|Adrian Wojnarowski on D&C: ‘No easy path back’ to contention for Celtics||04.29.13 at 9:04 am ET|
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the Celtics and the NBA playoffs.
The league’s two most successful franchises, the Celtics and Lakers, have become also-rans, and the future is not promising for either team.
“There’s no question there’s been a changing of the guard in the league,” Wojnarowski said. “You look at both teams, the Lakers and Boston, it’s going to be a while before either is in contention again. It’s hard to rebuild in this league, and it doesn’t happen quickly unless you draft LeBron [James] or Kevin Durant. It’s going to take a while, and I think both organizations have to face that reality, because we aren’t going to see these two in the finals again in the foreseeable future, that’s for sure.”
Wojnarowski said the the Celtics have a better front office than the Lakers and a more appealing coach in Doc Rivers, but the Lakers are more likely to return to prominence first because of the appeal of Los Angeles.
“If the Lakers have cap space, they’re always a team that’s going to attract the best player on the market,” Wojnarowski said. “I think Boston, as long as Doc is there and Doc is coaching, I think Boston is very attractive to players, more so to the elite players. But even then, Chris Paul didn’t want to come when they talked deals. It’s not LA.”
Wojnarowski said he thinks the Celtics will attempt to rebuild around Rajon Rondo, but they need some fortuitous moves to get out of the middle.
“That’s the worst place to be in the NBA — stuck in the middle,” Wojnarowski said. “You want to be really good or really bad. That’s the fear is you don’t want to get stuck in that middle place, because you can’t get out of it. You become Milwaukee, fighting for the eighth seed. You don’t want that.
“But I do think, though, the emergence of Jeff Green this year, you’ve seen that they can lean on him to do more and be a different kind of player. Listen, a year ago you didn’t know what his career was going to look like, with the heart ailment. And then this year you saw him become a much more explosive and reliable player. I think that’s a bonus for them. You look back at the Kendrick Perkins deal, and certainly it looks a lot better in hindsight than it did to people initially. But there’s no easy path back for them.”
|Adrian Wojnarowski on M&M: If Celtics wanted Kevin Garnett to waive no-trade clause, ‘they would have just traded Paul Pierce out from under him’||02.22.13 at 2:33 pm ET|
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about what the Celtics did at the trade deadline and whether or not they missed an opportunity to trade Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett and get something of value in return.
“I don’t know what opportunity really was there,” Wojnarowski said of potential Pierce and Garnett trades. “You could trade them and you could get something for them, but I think the deal Boston really would have liked to have done was with the Clippers. To get Eric Bledsoe, 22-year-old point guard, and DeAndre Jordan, who’s a 23-year-old center who’s developing. That’s a deal I believe Boston would have went to ownership with and said, ‘We’d like to do this, let’s see if we can get KG to lift his no-trade clause.’
“The Clippers coaching staff wanted to do it, and a lot of executives and coaches among the elite in the Western Conference, and some of the elite in the East, they were terrified of KG going to the Clippers. They thought that made the Clippers the team to beat out there. But ownership was reluctant to this deal, and … they never agreed in principle to that package. I think that’s one [Boston] may have pulled the trigger on.”
Reports of another proposed Celtics deal, which would have sent Pierce to Brooklyn for Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and the Nets’ first-round draft pick, also surfaced. That didn’t happen, and Wojnarowski said he doesn’t think it was urgent for the Celtics to make a deal like that.
“I think that Boston can revisit it in deals around draft time,” he said. “Brooklyn’s draft pick is not going to have a great value. They’re a playoff team, you’re getting a pick that’s not going to be really high, in a pretty bad draft. And you’ve got to try and get one good player back. Humphries and Brooks, you’re not really getting either. Humphries is fine, he has a purpose, but not if you’re trying to get younger and rebuild. I have no problem with the Celtics not doing that Brooklyn deal.”
|Adrian Wojnarowski on M&M: Celtics ‘going to look at everything’ regarding trade possibilities||01.28.13 at 12:03 pm ET|
Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski joined Mut & Merloni on Monday morning to weigh in on the Celtics following Rajon Rondo‘s season-ending injury.
Wojnarowski said the C’s prospects for the postseason haven’t changed that much. “This is still probably a first-round loser in the Eastern Conference playoffs,” he said.
However, the C’s could decide to make some changes to the roster. Rumors around the web have the Celtics interested in Magic sharpshooter J.J. Redick and Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. Wojnarowski said neither of those players would make much sense for the C’s, because Boston would have to give up too much — likely including first-round draft picks.
“They’re not giving away picks right now — maybe if Rondo was still around, possibly,” Wojnarowski said. “Danny [Ainge] said it to me yesterday, and it’s true: Picks are hard to come by. People don’t want to trade them anymore. … I just don’t see Boston giving away picks right now — to do what? Maybe somebody could make them better, but you’re mortgaging your future a little bit if you start giving away picks for a player who might able to help you win a couple of regular-season games and at best maybe a playoff game, if even that. I’d be surprised if Boston started to do that and gave away pieces of their future for a stopgap for the rest of the year.”
As an alternative, the Celtics could sell off a star like Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett in an attempt to rebuild.
“I think it’s possible and I think there is a chance,” Wojnarowski said. “And I talked to Ainge about this yesterday, I talked to Doc [Rivers] about it. It gets back to the fact of, you can’t just do it for the sake of doing it. People say let’s blow it up, get rid of KG, get rid of Pierce and ‘start over.’ But you’ve got to remember that you have owners who still see the place is full every night. And maybe they can get in the playoffs, and the [revenue from] playoff games. Versus dumping these guys for what might be very modest returns.
“It’s one thing when you have a Carmelo Anthony and a Dwight Howard and you do the deals Orlando and Denver did, where you got good young players, you got draft picks. … KG and Pierce are aging All-Stars in the mid- to upper 30s. People in this league anymore aren’t giving you young players and picks for those guys. So, like Danny said, tell me what the offer’s going to be. We can’t just say, hey, we’re going to ‘blow this up’ and start over. What will the offer be? Tell me what we’ll have the opportunity to do and then we’ll look at it. But you can’t just go into it and say, ‘Well, this is definitely what we’re going to do,’ because there may not be a deal out there that’s worth doing for those guys.
“But there’s no question they’re going to look at everything; they’ve been looking at everything. Danny’s not afraid to have a discussion about all his players. He’s always done it, to see what they’re value is. But I don’t think there’s any big deal out there where Boston’s going to get a great young player or one or two good first-round picks for either of those guys.”
Another rumor has Pierce going to the Grizzlies, Rudy Gay going from Memphis to the Lakers, and Pau Gasol going from Los Angeles to Boston.
“I’ve heard about that deal for days, I’ve asked about it, and I haven’t found anybody who’s given yet any credence to it. … For the Celtics, giving up Pierce to get Gasol? Obviously they have a problem in the middle, there’s no question he could help them go back to being a grinding low-post team. But it’s a lot of money for Boston to take on going forward by bringing in Gasol — two years, [$]40 million. I guess we’d have to see if ownership would be willing to take on that much money and if they think that would put them over the top. To me, that deal makes them a little different; I don’t know if it makes them significantly better.”
|Adrian Wojnarowski on M&M: ‘Good chance’ Celtics retain Ray Allen, Dwight Howard ‘not going to Brooklyn’||07.03.12 at 12:14 pm ET|
Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski appeared on the Mut & Merloni show Tuesday to discuss all things NBA, including trade rumors involving Dwight Howard and the future of Ray Allen. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Wojnarowski said that if the Celtics are indeed offering Allen a two-year deal worth $12 million, that it puts them in a favorable position to get him back, but he didn’t cross off other potential suitors. One team Wojnarowski doesn’t think will land Allen, however, are the Grizzlies, who were reportedly asking about Allen during the trade deadline.
“When Boston and Memphis talked about a deal at the trade deadline that fell apart, I know that Ray was not excited about being sent to Memphis,” Wojnarowski said. “Even though they’re a playoff team, he didn’t see it as a very desirable location at that time. … I think geography is important to Ray and his family being geographically being closer, that’s why I thought the Knicks could be a possibility because of that, and obviously Miami’s intriguing because he knows he has a chance to be on the big stage to win, Mike Miller’s future is very much in doubt there.
“The fact that Boston has shown, if they are at two years, $6 million per, which I think is comparable to what I’ve been hearing of what Jason Terry is being offered by teams around the league, then I think that gives Boston a good chance to be able to retain him.”
Wojnarowski doesn’t think a rumored poor relationship with Rajon Rondo will deter him from signing with the Celtics, but he thinks it is a factor in the decision.
“The thing with Ray and Rajon which I think has been there, the one thing people have always said to me, in that locker room and in the organization is, whatever issue they may have had with each other, with personalities, they never carried it on the court,” Wojnarowski said. “It never was an issue on the court, which at the end of the day is all that really matters. So only Ray knows how much of a factor it is. I think it is a factor, but I don’t think it’s enough of a factor that it’s driving him away or would drive him away. … Ray Allen is not going to leave Boston because he doesn’t get along with Rajon Rondo.”
Wojnarowski also touched on the Howard saga. The unsatisfied All-Star center is reportedly being shopped in a potential trade with the Nets, but Wojnarowski doesn’t think that’s going to happen.
“He’s not going to Brooklyn. It’s very unlikely. Orlando’s not interested in accommodating what Dwight wants,” Wojnarowski said. “They’re willing to make the deal that they think gives them the best return. Last year, when teams wanted to take Dwight as a rental, he had the real threat of, ‘Hey, if you trade for me at the trade deadline or before the season or whatever it would be, I’m just going to go to Brooklyn as a free agent because they have cap space.’ He doesn’t have that threat anymore. The Nets are loading up all their cap space as we speak.”
Added Wojnarowski: “What team out there has cap space next year that would be appealing to him? Now Atlanta has been talked about a lot the last couple of days because of all the money they’re getting off, but listen, a big part of what Dwight has been doing here in wanting to get to a big market, specifically New York or LA, is his Adidas deal is worth two, I’ve been told even three times more by being in New York or LA. So going from Orlando to Atlanta, while it’s his hometown and Josh Smith is a close friend, and maybe it’s appealing on some levels, it’s not going to give him the pay day that he’s been looking for here.”
|Adrian Wojnarowski on D&C: LeBron James’ playoff disappearance ‘not going to happen again’||06.08.12 at 1:06 pm ET|
Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to discuss the Celtics’ Game 6 loss to the Heat, and the incredible performance by LeBron James. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
While LeBron has been criticized for not making enough of an impact in crucial playoff games, he silenced the critics Thursday night, something Wojnarowski said he expects to happen more often now.
“He can summon that and you’ve seen it before,” he said. “You will probably see it again Saturday night. I don’t know if you will see 45 points on Saturday night but I he has had moments in the past in big games where he has played great in Game 7s. You saw him and [Paul] Pierce have that duel back in Cleveland and Boston was the better team then. He has got the better team now.
“There have been moments where he just isn’t engaged. You saw it in Game 5 against Boston in his last season at Cleveland and then obviously last year in the finals. People wait to see that happen again and it’s not going to happen again.”
Wojnarowski attributed the performance to the increased maturity of James, something that has changed since his days in Cleveland.
“He didn’t come out last night and say, ‘Hey, I got fueled the last two days by what everyone said.’ He didn’t do that. He said, ‘Listen, I just went back to how I play and how I built my game.’ I thought his answer was – I really think he matured mentally … He always looked more frenetic when he was younger and not at peace. [Now he is] more mature,” Wojnarowski said. “When you would see him bouncing around in Cleveland, around the locker room, you don’t see that anymore.”
|Adrian Wojnarowski on D&C: ‘Don’t see [Rondo deal] happening’||03.02.12 at 1:54 pm ET|
Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to discuss the trade rumors surrounding the Celtics, specifically concerning point guard Rajon Rondo. Wojnarowski said not to expect a big deal from Celtics president Danny Ainge before the trade deadline.
“I just don’t know what large thing is out there for them to do,” he said. “I think Danny’s going to try, and he’s ready with any of the Big Three to make a move if they can get them maybe some picks down the line, a good young player for down the line. But right now, whatever that is, I don’t think it’s shown itself. And as for Rondo, I don’t see that happening.”
Wojnarowski said Ainge might be asking teams what they would offer for Rondo in an attempt to determine the guard’s trade value going forward, but that’s different than actively “shopping” him. “Boston’s not doing that with Rondo,” he said, noting that it’s unlikely the guard will be moved this month. Read the rest of this entry »
|Adrian Wojnarowski on M&M: NBA Owners ‘want rollbacks on current contracts’||07.01.11 at 2:52 pm ET|
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski joined the Mut & Merloni show Friday to discuss the NBA lockout. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Wojnarowski got right to business, making it clear that both sides of the lockout — the owners and the NBA Players Association — are prepared to dig in for the long haul.
“I think there’s a real chance that they lose a whole season with this lockout,” Wojnarowski said. “I don’t claim to be an expert on the NFL labor dispute. I’m not sure I’m an expert on the NBA’s yet, but I don’t think they’re looking to change the structure of things in the NFL. In the NBA, they’re changing the structure, and really the whole system. That’s not going to come easily. I think the comparison is what happened in hockey, where they tried to put the hard cap, and they lost the full season in ’04-’05. I think that’s where we may be headed with this stoppage. There’s no doubt in my mind they will miss games, and they’ll be where they were in ’98, where it’s either going to be a shortened 50-game regular season, or they cancel the whole thing.”
On the timing of the lockout:
“I think the NBA’s in a different place than the NHL was then,” Wojnarowski said. “The NBA is at the height of interest and popularity.”
He added: “The game’s never been more popular, watched certainly globally, but here the interest from what happened last year in free agency with LeBron, whether people love him or hate him they all watched. Boston has been good, your marquee markets have been very good again. Boston, L.A., Chicago, New York is having a bit of a revival. I think it’s a dangerous time for the league. I think the players are going to have to give. I think they know they’re going to have to give back, but I think right now, to me, there are so many organizations in the NBA, so many bad owners, poorly run franchises who want to blame competitive balance on the fact that they don’t do their jobs very well. There are enough small-market examples — San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Detroit for a very long stretch without a superstar player, who have shown you can do it. While I understand there’s got to be some tightening up here, there’s no question, I think a lot of this the owners, they’re looking to have the players dig them out of a hole that in many instances, they’ve created for themselves.”
Concerning how current contracts will be handled:
“They want rollbacks on the current contracts. They want rollbacks. This is my feeling on contracts in the NBA. I think that star players, the elite players, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, even like a Blake Griffin who comes in the league and is selling out arenas on the road in his first year. What Clippers games have ever sold out anywhere? This year I live in Jersey and I was going to take my son to a Nets-Clippers game because he wanted to see Blake Griffin and it was sold out. And I said, ‘How could a Clippers-Nets game be sold out? Wow, Blake Griffin.’ Those guys, generally are to me underpaid for what they do for television, for the interest.
“And I think a lot of probably the middle class might be overpaid. A lot of those guys are probably more interchangeable than they want to believe they are. They don’t put people in stands. What will happen is while their salaries are going to go down, the superstar player is probably going to be very underpaid compared to what they’re worth for these franchises. But, what they do want is rollbacks on the current deals. What the owners proposed right now, they’re looking at 25 percent, 20 percent rollbacks on an existing deal you already have now. That’s going to be hard to swallow for guys, not just on your next deal, but on your current deal. You’re going to lose money on a deal you’ve already agreed to.”
The owners have announced that 22 of 30 teams lost money last season. Both Wojnarowski and the players association aren’t sold on that number.
“I’m not an economist and I don’t have access to their books, but I know on the players’ side, they feel like a lot of these numbers get cooked,” Wojnarowski said.
Added Wonjnarowski: “I know the union doesn’t believe there are 22 teams losing money, not with the way teams have spent. You know you look at free agency, I was talking to a GM last night and he said he was watching actually the lockout press conference and he started going through every deal done last summer and said, ‘I counted about $220 million in bad contracts done in our league last summer.’ So all the owners are crying poverty. They’re still spending money. And it certainly leads you to believe, and not necessarily wisely, I don’t believe there are 22 teams losing money in the NBA. Now, are there a few? Yeah. And if you’re going to look at places with arenas empty, Minnesota or New Jersey, but half the places they’ve not run their franchises very well either. It’s not just because they can’t spend like the Celtics or Lakers or other teams. It’s because they haven’t done a good job drafting, making deals, hiring coaches and yet you never hear them take accountability for that because like I said, we’ve seen the Spurs do it, we’ve seen the Thunder do it, we’ve seen a bunch of small-market teams be able to do it.”
Former Celtic Nenad Krstic recently signed a two-year deal to play in Europe for CSKA Moscow. Wojnarowski expects others to follow.
“I think you’re going to see that,” he said. “The problem right now is that a few years ago overseas was a big threat and then the euro crashed. There aren’t as many teams in Europe as there were a few years ago. There was a couple years there where, you know, Josh Childress had a $6 million a year deal in Europe. Those deals aren’t there anymore for those kind of guys. If a front line NBA guy wants to go over there, he can get a good contract. The middle-of-the-road, the middle-class guys who were going over there and really getting paid well, getting paid more than they could get with say the veterans minimum here or even like a $1.8, $2.2 million deal, they could get a little better over there. That money isn’t really there anymore. So you will see more guys go over there. Now for Krstic it was easy because he’s from Europe and he has a comfort level there. But I think you’ll see a few more guys sign up like that, fringe guys, but the guys who are under contract and aren’t free agents right now, they’re going to have to ride it out.”
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