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Wyc Grousbeck on M&M: ‘I think we’ve gotten better’ despite losing Ray Allen 07.09.12 at 3:06 pm ET
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Wyc Grousbeck

Celtics managing partner and CEO Wyc Grousbeck joined Mut & Merloni on Monday to talk in-depth about Ray Allen‘s departure to Miami.

Allen chose the rival Heat over the Celtics late last week for less money, surprising a majority of Celtics fans.

“I was surprised, but I wasn’t utterly shocked,” Grousbeck said. “Let’s face it, he was not necessarily going to start. As Doc put it, he felt somehow that he was slighted possibly in the recruiting process in this offseason. … If Doc’s report is correct, Ray felt he was second fiddle to first, Avery Bradley and then Kevin Garnett, so he decided to go to our arch-rival for less than half the money, so be it.”

Added Grousbeck: “I would not blame him [for his negative emotions]. I’ve said to friends of mine and people that I work with over the last few days that the trade deadline and the fact that he was almost traded, it would bother me, if I was Ray. And he has every right to go down to Miami. And we have every right to try and beat those guys.”

There have been rumors circling that Allen and Rajon Rondo did not get along.

“Let’s put it this way, if Ray had come back … he would have played fine with Rondo,” Grousbeck said. “There was a number put out and there were also emotional issues out there. There was a price tag put out there [reported to be $27 million for three years], it just wasn’t one we could get to.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

On Allen’s legacy: “Let’s put it this way, Red Auerbach told me personally and told players in front of me, ‘It’s the name on the front of the jersey, not on the back.’ I think Ray always put the Celtics first and it was never about himself and I think if we’re going to be successful we have to keep doing it that way. We’re going to band together, we’re not going to cut down Ray Allen in any way. We’re going to say the name on the front of your jersey just changed, but you’re always a Celtic to us.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Wyc Grousbeck
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Greek SF Kostas Papanikolaou 06.27.12 at 8:25 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Greek forward Kostas Papanikolaou has an NBA-caliber outside shot but might have trouble with the faster pace of the American game. (AP)

KOSTAS PAPNIKOLAOU

Position: Small forward

Team: Olympiakos (Greece)

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 230 pounds

Achievements: 2010 U-20 European Championships all-tournament team,  2009 U-20 European Championships MVP

Key 2011-12 stats: 7.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 49.4 FG%, 20.4 minutes

What he brings: Papanikolaou is a hard-working small forward with a great shot. He has solid shooting mechanics and certainly posses the range to be effective as a 3-point shooter in the NBA. On defense he uses his long arms and relentless motor to be an scrappy defender. He posses the supreme basketball IQ that allows him to overcome his slow feet and lack of agility.

His athleticism may catch up to him when he makes the transition to the fast-paced NBA game. The 21-year-old also lacks an explosive step which will limit his versatility on offense.

Overall, he possesses a deadly NBA-ready shot that should help him find a spot on a roster, but as shown in the past, the transition from the European League to the NBA is not an easy one.

Where the Celtics should get him: Papanikolaou is projected to be a late-second-round pick.

Notes: Papanikolaou won the 2012 Euroleague championship and the 2012 Greek national championship with Olympiakos. … He led the 2009 U20 European Championships in blocks.

Video: Here are highlights of Papanikolaou vs. Efes in the Euroleague.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Kostas Papanikolaou,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Texas PG/SG J’Covan Brown 06.26.12 at 7:42 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

J'Covan Brown is a shooting guard with a point guard's size, which might make things difficult at the NBA level. (AP)

J‘COVAN BROWN

Position: Point guard/shooting guard

School: Texas

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 202 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big-12 first team

Key 2011-12 stats: 20.1 points, 3.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 41.7 FG%, 35.6 minutes

What he brings: Brown is a pure scorer who uses his strong frame and low center of gravity to score in bunches. He’s a good ball-handler who knows how to draw contact and get to the free throw stripe (5.4 FTs attempted per game). The 22-year-old is a confident shooter with serious NBA range. He also is decent at breaking down a defense with penetration and kicking out to open teammates.

Because of Brown’s size he will have to play the point guard position at the next level, despite having a 2-guard mentality. At point guard, Brown has been prone to turnovers and isn’t a great floor general. The confidence he has in his shot often leads him to poor shot selection.

All in all, Brown can score in bunches and in different ways, but his questionable attitude and lack of size will hurt him at the next level. If he can be coached to be a better leader at the point guard position then he may be effective in the NBA.

Where the Celtics could get him: Brownt is projected to be a late-second-round pick.

Notes: Brown, who initially was deemed academically unqualified for Texas, declared for the draft after his junior season. He scored 683 points this past season, while he only scored a combined 693 points in his first two years.

Recent articles:

DailyTexanOnline.com: J’Covan Brown to enter NBA Draft

DallasNews.com: Carlton: Texas’ J’Covan Brown eager to carry the load for young Horns squad in NCAA tourney

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Brown’s junior year at Texas.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, J'Covan Brown,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky SG Doron Lamb 06.22.12 at 9:33 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Doron Lamb is a polished scorer who needs to build some strength to succeed at shooting guard in the NBA. (AP)

DORON LAMB

Position: Shooting guard

School: Kentucky

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 199 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-SEC second team (coaches), 2011 All-SEC freshman team, 2012 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team (AP)

Key 2011-12 stats: 13.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 47.4 FG%, 31.2 minutes

What he brings: Lamb, who is leaving Kentucky after his sophomore season, is a pure, versatile scorer. The mid-range jumper is his the best aspect of his scoring game, but he also began to improve both his driving ability and his 3-point shooting. He works hard to get open on the offensive end and when he touches the ball he rarely turns it over. Lamb also brings that hustle to the defensive end, making up for his lack of size with great lateral movement and supreme length.

Lamb’s game is pretty well-rounded, but he isn’t phenomenal athlete and is caught between the point guard and shooting guard position. He’s not a good enough playmaker to play the point, but he’s not strong enough to play the 2. The 20-year-old also has a hard time creating for himself.

Overall Lamb is a solid prospect, but his physical limitations in size and athleticism prevent him from having a truly high ceiling.

Where the Celtics could get him: The Kentucky product is projected as a late-first-round pick, so he is well within the Celtics’ range. He could fill some of the hole if Ray Allen leaves because he’s a good shooter and a hard-worker on defense.

Notes: Lamb won the national championship with Kentucky this year and started in 35 of 40 games. … As a senior in high school, Lamb was selected to the McDonald’s and Jordan All-America teams.

Recent articles:

CatsPause.com: Kentucky guard Doron Lamb had interesting journey to NCAA title

YahooSports.com: Kentucky saw Doron Lamb’s big night coming ahead of time

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Lamb at Kentucky.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Doron Lamb,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Vanderbilt SG John Jenkins 06.21.12 at 7:41 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

John Jenkins is arguably the best shooter in the college game, but there are questions if he is athletic enough to succeed in the NBA. (AP)

JOHN JENKINS

Position: Shooting guard

School: Vanderbilt

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 215 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America  third team (AP, Sporting News), 2012 All-SEC first team (coaches), 2012 SEC Tournament MVP, 2011 All-SEC first team, 2010 SEC Sixth Man of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 19.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 47.4 FG%, 33.6 minutes

What he brings: Jenkins is considered by some to be the best jump shooter in college basketball. He has the appropriate size and range to get off his shot from anywhere on the court. The 21-year-old is a highly efficient scorer especially considering the fact he is mostly a jump shooter. He can shoot both off the dribble and off the pass and is a solid finisher at the rim. On defense, Jenkins shows great effort.

The biggest knock on the Vanderbilt product is that he lacks NBA athleticism. Offensively he isn’t explosive enough to become a versatile scorer and he also doesn’t look for much other than his jumper. On defense he is too slow to contain most NBA players despite his great work ethic.

Jenkins will be most effective in a halfcourt offense that allows him to get open looks. It’s hard to tell if Jenkins will be anything more than a shooting specialist.

Where the Celtics could get him: With Ray Allen‘s departure a possibility, Jenkins could be a possible replacement as he is projected as a late-first-round pick.

Notes: Jenkins declared for the draft after his junior season. He tied the single-season SEC record for 3-pointers (134). He also finished 10th on the all-time Vanderbilt scoring list.

Recent articles:

USAToday.com: John Jenkins leaving Vanderbilt a year early for NBA

Kentuckysports.com: Vanderbilt’s Jenkins is an efficient, deadly shooter

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Jenkins’ final season at Vandy.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, John Jenkins,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Harvard PF Keith Wright 06.21.12 at 4:26 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Keith Wright is hoping his rebounding skills will earn him a spot on an NBA roster. (AP)

KEITH WRIGHT

Position: Power forward

School: Harvard

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 240 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Ivy second team, 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 58.6 FG%, 28.1 minutes

What he brings: While Wright is undersized for the NBA 4 position, his length and wide shoulders should allow him to hide his size somewhat. He’s a good post player because he is quicker than most of the defenders he goes up against. The 22-year-old is a great rebounder who is especially good at turning offensive rebounds into baskets. Wright also has shown a solid mid-range shot.

Wright’s length sometimes allows him to hide his lack of quickness or leaping ability which makes scouts question if he can translate his defense to the next level.

The Harvard product will need to improve his finishing ability in order to make up for his lack of size at the next level. He could be a role player off the bench if he gets the appropriate coaching at the next level.

Where the Celtics could get him: If Wright is drafted at all, it would likely be toward the end of the second round.

Notes: Wright was named to the preseason top-50 watch list for the Wooden Award and selected to the Lou Henson Preseason All-America team prior to his senior season. … Wright finished first in Harvard history in career blocks (149). He finished second in the Ivy League in shooting percentage as a senior (.594).

Recent articles:

TheCrimson.com: Wright hits 1,000 in disappointing loss

TheCrimson.com: Keith Wright: Couples therapist

Video: Here are some highlights of Wright (44).

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Keith Wright,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: West Virginia PF Kevin Jones 06.21.12 at 1:18 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Kevin Jones doesn't always look the smoothest, but he finds ways to get the job done, especially on the boards. (AP)

KEVIN JONES

Position: Power forward

School: West Virginia

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 250 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America second team (AP, NABC, USBWA), 2012 All-Big East first team

Key 2011-12 stats: 19.9 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 blocks, 50.9 FG%, 38.3 minutes

What he brings: The West Virginia product is a hard worker with surprisingly quick feet despite his lack of fluidity. Jones has a solid mid-range game and makes use of his catch-and-shoot opportunities. The best aspect of his game is his rebounding because of his elite reactionary skills and supreme ability to adjust under the basket. He also possess a solid post game offensively.

Jones isn’t the greatest athlete and sometimes looks awkward on the court. He isn’t really a great defender and doesn’t look like he’ll grow as a prospect either.

All in all, the 22-year-old possess some solid skills on the offensive end, but he probably won’t improve much in the NBA. With that said he should be a solid player off the bench.

Where the Celtics could get him: He’s projected as a late-first-round pick, which is well within the Celtics’ range, although his defensive deficiencies likely wouldn’t sit well with Doc Rivers.

Notes: Jones joined Jerry West as the only two West Virginia players ever to have more than 1,800 points and 1,000 rebounds in their careers. He finished fourth on the school’s all-time rebounding list.

Recent articles:

West Virginia Illustrated: Kevin Jones enjoys the ‘grind’ of being an NBA prospect

The Register-Herald: WVU’s Jones is a consensus All-American

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Jones.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Kevin Jones,
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