|Report: Celtics have ‘serious interest’ in Howard||07.12.10 at 7:34 am ET|
An All-Star with Dallas in 2007, Howard tore the ACL in his left knee as a member of the Wizards in March 2010. He was projected to out of action from six to eight months but told Yahoo! that he was ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation process and expects to be ready by the start of the regular season.
Howard averaged 12.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 26.2 minutes per game last season.
The Celtics would most likely need a sign-and-trade deal to acquire Howard, already having used their mid-level execption on Jermaine O’Neal. It’s possible they could move Rasheed Wallace’s contract in a deal to land Howard.
|Harangody reflects on impressive week||07.09.10 at 2:45 pm ET|
The Celtics finished the 2010 Summer League with a 1-4 record, but that matters little. The real purpose of the week is to start the process of finding out if any of the young players on the roster have a chance of sticking at the NBA level.
It’s still early, but so far it appears that the Celtics may have found a keeper with second-round pick Luke Harangody.
“I felt it [the week] went really well, except for the record we had,” said Harangody on Friday after an 86-68 loss to the Nets. “Personally, I thought it was a good week.”
The Notre Dame alum led the Celtics for the week with 16.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The forward shot 47.1% from the floor and 50.0% on 3-point attempts. His level of physicality, a trademark in his Big East days, translated well over the five games.
“I knew what to expect,” Harangody said. “Especially when you play five games in five days. That’s the grind of it. You just have to keep your head down and keep going every day.”
Oklahoma City assistant coach Brian Keefe ran the Thunder summer league squad. He watched Harangody score 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting against his club on Monday.
“He looked like an NBA player to me,” Keefe said. “He made some shots and was really aggressive.”
Harangody, the 52nd pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, felt that he “learned a lot” over the week in Orlando.
“Four days of practice, with Boston, was great for me,” said the 2008 Big East Player of the Year. “I struggled the first day of practice, just picking up things. But as the days went on it just got better every day.”
The rookie-to-be harbors no illusions about his role should he secure a roster spot with the Celtics in 2010.
“I see myself as a young guy coming off the bench at times when they need me to do whatever they need out there,” Harangody said. “They have bodies, no question about that. I’m just going to be there to come off the bench at times, to be an energy guy.”
|Bird, O’Brien weigh in on O’Neal||07.09.10 at 10:41 am ET|
ORLANDO –Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird and head coach Jim O’Brien were each asked by WEEI.com to weigh in on the Celtics signing of free agent Jermaine O’Neal. The 31-year-old forward/center played for the Pacers from 2000-08. Bird was hired as president by the Pacers in 2003 and O’Brien coached O’Neal is in his final season in Indiana.
When Bird was told by WEEI.com on Thursday that O’Neal had reached an agreement with the Celtics he expressed some surprise, but quickly added that the 31-year-old is “younger than you think. He can rebound block shots and get down the floor. He can help a team win.”
But Bird told WEEI.com that he hadn’t seen O’Neal play in “a couple of years.”
O’Brien, who coached the Celtics from 2000-04, was even more to the point. He told WEEI.com that he “has nothing to say about that or him” when asked about O’Neal.
Bird and O’Neal had a messy divorce in 2008, with the Celtics legend telling the Indianapolis Star in September of that year, “Just because you make the most money doesn’t mean you’re the leader,’ Bird said two months after dealing O’Neal to the Raptors. ‘A lot of guys didn’t want to step on toes. Not only here, but other places I’ve been at. They’d say, the guy makes the most money, that means he’s the leader. That’s not the case. The leader comes from the guy doing the right thing, the guy that’s going to be there every day at practice, the guy that plays through pain without complaining. They do the necessary things to prepare themselves.
‘I think the situation you have here, you had one guy making a lot of money and everybody just took it as he’s going to be leading us, and in some instances that was true. But I think more now that since it has opened you’ll see a number of guys stepping up.’
O’Neal told ESPN.com in 2007, “Larry Bird is a hard man to deal with. He tries to make unfair trades.”
|Ainge: ‘We think we’re going to be better’||07.08.10 at 8:29 pm ET|
ORLANDO –Some highlights of Danny Ainge’s 10-minute sit down with the media on Thursday. Ainge was literally sitting down, as he occupied the last chair on the Celtics bench throughout the team’s summer league loss to the Pacers and spoke to the media at halftime of the contest.
Contract status of Jermaine O’Neal
“I’m going to do all that once it’s done. I’m not going to comment on anybody until it’s done. I can’t tell you ‘¦ I’m supposed to wait until the contracts are done. The moratorium today is the first day we can talk, but not until the contracts are done.”
Is there mutual interest?
“We intend to sign him. And I’ll talk about it when we do.”
“I can talk about it when it’s done, which is probably tomorrow.”
Assuming these deals will be done, are you happy with the offseason to this point?
“I think the priorities to start the offseason were obviously Paul and Ray and then to strengthen our center position in lieu of Perk’s injury. Those were our priorities right there. So hopefully by tomorrow we’ll have those three things taken care of and then we can continue to work on it.”
Status of Kendrick Perkins
“Perk is scheduled to have surgery on Monday (pushed back). I guess the philosophy is to get more range of motion and the swelling and strengthening. Just rehabbing before the surgery.”
Is it just the ACL for Perkins?
“I know there were injuries to the MCL and the PCL, but I don’t know to what extent they need to be surgically repaired. Those might heal on their own, as sprains or strains. But I do know that the ACL needs to be repaired.”
Any Rasheed Wallace updates?
“We like Nate and Tony and I’m sure that they are still looking at the market too. The market is pretty crazy right now so we’ll be patient and look at other options as well in case they go in another direction. But we do have interest in both of them. Always have.”
Can this team compete in what will surely be a much different Eastern Conference?
“Absolutely, yeah. We’re the Eastern Conference champions and we think we’re going to be better.”
After the first call to David Lee, was there any more contact during the free agency process?
“Yeah, yeah. We couldn’t compete [financially].”
|Magic GM Smith: ‘Surprised’ if LeBron leaves Cleveland||07.08.10 at 2:19 pm ET|
ORLANDO, Fla. — I just spoke to Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith after a press conference announcing the signing of Chris Duhon. Smith was impressed by the Celtics‘ ability to keep the core together and add Jermaine O’Neal.
“They did a great job,” Smith said. “To sign Paul [Pierce] and Ray [Allen] and add a piece like Jermaine O’Neal? They are going to be tough again next year.”
Smith, who wouldn’t comment on the status of free agent J.J. Redick, was asked about LeBron James. If James signs with the Heat, would it signal a shift of power in the Eastern Conference?
“I still think you have to put teams together,” Smith said. “That’s it. If all three of those guys go to Miami, that’s a very good team. But three guys don’t give you anything, you need a team. It gives them a chance to win a title, but doesn’t guarantee anything.”
Does Smith think James will end up in Miami?
“I would be surprised.”
Does he think he’ll end up in Cleveland?
|Report: Celtics to meet with Kwame Brown||07.06.10 at 3:43 pm ET|
“We’re checking out a lot of possibilities — it’s still very early in the process,” Ainge told the Herald.
Brown spent the last two seasons with the Pistons, averaging 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game in 2009-10. The top overall pick of the 2001 NBA draft has never lived up to that selection, playing for four NBA teams (Wizards, Lakers, Grizzlies, Pistons) and averaging 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds in his nine-year career.
Ainge also told the Herald that he has not set up a meeting with Shaquille O’Neal.
|LeBron makes decision to join Twitter||07.06.10 at 2:15 pm ET|
LeBron James opened a Twitter account on Tuesday. His publicist, Keith Estabrook, confirmed that kingjames is in fact the account of the two-time MVP. Though he had yet to make a single post, there were nearly 50,000 followers by 2 p.m. EST.
It has been speculated that James may use this account to officially announce his eventual landing spot. The most famous free agent in the world, James is expected to make the decision regarding his basketball future soon.