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Trade Rumor: Six to eight teams pursuing Dwight Howard 03.06.12 at 9:22 am ET
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With less than 10 days to go until the March 15 trade deadline, the future of Magic center Dwight Howard is still cloudy.

It’s been known for some time that there are three teams on his list of preferred trade destinations: New Jersey, Dallas and the Lakers. It has also been known that Golden State would be willing to trade for Howard without assurances that he would sign an extension with them.

Magic GM told Otis Smith told the Orlando Sentinel that “six to eight” teams were still calling. Orlando is still hoping to convince Howard to stay long-term.

In other Howard-related news, the Nets announced that center Brook Lopez will be out three weeks with a sprained right ankle. Lopez has been mentioned prominently in trade talks.

Read More: Brook Lopez, Dwight Howard, NBA Trade Deadline,
Trade Rumor: Clippers interested in Ray Allen 03.05.12 at 10:03 am ET
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The Clippers have been looking for backcourt help ever since Chauncey Billups went down with a season-ending Achilles injury, and they have their eye on Celtics‘ guard Ray Allen, according to Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick. However, as Amick points out:

“The price is likely too high, as Boston wants a package that includes a young talent and a draft pick.”

The best young player the Clippers have — besides Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, let’s be serious, folks — is second-year guard Eric Bledsoe, and he’s out with a knee injury. The Clips also don’t have a draft pick to offer because it already belongs to the Celtics, who acquired it in the Kendrick Perkins trade.

There doesn’t appear to be a match here, but expect more chatter to follow Allen who is in the final year of a deal that pays him $10 million. His overall game has fallen off a bit, but Allen remains one of the best shooters in the league.

Read More: NBA Trade Deadline, Ray Allen,
Report: Celtics-Hawks talks were ‘purely exploratory’ 03.03.12 at 1:12 pm ET
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Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via twitter) said that while the Hawks and Celtics had discussed the possibility of a deal, such conversations remained preliminary.

Tweeted Wojnarowski: Atlanta did express an interest to Boston about Ray Allen or Kevin Garnett, but purely exploratory conversations, sources said.

Wojnarowski’s report comes one day after another rumor suggested that the Celtics were interested in acquiring forward Josh Smith from the Hawks while dangling Kevin Garnett.

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett, NBA Trade Deadline
Paul Pierce consoles Rajon Rondo: ‘I was part of trade rumors… four or five straight years’ at 9:35 am ET
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Paul Pierce didn’t want his teammate Rajon Rondo feeling singled out or disconnected from the team.

As captain, Pierce felt the time was right before Friday night’s game against the Nets to deliver a message about the persistent trade rumors involving Boston’s mercurial point guard.

‘€œWell it’€™s nothing we haven’€™t been through before,” Pierce said after dropping 27 on the Nets in Boston’s 107-94 win that once again put the Celtics above .500 at 18-17. “Rondo’€™s been through it, I’€™ve been though it a number of times. The thing is you have to do your job, you can’€™t let that affect you. I kind of mentioned it to Rondo today, you know I was part of trade rumors for probably four or five straight years. I just didn’€™t let it affect me on how I approached each and every game. You know whatever happens, happens, it’€™s business. Sometimes you don’€™t have control of it.’€

Rondo ignored the noise and went out in the first half and showed that as long as he’s in Boston, he will be the game-changer that Celtics fans have grown accustomed to. Like in the second quarter, when Rondo told everyone to get up-tempo on D and pressure the ball coming up the court.

The result: Five turnovers in a 14-0 Celtics run that – for all intents and purposes – put the game out of reach. Rondo finished with 14 points, 13 assists and five steals, with all five coming in the first half fury.

“He said before the game, ‘Let’s be aggressive. Defensively, let’s be active.’ And we followed his lead,” Kevin Garnett said of Rondo.

Rondo had help as Mickael Pietrus was a defensive force, implementing Rondo’s plan to perfection and getting nasty on whoever was trying to take the ball up the court.

‘€œWell you know Pietrus has started some games for us before and he’€™s been spectacular,” Pierce said. “He is able to come off the bench or start and give us great minutes for his defensive and shooting ability.

‘€œI think it definitely goes to another level, because he’€™s our energy guy that we use off the bench . You know when he’€™s out there to start the game he gets us off to a great start, he’€™s such a great rebounder for his size, and he can spread the floor with his point shooting. It was a real big lift to have him out there. We knew we were missing Ray tonight but we knew Pietrus could fill in.’€

Now, the Celtics and their newfound pressure D will be tested by Jeremy Lin and the Knicks on Sunday, with Boston riding a three-game win streak.

‘€œI think we are moving the ball a lot better and hopefully hitting our stride right here at home,” Pierce said. “We are playing better basketball. We have a huge West coast trip coming up for us in the next couple weeks, so it’€™s important for us to get as many wins as we can under our belt before we hit the road.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Mickael Pietrus, NBA, NBA Trade Deadline
Trade Rumor: Celtics eye Josh Smith, possibly for Kevin Garnett 03.02.12 at 3:31 pm ET
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The New York Daily News threw out the suggestion that the Celtics would be interested in Atlanta’s Josh Smith “and other young studs,” while using the Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce as bait.

Here’s the rumor:

“With the Big Three’€™s window now shut, Ainge is trying to land Atlanta’€™s Josh Smith and other young studs, while offering up Kevin Garnett. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen can also be had, for young players and draft picks. Rajon Rondo might be leaving, too, with the Lakers and Utah seen as possible destinations.”

The interesting part of this rumor is the suggestion of Garnett, which is the first time his name has been linked in any trade rumor since he’s come to Boston. Garnett is in the last year of a contract that pays him $21 million and Smith has another year left after this one at $13 million, so that wouldn’t work straight-up. The Hawks have other short contracts like Kirk Hinrich, who is in the last year of a deal that pays him $8 million.

Smith was high school teammates with Rajon Rondo at Oak Hill Academy and the two have remained close. He’s still just 26 years old and many felt that he deserved a spot on the All-Star team. He’d be the kind of player the Celtics would be looking to acquire if they move forward with Rondo.

Read More: Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett, NBA Trade Deadline, Paul Pierce
Irish Coffee: Rating ridiculous Celtics rumors at 2:59 pm ET
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So many trade rumors, so little time.

On Thursday, NBA teams could officially deal players signed this past offseason, and March 15 is the deadline, so Celtics president Danny Ainge‘s phone bill is probably higher than Lindsay Lohan‘s attorney fees at this point.

While Ainge denied actively shopping Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo in an interview on WEEI’s Big Show, he’s made it clear Rondo, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and everybody else — including captain Paul Pierce — are available for the right package. So far, the price hasn’t been right.

We’d be remiss not to mention the current rumors, but let’s be serious about the possibilities. Here goes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Deron Williams, Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett
Adrian Wojnarowski on D&C: ‘Don’t see [Rondo deal] happening’ at 1:54 pm ET
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Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to discuss the trade rumors surrounding the Celtics, specifically concerning point guard Rajon Rondo. Wojnarowski said not to expect a big deal from Celtics president Danny Ainge before the trade deadline.

“I just don’t know what large thing is out there for them to do,” he said. “I think Danny’s going to try, and he’s ready with any of the Big Three to make a move if they can get them maybe some picks down the line, a good young player for down the line. But right now, whatever that is, I don’t think it’s shown itself. And as for Rondo, I don’t see that happening.”

Wojnarowski said Ainge might be asking teams what they would offer for Rondo in an attempt to determine the guard’s trade value going forward, but that’s different than actively “shopping” him. “Boston’s not doing that with Rondo,” he said, noting that it’s unlikely the guard will be moved this month. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Adrian Wojnarowski, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, NBA Trade Deadline
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