|Trade rumor: Celtics eye Kings guard Tyreke Evans||02.21.13 at 11:47 am ET|
The Celtics are trying to land Kings guard Tyreke Evans prior to the 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
Rumors of the C’s interest in the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft have surfaced before, and given Sacramento’s willingness to part ways on Thursday with their first- and second-round picks from this past June’s draft — Thomas Robinson and Tyler Honeycutt, respectively — along with longtime Kings wing Francisco Garcia, it’s no surprise Celtics president of basketball relations Danny Ainge is eager to get Sacramento GM Geoff Petrie on the phone.
Evans has averaged 15.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.1 minutes a night for the miserable Kings organization, but the question is whether the 23-year-old former NBA Rookie of the Year has been part of the problem in Sacramento. He has a $6.9 million qualifying offer for next season.
It’s unclear what the Celtics would offer in return for Evans. Also, Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears reported that both Evans and Kings teammate DeMarcus Cousins “have been given the impression they would not be dealt.”
|Trade rumor: Fab Melo for Jordan Crawford?||at 10:55 am ET|
As Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday, the Celtics are offering Fab Melo to any NBA team that can provide sufficient backcourt help, and ESPN.com senior writer Chris Broussard claimed Wizards shooting guard Jordan Crawford is “on their radar.”
The 24-year-old Crawford has averaged 13.2 points, 3.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 26.2 minutes for a bad Wizards team. Here’s former ESPN.com analyst and current Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger‘s scouting report on Crawford (WARNING: Don’t get too excited.):
- Shoot-happy guard who takes terrible shots. Capable passer when mood strikes.
- Very quick and has a good handle. Can finish, but poor long-range shooter.
- Abysmal defender. Undersized for 2. Must add strength and dial up effort.
Crawford and newly signed Terrence Williams — at least for the remainder of his 10-day deal — would battle for the fourth spot in Celtics coach Doc Rivers‘ point guard-less backcourt behind Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Crawford has shot 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range in two-plus seasons.
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|Trade rumor: Nets offer Kris Humphries in package for Paul Pierce||02.20.13 at 6:00 pm ET|
The Nets offered Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a first-round pick — the same package made to the Hawks for Josh Smith — to the Celtics in exchange for Paul Pierce, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
The C’s want Brooklyn to sweeten the pot with Mirza Teletovic and another first-rounder, but the Nets won’t add to their original offer, according to Wojnarowski, who reported a near Pierce deal with the Nets last season that involved Mehmet Okur‘s expiring contract and a lottery pick that was instead dealt to Portland for Gerald Wallace and became Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard.
The Celtics also separately inquired about Nets backup point guard C.J. Watson, but the conversation went nowhere, Wojnarowski said.
As for Brooklyn’s offer for Pierce, no word on how quickly Celtics president Danny Ainge hung up the phone. The Nets seem eager to get out from underneath the $12 million remaining on Humphries’ deal next season, especially since the controversial big man’s production has been slashed in half since averaging a double-double during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. Meanwhile, the C’s could’ve had MarShon Brooks in the 2011 NBA draft, but instead shipped his rights to the Nets in exchange for JaJuan Johnson. And the Nets currently own the 21st pick in this June’s draft. In other words, a terrible offer.
|Trade rumor: Celtics take Rajon Rondo off market||at 12:32 pm ET|
Despite ESPN.com senior writer Chris Broussard‘s insistence that Celtics president Danny Ainge has made injured point guard Rajon Rondo available on the trade market, Rondo’s agent Bill Duffy told USA Today’s Sam Amick that Ainge “assured him” on Wednesday that the four-time All-Star will not be dealt.
Meanwhile, CBSSports.com columnist Ken Berger reports Rondo would only be dealt for Dwight Howard, Chris Paul “or a massive haul of assets” similar to what the Nuggets received for Carmelo Anthony. As you might remember, Melo, Chauncey Billups and three low-level NBA talents returned Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a first-round draft pick, two second-round picks and $3 million in cash from the Knicks in 2011.
Those scenarios are a pipe dream for Ainge, considering Rondo’s season-ending ACL surgery that leaves him rehabbing for training camp next season.
Celtics president Danny Ainge has placed rookie center Fab Melo on the trade market in hopes of adding depth to his backcourt and bolstering the current roster, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski.
Considering Melo has scored all of two points in eight minutes for the Celtics this season, making more headlines when he collapsed inside a folding chair and suffered a concussion upon walking into a doorframe, his addition to the long list of available Celtics comes as no surprise.
After all, Rajon Rondo (for Dwight Howard), Paul Pierce (for Josh Smith), Kevin Garnett (for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan), Jeff Green and Brandon Bass (for Smith) have all been involved in various trade scenarios.
|Kevin Garnett’s yoga swag is off the charts||02.19.13 at 4:53 pm ET|
Have you been wondering why Kevin Garnett hasn’t body slammed Zaza Pachulia or barked like a dog at Jose Calderon yet this season? Perhaps the NBA’s nobodies have the Celtics center’s yoga instructor to thank.
“I’d have all this energy, and I couldn’t control it,” he said. “Being in games, I’d get dumb fouls because I was just out of control, so I had a friend suggest yoga to me, and I tried it out. Not only did it help me stay flexible and durable, but it helped me center myself and understand the energy and know how to use it properly.”
Indeed, Garnett’s six seasons in Boston are among the least foul-happy of his career. To what yoga pose does KG credit that transformation in ZICO coconut water’s recent round of behind-the-scenes clips (h/t @CelticsTown)?
“I’m a down dog man, although my instructor likes to make sure that I’m up on all the new poses, including the one where I stand on my head,” he said. “It’s supposed to balance me out. So far, we’re still working on that.”
|Irish Coffee: Bill Russell, basketball’s grandfather||at 12:31 pm ET|
I was 12 years old when my grandfather died, and I never really got to ask him about playing for Passaic (N.J.) High’s “Wonder Team,” owners of the longest win streak (159 games) in prep basketball history and entrants into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, or about playing for Rutgers, where he apparently also took part in a handful of exhibition games under an assumed name for $25 a night. This was the 1920s, before the NBA.
So, when Bill Simmons interviewed Bill Russell, basketball’s grandfather, on NBA TV Monday, it made me feel profoundly nostalgic, jealous and robbed of so many great tales of my own basketball ancestry. But mainly I just felt lucky that we all still have this great link to Celtics past. Heck, to American history. And we should cherish that.
Russell shared captivating story after captivating story. His admiration of his father Charles, who raised his playwright brother Charlie L. and him while working for decades in an Oakland foundry. His belief he would never have played in the NBA if he hadn’t been traded from the “overwhelmingly racist” city of St. Louis in 1956 to Boston for future Hall of Famers Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan. His quiet first meeting with a young Kansas freshman named Wilt Chamberlain. His pavement of the road to professional players’ unions and big contracts, like the $100,001 one he signed in 1965 — one more dollar than Chamberlain’s deal. His support of Muhammad Ali during the heavyweight champ’s conscientious objection to the Vietnam War. And so on and so on.
He was fascinating. Here are 11 great quotes from the interview, one for every title he won for the Celtics.