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Russell joins NBA greats for charity 06.30.09 at 12:04 am ET
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(Clockwise: Mourning, Wade, Russell, Billups)

(Clockwise from top: Mourning, Wade, Russell, Billups)

On Saturday night former Boston Celtics Bill Russell and Cedric Maxwell joined a group of the NBA’s finest at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in support of Alonzo Mourning’s charitable foundation. The event was presented by Jerry Powers and the Alonzo Mourning Charities.

The lineup of NBA standouts also included James Worthy, Moses Malone, Dwyane Wade, and Chauncey Billups. Former Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant was also in attendance. The event was emceed by Comcast SportsNet’s Gary Tanguay.

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Ainge addresses free agency 06.29.09 at 1:20 pm ET
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The Boston Celtics have to address several uncertainties this summer as they build their team for the 2010 season. GM Danny Ainge has the answer to at least one question.

They will pursue restricted free agent Glen Davis.

“We plan to qualify Baby and get things going,” Ainge said during a teleconference on Monday.

Another question mark on the Celtics is the return of Eddie House. Even though Ainge is unsure of House’s gameplan in the free agent market, he feels confident he will be back in Boston next fall.

While they pursue retaining their own players, Ainge is also searching the rest of the free agent pool.

“There’s a level of free agents who will be July 1 we’ll try to take a run at. There’s a whole long list of free agents that we like,” he said without naming specific players.

Ainge also addressed assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who interviewed for head coaching vacancies with the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings this offseason, in regard to the opening with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“I have not heard from Minnesota,” he said. “I had called them earlier, and they had told me that they are starting their coaching search after the draft.”

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Report: Celtics proposed two trades to Grizzlies 06.28.09 at 10:03 pm ET
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Draft Night may have seemed quiet for the Celtics, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t trying to make moves behind the scenes. After last Thursday’s draft Celtics GM Danny Ainge said the Celtics had conversations about landing a higher pick in the second round. According to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, some of those conversations centered around the Grizzlies:

Boston tried to entice the Grizzlies twice. The Celtics offered Brian Scalabrine, Tony Allen and a choice of J.R. Giddens or Bill Walker for the Grizzlies’ 36th pick and cash considerations.

The Celtics’ best offer for the Grizzlies’ No. 2 pick only included center Kendrick Perkins.

The Grizzlies kept their pick and selected forward Sam Young from Pittsburgh. The Celtics used their only pick (58th) to draft guard Lester Young from University of Tennessee-Martin.

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A temporary sigh of relief for Ainge 06.26.09 at 2:09 am ET
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If it were up to Danny Ainge, he would have spent the past month quietly preparing for the NBA Draft. Instead, the Celtics GM has been battling questions, trade rumors and speculations.

After midnight on Friday morning, a weary Ainge addressed the media. It was more than just the end of Draft Night. For Ainge, it was a temporary sigh of relief.

“I think there’s so much competition in the media for any new story and something exciting, and so it does get old from my perspective of having to answer so many [questions],” he said via teleconference following the draft. “We’re just sitting in there doing very boring work, watching videotape all day, and everyone else is out there making up stories and making up rumors. We’re just trying to get ready to draft the 58th pick and get ready for all of the options that may come our way.”

Without a first-round pick in this year’s draft, talks had been centered around the possibility of trading up. Starters Ray Allen, Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo had all been mentioned in rumors to snag a lottery pick. Many left Ainge baffled.

“There was many rumors that had my head scratching a little bit,” he said. “Most of them are either made up or completely distorted or three weeks late.”

As it turns out, the Celtics did not come close to trading up to the first round. While they had conversations about moving up in the second round, Ainge said he is “grateful” Lester Hudson was still available at the 58th spot.

While tired of dispelling rumors, Ainge did address a hot topic of conversation — his recent interview on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show in which he revealed the Celtics had fined Rondo for tardiness and said he did not believe the point guard is a max contract player right now. Those comments sparked further trade speculation.

“We’re not trading Rondo,” Ainge attested. “We love Rondo. We always have. We love him more today than the day we drafted him. He’s not perfect and he’s a young player that needs to get better. And we don’t like it when you’re late.”

Now that the draft is over and lottery pick rumors have been put to rest, Ainge can get back to business. Next up is free agency and building a team for the Orlando Summer League in July.

“It’s good to be over and now I’m sure we’ll get questions and answers about all of the trades possibilities and free agents and all those kinds of rumors,” Ainge said. “So that’s not a fun part of the job, but it’s part of the job.”

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Report: Suns agree to send Shaq to Cavs 06.25.09 at 12:39 am ET
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Yahoo! Sports reported the Cleveland Cavaliers have reached an agreement in principle to acquire Shaquille O’Neal from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, the 46th pick in Thursday’s draft, and cash. According to ESPN, the trade is awaiting final approval from the Cavs’ and Suns’ owners.

This move adds depth to the Cavaliers front court, which stands to lose Anderson Varejao to free agency this summer, and gives LeBron James protection in the paint. O’Neal has a career average of 25.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in 35 games against the Celtics.

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Ainge: Celtics fined Rondo 06.24.09 at 9:56 am ET
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The Celtics may “love” Rajon Rondo, but that does not mean he is immune from being held accountable. On Wednesday, Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge revealed on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show Rondo had been fined for being late to games last season. Ainge deemed the tardiness “unacceptable.”

Rondo showed up an hour before gametime during the playoffs this season. He explained his late arrival last week on WEEI and chalked it up to a pregame routine.

“People are going to make assumptions, everyone has opinions. I actually do try to come to games as late as possible because I don’t like to go in the locker room and talk and waste time…Different guys have different opinions on why they like to get to the game so early,” he said. “Some people may look at it as late but I look at it as just coming to play.”

Regardless of his explanation, Ainge insists that team rules are rules.

“There was just a couple of situations where Rajon was late,” Ainge said. “I don’t know if he was sitting in his car, but he showed up late and the rest of the team was there, and he was late. There are team rules in place and he said he was in traffic. That was unacceptable.”

This offseason Rondo has been linked in nearly every Celtics trade rumor. The Celtics have until October to decide whether or not to extend his contract.

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Celtics Impact: Bucks-Spurs Trade 06.23.09 at 8:15 pm ET
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Jefferson has years of experience against the Celtics

Jefferson has years of experience against the Celtics

On Tuesday ESPN reported the Milwaukee Bucks agreed to trade Richard Jefferson to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Bruce Bowen, Fabricio Oberto, and Kurt Thomas.

So what does this mean for the Boston Celtics?

The Spurs are back as a threat in the West.

After owning the Celtics for the majority of the Tim Duncan era, the Spurs have been susceptible to the Cs over the past three seasons. Now they have re-established themselves as legitimate title contenders in the Western Conference.

The acquisition of Jefferson gives the Spurs an offensive weapon on the perimeter to compliment the frontcourt/backcourt tandem of Duncan and Tony Parker. Last season Michael Finley started at the small forward position in two games against the Celtics, in which he averaged just seven points (23% FG). Read the rest of this entry »

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