Tag:Danny Ainge
Posted on: March 7, 2012 4:10 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 4:43 pm
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Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

Dwight Howard could determine whether or not this is a busy NBA trade deadline. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver   

Will we see two hectic NBA trade deadline days in a row? Las Vegas seems to think so.

The 2011 trade season was crazy, but the biggest deals -- Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks and Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets -- were both completed in advance of the Feb. 24 deadline. Even so, Gerald Wallace, Kendrick Perkins, Baron Davis, Shane Battier, Aaron Brooks and Jeff Green were just some of the names that moved on the final day of the trade season.

This year, Vegas oddsmaker Bovada anticipates a similar level of activity. On Wednesday, the site set the over/under on trades that will happen on the March 15th deadline at 6.5. Of course, this number is for entertainment purposes only.

It goes without saying that the biggest potential trade chips are Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol. Both are listed at even odds if you want to bet "yes" on them moving. 

So will we see seven trades? Given the slow run-up of rumors it looks a little bleak right now. Let's take a look from both sides.

If this does wind up being a quiet trade season, you can bet on the following factors emerging as explanations after the fact.

Howard's uncertainty

Teams with top-tier assets are on hold as they wait for the Howard situation to clear up. If it gets closer to the deadline and he winds up staying in Orlando, rival GMs will have the choice of scrambling to execute a back-up plan or simply holding their cards until the offseason. It's essentially the same thing if he winds up moving late. For teams not in the transaction, they won't have days to weigh their options as they did following the Anthony and Williams trades last year.

Lockout schedule

The delayed start to the 2011-2012 season also pushed back the trade deadline. With six weeks until the playoffs, the temptation to fold the tent and wait until Draft season could be strong for teams that either aren't true contenders or have already dropped out of the playoff chase. It's much easier to write-off a 66-game season than it is an 82-game season. A number of teams have tanked hard since the beginning of the season using the same logic.

Established dominance in the East

In the East, Chicago and Miami have separated themselves so far from the pack that GMs may have trouble selling their owners on a win-now move that requires taking on salary. Why stock up only to get cut down by two truly elite teams? That train of thought is compounded by what is expected to be a strong free agency class. Taking on salary now means less flexibility later.

If, on the other hand, we do see a flurry of deals, here are a few factors that might trigger them. 

Wide open West

If there's activity for basketball reasons, there's a good chance it happens out West given the possibility that 4.5 games separate seeds 3 through 11. If someone wants to pay to make a push, they will be able to do so.  The Clippers, Lakers, Mavericks, Rockets and Timberwolves would all seem to have interest in making their team better for a little postseason fun.

Luxury tax  

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, high payroll teams are set to be hit with major fines for going over -- and eventually, for staying over -- the luxury tax line. Already, we saw one high-profile salary dump for tax purposes, when the Lakers moved Lamar Odom to the Mavericks.  It doesn't have to be big names or big salary numbers that move, though. Simply shipping an extraneous smaller-salary (over multiple years) guy to a team with cap space for oblique future Draft considerations could wind up saving a taxpayer real money when everything is added up down the line.

Danny Ainge 

The Boston Celtics are always active and this year they have assets galore plus plenty of motivation to move them given the uncertain direction going forward. Last year, Ainge made trades both big (Kendrick Perkins) and small (Luke Harangody). It's difficult to imagine he could sit on his hands with Boston limping along as the No. 7 seed.
Posted on: March 5, 2012 7:57 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 8:26 pm
 

Reports: Clippers interested in Ray Allen trade?

Ray Allen could be on the move before the trade deadline. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

Talk about a dream trade, at least from one side.

Multiple reports indicate that the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in trading for Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen in advance of the Mar. 15 trade deadline.

CSNNE.com reports that the Clippers are one of a number of teams interested in the veteran sharp-shooter who is in the final year of a contract that pays him $10 million this season.
Among those believed to have some interest in Allen, are the Los Angeles Clippers. With the season-ending injury to Chauncey Billups, the Clippers have a huge void to fill at the shooting guard position.
SI.com also reports the Clippers' interest, but foresees difficulty making the deal.
Yet for all the talk of Boston point guard Rajon Rondo possibly being traded, some league executives have shooting guard and free-agent-to-be Ray Allen pegged as the most likely to be moved. Sources say the Clippers are interested, having lost Chauncey Billups to season-ending injury and lost out to New York in the J.R. Smith sweepstakes. But the price is likely too high, as Boston wants a package that includes a young talent and a draft pick.
So, yeah, talk about a dream scenario: championship contender fills biggest hole with best available player at that position without real assets to provide in return. Not super likely.

Boston would indeed do best to move Allen at the deadline for a young asset and pick rather than allow him to expire this summer. Allowing him to come off the books this summer is a nice back-up plan, but he still has significant value, especially to contenders, because of his proven playoff ability. The aging, inconsistent Celtics have no shot of making a substantive run through the East; cashing in on Allen would make the deadline a success.

Quickly, L.A.'s interest here is obvious. Allen fits a hole perfectly, stretches defenses to open the court for All-Star guard Chris Paul, can make teams pay for double-teaming on All-Star forward Blake Griffin and adds the postseason experience a newly-formed team can't get enough of.

The only real rule from Boston's side is that any future money they take back must be for a player they see as a long-term fit or for a talented youngster on a rookie deal who will have the opportunity to blossom. That's where it gets tricky to make a deal with the Clippers.

The best package they could create would be Mo Williams, Eric Bledsoe and a future, future pick. Williams would be needed to help match contracts with Allen, Bledsoe is L.A.'s one remaining tradeable young asset and the pick would have to be generated from another deal or pushed into the future because L.A. has already moved its 2012 first in a previous deal. Another version could include trading Randy Foye's expiring contract, Chauncey Billups' expiring deal and Bledsoe but that starts to create roster spot issues for Boston to accept back all those players in trade.

The biggest problem with either scenario is that Bledsoe does not play a position of need for Boston. At 22, he unquestionably possesses untapped upside and, other than injury insurance, he doesn't figure to see much time as long as All-Star Chris Paul is in town. He's played just 64 minutes all season with so many veterans competing for minutes for the Clippers and because he's dealt with some injuries. His external worth to a team without depth at the one is far greater than his internal worth, making him an obvious trade chip.

But Boston has its own incumbent All-Star in Rajon Rondo and a young prospect in training in Avery Bradley. Assuming Celtics GM Danny Ainge doesn't move Rondo in a blockbuster -- always a possibility -- the uber-talented point guard represents the one bit of certainty heading into the future, with Hall of Fame forward Kevin Garnett and Allen likely moving on. Even franchise forward Paul Pierce's future isn't guaranteed. Rondo can be the cornerstone centerpiece in any rebuilding or blow-it-up scenario. All deals are therefore assessed on whether the incoming pieces fit with him.

Taking back Williams, who is on the books through 2012-2013 assuming he picks up his player option, doesn't make a lot of sense in that framework. He's playing well this season, averaging 13.5 points per game and shooting nearly 40 percent from deep, but he's not a starting caliber backcourt complement to Rondo and a GM facing the challenges Ainge is facing would likely prefer cap flexibility to Williams' contract, given its $8.5 million price tag.

Basketball fans should want Allen on the Clippers. It would transform L.A. into a team that could give both Oklahoma City and Miami a run for the title. But without the intervention of a third (or fourth) team or an extreme act of charity from Ainge, this one wouldn't seem to have real legs.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:07 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 12:06 pm
 

Podcast: Will the Celtics blow it up?

Rajon Rondo (Getty)
By Matt Moore 

The Celtics are facing a huge upheaval, and aren't being quiet about it. Rumors continue to swirl regarding the end of the Big 3 era, as the team looks to the future. Rajon Rondo has been the subject of the majority of talks, despite being the best player on the team at this point, and despite Doc Rivers' insistence to the contrary. But how has this affected the Celtics? Is it bothering them at all? More importantly is it time to blow this thing up?

We talked to WEEI columnist Paul Flannery about the feel from players right now and where the organization stands as the precipice of a rebuild rapidly approaches.

 


So since we did that interview, we've posted on the Celtics being interested in Michael Beasley and Doc Rivers vehemently denying that they are shopping Rondo. All this talk of what the Celtics are or are not doing reasserts what Flannery says regarding how the Celtics are constantly looking to improve.

The fact that Ainge is so unsentimental about the Celtics has always been a strange offset to the team's unity among its players, dating back to the "Ubuntu" philosophy from 2008. But Ainge has been looking forward since last year's trade of Kendrick Perkins, and while Rondo is their best player, it's clear that the Celtics won't be closing any doors. And as long as they're open to making moves, those convesations will wind up in the media.

The drama continues to unfold in Boston.

Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:31 am
Edited on: January 19, 2012 1:17 pm
 

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

 Danny Ainge says he'll consider "blowing up" the Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

In comments which should surprise absolutely no one, Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe Thursday that he's prepared to blow up the Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce if they could find a deal which will help them transition into the next era of contention through younger players. The Celtics, who have yet to defeat a team over .500 and who snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over Toronto Wednesday night, have looked well past their prime. The team continues to insist it's a matter of conditioning and not necessarily age. But Ainge's comments clearly indicate that he's not willing to hold out until the Celtics' door has been slammed completely shut. From the Boston Globe:
Ainge said he would consider trades if they would net younger talent. He has maintained he does not want the franchise to go through a 10-year span of insignificance as it did following the departures of the previous Big Three of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, who remained with the team past their primes.

"First of all it’s a different era," Ainge told the Globe. "I sat with Red (Auerbach) during a Christmas party (in the 1990s). Red was talking to Larry, Kevin, and myself and there was a lot of trade discussion at the time and Red actually shared some of the trade discussions. And I told Red what are you doing? Why are you waiting?

"He had a chance to trade Larry (to Indiana) for Chuck Person and Herb Williams and (Steve) Stipanovich and he had a chance to trade Kevin (to Dallas) for Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins. I was like are you kidding? I mean I feel that way now. If I were presented with those kind of deals for our aging veterans, it’s a done deal to continue the success."
via Ainge would consider Big Three trade - Boston.com

If you want to take anything of real note from these comments, it's that Ainge no longer has confidence and faith that this core can contend for a championship. That doesn't mean he's ruled it out, but it means that he's not completely comfortable with the core formed four years ago that sought multiple titles to the most storied franchise in the league (with apologies to the mighty Lakers), and to date have only brought one. That's one more than most players or franchises have ever obtained, but that's not the standard in Boston.

Paul Pierce seems to have very little lift or stamina, as evidenced by a pair of ugly missed layup attempts against the Raptors Wednesday night when Pierce was blocked by the rim. Pierce finished with eight points but did have seven assists vs. the Raptors. Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett has very little lift and is struggling for the first time in the are he has for so long dominated, defense. Ray Allen is still knocking down threes but even he of the ridiculous conditioning has shown the effects of age. It's hard to see this team improving on last year's progress which ended in a quick five games against the Miami Heat

Ainge is faced with tearing down the most successful team of his tenure, and trading multiple Hall of Famers who teams know have eroding abilities and who will likely not have the same motivation outside the warm, family environment of the Boston green, for young players and picks with which to build a new nucleus around Rajon Rondo with. Jeff Green was projected to be a part of that foundation, but his heart condition has left his career up in the air for the foreseeable future, and the Celtics have no other young assets. 

But that's not the only reason Ainge may not be able to get a deal done. The odds are strong the Celtics will go on a tear this season. They'll start playing better, get into better condition, start showing flashes of the old intensity on both sides of the ball. A few significant wins against top teams will create the urge for Aine to stay his hand. The problem is that defeating teams which may not honestly take them very seriously at this point in the regular season is drastically different from the playoffs, and after the brutal intensity of this compacted regular season, the Celtics simply may not have enough left in what is already a depleted tank to make a push once they get to the playoffs, having burned so much fuel just to reach the planet Postseason. 

It's an interesting question to ponder, if the Big 3 are broken up: did they fail? On the one hand, they validated all three of their Hall of Fame entry tickets with a championship, and in the age of free agency, one ring is rarer than ever. But this team had lofty expectations of a dynasty, and instead may walk away with just the one. How can you win a championship with a core, and make another Finals trip, and be considered a failure? The answer to that question lies with the legacy of the name of the front of their uniforms, and though history will judge them individually as giants among mortals, if this is the Big 3's last year together their legacy will be significantly less in stature than what we assumed it would be when confetti rained on them in 2008. 


(HT: SLAM Online)


Posted on: December 17, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: December 17, 2011 5:42 pm
 

Celtics' Jeff Green to miss entire 2012 season

By Matt Moore

The Celtics announced Saturday morning that forward Jeff Green will miss the entire 2011-2012 season after surgery to repair a heart condition. During a stress test in his physical upon agreeing to his one-year, $9 milllion deal with the Celtics, doctors discovered an aortic aneurysm, which involves swelling in a valve in the heart. He will undergo surgery, miss the entire year, and the Celtics announced he should be able to return to action for the 2012-2013 season assuming everything goes well with surgery and subsequent treatment. 

With no symptoms, discovering the condition may prove to be a blessing in disguise for Green and his long-term health. For the Celtics, they move forward with no legitimate back-up small forward and a dangerously thin bench. The Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins for Green and the Clippers protected 2012 draft pick at last season's trade deadline. Despite considerable criticism for the move, Celtics GM Danny Ainge has repeatedly defended the move indicating his belief in Green's long-term value to the franchise. 

Due to Green's failure to pass his physical, the Boston Herald reports Green's contract has been voided

The Celtics official press release: 
The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Jeff Green will undergo surgery on Monday January 9, 2012 at the Cleveland Clinic and will miss the 2011-12 season.

A team of leading cardiac specialists who consulted with Green and the Celtics indicated that surgery should completely repair Green’s condition and that he can expect to resume his NBA career next season.

During his team physical Friday, December 9th, an aortic aneurysm was detected. As a precautionary measure, Green underwent extensive additional testing, after which doctors recommended surgery.

“While we are saddened that Jeff will not be able to play this season, the most important thing is his health, and we were fortunate to have access to an amazing team of specialists to evaluate Jeff’s case,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “The entire Celtics family supports Jeff during this difficult time in his career.”

At Jeff’s request, neither Jeff nor the Celtics will have any additional comment at this time.
Posted on: August 12, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2011 4:30 pm
 

Shaquille O'Neal's NBA MMA hit list

Posted by Ben Gollivershaq-barkley-fight

The ongoing NBA lockout has Shaquille O'Neal stuck in an awkward purgatory between "ruining the Boston Celtics' season" and "getting paid to make fun of Kenny Smith on a full-time basis".

How is O'Neal spending his days now that he's retired from the NBA as a player but not yet able to offer television commentary? By dabbling in Mixed Martial Arts, of course.

O'Neal joined a panel of fringe characters who operate on the margins of society on HDNet's Inside MMA program to discuss who he would like to take on in an MMA fight. Who made up O'Neal's hit list? A bunch of the usual suspect -- retired power forwards -- and one surprise: O'Neal's most recent boss, the President of the Boston Celtics.

"I don't know about this new NBA," O'Neal said. "I'm going to answer that with some old school players. Charles Oakley, definitely. [Charles] Barkley, [Karl] Malone, Xavier McDaniel and I'm going to throw a white guy in there. Who should I pick for a white guy? Not Larry Bird. I'm going to go with Danny Ainge. Because Danny Ainge one time bit Tree Rollins' finger almost off." 

There was one current player who O'Neal could see entering the ring.

"Ron Artest, you know you could probably put in there," O'Neal said. "But other than that, I'm not sure."

Here's the video of O'Neal's appearance courtesy of YouTube user HDNetFights.



Hat tip: Los Angeles Times
Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Glen Davis wants to make up with the Celtics

By Matt Moore

Glen Davis had such a great regular season. 

Glen Davis had such a terrible postseason.

As such, things are a little confusing as him as he sits through the lockout as an unrestricted free agent. There was a lot of talk during the Celtics' unceremonious exit from the playoffs about Davis' performance. He looked out of shape, lost, and failed to make a significant impact as the Celtics were thrown from the fold by the Heat. With Jeff Green's restricted free agency status assured with Boston's commitment to him, the thought was that Davis would want out just as much, after clashes with Doc Rivers and management. But at a recent appearance with Rajon Rondo at a charity event, Davis made it clear he wants to keep the green on. From the Boston Globe
But today, Davis said he wants to come back and wants to clear any ill feelings with Ainge and coach Doc Rivers. Of course, that is impossible during the NBA lockout because players are not allowed to contact team officials.

"Most definitely that’s my No. 1 priority [coming back],” he said yesterday. “See if I can come back here and play. And if can’t, go somewhere else.

"I think in a lot of situations you have to air things out. Especially with a player that’s growing. You’ve got to talk and clear things up and I think that time will come whenever the opportunity comes. I’m just trying to focus on working out.”
via Celtics' Davis considering overseas opportunities - Boston.com.

Davis was a Sixth Man of the Year candidate for much of the season, and was a big part of why the Celtics lead the East for much of the year. But Davis tends to rely on his mid-range jumper too much, and because of his contributions to a contending team, he'll be overvalued in free agency. The Celtics may simply not have the room, especially if they plan on a big 2012 with that free agency class as many expect them to.  

It's surprising to hear Davis talk so openly about a potential rift with his coach and front office, but at least he's being publicly contrite and not absolving himself of the blame. At the same time, where Davis winds up taking charges and looking goofy next year willd depend on the money, not personalities.  

Interesting sidenote: The Globe reports Davis has lost a significant amount of weight. That could be a game changer for his free agency prospects if he can keep the weight off until free agency starts... whenever that will be.  
Posted on: May 12, 2011 7:07 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 7:43 pm
 

Report: Celtics to lock up Doc Rivers long-term?

The Boston Celtics are reportedly negotiating a multi-year contract offer with coach Doc Rivers. Posted by Ben Golliver. doc-rivers

One day after the Boston Celtics were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Miami Heat, the Associated Press is reporting that the team is looking to secure coach Doc Rivers to a long-term contract.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Boston Celtics and coach Doc Rivers are working on a deal that would keep him on their bench for multiple years. The deal is for “more than two or three years,” the person told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the details were still being worked out.
With an aging core and the rise of younger, more athletic competitors, it's no surprise that the Celtics are looking for a measure of stability. Indeed, we noted earlier that Celtics president Danny Ainge is considering major rotation changes -- such as sending Paul Pierce to the bench -- and admitted that he would trade one of Boston's Big Three if a favorable trade came along.

In other words, it could be a choppy few years for the team as it works to reload, and possibly rebuild. The good news: It's clear from comments made to CBSSports.com's Ken Berger that Rivers wants to stick around. For the Celtics, keeping Rivers in place would not only provide a steady, trusted hand but could also serve as a potential lure for free agents. 

But, really, it's the continuity factor driving this decision. Locking up Rivers gives the Celtics a solid slice of an identity during what could be a major roster overhaul. Whichever players stick around will need someone they trust. Whichever players are brought in will need someone that carries a massive respect factor.  Rivers fulfills both categories, so if a reasonable financial agreement can be worked out, why not?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com