of that shortened ’99 season, it was all veteran teams,” MacMullan said. “The Orlando Magic had one of the oldest teams in the league, the New York Knicks were dragging Patrick Ewing along and of course the San Antonio Spurs, who ended up winning the whole thing. They didn’t do well in those back-to-back-to-back games, in fact they did somewhat poorly, the older teams.
“But over the long haul, you had a bunch of veterans. Do you think anyone needs to tell Kevin Garnett how to stay in shape during the lockout? Do you think anyone needs to tell Ray Allen? And I would daresay even Paul Pierce has figured it out at this point. So the veteran teams tend to do well in these shortened seasons because they know what it takes not just to get into shape, but to stay in shape as the lockout goes along.”
While many think that the Celtics’ window to win another championship has closed, MacMullan said that the team has the ingredients to still be a contender.
“These guys know how to do it, they play the kind of defense that can get it done,” MacMullan said. “The question of course we always have with them is, can they score enough points? Because they really do get bogged down offensively.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
On what moves the Celtics will make before the start of the season: “I think it will be small moves. They have a core that they can try to go out a win. Don’t laugh, I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried going after Grant Hill one more time, another old guy, a veteran that Doc loves and I think would be great in their locker room. They need a big body. My guess is they’ll go for a defensive type of center, like Kendrick Perkins, who’s going to cost them less money. Maybe a Joel Przybilla, his name has been out there. Do they go after a young, athletic guy like Al Thornton? They might.
“I was intrigued with one thing. Greg Oden is a restricted free agent in Portland. We know about his terrible, terrible foot problems. Do you take a flyer on him, one that doesn’t cost you a ton of money? My guess is whatever you did Portland would match it. But I just go all the way back to when we thought the Celtics might have a No. 1 pick, they were in the Greg Oden camp. Not the Kevin Durant pick, and by the way, that’s true of 99 percent of the people in the NBA at that time. So do you take a shot at Greg Oden? I don’t know. I doubt you overpay for him. You maybe overplay a little, but I doubt you throw big, big bucks at him and my guess is Portland would match no matter what. But he’s just a guy to throw out there because if he could at all be healthy, he’d really help you.”