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Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens explain Jeff Green trade, uncertain future 01.13.15 at 1:37 am ET
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When Rajon Rondo was shipped out of town just over three weeks ago, Danny Ainge used a key word to describe why — uncertainty. It also seemed to remain the reason Ainge felt the need to ship Jeff Green to Memphis as well.

“I just felt like [it was] a timeline thing,”€ Ainge said prior to Monday’€™s home win over the Pelicans. “€œThe players that we had, the uncertainty of the future and free agency, and [I] felt like we were getting good value in return based on this contract situation.”

The trade doesn’€™t make this current season any easier on coach Brad Stevens, but the coach understands it’€™s a process geared towards the future.

“Losing [Green] three weeks after losing your multiple-time All-Star point guard, there’€™s going to be challenges that come with that,” Stevens said. “That’€™s why you prepare everyone to play and that’€™s why everybody’€™s got this talk about ˜next man up.”

Last year everything was very new to Stevens, especially the trade deadline. Now in his second season in the NBA, Stevens is learning to adapt to what to expect during the rebuild.

“This is about the time last year where we had some –€“ at the time for that team we had some pretty significant moves — with Jordan [Crawford] being traded and Courtney [Lee] being traded,” Stevens reflected. “€œSo there’€™s a little bit of being able to look back and learn from that. I think I learned a lot from the Rondo trade, just as far as not only losing a really good player, but also trying to bring new guys in and get them up to speed as quickly as possible, but also recognizing that you don’€™t have to rebuild Rome in a day.”

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Read More: Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge, Jeff Green,
Celtics finalize Jeff Green trade for a No. 1 pick, Austin Rivers and Tayshaun Prince’s expiring contract 01.12.15 at 11:53 am ET
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The Celtics officially announced the Jeff Green trade for an unidentified future first-round pick, Tayshaun Prince‘s $7.7 million expiring contract and Austin Rivers, son of former C’s coach Doc Rivers.

Green, whose 17.6 points per game currently lead the Celtics, joins a Grizzlies team battling for home-court advantage in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, Memphis sends Quincy Pondexter and a second-round pick to a Pelicans squad in search of a playoff spot.

According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the deal, the Celtics will receive a first-round pick from Memphis that won’t come to fruition until 2019 and are expected to send Rivers elsewhere in exchange for a second-round pick and expiring contracts. Surprisingly, the Clippers have been mentioned as a potential trade partner, potentially pairing Rivers with his father in Los Angeles.

Prince’s expiring deal will give the Celtics as much as $30 million in cap space this summer.

Following the trade’s completion, Green posted his appreciation for Boston on Instagram.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jeff Green, NBA,
Report: Celtics finalizing Jeff Green trade to Grizzlies 01.09.15 at 7:05 pm ET
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Mere moments after finalizing a deal with his former assistant general manager, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge phoned another erstwhile front office employee to make a separate trade on a wild Friday night.

According to multiple reports, Ainge has agreed to trade Jeff Green to the Grizzlies in exchange for Tayshaun Prince‘s expiring $7.7 million contract and a protected first-round draft pick. The two teams are reportedly waiting on a third team to facilitate the deal. Green remained active for the C’s game against the Pacers on Friday, but was replaced in the starting lineup by Jae Crowder. The deal cannot be finalized until Monday, offering either team a chance to back out.

The news of Green’s imminent departure comes shortly after the Celtics sent newly acquired Brandan Wright to the Suns for another protected first-rounder.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough was once Ainge’s assistant, and Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace held the same position in Boston from 1997-2007. In a strange twist, current Memphis vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger had this to say of Green in 2012 while a writer for ESPN.com:

I can’t stress this enough: Green is 26 and played four full seasons in the league, and after all that time there’s no evidence he’s actually any good and considerable evidence that he’s a health risk. Yet he’s being paid like a second-tier star. This was, without a doubt, the worst contract of the summer.

The deals give the Celtics as many as 11 first-round selections over the next four seasons, although that number will more likely be nine based on the protection of picks acquired in exchange for Green, Wright, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers and Jordan Crawford. In addition to their own No. 1 picks through 2018, the Celtics also have the rights to the following:

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10 trades worth the Celtics’ while: Part 3 01.08.15 at 3:53 pm ET
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A major theme of the rebuilding Celtics has been that no player is safe from being traded for the betterment of the team — something Danny Ainge has shown the willingness to do throughout his career (and now once again by trading Rajon Rondo). Here are some trades that make sense for the mess that is the Boston Celtics. Again, these specific trades are not rumors, simply ideas. This is part three.

In part two we looked at the idea of re-swapping Jeff Green and Kendrick Perkins, the idea being that Boston could add a young player like Jeremy Lamb while not having to possibly pay Green next season (since Perkins is an expiring contract). A deal like this makes sense, but in all likelihood would never actually happen. Green remains the subject of part three, but this time there’s some actual traction to the idea. Here’s the proposal:

GRIZZLIES GET: Jeff Green

CELTICS GET: Tayshaun Prince and two future second-round picks

Marc Stein of ESPN.com is reporting this deal is being discussed, and Zach Lowe of Grantland.com tweeted that there had been three-way trade discussions that would have landed Green in Memphis in a deal that also involved the Cavs. Now that Cleveland landed Timofey Mozgov from Denver, they likely have no incentive for the trade talks anymore, meaning Boston and Memphis would have to work a deal straight up (or find another trade partner to create a three-way deal with).

It’s safe to assume that the reason this deal has only been talked about, but has not yet happened, is that Ainge is asking for too much in return. Ainge likely is set on getting either a first-rounder or Kosta Koufos (the young center that would have gone to the Cavs in the three-way) in exchange for his best player now that Rondo’s gone. That’s not going to happen.

Either this deal is going to fall apart, or Ainge is going to lower his standards. It should be the latter. Rondo only commanded one first-round pick on the market — and a late one at that — so there’s no way Green is worth that high of a pick to any team. Ainge should shift his focus to trying to gain a couple of second-rounders before he has so settle for just one. He would be able to acquire the Grizzlies second-round pick in this upcoming draft if he acts quickly, and then barter for another one a couple of years down the line to be included. That’s a fair asking price.

Prince simply plays the role of Perkins in the Oklahoma City trade from part two. His expiring contract means there is no way he can count against the salary cap next season, whereas Green has the option to opt in for $9.2 million. In addition, Prince makes only $7.7 million this season. The $1.5 million difference would save Boston just under $1 million this season — hey, every little bit counts when you’re in a rebuild. But more importantly, Ainge has to stop overvaluing what has once again become a very inconsistent Green and get a deal like this done to continue moving in the direction he has already committed to.

Read More: 10 trades, Jeff Green,
10 trades worth the Celtics’ while: Part 2 01.07.15 at 8:40 pm ET
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A major theme of the rebuilding Celtics has been that no player is safe from being traded for the betterment of the team — something Danny Ainge has shown the willingness to do throughout his career (and now once again by trading Rajon Rondo). Here are some trades that make sense for the mess that is the Boston Celtics. Again, these specific trades are not rumors, simply ideas. This is part two.

Part 1 of this series involved sending Rondo to the Kings, that obviously didn’t happen. But in the time since, Rondo has been shipped out West and the Celtics have begun to fall apart. No more “build around Rondo” arguments exist, which means the direction of the team is clear: Any trade Ainge makes will either create cap space or add assets.

Here’s a proposal that helps that direction:

THUNDER GET: Jeff Green and a future second-round pick

CELTICS GET: Jeremy Lamb and Kendrick Perkins

Yes, Perkins and Green were swapped for each other in 2011, and obviously that has not worked out as planned for either side. It would be humbling to see Ainge and Sam Presti (the general manager in Oklahoma City) admit their wrongs and swap these players back, and it makes sense now in 2015.

The Thunder just added Dion Waiters from the Cavs, which tells us a couple of things about them:

1. They are buyers

This is good in the sense that Presti could be interested in Green. With the emergence of Steven Adams and the small-ball philosophy of the league, Perkins is almost valueless in Oklahoma City. Adding Green would not only provide the Thunder with another starter/sixth-man to go along with Waiters, but with Kevin Durant hobbled this season, Green could provide spot starts for Durant throughout the regular season to help the team into the playoffs.

2. Lamb is no longer needed there

The UConn product has barely been playing of late, but with Waiters in town, Lamb’s role is pretty much diminished. Using him as a piece to help acquire Green makes total sense for Presti given Lamb’s demotion. Lamb is a nice prospect too — really, he’s the reason the Celtics do this deal. Boston is a place Lamb could have some value. The former lottery pick would be another asset in Ainge’s pile that is so often referred to.

Boston may need to use a second-round pick to sweeten the deal for the Thunder, but it would be worth it to shed Green’s contract for Perkins’ contract — one which we know will expire at the end of this season, whereas Green has a player option — as well add Lamb to the mix. The players’ familiarity with the organizations, including Lamb going to school in the New England area, only helps this whole deal fall into place.

Read More: 10 trades, Jeff Green,
Jeff Goodman on D&C: ‘Dallas is the ideal fit for Rondo to succeed’ 12.19.14 at 11:34 am ET
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Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

ESPN basketball analyst Jeff Goodman joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to discuss the Rajon Rondo trade to the Mavericks and the state of the Celtics. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The C’s have faced some early criticism for the deal, with critics saying the return for Rondo was not all that great. Goodman said the Celtics got a decent value back in the trade.

“You got a first-round pick, you got a good, young player in Brandan Wright, who I think has a chance to be a 14 [points] and seven [rebounds] guy if he plays 20, 30 minutes a game,” Goodman said. “But people forget also, they’re saying, ‘Well, you should’ve traded him early, you should’ve traded him earlier.’ He did get hurt, it’s not like his trade value was so high. He was out, he didn’t play a full season. Last year when he came back he was playing every other game. You really didn’t have the chance to trade him until this year when you tried to boost his trade value as high as you possibly could.”

Rondo adds to a team that already has Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons. Goodman said the point guard is a much better fit for Dallas.

“I’m not a Rondo guy for this franchise, meaning the Celtics, once [Kevin Garnett], Ray Allen and Paul Pierce left,” Goodman said. “I think in Dallas, in a fairly strong locker room, Rick Carlise’s gotten a little bit easier to deal with than he was back in the day. But you’ve got Dirk. You’ve got some veterans there, Tyson Chandler, who I think can handle him. And all he’s got to be is that third, fourth, even fifth guy, option on the floor. He can’t be your first, second option. He can’t be your leader. And he was forced to kind of be both in Boston. And Dallas is the ideal fit for Rondo to succeed.”

The hosts wondered if Rondo had any issues with coach Brad Stevens or the front office that might have led to the trade. Goodman said it came down to wins and losses for Rondo.

Brad Stevens is the easiest guy to deal with you’ll ever meet in your life. If you can’t get along with Brad Stevens, you have so many issues,” Goodman said. “Did I hear that Brad loved him? No. But he dealt with him. Rondo bought in as much as Rondo could possibly buy in, partially because Rondo knew the endgame here. If he didn’t buy in, he was going to be here long term, and he wanted to go somewhere he could win because he was used to it. He didn’t want to be here. Yeah, $20 million would’ve been nice to stay here. But I think for Rondo, he’s a different dude, he just beats to a different tune. I think a lot guys say it, the money isn’t as important, I think Rondo would’ve been one of those guys that would’ve taken less money to go elsewhere to win than to stay in Boston and keep losing games.”

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Read More: Brad Stevens, Jeff Goodman, Jeff Green, Rajon Rondo
Celtics practice notes: Rajon Rondo not feeling pressure, Jeff Green’s special gloves 12.11.14 at 4:18 pm ET
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The Celtics returned home from an unsuccessful two-game road trip and got right back to practice on Thursday. They were a unique couple of games in the sense that the starters didn’t see many minutes during crunch time in Monday’s loss to the Wizards, but then were unable to keep up with the Hornets’ starters on Wednesday when they were on the floor late in the game.

There was a lot of speculation surrounding Rajon Rondo being benched for the fourth quarter and both overtimes in Washington. Many expected him to bounce back strong in Wednesday’s game, but instead he committed three late-game turnovers that potentially cost the C’s the game. Rondo seems to be putting his mishaps in the past.

“It’s not weighing on me at all,” Rondo said of his team’s struggles.

Does he feel like he’s getting too much of the blame?

“It doesn’t matter to me,” Rondo replied. “I’ve been here the longest. I’m the team captain and I’m the point guard. Just like in football, in the beginning they blamed [Tom] Brady a lot. It’s just part of it. It’s not weighing on me at all.”

Rondo doesn’t put much emphasis on trying to improve on things that went wrong after having a bad game — instead he looks forward.

“You let it go,” Rondo said of his fourth quarter in Charlotte. “I’ve been playing this game for nine years. I’m one of the best at what I do. I’m human, I make mistakes. I own up to my mistakes, this is part of the game.”

Rondo’s coach understands where is he coming from.

“I think he has an idea that as a leader and an older guy you have to be accountable,” Brad Stevens said. “At the same time, if he says, ‘Hey, this one’s on me,’ or he says something to that extent, none of us think that. We all were accountable for all the different things that went wrong in a loss or a win.”

“I think as a teammate, and as a person on the team, you appreciate that accountability, but you certainly don’t think that [Rondo is the one to blame], but it’s part of being a leader,” Stevens added.

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