Posted on: November 30, 2011 10:55 am
Edited on: November 30, 2011 10:59 am
By Matt Moore
And just like that, another swing in the momentum. As rumors of Rajon Rondo being traded from the Boston Celtics in their pursuit of acquiring Chris Paul hit a fever pitch, ESPN.com is reporting that Paul will not sign a long-term extension with the Celtics, which is supposed to shut off any further discussion of a trade.
Except that under the terms of the new CBA, this gets a bit more complicated. If Paul were to agree to an extend-and-trade with the Celtics, he would be limited to just a three-year extension, only two after his option year next year. That's a remarkably short contract for a player battling a knee issue looking for the big pay-off contract. If he were to be traded to Boston, he would have to wait six months to sign the full extension, which is only for four years. Conversely, if Paul were to enter free agency, whatever team he was playing for athe end of the season would have his Bird rights and could re-sign him to a five-year contract, the most he can get. Any other team, like, say, the New York Knicks (since their acquisition of him during the season is unlikely), would be able to sign him to a four-year deal. In short. signing an extension now makes zero sense.
But at the same time, we have a precedent set, and that precedent does not bode well for the Celtics. When Carmelo Anthony launched his covert (OK, it was louder than a C-130) plan to get to New York last year, the Nets were interested. And maintained interest. And kept pitching. But early on, reports surfaced that Anthony would not sign an extension with the Nets. They kept trying and trying, but Anthony maintained that the only team he'd sign an extension with was the Knicks. Eventually, that's where he was traded.
Now we have reports saying Paul wants to go to New York, and the Celtics trying to talk him into coming to Boston, including trying to acquire more assets to help a deal along. And now there's a report early on that Paul won't sign an extension there. Boston is, in no way, New Jersey, but the pattern is still alarmingly similar. Might be time for the Celtics to go back to their usual line of "We love Rondo, we'd never trade him," despite all indications to the contrary.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:38 am
Edited on: November 30, 2011 10:56 am
By Matt Moore
This is starting to get out of hand. Teams are officially allowed to contact agents only starting Wednesday (though they've been talking back-channel for days), and already the rumor mill is spiraling out of control at full speed. On Tuesday it was the Lakers wanting to pursue Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, the Celtics wanting Paul, whether or not the Knicks can pull off grabbing Paul, the Nets pursuing Dwight Howard via trade. And now we can throw another one on the fire.
The Celtics are serious about getting Chris Paul. And since their straight-up offers didn't work, they're now trying to acquire pieces the Hornets do want in order to turn around and move for Paul. Boston's biggest trade chip is Rajon Rondo, and suddenly the new team interested in acquiring the All-Star point guard is... the Indiana Pacers?
From Yahoo Sports:
As Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge aggressively pursues possible deals for Rajon Rondonotes, the Indiana Pacers have emerged as an intriguing suitor for the point guard, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.via Pacers talk with Celtics about Rondo deal - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.
The Pacers are not kidding about wanting to upgrade and make a run. Darren Collison is a young, versatile point guard with a world of upside and ability, who coincidentally (or not) learned under Chris Paul his rookie season. But Rondo is obviously an upgrade. The Pacers have Danny Granger to move as well, who has been on the block for years. A young center in Roy Hibbert, their own picks to move, and Paul George are also among the assets the Pacers have to offer in some combination for the mercurial Rondo.
The Pacers may have a package of assets the Celtics would want, or more accurately, the Hornets would want. But for this to go anywhere, the Hornets have to be open to the trade of Chris Paul, and there's been no indication that's the case. Dell Demps and Monty Williams will have to establish whthe they're willing to give up on the franchise player and if so, at what price.
But it's painfully clear that the Pacers want to upgrade, and that the Celtics want Paul. Training camp hasn't even started and already the player movement talks are running in the red.
Posted on: November 29, 2011 8:09 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 8:12 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
In a past lifetime, Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge was a all-state high school baseball player and Toronto Blue Jays draft pick. He hasn't stopped swinging for the fences since.
SI.com reports that the always aggressive Ainge, who transformed the Celtics into a title-winner by acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007, is targeting New Orleans Hornets All-Star guard Chris Paul.
But according to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation, Boston general manager Danny Ainge is highly motivated to land an even better point guard than the one who led the Celtics to a championship in 2008 and an average of 58.5 wins in the last four seasons: New Orleans' Chris Paul.With the Big 3 aging the Celtics are approacing a crossroads. Conventional wisdom dictated that they find a way to surround Rondo, a top-shelf, pass-first play-maker, with solid wing scorers and/or an elite big man. However, acquiring Paul would give Boston a point guard who is an exceptional play-maker while also being able to score in volume.
The problem here lies in Boston's ability to pitch Paul on its ability to win now and for the foreseeable future. Reports have surfaced that Paul's top choice is the New York Knicks, in no small part because perennial All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire are locked up for multiple years. In Boston, Kevin Garnett's contract is set to expire this summer and he's whispered about a potential retirement. Guard Ray Allen, who is now 36, will have his deal expire this summer too. If both depart, that will create significant cap room to build around a duo of Paul and forward Paul Pierce but is that possibility necessarily more enticing than the situation that might be available in New York?
For superstars to change cities, it requires a balance between what the team has to offer the player and what the player has to offer the team. Right now, Paul has more to offer to the Celtics than the Celtics have to offer Paul. With a few delicate roster makeover cap moves and/or the promise of the right free agent signing next summer, though, and the proper balance could be achieved.
Earlier Tuesday, we noted that Rondo's name was beginning to float in rumor mill discussions.
Posted on: November 29, 2011 1:22 pm
By Matt Moore
The Boston Celtics are looking for one more title run with this group of All-Stars.
And they may be willing to sacrifice one of the Big 4 to get there.
In the ESPN report detailing Chris Paul's desire to join the Knicks, no matter how difficult that may be, another piece of info slipped in. This time, it was about the Celtics, and specifically, Rajon Rondo. From ESPN:
While Boston is not shopping Rajon Rondo, it would be open to trading him in the right deal, sources say. The Celtics feel they need more scoring to take the load off Paul Pierce.via Chris Paul and New York's hopes - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN.
It's not the first time it's been suggested that Rondo could be on the block. He's consistently been mentioned as being included in talks, despite being one of the perennial league leaders in assist rate. Experts still have their doubts about him because of his inconsistent shooting and volatile personality. But there are some repors which indicate that this just isn't going to happen.
The Celtics moving Rondo would be more likely to occur in a move to acquire Chris Paul from the Hornets. With their projected available space in 2012, assuming they don't break the bank on Green or re-sign any of the big three to a massive extension, they should be in line to nab at least one major free agent, especially if Paul Pierce retires or is given the amnesty. A trade featuring Rondo, the Clippers' protected pick they acquired in the Perkins trade, and pieces might make Boston a great fit for Paul.
But it should be clear, the Celtics' management still believes very firmly in Rondo and what he's helped them accomplish. It's unthinkable that a point guard of Rondo's caliber would be traded, but that's the environment we operate in when Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are (potentially) on the market.
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:18 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 9:10 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Back in October, Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo threw a one-handed alley-oop pass over his head, the most magical and inspired assist on the ongoing NBA lockout. Until now?
Rondo was back at it during this weekend's Boston Charity Classic, a charity exhibition game played at Harvard University, when he threw an alley-oop backwards off of his own forehead. Seriously. It almost defies explanation.
Leading a break in transition, Rondo put the ball above his head with both hands as he jumped, craning his neck backwards so that his forehead would serve as a launching pad. He then brought the ball down on his forehead as he descended, causing the ball to vault into the air. The ball's arc lined up perfectly for Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay, who caught the pass with his left hand and slammed it through in one motion, southpaw-style. As you can imagine, the crowd immediately went nuts.
Here's the video via YouTube user brohrbach.
Hat tip: DimeMag.com
Posted on: November 21, 2011 10:14 am
By Matt Moore
Rajon Rondo held a charity basketball game on Saturday night, the first time he and Kendrick Perkins had shared a floor since Perkins' trade. Then that night, they went out to have a good time. But the night ended with someone taking a swing at Rondo. From the Lowell Sun:
Officers working details and patrolmen assigned downtown were already at Brian's Ivy Hall, 74 Merrimack St., yesterday about 1:45 a.m., as a packed event featuring Rondo began to empty out.via Man arrested after scuffle with C's star - Lowell Sun Online.
Rondo? Unpersonable? Surely you jest! He's such a happy-go-lucky guy! He's like a rainbow of marshmallows whenever you see him! It couldn't have been him that unpersonable.
Maybe the best part about this story is that the man who was charged with misdemeanor assault for the thrown punch said he didn't even know who Rondo was, that he's "not an NBA fan." So some random dude just threw a punch at some guy he felt disrespected him, and it turned out to be Rajon Rondo.
Also, speaking of small, please tell me it was Nate Robinson that wrestled him to the ground. Please, please, please.
Luckily no one was seriously injured in the incident.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 3:26 pm
Posted by Royce Young
I think we can all agree that the charity hoops circuit is a little played out. NBA fans are ready for real basketball. From Washington D.C. to Philadelphia to Miami to Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, fans have seen their stars play glorified pickup games. It's getting a little old now.
So the players have recognized that and are taking the next step: They're taking their talents overseas.
No, not to play professionally. They're taking their charity games on tour. Via ESPN.com:
While the final details are still being worked out, more than a dozen of the league's best players are working to join forces on what would be a two-week, six-game, three-continent blockbuster tour, sources said.The tour is planned to take two weeks and has been in construction for some three months by Atlanta business mogul Calvin Darden. While some players have actually reportedly signed contracts to play in this, there's a chance it could fall apart. One major reason being if a labor deal is worked out.
The tour is scheduled to start Oct. 30 and go through Nov. 9 with stops in Puerto Rico, London, Macau and Australia. Each game will be held in arenas with at least 15,000 seats. There's a hope to air the games internationally as well as in the U.S. too.
Here's the kicker: The players will make some bank off this too. The report says players will receive somewhere between a six-figure payout and $1 million. "Some" of the money will go to charity.
Here's to hoping the whole thing falls apart because the players are in training camp by then.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:44 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 8:53 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
We can debate who the best point guard in the NBA is all day, but there's no question that Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics is the cheekiest.
Rondo simply has every trick in the book: zip passes, bounce passes, alley oops, through the leg passes, around the back passes, you name it. And that's just on offense. He's averaged nearly two steals per game for his entire career, suckering opponents into turnovers by playing mind games, purposefully leaving his man open or sneaking up behind big men when they least expect it. He's the ultimate trickster, a basketball jester in the best sense of the word. The guy even turned his elbow around backwards during the playoffs and kept playing. He leads the league in leavings fans slack-jawed and smiling.
With the NBA still locked up by a labor impasse, Rondo has taken his show to the Big Blue All-Stars, a collection of former University of Kentucky Wildcats and NBA players who are playing in a series of exhibition games against local colleges throughout October. Rex Chapman is coaching so you know this is legit.
On Tuesday, in a game against Union College, Rondo tossed the best assist of the lockout, an over-the-head, no-look, one-handed, alley-oop pass to Denver Nuggets draft pick Kenneth Faried, who slammed it in cleanly. He set the pass up beautifully, walking the ball back to the top of the key as if to reset the offense after a failed look in transition. The defense relaxed ever so slightly and bang. Two points.
Here's a look at Rondo's inspired wizardry via YouTube user wazoosports08.
Hat tip: Deadspin.com