|Report: C’s waive Oliver Lafayette||09.25.10 at 1:59 pm ET|
On the eve of opening training camp the Celtics have waived guard Oliver Lafayette, according to a report on the Herald’s website.
Lafayette was a longshot to make the roster with Rajon Rondo, Nate Robinson and possibly rookie Avery Bradley slotted ahead of him, but no doubt he would have liked the opportunity to compete.
Lafayette played well during the Orlando summer league and looks like a player who can stick on an NBA roster in the right circumstances. He also performed well with Fort Wayne in the D-League, averaging over 17 points and six assists per game.
The move leaves the Celtics with 16 players on their training camp, and it seems likely they will add a few more. Competition for roster spots will be fierce, however, because the C’s have 13 players on guaranteed contracts.
That leaves Delonte West, Von Wafer and Tony Gaffney fighting for two spots. Danny Ainge spoke enthusiastically about West before the team’s annual charitable golf outing. West is facing a 10-game suspension to start the season, so it’s possible that Wafer, or another veteran, could serve as insurance until he is able to return.
|Carmelo Anthony to the Nets?||09.24.10 at 1:34 pm ET|
Carmelo Anthony wasn’t a part of the celebrated free agency class of 2010, but his name has been floated throughout the NBA rumor mill ever since he wavered on signing an extension with the Nuggets. As a new season dawns, we may be getting closer to a resolution.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski has the latest on a possible deal that would send Anthony to the Nets for rookie Derrick Favors and draft picks. That’s only one part of the deal, as Wojnarowski writes, which could include multiple teams. ESPN’s Marc Stein has the deal involving four teams, including Utah and Charlotte, and involving Andrei Kirilenko, Boris Diaw and Devin Harris all changing addresses.
The upshot is the Nets would get Anthony, the Nuggets would acquire Favors, Kirilenko and draft picks, Diaw would go to Utah and Harris would land in Charlotte. There are an awful lot of moving parts to the deal, not the least of which is Anthony’s willingness (or reluctance) to sign an extension with the Nets if he’s traded.
If it goes down, Anthony would be added to a revamped Nets roster that also includes free agents Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow and Travis Outlaw, as well as recently acquired Troy Murphy. That’s a serious talent upgrade from the woeful squad the Nets put on the floor last season.
While the Celtics remain the prohibitive favorites in the Atlantic Division, both the Nets and Knicks bolstered their rosters during the offseason. The division remains within the Celtics control, but promises to be a whole lot more interesting than it has in recent seasons.
|Ainge: We like our talent||09.23.10 at 1:14 pm ET|
QUINCY — Speaking to reporters before the Celtics annual golf fundraiser to support The Shamrock Foundation, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge noted: “I think this is the most talented team we’ve had in quite a while. Now it’s just a matter of it all coming together.”
Never one to tip his hand, Ainge acknowledged that the team has been bringing in players such as Rashad McCants and Adam Morrison (who just agreed to a training camp deal with the Wizards), but said, “We may be all done, and we may not.”
Where the Celtics are thin is at the backup wing position behind Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Ainge brought in Delonte West and Von Wafer, and re-signed Marquis Daniels to primarily fill those roles. West and Daniels, in particular, seem to have the inside track.
“Had we not had the [Kendrick Perkins] injury, maybe our focus would have been on backup wings for Paul and Ray,” Ainge said. “It was still a priority. After we got our center positions filled, bringing in Delonte and Nate [Robinson], I think were huge just to take minutes off of [Rajon] Rondo and Paul and Ray. I think we have great depth now in bringing Marquis back.”
On the subject of Daniels, it hardly seemed a given that he would return to Boston after falling out of favor, and the rotation, following a mid-season thumb injury. Ainge, however, sounded an optimistic note about his contributions.
“It didn’t work out for him [last year],” Ainge said. “Tony [Allen] earned the minutes, but coming out of training camp Marquis won those minutes. Marquis outplayed all of our bench players throughout October, November and December until he had the [thumb] injury. We know what Marquis is capable of doing.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Celtics’ top pick Avery Bradley won’t be ready for start of camp||09.23.10 at 12:41 pm ET|
QUINCY — Speaking prior to his team’s kickoff golf tournament, Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge said that the team’s No. 1 pick, guard Avery Bradley, will miss the beginning of training camp, which begins Monday. Ainge surmised that Bradley — who underwent surgery on left ankle in the offseason — is still “a couple of weeks away, at least.”
The GM added, “We’re certainly not going to rush him.” The Celtics were aware of the ankle injury prior to drafting Bradley, who suffered the ailment while going through a pre-draft workout with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
For more Celtics news see the team page at weei.com/celtics.
|Celtics countdown||09.22.10 at 10:50 pm ET|
We’ve reached the end of our countdown of the 10 most important developments of the offseason, and not a moment too soon. The Celtics will officially put the summer behind them when they open training camp with their media day on Monday.
Here’s the full list:
|Paul Pierce gets high school jersey retired||09.22.10 at 9:44 pm ET|
Paul Pierce had his high school jersey retired in his hometown of Inglewood Tuesday. Pierce was a McDonald’s All-American at Inglewood High before going on to star at Kansas. He’s the second Celtic player to be given this honor this month as Nate Robinson also had his jersey retired at Rainier Beach in Seattle.
Pierce was asked about playing with Shaquille O’Neal, naturally, and he responded, “He’s one of my all-time favorite players, and now I have a chance to play with one of the greatest players to ever play the game.”
Seems like you can say that about half the roster.
Anyway, here’s video of him talking to reporters after the event:
|Rajon Rondo would like a new pair of shoes||09.21.10 at 10:16 am ET|
With the start of training camp less than a week away, Rajon Rondo has been making the rounds. He talked to Slam magazine for an interview that was posted on their website about his goals, buying groceries and his shoes.
“Actually,” he said. “I wear a new pair of shoes every game for the most part.”
Good to know.
Of more immediate concern, Rondo laid out his individual goals for the upcoming season: making the All-Star and All-Defense team. Rondo gave credit to his teammates for helping him achieve those milestones last season and then said something very interesting:
“I’m pretty sure that people who don’t like my game are waiting to see how I react when I don’t have the Big Three, but I don’t really care. I’m doing what I can do now for the team, and that’s why I’m in this situation.”
If you’ve paid attention to his career, then you know that Rondo is beyond intrigued about one day playing on a team without the veterans. That’s entirely normal for a young superstar. Beyond even acknowledging it, what makes Rondo unique is that he’s able to separate the here and the now from the future.
The only other player on the 2010 All-Star Eastern Conference team who couldn’t definitively be termed as a franchise’s signature player was Atlanta’s Al Horford. But, none of those other players have a championship ring.
Along those lines, Rondo’s team goals are to win a championship, obviously, but he also has goals for the regular season and there again, he’s a little unique among the current Celtics.
“As a team it’s to try to win 60-plus games and to try to stay healthy. As long as we’re healthy I’m pretty fine with what we do on the court. We don’t have to win 70 games, but it would be nice to get the first-place position and the home court advantage, because who can say? I never look back and say what if, but if we had the home seed then maybe the outcome would have been different against L.A.”
You won’t find too many Celtics worried about winning 60 games and playoff seeding. Their postseason success may have reinforced the notion that the regular season doesn’t matter, but it does in one very significant way: homecourt advantage.
That will be the largest theme of this regular season, along with health, and the two things are related. How much does Doc Rivers push his team, and how will they react? Rondo’s at the point in his career where he wants it all.