|Delonte West’s day in court & other Celtics news||08.02.11 at 4:02 pm ET|
Considering Delonte West‘s history with law enforcement, the news that the Celtics free-agent guard appeared in court on Tuesday morning could have been a lot worse, but he simply had a motor vehicle summons dismissed.
West and his attorneys appeared in a Stamford, Conn. courtroom as a result of what they called “a paperwork mix-up with his car registration” when state police stopped him in his Range Rover at a rest stop on I-95 at 11:30 p.m. on May 12 — the day after the C’s Game 5 loss to Miami in the Eastern Conference semifinals — according to the Stamford Advocate.
“There’s nothing to this,” West’s lawyer, Matthew Adams, told the paper.
That’s good news, since the last time West ran into the police (September 2009) he was hit with a couple gun possession charges while on his motorcycle near his Maryland home. That eventually resulted in a 10-game suspension when he returned to the Celtics this past season. West remained under house arrest for much of the 2010-11 season until he was released in March.
A couple other Celtics items of note on a Tuesday afternoon …
|Delonte West debuts ‘Lockout’ mixtape||07.22.11 at 1:53 pm ET|
Free agent combo guard Delonte West released two songs — “It’s Bout 2 Go Down” featuring KayeM and “Mr. Magnificent” featuring Rudy — from his upcoming mixtape, appropriately dubbed “Lockout.” Of course, you’ll probably remember Delonte’s rap about Kentucky Fried Chicken, which has more than 655,000 views on YouTube.
The release of the two music videos comes just a day after West’s agent Jarinn Akana told ESPN.com that — while he will consider overseas offers — the Celtics remain his No. 1 destination this offseason. West averaged 5.6 points on 45.8 percent shooting along with 2.7 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 18.9 minutes over 24 games during his injury-plagued season.
|Celtics’ free agent options at backup point guard||07.15.11 at 6:21 pm ET|
We’re two weeks into the NBA lockout, but that doesn’t mean we can’t examine which free agents will be available to the Celtics for the (fingers crossed) 2011-12 season once commissioner David Stern and players association executive director Billy Hunter hash out their differences. We have already profiled the C’s biggest needs — at center and shooting guard — so we move to a less pressing but critical position: Backup Point Guards.
The Celtics started and finished the 2010-11 season with three additional players capable of playing the point guard position behind All-Star starter Rajon Rondo on the 15-man roster: Delonte West, Avery Bradley, Nate Robinson (before trade) and Carlos Arroyo (after trade). Only Rondo and Bradley remain, so it stands to reason that the Celtics will sign at least one more floor general.
The C’s targets depend on how confident they are in Bradley and how cheaply they can find a reliable backup (or third-string). As we’ve noted before, the Celtics have six players under contract in 2011-12 for a combined $64.3 million (Kevin Garnett, $21.2 million; Paul Pierce, $15.33 million; Ray Allen, $10 million; Rajon Rondo, $10 million; Jermaine O’Neal, $6.23 million; Avery Bradley, $1.53 million), and Jeff Green is due at least another $5.91 million this offseason.
Signed through 2014-15, Rondo has cemented himself as the franchise’s foundation, and Bradley — under their control until his restricted free agency in 2014-15 — is slotted as the backup of the future. As a result, the C’s ideally would seek a veteran pure point guard and/or a capable combo guard who wouldn’t completely destroy their chances should Rondo’s injury issues persist and Bradley prove ill-prepared for big minutes. Arroyo and West fit those descriptions, but one might be too expensive and the other could sign overseas during the lockout.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the options that should be available to the Celtics at backup point guard, separating the current free agent players into five categories …
|Report: Von Wafer wouldn’t rule out Celtics return||07.06.11 at 1:29 pm ET|
In order to break his streak of starting with a new team each time he enters an NBA training camp, Von Wafer is reportedly opening to returning to the Celtics if and when the 2011-12 season begins, according to a report by ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg. Here’s what Wafer’s agent, Terrance Doyle, told Forsberg:
“Von would love to be back. He’s never gotten that opportunity to go back with a team.”
But do the Celtics want Wafer back? Especially considering they gave Wafer’s No. 12 to their first-round pick (Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson) and drafted a shooting guard with their No. 55 pick (Purdue’s E’Twaun Moore) in addition to signing another undrafted guard (Pittsburgh’s Gilbert Brown). Not to mention the number of quality shooting guards expected to be available via free agency — including Delonte West.
In just 9.5 minutes per over 58 games — no thanks in part to a calf injury — Wafer averaged 3.2 points on 42.1 percent shooting from the field (26.9 from 3-point range). Unless you count his preseason brawl with West, Wafer didn’t exactly provide the firepower off the bench the Celtics had hoped from a guy who scored 9.7 points on 44.7 percent shooting (39.0 from 3) during his 2008-09 campaign in a Rockets uniform.
While Wafer’s defensive deficiency improved under the tutelage of Doc Rivers & Co., he only reached double-digit scoring just six times during the season. Two of those performances came in the final two games of the regular season, when the starters rested, and two more came in 15-point blowouts. Chances are the Celtics could find somebody to provide better punch on both ends of the floor — even at the bottom of the salary barrel.
|List: Danny Ainge’s best, worst draft day moves||06.23.11 at 8:37 am ET|
The Celtics’ season has been over for a while now, and if you’re still in mourning, we’re sorry. But it’s times like these when it’s best to look to the future, and in this case, that means Thursday’s NBA draft. The C’s have the 25th pick in a relatively thin class, but as history has shown, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge always is capable of creating some draft day drama. Here are a few of Ainge’s best moves when the Boston is “on the clock” (followed by a few he’d rather have back).
5. Drafting Ryan Gomes in the second round in 2005
Overall, the 2005 NBA draft was a disappointment for the Celtics (see below), but Ainge managed to pluck a promising talent out of the second round. Boston took Ryan Gomes of Providence with the 50th pick, one spot ahead of Robert Whaley and two spots behind Mickael Gelabale. Gomes started 33 games in his first year and 60 his second year, and ended up averaging 12.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 2006-07. In the same fashion as Al Jefferson, Gomes saw his trade value increase with his breakout season, and he eventually was used as one of the many pieces in the Kevin Garnett trade.
Gomes never was a back-to-the-basket player in college and was vastly undersized in the NBA. Still, he’s managed to develop into a solid small forward for the Clippers and is averaging over 10 points per game in his career.
4. Trading for Kendrick Perkins in 2003
In his first year as general manager, Ainge had two first-round picks in one of the most talented draft classes in NBA history. No, he didn’t miraculously trade up for LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, or Dwyane Wade, but he did trade draft picks Dahntay Jones and Troy Bell to the Grizzlies for their first-round picks, Marcus Banks and Kendrick Perkins. You might only recognize one name from that transaction, but KP43 is the only one that mattered.
|Rivers: Rajon Rondo may be in more pain than Game 4||05.11.11 at 6:32 pm ET|
MIAMI — Rajon Rondo will play in Game 5 despite a painful dislocated left elbow, as expected, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he will keep a close watch on Rondo.
“In some way I think he’s in more pain than he was going into Game 4, but I think he at least has an idea on how to deal with it more,” Rivers said. “We’re hoping that he can give us something and if he can’t then we’ll have to make a decision on the floor.”
Rivers is most concerned about the defensive end where he feels the Heat took advantage by forcing him into difficult positions on help defense.
“A lot of times the guy that’s been in the help spot, that requires a physicality and he literally couldn’t do it,” Rivers said. “We thought it opened up too many driving lanes for them. We have to try a couple of things. First, keep him out of those positions if possible, and two he just has to do it, and if not then we have to make a decision.”
Rivers will turn to Delonte West if that’s the case who had a strong performance in Game 4. Carlos Arroyo is also active.
Shaquille O’Neal, Avery Bradley and Sasha Pavlovic are inactive for the Celtics. Even without Shaq there’s no guarantee that Nenad Krstic will see more playing time. He didn’t play in either of the last two games.
“We may shorten the rotation more,” Rivers said. “You’re always walking the fine line with Kevin [Garnett] because he’s the only guy that’s been on a minutes restriction the last two years. So, if we can keep his minutes to the right where he’s still effective we may shorten it, but if not you may see Nenad.”
For the Heat, Udonis Haslem is active again, although he may not have much of a role after his short, but eventful, stretch in his return in Game 4 when he badly missed a jumper, committed a pair of fouls and picked up a technical foul.
“The most important thing when I made the decision to activate him was because of his leadership,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
|Irish Coffee: Delonte West knows ‘it’s win or go home’||05.10.11 at 11:30 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
This was supposed to be Delonte West‘s season of redemption. Instead, it’s been a season of frustration.
If anybody on this Celtics team could turn to excuses, it’s West, whose series of injuries this year has kept him from assuming the role everybody knew he was capable of fulfilling when healthy. He grew up balling on the playgrounds in the Greater Washington D.C. area, developing a toughness that has prepared him to take (and make) big shots in big moments, frustrate superstars like Dwyane Wade defensively and, of course, battle injury.
And now that West has finally found his groove — scoring at least 10 points in all four games against the Heat — it might be too late. Still, trailing 3-1 and heading back to Miami for Game 5, West isn’t playing the blame game.
“It’s win or go home,” West said after the 98-90 Game 4 defeat. “You gotta bring it. Everybody’s gotta bring it, or we might as well just get some seats down at the beach and stay down there. But that’s not our plan.”
West could’ve made excuses when he was suspended for the first 10 games of the season on weapons charges, but instead he took it as a learning experience. He could’ve made excuses when he broke his right wrist five games after returning from suspension. Or when he chipped a bone in his right ankle three games after returning from wrist surgery. Or when he injured his shooting shoulder in Game 3 of these Eastern Conference semifinals. But he didn’t.
“It’s doing a lot better,” he said. “I had it taped up. They put some type of compression sleeve on it. It feels a lot better than [Sunday] and definitely better than when I hurt it the prior game. I ain’t got no excuses over here.”