Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Should Celtics Sign Scott Machado?

Sources say the Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge is considering signing undrafted free agent point guard, Scott Machado.

Machado was an outstanding guard for Iona averaging 14 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and two steals a game. When his named wasn’t announced in last June’s NBA draft I couldn’t help but wonder if the Celtics would keep the youngster in mind; and it looks like they did.

After the 2012 NBA Draft he opted to join the Houston Rockets summer league team. He averaged eight points, six assists and two rebounds a game and was not offered a contract.

He can be a solid rotation player for the Celtics and has the ability to distribute the ball well while Rondo gets his rest. Dooling is a knock down three-point shooter when he is hot, but he is a one-dimensional player who struggles at facilitating the floor.

In college, Machado proved he’s a great facilitator when he led the NCAA in assists (topping first-rounder Kendall Marshall) and carried Iona into the NCAA tournament.  His pass first-shoot second mentality is something Rondo would love about him. And I’m sure under his wings Machado can form into a solid backup point guard.

On a team like the Celtics, he’d be surrounded by scorers and wouldn’t be required to score while playing with Jason Terry and Jeff Green. Celtics should definitely give him a shot before another team leaps at the opportunity. 

Josue Pavon

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Celtics Reloaded Pt. II : Rookies Impact

The 2012 Boston Celtics Draft Class. How will this pan out?
In recent years, Boston Celtics’ rookies making an impact on the floor in their first season has been very rare, to say the least. You would have to go back to the dismal 06-07 NBA season to find draft picks getting time and producing on a regular basis.  That season Rajon Rondo, who wasn’t even drafted by the Celtics but acquired in a trade (Thanks, Phoenix), had an impact towards the middle of the season, over taking the starting role from Sebastian Telfair.
(Side Note: While writing this I threw up in my mouth a little. Remembering the dark days, where we actually put faith in SEBASTIAN FREAKING TELFAIR to start at point. Not only does it make you appreciate Rondo a million times more but also appreciate Paul Pierce’s dedication to the Celtics Fans and  Franchise to stick it out with SEBASTIAN FREAKING TELFAIR as the starting point. Danny, please remember this next time you are thinking about dumping Pierce for a draft pick and Kris Kardash… Humphries. Thanks.)
After the ‘Big Three Era’ began the following season the Celtics have experienced success, leading to late round draft picks. However, the Celtics and Danny Ainge seem to have struck out over the past years. The list of the names of players they drafted is comical to look at now:  J.R. Giddens(BUST) and Semih Erden in 2008; Lester Hudson(Who?) in ‘09, and Luke Harangody (Thanks, Tommy) in 2010. Now, Ainge did hit on Avery Bradley in that same 2010 draft, however during  his rookie year he really had zero impact on the Celtics, but you definitely have to put him in the win column. So that’s hitting on 1 of 5 draft picks in that three year span.
Sullinger needs to force his low post game
when he gets his chance with the C's.
Last year’s draft, the Celtics apparently scouted well and drafted an absolute steal in the form of Marshon Brooks with the 25th pick. But siding with typical Boston Celtics Draft luck , they decided to trade Brooks, who was ready to contribute right away, to take on the developmental challenge of morphing JuJuan Johnson into a NBA power forward. That year they also drafted E’twaun Moore, who also made a very minimal impact on the Celtics in his rookie year.
Some blame it on the shortened season, lack of training camp, or just missing on both picks, but there was plenty of opportunity for Johnson to make an difference last year. With the injuries the Celtics had and the problems they had in the front court, paved the way for Johnson to play, and play a lot. He just couldn’t get it together and ended the year on the end of the bench in street clothes, and then in the off season both members of the Purdue Duo were traded away in the recently for Courtney Lee.  That’s now 1 for 7, Danny. Yes, we are keeping count.
That brings us to this year’s draft. The Celtics held two first round picks. This was the first time since 2004 they had more than one first rounder. Ainge had Jared Sullinger, a potential top ten pick in a few early Mock Drafts, fall into their lap at the 21st pick overall.  Red flags galore were piling up when Sullinger’s name was brought up in draft circles. His back issues being the most glaring, but sided with an “undersized and not athletic” tag, his stock dropped faster than expected.
Sullinger was a projected top ten pick for a reason. He was an absolute beast in the Big Ten the past two years, while playing for Ohio State. An All-American twice, in his two years there , the now 20 year old was able to score at will against college competition.  
With the 22nd pick the Celtics picked up Fab Melo, who was known more for his off court troubles than producing while at Syracuse. However, he is a legit seven-footer who can defend. He is the definition of raw, as he’s only been playing basketball for 5 years. Also in the second round the Celts drafted Kris Joseph, a swingman from Syracuse, who scored the basketball when he needed to for the Orange.
The draft process always comes with a lot of unknowns, but the biggest question is; Are they ready to make an impact right away?
Sullinger has not only the skills to make an impact, but also the opportunity. He has low post skills and the rebounding prowess to get playing time and to make it count. The Celtics were horrendous last year rebounding the basketball on both ends. They aren’t the deepest team at the 4/5 spot with Bass, Wilcox, and Garnett as the stalwarts up front. Sullinger should be able to crack that rotation and give the Celtics a much needed rebounder who isn’t going to be a huge liability on the offensive end.
The only major question mark about Sullinger is his ability to defend the bigger power forwards and centers on other rosters. He is a tad undersized at 6’9 to bang down low and did have problems in college defending big men. As we all know, the Celtics won’t put anyone on the floor if they are unable to defend, so I do see this being a possible issue with his immediate impact.
In the summer league, both Orlando and Las Vegas, Sullinger proved he was NBA ready and put up a truly solid performance. He was not only playing to prove he could compete, but showed a lot of GM’s that passed him up because of injury concerns that those rumors were dead wrong. He played 9 games in 13 days and showed no signs of any back issues.
Fab Melo should help on the defensive end
with his size alone.
My immediate reaction to the draft pick was that Sullinger would be ready right away to help the C’s. I would look for him to play a bout 10-15 mins per game to start the year, and bearing injuries and progress, go up from there. If all goes well Sullinger has the chance be the first Celtic since Rondo to crack the All Rookie Team.
Fab Melo, as noted earlier will be a project. I don’t see him making any significant impact his first year. Not only do I not have faith in the big man, but I’m sure Doc Rivers won’t be giving him any time on the floor until he can prove it in practice.  Melo couldn’t ask for a better team to develop with though. the Celtics’ veterans can show him the way. Garnett should have a major role in developing the young man.
Is there a spot for Mr. Joseph?
Kris Joseph, being a second round draft pick, will not have anything handed to him. He will have to work his way on to the squad and most likely will start out with the D- league. He did have a very strong showing in the Summer League and could crack the roster, but again nothing is guaranteed. If injuries open up a spot, I think he can be a scorer in the league. Joseph can hit the outside shot and has shown flashes in Vegas and Orlando to be a slasher.
 As training camp is inching closer and closer we will learn more of the organizations outlook and plans for the recent draftees.  Yet, it seems as if the Celtics drafts in the past few years have been termed failures, the only way they can go is up, right?

Follow Sean on Twitter @seandutra

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012-13 Boston Celtics Schedule

2012-13 Boston Celtics Regular Season TV Schedule 

Tuesday, Oct. 30: at Miami Heat, 8:00 p.m. [TNT]

Thursday, Nov. 15: at Brooklyn Nets, 8:00 p.m. [TNT]
Friday, Nov. 23: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 7:30 p.m. [NBATV]
Wednesday, Nov. 28: vs. Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m. [NBATV]

Friday, Dec. 7: at Philadelphia Sixers, 7:00 p.m. [ESPN]
Wednesday, Dec. 12: Dallas Mavericks, 8:00 p.m. [ESPN]
Tuesday, Dec. 25: at Brooklyn Nets, 12:00 p.m. [ESPN]
Saturday, Dec. 27: at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m. [TNT]
Saturday, Dec. 29: at Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m. [NBATV]

Friday, Jan. 4: vs. Indiana Pacers, 8:00 p.m. [ESPN]
Wednesday, Jan. 16: vs. New Orleans Hornets, 8:00 p.m. [ESPN]
Friday, Jan. 18: vs. Chicago Bulls, 7:00 [ESPN]
Thursday, Jan. 24: vs. New York Knicks, 8:00 p.m. [TNT]
Sunday, Jan. 27: vs. Miami Heat, 1:00 p.m. [ABC]

Sunday, Feb. 3: vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 1:00 p.m. [NBATV]
Thursday, Feb. 7: vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 8:00 p.m. [TNT]
Wednesday, Feb. 13: vs. Chicago Bulls, 7:30 p.m. [NBATV]
Wednesday, Feb. 20: at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 p.m. [ESPN]
Monday, Feb. 25: at Utah Jazz, 9:00 p.m. [NBATV]

Tuesday, Mar. 5: at Philadelphia Sixers, 7:00 p.m. [TNT]
Sunday, Mar. 10: at Oklahoma Thunder, 1:00 p.m. [ABC]
Monday, Mar. 18: vs. Miami Heat, 8:00 p.m. [ESPN]
Tuesday, Mar. 26: vs. New York Knicks, 7:00 p.m. [TNT]

Wednesday, Apr. 10: vs. Brooklyn Nets, 8:00 p.m. [ESPN]
Friday, Apr. 12: at Miami Heat, 7:30 p.m. [NBATV]
Tuesday, Apr. 16: vs. Indiana Pacers, 8:00 p.m. [TNT]

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Celtics Re-Sign Keyon Dooling

Celtics will re-sign veteran guard Keyon Dooling to a one year deal, according to his agent.

Dooling's agent confirmed that his client will be back with Boston next year and that he was excited to rejoin his teammates for the upcoming season. Danny Ainge was excited about it too. He was able to re-sign Dooling at the league minimum.

It has been reported that Dooling, who was primarily Rondo's backup last season, had a positive influence on Rondo and was a tremendous leader in the locker room.

His shooting ability gives the Celtics another three point threat off the bench. The combination of Dooling and Terry on the floor should cause problems for the reserves of opposing teams. Both players have the ability get it going quickly off the bench. I think they will play off of each other well and very effectively.

Josue Pavon

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guards Dionte Christmas, Jamar Smith Sign with Celtics

Guards Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith have agreed to contracts with the Celtics and will join the team for training camp in hopes of earning a spot on the 2012-2013 Celtics roster.

Christmas spent the past three seasons away from U.S. basketball. After playing four years at Temple, Christmas spent three years in Israel, the Czech Republic and Greece.

With an impressive summer league showing, he has earned himself an invite to Celtics training camp this fall. He was known as a solid shooter in summer league and was decent at handling the ball. Christmas also turned down overseas offers so that he can try to make it in the NBA. He believes that he can continue to contribute offensively and fit in well with the Celtics.

“Most of all, I think I have a Boston Celtics style of play. I’m not talking about scoring, I’m talking about I’m very energetic, I’m vocal, I like to get in people’s space and play defense. I just like competition. I love to get under the opposing team’s skin. I have that Celtics type of play and I think they saw that. They saw that I was hungry and they saw that I wanted it. By me showing I could do everything like pass and rebound, they already knew I could score, but seeing me do everything, I think that really put it over the top. That right there showed the growth in my game by going overseas.”  Guard, Dionte Christmas 

The Courtney Lee trade helped Christmas an opportunity with the Celtics. It opened up a couple of roster spots and sent away E'Twaun Moore, a similar player who was already in the Celtics system last season and likely would have beaten out Christmas for a roster spot.

Smith hasn't been as productive as Christmas but still shot the ball well from the behind the arc for the C's throughout summer league play. Smith shot 45 percent from the 3-point line over five games in Orlando and averaged nine points.

"He can shoot the ball. I get mad when he turns down shots. If you turn down another shot, you're done for the rest of the summer league. But every time he shoots, I think it's good. He's got a nice stroke, a great stroke. He's been playing very well for us. Even in games that were close, he's made big shots. He's made big shots to give us a bit of momentum when teams are making runs." Celtics Summer League Coach, Tyronn Lue

Christmas joins Smith as the only two non-draftees of Boston to earn official training camp invitations. Smith has shown promise this past week. After getting the green light from coach Lue to shoot the ball, Smith averaged 10.2 points a game in Las Vegas and shot very well from beyond the arc.

With the signings of Christmas and Smith, the Celtics roster now stands at 15. Danny Ainge's summer of making impressive moves could be over. However, he still has space to sign one more player to the roster before the start of training camp. A move that could ultimately have Christmas and Smith battling it out for the final roster spot for Opening Night of the 2012-2013 season.

UPDATE: Celtics Sign Keyon Dooling for the 16th roster spot

Josue Pavon

Monday, July 23, 2012

Celtics Sign Center Jason Collins

ESPN Boston reports that the Celtics will sign center Jason Collins to a one year deal for the veteran's minimum of $1.35 million.

After Celtics' free agent center Greg Stiemsma agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Minnesota Wolves, Celtics wasted no time in finding his replacement. At 7'0", Collins can rebound and will also be a valuable asset on the defensive end for the Celtics' bench. He completes the front court rotation and will help give KG the rest he'll need throughout the season. He's no Darko, but he'll fit in perfectly.

twitter: @joe_sway10

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lee Trade Amended…Portland Becomes Third Team

Sources say Portland became the third team to step up in the 11th hour and help the Celtics acquire highly sought after shooting guard Courtney Lee in a three way trade with Houston. After potential deals fell apart with New Orleans and Phoenix, Sasha Pavlovic will become a Blazer while JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Sean Williams and a 2013 second-round draft pick will all head to Houston. Johnson, Moore and Williams will earn a combined $2.7 Million next season and Pavlovic was signed to be included in the deal to increase Lee’s salary. According to the Boston Herald, Lee could earn just over $6 Million and make upwards of $26 Million over the life of the deal that is still being worked out but looks like will probably be in the ball park of four years. This was the type of trade Boston was looking for a week ago with Dallas, but they were not interested in anything the Celtics had to offer. Ironically enough the Mavs signed two-guard O.J. Mayo to a two year deal, another free agent on Danny’s wish list (Now we know why no trade was made). The contracts of Williams and Moore are non-guaranteed, so more than likely the Rockets will waive the newly acquired players to make room for other potential signings. While reports say Johnson has already requested to be traded, details are still developing on all parts of the deal. With the Celtics adding Lee (11.4 PPG, 3 RPG, 40% 3PT) into the mix without disrupting the core of the rotation, this offseason is turning out much better than what most people thought.

I think it’s fair to say until we knew exactly when Avery is coming back, the Celtics have found their starting two-guard while keeping Jason Terry in his primary role as the sixth-man. So far with the new additions this summer, that makes Pierce, KG and the JET as the only players over the age of 30 on the roster. Now who saying this team is “OLD”? It appears Ainge might be looking into one if not two more small signings before the start of training camp. Mickeal Pietrus and Keyon Dooling are still available and are very much open to returning to Boston, we will keep you posted on any new developments.

By Joel Pavón

Celtics Reloaded Pt.1: Ainge and Doc's Off Season Quest

Lets look back to June 9th, 2012. A night that could have changed the Boston Celtics franchise for the foreseeable future. The Celtics had just lost to the eventual World Champion Miami Heat squad in  game seven, capping off what was an epic playoff run.

Ainge and Doc have a lot to be happy about this off season
The story lines were endless. First off, Celtics players, fans, and ownership were trying to stomach a second straight playoff exit to the hated "Superfriends" that make up the Miami Heat roster. Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and a surprisingly affective Chris Bosh took down the wily old veterans that Boston had fallen in love with over the past five years. The league seemingly has moved on from the Celtics aging core and it would have been an easy choice to defend if Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers decided to blow it all up and start from scratch.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen were old. Pierce and Allen were showing their age with declining numbers, while Kevin Garnett seemed to be giving everything he had with a 'win one for the gipper' type post season. The immediate reaction after the loss from the Boston fan base was, "Thank You."

Thank you for saving the Celtics. Thank you for making basketball in Boston relevant again. Thank you for Banner 17. Thank you for the Big Three. Thank you for the memories. It was over. Year five of the three year plan seemed to come to a halt at the hands of a younger, more athletic, and so called 'hungrier' Heat team. It was the ceremonial torch passing to the new 'dynasty' in the Eastern Conference. 
However, people forgot one thing about the men running the Celtics. Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers were never elite in their playing days, but they did share one quality, relentlessness. 
Ainge and Rivers were not going to let this just die out. They were not going to let the Celtics fall into the dreaded "rebuilding period," which is a cardinal sin for any management group to even utter in Boston. (Just ask Theo Epstien about that bridge he wanted to build.)

No, for these two there is no quit. The Celtics showed something last year. They showed that the attitudes of the President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach were carrying on to the court. 
Rebuilding is not an option.  Reloading was the ONLY way to go.

Ray Who? The new BigThree.

So, Danny and Doc didn't waste any time resigning the team MVP of the 2012 postseason, Kevin Garnett, to a three year deal which when all is said and done will pay out 36 million to a man who made 21 million last season alone. Garnett, was the most important piece to this reloading process. If he decided to call it quits, which by all accounts he had plenty of reasons to do so, the Celtics' off season plans would have stalled from the get go.

Then there was Ray Allen, who respectfully, when ranking the big three, would be #3 on that list. Apparently, Ray had another agenda and didn't want to be a part of the reloading process. He  might have thought it was a wasted effort, a lot of people would agree. Building around a core of 35-37 year old's isn't the hottest trend going in the NBA right now. Instead, he joined the Miami Heat. A very interesting move by someone who fans, teammates (maybe other than Rondo), and coaches alike thought was all in on "UMBUTU" and all the things that made the Celtics such a likable bunch.  
This could have been a major setback for Doc and Ainge's plan to round the wagons and make another run, but Ainge basically said "Fine, we don't need you Ray, go for it well see you next June," when he didn't wait for a decision and signed a younger (barely) and more adaptable sharp shooter in Jason Terry.  With that signing, there were no ego's to deal with, no hard feelings, and no coddling needed. Terry has made a career coming off the bench and has proven that he can do it for a championship team.

So great, the Celtics were right were they left off last season an old bunch of vets, that wanted to prove that they could keep up with the young guns. But that wasn't going to cut it, as they learned the past two years. The NBA is developing into a young mans game and you need to run, or you will get left in the dust. Adapt or die, and that's just what the Celts brass did.

Ainge quickly resigned Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox, and Brandon Bass. Not only to beef up the middle, but creating a scenario for Doc to put in a smaller, faster, but powerful line up that they could put on the floor any time the game is slowing down.  There was one more player on Danny's radar.

Jeff Green, Jason Terry, Chris Wilcox, Brandon Bass at recent
Celtics Press Conference.
Courtney Lee would be perfect for this team. A 4 year veteran who has shown tough skin and a scoring touch. He's been able to 'get his' every time he's seen action and is not someone you need to worry about cowering in the spotlight. A successful sign and trade was put through yesterday, with the Celtics giving up those "rebuilding" pieces they wanted nothing to do with and sent them to Houston for a very valuable asset in Lee.

Enough credit cannot be give to Ainge and Rivers for working together and not giving up on the Celtics future Championship ambitions. They took a team that was looking at rebuilding, and if they went that route, in my mind; it would have been a ticking time bomb.  Pierce, most likely would have been traded at the deadline and could you imagine Rondo on a losing team? It's hard enough to control his emotions on a winning squad never mind him throwing picture perfect passes only for JuJuan Johnson to miss an open dunk.

So instead of thanking the Big Three for the  5 years of bliss they gave to Celtics fans, thank Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, and Celtics ownership for giving us a chance to get back to the promise land.

twitter: @Seandutra

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Update: Lee to Celtics

The deal for Courtney Lee seems to be all but finalized. According to CSNNE.com the deal brings Lee to the Celtics while sending E'twaun  Moore, JuJuan Johnson, Sean Williams, and a future second round pick.
The sign and trade has been rumored for weeks and it looks like the two sides were finally able to reach an agreement. Lee had stated before his desire to be with a winner such as the Celtics.
"I want to win," Lee said. "Everybody knows their record and what they've accomplished over the years, especially with Doc and having KG and Paul, Rondo's still there. That's a team I feel will win and continue to win. That's one factor in the decision."
Well Courtney, we want you to want to win so welcome aboard.

In the deal the Celtics do lose there entire 2011 Draft Class where the they drafted the two Purdue standouts Moore and Johnson.  Moore was lighting up the summer league, while Johnson still seemed to still be struggling adapting to the NBA game. 

The addition of Lee is going to be huge for the Celtics as it brings a veteran presence that can knock down the three and also finish at the rim. Look for Lee to assume the starting 2-guard role until Avery Bradley is healthy enough to asssume his position next to Rajon Rondo.

Celtics Acquire Courtney Lee

Yahoo!Sports reports that the Celtics have acquired guard, Courtney Lee via sign-and-trade with Houston. Rockets will receive forward JuJuan Johnson along and maybe other players, that will be named later. There has also been no word on the details of the contract. But either way this is great news for the C's! We will keep you posted as soon as we hear more information on the deal.

Josue Pavon

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Greg Stiemsma to Sign with Minnesota

According to reports the Minnesota Wolves are expected to sign center, Greg Stiemsma.

Stiemsma is a restricted free agent, meaning Boston has the right to match any offer for the center. However, Minnesota's offer might be out of range for the Celtics. Boston's qualifying offer was reported to be a little more than $1 million while Minnesota's offer will reportedly be $3 million for one season.

For a guy who was fighting his hardest to stay in the league, it's great to see Stiemsma earn a solid contract in the NBA even if it isn't with Boston. Going from D-League Defensive Player of the year to being compared to Bill Russell by commentator Tommy Heinsohn is an impressive leap. Stiemsma's shot blocking ability is something that will definitely keep him in the NBA. In a league where a championship team such as the Heat can win a title with no true center on their roster, it's no question why his stock rose.

There have also been reports that Minnesota is also looking into guard Courtney Lee. If they're able to pull it off, that would be two free agents that Minnesota grabbed from our reach this summer. Good thing they at least they had the common courtesy to let go of Darko for us to make a run at him.

twitter: @Joe_Sway10 

Highlights from Stiemsma's 6 block debut game against the Hornets:

Darko Milicic on Boston's Radar?

The Celtics are reportedly interested in one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history; Darko Milicic.

The Wolves amnestied Milicic earlier this week, making him an unrestricted free agent. Boston is one of three teams interested in signing him. Brooklyn and the LA Clippers are the other two teams, however there have been recent reports saying that the Celtics are frontrunners in the Darko sweepstakes.

Although Darko hasn't performed well at all throughout his career, there is still an upside in signing him. He's actually a center. At the moment the Celtics have no true centers under contract. Although bringing back Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox and Brandon Bass was big for the club we could still use a little more depth at the center position to relieve KG. In a league filled with not a lot of seven footers the Celtics could be picking Darko by default.

But here's a pro to battle the oh so many cons- We all know it's not going to be his offense that will help us, it will be his defense. Boston will look to grab as many big men as they can get for next season. As we saw last year with the Hollins signing (and with Mikki Moore a couple years ago), Doc likes to have a seven footer around. He actually had two this past season (Hollins & Stiemsma) and shit with a point guard like Rajon Rondo running the show, who can blame him?

Also with Stiemsma reportedly heading to Minnesota, we can't blame Danny for wanting to beef up the front line. Adding a seven-footer doesn't sound like such a bad idea, even if his name is Darko.

Josue Pavon

Friday, July 13, 2012

Celtics to Re-Sign Chris Wilcox

According to CSNNE.com‘s A. Sherrod Blakely reported that the Celtics have agreed to re-sign forward/center Chris Wilcox. Chris tweeted earlier in the day: “I’m definitely excited to be back,” Well at least someone understood and bought in to the to the Ubuntu philosophy unlike some who decided to take their talents to South Beach (See previous article…Good Riddance)  This bench is slowly coming into form!
Speaking of the bench Weei.com has reported that Danny Ainge is trying to work out a trade to acquire Jason Terry. If a Sign and trade can be worked out with Dallas, this would allow the Celtics to use their mid-level exception on another player like a Mayo or a Lee. It’s still unclear who would be involved from the Celtics’ end, but it would be interesting if they can pull it off. The Celtics need to stay under the $70.3 millon luxury tax line in order to get a greater return on the trade.

Joel Pavón

Good Riddance Mr.Shuttlesworth…

“They really wanted me to come back… We won a lot together in five years. … They were disappointed. Like I said, it’s a sad thing for me and my family because those are the relationships that we won’t have on a daily basis in our lives. But they’re still friends of mine forever.” -Allen
Cue the Green Day classic song here…but wait not so fast, lets actually remember exactly what has transpired here in Boston over the past week.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brooklyn Resigning Lopez Ends Trade Talks For Howard

With the Brooklyn Nets locking up Brook Lopez for four years and $61 million, it’s safe to say Dwight Howard’s wish of playing in Brooklyn next season isn’t going to come true.

New Magic general manager Rob Hennigan told the media that they plan on putting trade talks on hold as they search for their next head coach. I’m glad it took them mid-July to realize that a head coach of a team is more important than listening to your star player’s demands. Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov stated that he is very happy with his signed free agents this summer and that he has moved on from trying to acquire Dwight Howard. 

Lopez, who was a vital piece in the blockbuster deal for Dwight Howard, will be entering his fifth year with the club. He’s averaged 17 points and 8 rebounds a game throughout his career and will have a new teammate in all-star Joe Johnson. Lopez’ other all-star teammate, point guard Deron Williams' decision to stay with the team makes the Johnson/Williams backcourt duo one of the best in the league. 

Resigning forward Gerald Wallace also makes the Nets a deeper club. Guard Reggie Evans agreed to play in Brooklyn, and as of today there have been reports of a pending one year deal with Jerry Stackhouse. 

The Nets haven’t been to the playoffs since the 2006-07 season, but will ultimately change that this upcoming fall in their new Brooklyn home. Today, Prokhorov commented on how excited he is for this season:

“My congratulations and appreciation go out to general manager Billy King, assistant general manager Bobby Marks and head coach Avery Johnson for their tenacity, nerve and heart throughout this process. With the re-signing of Deron Williams and the trade for Joe Johnson, we go into our new home led by an All-Star backcourt and with every hope of a great season for the Brooklyn Nets. I can't wait until opening night.” Brooklyn General Manger, Mikhail Prokhorov

twitter: @joe_sway10

Celtics Bench to Get a Lift from the JET

In order for the Celtics take that next step to be a legitimate championship contender they needed to improve a few things from last years squad. The most glaring issue the Celtics had last year was the absence of a significant contribution from the bench. They desperately needed to solidify their bench production, which was abysmal last season throughout the entire post season.

In a perfect world, the Celtics would have been able to keep the Big Three intact and bring Ray Allen back to come off the bench. The big issue was with the emergence of Avery Bradley; there was no way that Allen would be a starter for the Green Team. For reasons unknown, the beloved #20 decided to do his best Jonny Damon/ Adam Vinateiri impression and took his talents to South Beach to join the hated Miami Heat.

So once Danny Ainge realized that they were losing their best chance of instant offense, he went and signed someone who has made a career on being that vital spark off the bench. Jason Terry signed with the Celtics and will be introduced Saturday at a press conference along with the other Celtics offseason additions.  

In the Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat in last years Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics injury depleted bench only mustered up an embarrassing TWO points off the bench.  Terry has been a defibulator his entire career, able to revitalize a team with his deadly three point shooting and energetic style of play. Terry has averaged 17.3 ppg over his 13-year career.  He has been coming off the bench for Dallas since 2008 and has still found a way to average over 15 ppg while only starting 67 games over the last five seasons. 

His impact on the team this year will be huge not only with his scoring touch but with his health and durability. For an aging star, he’s only missed 11 games over the past five years as well. Terry is also able to spell both guard positions, which will be huge as Avery Bradley is coming off of shoulder surgery.  

With the addition of Terry and resigning most of their players that were hitting the market, the Celtics rotation is now rounding into form. 

The starting rotation will be solid with Rondo and Bradley in the backcourt, which has the possibility to be the most exciting backcourt in the Eastern Conference. Pierce, Bass, and Garnett will fill out the frontcourt with the hope KG can hold down that center spot again, this time for a full 82 game season.

The bench will be vastly improved with the addition of Terry and the potentially game changing ability of Jeff Green to spell the 3/4 positions. Neither Ainge nor Doc can know what they are going to get from any of the unproven rookies and second year players but the depth is there. The Celtics will need to make a few more moves to finish up the roster but no one can argue against the moves they have made this far to return as a legitimate contender in a wide open Eastern Conference. 

-Sean Dutra
Follow Sean on Twitter @seandutra 

Celtics Eyeing John Lucas III

According to Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida, Celtics are one of six teams pursuing guard John Lucas III. Miami, Chicago, Minnesota, Washington and Toronto are all looking into signing Lucas as well as Boston.

Chicago’s recent signing of Kirk Hinrich may have a lot to do with Lucas looking elsewhere to play. He wouldn’t be a big upgrade from Dooling if the Celtics ultimately sign him. Lucas is a solid three point shooter like Dooling and a better ball handler than Keyon.

Lucas averaged eight points last season for the Bulls and shot 34 percent from behind the arc.

Free Agent Courtney Lee Interested In Celtics

Free agent guard Courtney Lee, recently confirmed reports that Boston is one of the teams pursuing his services. According to Lee, Boston is one of “more than eight teams” in talks of signing the free agent. While stopping by the Orlando Summer League, Courtney got a chance to chat with head coach, Doc Rivers.

“I would say our meeting (on Saturday) went well. As far as characterizing where I’m at with the team coach and player-wiser, we’re on the same page. It’s just my agent and their front-office guys have to talk and work something out. I have a great relationship with Doc, from the first time I stepped on an NBA court,” said Lee. 

Although Allen’s departure frees up cap space for Boston, the Celtics cannot simply take the 2yr/$6 million offered to Allen and offer it to Lee or any other free agent. Celtics were only able to do that for Allen because of their Bird rights to Allen. 

Unless Celtics can somehow pull a sign and trade deal with Houston, the Celtics can only offer him a 2yr/$4.1 million deal with the biannual exception. Lee would take a bit of a pay decrease if he were to accept this contract from Boston. Last season he earned $2.3 million. Lee averaged 11.4 points and hit 40 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Josue Pavon