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Danny Ainge: ‘We have a tough week ahead of us’ when it comes to personnel decisions 02.14.13 at 5:50 pm ET
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Making his weekly appearance on ‘€œThe Big Show’€ Thursday afternoon, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge discussed a number of topics, including how the team plans to try to replace the production of Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa, all three of whom have gone down with injuries.

Ainge said the trade options are ‘€œmuch less’€ than they were prior to the injury streak, and added, ‘€œIt’€™s going to be tough. We have a tough week ahead of us.’€ At the same, he noted the team would take advantage of the break provided with this weekend’€™s All-Star Game and ‘€œexplore trades and free agent signings.’€

One name that was floated as a possible signee is Delonte West, a free agent who has some experience in the Celtics system.

‘€œDelonte is a player we certainly know, probably better than anybody in the NBA,’€ Ainge said. ‘€œAnd he’€™s on a list of guys we are looking at. We’€™re going to take this entire week during the All-Star break and explore trades and free agent signings. We have a long list of players, and he’€™s on that list. It’€™s hard. It’€™s a difficult thing for players to not play basketball all year who haven’€™t played since last April and expect them to come in and be able to contribute.’€

Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page. For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

On the options the Celtics have now being different than they were two years ago when three of the team’s top players went down with injuries:

‘€œObviously, our options are much less. You know, I was really anxious to see the team play. When Rondo went down, obviously, it was a devastating blow, and I think that hurts because Rondo has been a terrific playoff player for us and … but I was anxious to just see, because Doc [Rivers], from the beginning of the year, we’€™re going to trying to do some things different. We’€™re going to try — instead of running a similar offense when Rondo is off the court, we’€™re going to do some different things. And we still hadn’€™t seen much of that because Rondo had played so many minutes, but the team was really jelling and really playing well. But losing Jared, who, obviously when he plays, we’€™re just a better rebounding team and have an extra body in there to give Kevin [Garnett] rest. That was a big blow, and we immediately tried to figure out how we can replace Jared, and then, when Leandro went down, that was crushing because Leandro, every day in practice, is one of our best players. I watch him from my office and I look down there and he just lives in the paint. Just blows by guys and finishes shots and makes passes. And he’€™s been really good all year long. And he just hasn’€™t had a lot of opportunities. But there just aren’€™t people out there who are as good as those players. It’€™s going to be tough. We have a tough week ahead of us.’€

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Should we believe Kevin Garnett trade rumors? 02.06.13 at 3:04 pm ET
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By now, you’ve heard the absurd Kevin Garnett trade rumors.

The Clippers inquired about him, or so Sporting News reporter Sean Deveney‘s sources said.

Or maybe the Clippers and Celtics never had that conversation, as ESPN, FOX Sports West and the Los Angeles Times reported. And maybe a reporter from SportsOnEarth.com who uses the Twitter handle @Powell2daPeople knows the inner desires of Garnett, one of the most guarded NBA superstars you’ll ever find.

Ok, so first the Celtics must trade Paul Pierce, and then Garnett will waive his no-trade clause for a deal that’s never been discussed? Got it. Actually, wait, what about Denver? Does KG want to play for the Nuggets in another trade that’s never been mentioned? Not according to The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla: “Through his representatives, Garnett has let it be known he has no current interest in the Nuggets.”

The question everyone should be asking: Which teams would want Kevin Garnett?

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Kevin Garnett, NBA
Doc Rivers on possibly adding Greg Oden: ‘He’ll come with a long list of scenarios’ 02.03.13 at 1:11 pm ET
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Coach Doc Rivers, general manager Danny Ainge and the Celtics may very well be interested in adding Greg Oden to their roster but they’re doing a job of not going overboard in expressing their enthusiasm after meeting with him on Saturday while the rest of the team had the day off.

“I got the Clippers tonight,” Rivers said before Sunday’s game with the Clippers. “I said hi to him, reminisced about high school days when I watched some AAU, but other than that, I can tell you I thought far more about the guys we are playing tonight than next year.

“We really haven’€™t talked about [additions]. Honestly. We obviously can, because we need a body. But we really haven’€™t talked about it much at all. Nothing really. What I think Danny is doing is probably doing all the work right now and I’€™m sure this week maybe, or who knows in two weeks, he’€™ll come with a long list of scenarios.”

The Celtics are in the market for a big man after losing Jared Sullinger for the season to back surgery on Friday. Rivers said he has only heard from Sullinger via text since the surgery and expects him out of New England Baptist Hospital this weekend.

Other Sunday pregame notes: Eric Bledsoe started for Chris Paul (knee), who missed his seventh game in nine contests Sunday. “In some ways, they are harder to guard and some ways they are not. Obviously, Chris Paul is fantastic. But when he plays, at least you know where the ball is at a lot, because it’€™s in his hands and that helps you somewhat defensively. When he doesn’€™t play, the ball is going all over the place, and they are in some ways difficult to guard.”

As for Doc Rivers’ Super Bowl prediction: “Oh, San Fran; it’€™s not even really close. It won’€™t be close, it’€™ll be a blowout,” he said, before hinging his bet bigtime. “Three points. No I do think San Fran, but who knows? I think they are the better team, but clearly I don’€™t know enough about football. That’€™s why I’€™m here.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Greg Oden
Reports: Celtics meet with center Greg Oden 02.02.13 at 8:09 pm ET
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According to multiple reports, the Celtics met with Greg Oden in Boston on Saturday as part of an informational exchange with the free agent center. However, with Oden having stated that he is targeting a return to the NBA in 2013-14, the meeting was described as an opportunity for the two sides to talk without any expectation of a deal being imminent.

“We wanted to talk to Greg to see where he is physically,” Ainge said.

The 7-footer was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007, but he played just 82 games for Portland after sitting out his rookie year with the first of multiple knee injuries. He last played on December 5th of 2009.

The fact Oden is still drawing strong interest from teams despite his medical history is a testament to his talent. He had five double-doubles — including a 13-point, 20-rebound night — in the 21 games he played before being injured in his last year.

“We’re just finding out as much as we can and letting Greg know what we have here,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Boston Herald. “He’s not ready to play now, but he’s someone who’s very interesting.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Danny Ainge: ‘We’re not ready to cave in yet… It’s going to take more than that’ 02.01.13 at 6:29 pm ET
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Celtics chief basketball executive Danny Ainge says it was the right thing to do for the career of Jared Sullinger to end the rookie’s season and have back surgery now, leaving the Celtics without yet another weapon in their lineup.

The team announced late Friday afternoon that Sullinger underwent successful lumbar disc surgery Friday at the New England Baptist Hospital. Surgery was performed under the direction of Celtics Team Physician, Dr. Brian McKeon. The team announced through its release that Sullinger is expected to be ready in time for training camp for the 2013-14 season.

Ainge said Sullinger spent the last two days in the hospital before the decision was made Friday on advice from specialists to go ahead with the surgery.

The Celtics lost Rajon Rondo for the season to a torn ACL in his right knee on Sunday. Five days later, they have lost their most physical rebounder. The Celtics are 22-23 and have won two straight after a six-game skid, and are hanging on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Still, Ainge isn’t giving up on the season.

“We’re not ready to cave in yet, are you kidding? It’s going to take more than that,” Ainge said just before Friday’s game with the Magic at TD Garden. “We’ll just have to win in a different way. Jared’s our best rebounder. We don’t have to play that way. Last two games, we played without Jared last game and I think our team looked great. The second half and most of the Miami game, we played smaller ball and were able to win. Against New York, they’re a small-ball team, we played small against them, had a win against them in New York.

“I think we’re going to have to win in a different way without Jared and without Rajon. We’ll see what we have.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Dr. Brian McKeon, Jared Sullinger
Danny Ainge ‘would like to see Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic’ 01.31.13 at 5:22 pm ET
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As always, in his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Big Show, Celtics president Danny Ainge spoke openly about the state of his team. He made two things clear following Rajon Rondo‘s season-ending ACL injury: 1) “It’s silly” to think they’ll be better without him and 2) Paul Pierce trades haven’t been discussed.

“He single-handedly carried us many nights, and I don’t see how people don’t see that,” said Ainge. “When people say we’re going to be better without Rondo or the team’s going to do better without him, it’s silly. He’s a great, great player, and he’s proven that time and time again. The guy’s been MVP of probably four or five series over the last five years — not just individual games here and there or triple-doubles on national TV. He’s been the best player in a series against LeBron James. He’s been the best player in a series against Derrick Rose. He’s been the best player in three games of an NBA Finals.”

Even before Rondo’s injury, Pierce’s name has been thrown around in trade rumors. His contract, which has just $5 million guaranteed for next season, seemingly makes him an attractive target around the league.

“Nothing has been talked about with Paul,” said Ainge. “Nothing is close to being done. I too would like to see Paul retire as a Celtic. That would be great. We’re all attached to Paul. He’s been great for the city, the franchise, and he’s been a true pro. Having said that, if something came up, I would talk to Paul. My job is to do what’s in the best interest of our team, regardless of my personal ties or my personal feelings with the players.”

The Celtics president claimed few teams have come calling for any Celtics outside of Ray Allen the last few years — citing the fact “nothing got close” in the recent Rudy Gay sweepstakes — and explained that none of his players have asked that they be kept in the loop about trades (again, except for Allen last season).

Ainge also said he’s not searching for point guard help right now, allowing Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa to seize their opportunity.

“We are open [to making deals] and listening, but we don’t feel pressure to do anything,” said Ainge. “Whether we win every game or whether we struggle, I think it all depends on what opportunities are presented. We want to make some change to help improve our team.”

Meanwhile, Celtics rookie Jared Sullinger left Wednesday’s win in the first quarter with back spasms. He missed practice Thursday, is undergoing tests and remains day-to-day. The issues are apparently the same ones that led to Sullinger falling to the C’s in the draft. Ainge admitted, “I’€™m a little surprised that it’€™s taken this long.”

To listen to the entire interview, visit the Big Show’s audio page.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Jared Sullinger, NBA
Adrian Wojnarowski on M&M: Celtics ‘going to look at everything’ regarding trade possibilities 01.28.13 at 12:03 pm ET
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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.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Adrian Wojnarowski, Danny Ainge, J.J. Redick, Kevin Garnett
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