|Courtney Lee: Joining Celtics ‘a no-brainer for me’||08.09.12 at 9:34 pm ET|
Here’s all you need to know about Celtics sign-and-trade acquisition Courtney Lee before this NBA season begins: He took less money to play in Boston, and he doesn’t care whether he starts or comes off the bench.
“I had a lot of different offers from a lot of different teams, but the one I really wanted to come to was Boston,” Lee said Thursday from the Boston Children’s Museum, where the Celtics held their Summer Soiree to benefit the Shamrock Foundation. “So, I spoke to my agent and I spoke to my family. It was a decision that I had to take less money to come here, but in that I’ll be winning, I’ll have a chance to play on TV. That’s what everybody wants to do. They want to win big and a chance to win a ring, so it was a no-brainer for me.”
In town for his first public appearance as a member of the Celtics and to find a place to live for at least part of his four-year, $21.5 million contract, Lee joins a shooting guard logjam along with Avery Bradley and Jason Terry after being signed-and-traded from the Rockets in a complicated deal that involved the Celtics shipping JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Sean Williams, Sasha Pavlovic and three second-round draft picks out of Boston.
Still, when asked if he preferred starting to backing up Bradley upon his return from surgery on both shoulders, Lee said all the right things while not giving up too much outside of the fact he and Celtics coach Doc Rivers have already discussed his role “in details” over dinner multiple times.
|Dwyane Wade ‘pretty happy’ about ‘hurting’ Celtics||at 11:13 am ET|
During a promotional appearance at the London Olympics, Heat superstar Dwyane Wade made the media rounds while recovering from July 9 left knee surgery, and Celtics fans should take note of two statements: 1) He believes as many did that Miami’s addition of Ray Allen improves the Heat and hurts the C’s, and 2) He expects to be in uniform for the Oct. 30 ring ceremony in Miami before the opener between the Celtics and Heat.
- Wade on Allen (via The Globe): “When you get a chance to add one of the best shooters in history, the best 3-point shooter in history, and you’re adding him and making your team better while at the same time hurting one of your biggest rivals, you’re pretty happy when it works out. Ray’s going to give us another element in our offense, another weapon, and he’s really going to enjoy the golf courses, I know that.”
- Wade on whether or not he’ll be healthy for the NBA opener (via the Associated Press): “I should be. We’ll see. We’ll see how we approach it as an organization. But I should be able to go. It just depends on how much they feel like they want me to work. But I should be ready when the season starts.”
|Irish Coffee: Everybody Loves Rajon||07.30.12 at 3:03 pm ET|
Celtics floor general Rajon Rondo isn’t the only one who thinks he’s “the best point guard in the league.” Whether he was drinking at the time or not, Jason Kidd told former Mavericks teammate Jason Terry that Rondo is “the best point guard in the game. Deron Williams is great. Steve Nash is great also. There’s a couple other guys — Derrick Rose, [Chris Paul] — but he said, ‘Rajon Rondo plays both ends of the floor, and he plays the game like a throwback. He’s an old school point guard. He knows how to initiate, get his guys involved and still go get his.”
That’s why we sorted through Rondo’s interviews from the 2012-13 NBA season to edit the first episode of the latest Boston-based sitcom: “Everybody Loves Rajon.” Enjoy the (extremely) dry comedic stylings of Rajon Rondo. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out “The Kevin Garnett Comedy Hour.”
|Irish Coffee: Danny Ainge’s masterful Celtics summer||07.20.12 at 3:48 pm ET|
How do you think David West is feeling right about now? If you’ll recall, when he snubbed the Celtics for the Pacers in free agency last summer, he said, “In Boston, everybody is kinda realistic about the window that the Celtics have. Me looking at where I’m at, I think my window is a little bit wider.”
Since then, after watching the Celtics take the Heat to the brink in the Eastern Conference finals, West has seen his Pacers match Roy Hibbert‘s max contract (4 years, $58 million) — dedicating roughly $36 million annually to a “Big Three” of Hibbert, Danny Granger and George Hill — trade Darren Collison for Ian Mahinmi, and sign Gerald Green (3 years, $10 million) and D.J. Augustin (1 year, $3.5 million) as their biggest free agent splashes.
Meanwhile, Celtics president Danny Ainge painted his best masterpiece since acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007 for Al Jefferson, the No. 5 overall NBA draft pick and a bunch of garbage. Not willing to call Ainge’s offseason a masterpiece? Take a look at what he had to work with this summer.
|Celtics’ pursuit of Courtney Lee gets tougher||07.18.12 at 5:08 am ET|
LAS VEGAS — It’s not like the Celtics don’t want to wrap up their roster renovation, it’s just that free agent guard Courtney Lee wisely listened to the advice of his agent, Dan Fegan, who told him to be patient.
Once the Celtics lost Ray Allen to Miami, they set their sights on acquiring the versatile Lee to shore up their backcourt. They made no secret of their intentions, as coach Doc Rivers visited with Lee in Orlando the morning after Allen signed with the Heat.
There was a good reason for their speed. The Celtics knew that the longer this played out, the more competition they would have for Lee. Sure enough, more than a week has gone by since Rivers’ impromptu sitdown and Lee is still available and very much in demand.
Lee may have to be a little more patient, but it seems that Fegan’s message will pay off. Someone will have the cap room to make a straight pitch for Lee and with O.J. Mayo off the board, he’s suddenly the best backcourt wing player left in free agency.
In addition to the Celtics, the Suns, Timberwolves and Bulls reportedly have expressed an interest, and there could be others as well.
The Suns have cap room. The Wolves could have room depending on whether the Blazers match their offer for restricted free agent Nic Batum. The Bulls are sitting on a $5 million trade exception and also staring at a loaded offer sheet from the Rockets for their own restricted free agent in Omer Asik that provides its own set of complications. The Asik offer sheet is not expected to be signed until the end of the week and then Chicago would have three days to match.
The Celtics, however, will not have cap room, or a rich extension to offer. Read the rest of this entry »
|Jason Terry saw himself in a Celtics uniform||07.14.12 at 1:23 pm ET|
WALTHAM — With his Mavericks out of the playoffs early, Jason Terry had time on his hands to watch the rest of the postseason unfold. Watching the Celtics come up one game short in the conference finals against Miami, he had a vision.
“God willing it happened, and it will happen pretty soon,” Terry soon.
It hasn’t happened just yet because the Celtics are still trying to put all the pieces in place. Team president Danny Ainge is trying to acquire another guard to complement a new-look backcourt that will feature Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley and Terry. If Ainge can pull off a sign-and-trade agreement with the Mavericks, then he’d be able to use the mid-level exception on another player. If not, Terry will get the MLE and he’ll be forced to try elsewhere.
Either way, the Celtics made acquiring the former Sixth Man of the Year one of their top priorities and Terry couldn’t help but smile when he received a phone call from Doc Rivers just after midnight on July 1.
“He was the first one to call and I’m just excited about being a part of the Celtics organization, the franchise the heritage, the tradition,” Terry said. “Just putting that jersey on, what KG, Paul Pierce and Rondo have done in the present, just being a part of that.”
Terry is a needed jolt of instant offense for a crew that ranked 25th in points per possession. A starter for most of his first eight season, Terry moved to the bench with the Mavs and is one of the few players who handled the transition seamlessly, averaging better than 17 points per 36 minutes in each of his last seven seasons.
A career 38 percent 3-point shooter, Terry is also capable of creating shots off the dribble, particularly in the mid-range area. He’s also able to handle some point guard minutes, which will be a welcome relief for Rondo.
“If they need me to wash the uniforms or sweep the floors, whatever role Doc wants me to play I’m here to do it at 100 percent and give my all,” Terry said. “That’s what I’ve done my whole career and pretty much whatever it takes to win. Whatever puts us in the best position to win these games and win a championship is what I’ll be doing.”
|What a Jason Terry signing would mean for Celtics||07.03.12 at 4:01 pm ET|
Jason Terry is instant offense. He’s a scoring threat who can knock down shots and create off the dribble. Terry has a championship pedigree and is fearless in the same kind of way Sam Cassell was fearless with the game on the line. He’s also versatile enough to play the point as a backup.
Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that the Celtics have reached an agreement on a three-year deal for the 13-year veteran for the full mid-level exception, which would pay him a little more than $15 million over the life of the contract. Players can’t officially sign contracts until July 11 when the league completes its audit.
With the Celtics, Terry would solve two pressing issues for the Celtics as a scoring guard off the bench and a backup for Rajon Rondo at point guard. The downside is that Terry will be 35 years old when the season begins and he shot 43 percent from the floor last season, his lowest mark since the 2003-04 season.
Signing him for three years is a calculated gamble, but it may have been the cost of doing business in a scoring guard market that includes Jamal Crawford, O.J. Mayo, Lou Williams and Ray Allen.
Working in Terry’s favor is the fact that he has never played fewer than 74 games in a full season during his career and he’s missed only 16 games the past five seasons. He averaged 15.1 points per game with the Mavs last season and was the NBA’s top Sixth Man in 2009.
As for Allen, this doesn’t immediately close the door on a return. The Celtics have insisted that they wanted to bring Allen back and use the full mid-level on a player like Terry. Their reasoning is that second-year guard Avery Bradley is coming off shoulder surgery and they need depth to survive the 82-game season. Allen is scheduled to meet with Miami on Thursday and the Clippers on Friday and it’s been reported that he will take his time making a decision.
Deals can’t be official until July 11 when the league completes its internal audit, but as it stands the Celtics would have roughly $50 million committed to eight players including Kevin Garnett, Terry and their first round draft picks. With Jeff Green and Brandon Bass still unsigned, they have work to do to complete the roster.
The magic number is $74 million, as explained here. The Celtics can’t go over that mark and use the full mid-level.