Friday, June 28, 2013

Celtics Trade Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn

The day that has been looming over Celtics fans has finally arrived. After 15 amazing years Paul Pierce is no longer a Celtic.

Late last night the C's moved Pierce, Jason Terry, and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets. In return the Celtics will get a package of good NBA players, including Marshon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, Gerald Wallace and three first round picks in '14, '16, and '18.

The return at this point is just more than I think the Celtics expected to receive back and you have to hand it to Danny, he got A TON in return for 3 aging players. I'm really excited about Marshon Brooks and those three first round picks.

On the other hand it is absolutely crushing to see the heart and soul of the Celtics leaving Boston. This is one of the days were you realize being a big fan of your local teams and players is a cruel trade. Business will trump loyalty every time.

Stay tuned here for wall to wall coverage on this trade and the rebuilding process that is under way in Boston.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ainge: Doc 'chose to go'

While admitting that he never thought it would happen, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon that Doc Rivers chose to leave Boston to coach the Los Angeles Clippers.

After a week of speculation, the NBA officially approved the Clippers-Celtics deal Monday afternoon. Rivers will head to the Clippers while the Celtics receive a 2015 first-round draft pick. Rivers will sign a three-year, $21 million deal.

Ainge thanked his former coach for his service for the Celtics but expressed his disappointment about Rivers' decision to leave the Celtics.
"My feelings are: I had planned on Doc being our coach all along. We had discussions about him being a Gregg Popovich, a Jerry Sloan, a Red Auerbach - breaking Red Auerbach's all-time win record as a Celtic and being here for a long time - so I never really thought about this day until May 8," Ainge said. 
On May 8, Ainge approached Rivers about coaching the Celtics next season  and Rivers asked Ainge what his options were. Weeks later, an uncertain Rivers expressed his interest in coaching the Clippers.
"Even then, it was so early after the season, I didn't think it was really going to happen until [Monday]," Ainge said. "We really never were close to a deal with the Clippers in spite of the reports, so I think that this is part of the business. I don't want to get too emotional. Doc's going to a great situation - a place he chose to go and a place he wants to be. It's not a place that I chose for him to go or a place that I want him to be."

Ainge is still uncertain about what will happen with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but the president of basketball operations commented on the possibility of a potential rebuild that could take place this summer.
"I've been geared up for it and I'm ready," Ainge said. "I'm anxious to go through the process. We don't know when that's going to happen, if it's going to happen this summer, or if that's going to happen next summer. We've been ready. We're going to gear up for that possibility."
Rivers stressed to Ainge that beyond the rebuilding as the main reason for his decision, he felt like the Celtics needed a change and hinted that he was starting to lose his grasp on the locker room with his players.
"Doc felt that a change would be good for our current players," said Ainge. "That maybe a new voice would be better."
Celtics organization have not started looking for a new coach, but when asked about the next Celtics coach Ainge indicated that coach Rivers is in fact 'replaceable.'

Josue Pavon

Friday, June 21, 2013

Doc Rivers and the Celtics Have Reached the Point of No Return

The on again - off again Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett trade between the Celtics and Clippers seems to be on life support for the second time in a week. You can look at this blockbuster trade rumor in a number of different ways. It certainly would help both teams if it goes through, but the road blocks in this deal may have seriously damaged both sides.

If the you're the Clippers, you're at a make or break time with your franchise. You are relevant for the first time in decades, but the main reason why you are having your new found success, Chris Paul, is an impending free agent. If he walks your right back to number 8 in the Los Angeles sports market. That's right 8th. If Chris Paul leaves the Clippers would most certainly behind the Lakers, Dodgers, Angels, Kings, Sparks, Galaxy, and whatever rumored NFL franchise is moving to L.A this week. Yep, right behind a team that doesn't exist.

So wouldn't you do everything you can to keep that player who means so much to your franchise? Wouldn't you jump at the chance to get the best coach in the Eastern Conference and a perennial all star and future hall of famer in Kevin Garnett? Well as long as you don't lose a key piece off your roster, right?

Well insert Donald Sterling here. Now, don't forget this is the worst owner in all of sports, never mind the NBA. He makes Jeffery Loria of the Miami Marlins look like George Steinbrenner.

This is the same guy that traded an unprotected first round draft pick for Mo Williams. Great trade, since the return from that draft pick, that for some reason they didn't Top 10 protect, turned into some chump named Kyrie Irving. And thats just his inepititude to run a pro basketball team, not even going to get into the lawsuits that are piling up against him. 

Yeah, so keep that in perspective, you're dealing with a MORON, A DESPICABLE RACIST MORON.

But c'mon if you can improve your team right now, and it's obvious you need to improve your team, the guy cant be that stupid right? Well, you guessed it wrong.

I can see not wanting to part ways with Eric Bledsoe, who the Celtics have coveted for going on a year now. Even though he is the backup of the guy you would actually make the trade to please. But, I get it, good young talent is hard to find. The Celtics are only asking for DeAndre Jordan and two first round draft picks now, for a future HOF Power Forward, and a franchise changing coach. Too good to be true if you are the Clippers.

L.A. gives up a guy who was in the doghouse last year because of his ineffectiveness on the offensive end, lack of consistency, awful free throw shooting, and had a knack of picking up bad fouls. Yes, Jordan is a good, young center with size and athleticism, but you are paying him alooooot of money over the next year.

You also have to give up two first round picks, but again who cares? You're building a team for a championship right now, and this trade will improve your roster, and convince Chris Paul to sign. It's a no brainer.

Again, the genius Donald Sterling is so much smarter than everyone else, he stalls, and vetoes the trade.
A typical Sterling move. My main question is what the heck is Danny Ainge thinking trying to deal with this guy. Maybe if he keeps asking, Sterling will say yes and include Bledsoe??? I'm not ruling anything out, this Sterling is a maniac.

And on the flip side, if the trade goes through the Celtics would get something out Doc and KG. This would jump start a much needed rebuilding process. It's tough to think about a Celtics team minus it's heart and soul, KG, and mastermind behind it all in Doc, but the writing is on the wall.

The major downfall about this whole mess of a trade scenario, is what happens if it doesn't go through.  It would be extremely awkward. Doc has been pretty mum on the issue that he could be out the door, and has never committed to the Celtics since the end of the season. He's big timing the Celtics right now. Doc would have to go back to coaching a team, that by his actions has made very clear, he does not think have a legitimate chance to win. If he thought that they did he wouldn't be trying to sneak out the back door, and out of the remainder of his five-year deal. 

Doc can't come back now. All of this talk has not been ignored by Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger , Avery Bradley, and Rajon Rondo. The core of the team moving forward, assuming Pierce and Garnett are no longer with the team.  They have a coach who over the years they have done everything for, now he's not showing the same respect back. Doc's given up on the Celtics young talent and it's obvious.

Not only that but other teams will come out of the wood work knowing that the Celtics are desperate. Ainge will have to decide whether to just deal to the next suitor to end the situation and get something, even if it is not market value. The trade with the Clippers makes sense, both teams would be happy but now its an extremely ugly situation.

So there is a scheduled press conference for noon today. I don't know what Doc can say at this point. Right now the deal is rumored off, or stalled, or whatever, but the damage has been done.  The Celtics and Doc Rivers have reached the point of no return.

-Sean Dutra
@seandutra on twitter

Monday, June 17, 2013

Celtics-Clippers trade talks involving Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett stall

The Celtics and Clippers have reached a stalemate on a potential deal that would send Kevin Garnett along with the rights to hire coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles in exchange for two first-round draft picks and center DeAndre Jordan.

According to reports, Celtics are interested in Clippers' guard Eric Bledsoe but Clippers do not want to let him go. And Danny Ainge won't pull the trigger on the deal without the young guard included.

Garnett reportedly is willing to waive his no-trade clause to play in Los Angeles only if he'll be reunited with Rivers. There has also been reports that if the Celtics decide to waive Paul Pierce before June 30, that he will also reunite with coach Rivers alongside Garnett.

There's been speculation that the reason Clippers won't include Bledsoe in the trade for Garnett and Rivers is because they have plans to deal him elsewhere. But NBA executives said that a rumored sign-and-trade deal between Clippers and Lakers that would include Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe is not going to happen.

Experts believe that such a move for will help persuade free agent all-star guard, Chris Paul to stay in LA.

NBA executives also said that Danny Ainge told Rivers that talks had stalled between the two teams, and that Rivers said he was prepared to return to the Celtics. However, conflicting reports say that talks will resume shortly between both sides to see if a deal can be worked out.

It's clear that Rivers not only flirted with the idea of coaching the Clips; he gave them his consent. If Ainge decides to kill all trade talks and bring Rivers back for another season to coach the Celtics, will all be forgiven? Or has Doc and the Celtics reached the point of no return?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Celtics Rumors: Doc contemplating leaving Celtics

According to an NBA front office source along with other reporters around the NBA, Doc Rivers has given indications that he might be ready move on from coaching in Boston. When asked if he was planning on returning to Boston by the Boston Globe, Rivers responded by saying, "I rather not say."

ESPN's Chris Broussard reported earlier this week that Doc Rivers believes "it may be time for a change," according to a source close to the team. "Doc loves coaching," the source told ESPN. But there's a good chance he may be coaching elsewhere next season if the Celtics are willing to cut ties with veteran coach.

As the June 30 deadline quickly approaches, Ainge has to be leaning towards one side more than the other. Celtics have two weeks to decide if they want to bring Paul Pierce back for another season under $15 million, trade him or let him walk.

Ainge's decision on what to do with Pierce will ultimately determine Kevin Garnett and Rivers' fate in Boston. Garnett has hinted in the past that he hopes to retire a Celtic alongside Pierce and can't imagine not playing the rest of his career next to the future hall-of-famer, so it wouldn't be a surprise if Garnett decided to retire.

In the past, Doc has gone on record to say that he doesn't want to coach a rebuilding team again and that those days are behind him. We all know how much suffering he went through from 2004-2007, a stretch that included a 18-game losing streak, first-round playoff exits and lots of frustration for Doc.

If Doc is seriously considering stepping down as coach of the Celtics, one has to assume that Ainge is leaning towards letting Pierce walk one way or another and will take the first steps into rebuilding his team for next season. Why else would Doc consider leaving? Or at least deny these rumors?

Either way, Ainge isn't going to let Doc walk way without a fight. Rivers is still under contract for another three seasons in Boston, which gives Ainge the right to decline any interview offers that come in for Rivers. Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett reported late Thursday night that the Celtics have denied the Clippers permission to speak to Rivers about a coaching job.

For those Celtics fans out there hoping for one more run with Pierce and Garnett, one possible explanation for these rumors could be Rivers baiting Ainge to bring the band back together for one last final (seriously though, the very last) run.

It wouldn't shock Celtics Nation if Rivers actually does want to give it one final shot with his healthy point guard, Rajon Rondo alongside Pierce and Garnett. But if these reports are true and Doc is seriously considering walking out then it could be the biggest telling sign that Ainge is bringing the Big 3 Era to a close once and for all.

Josue Pavon

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Celtics Mock Draft Room Pt. III : Finding a Cure for the Rebounding Plauge

It's no secret. The Boston Celtics most glaring weakness over the past few years has been a lack of rebounding.  The stats are alarming. (Read the following at your own risk)

2009- 2010: Total Rebounds - 3165 (29th)  Offensive Rebounds -716 (30th)
2010- 2011: TRB- 3181 (29th)  ORB - 639 (30th)
2011- 2012  TRB-  2560 (30th)  ORB- 509 (30th)
2012- 2013 TRB-  3187 (29th)  ORB- 654 (30th)


The rebounding deficiencies of this team haven't necessarily translated in to sub-par seasons. In 2009 when they finished second to last in total rebounding and last in offensive rebounding, they were within eight minutes of an NBA Championship. Since that day, and the largely criticized Kendrick Perkins trade months afterward, the Celtics have started to see just how a lack of rebounding can negatively effect your season.

So there is no question the need is there, but there is the question is whether the C's will address this need in the upcoming draft. Last year, Danny Ainge did do just that, drafting Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. Sullinger seems to be panning out into exactly the player they need minus the injury concerns, but the jury is still out on the Fab Melo, as he spent most of the season in the D-League.

If the Celtics do go the route of a big man in the draft, they need to go with someone who has the potential to contribute right away. The rebounding plague that haunts this team is not going to cure itself, and they cannot afford to wait three years for a big man to mature.

Whatever way the Celtics decide to go, the fact is the draft is deep with size, and there should be a few 7-footers available for the Celtics at 16, lets take a look.

Mason Plumlee : Duke 6'11" 240 lbs  Senior
2012 Stats: 17 ppg 10 rpg 1.4 bpg

Duke has always produced successful big men to the NBA level. Is Plumlee the next in line?

He was extremely consistent over his four years of playing for Coach K.  Plumlee
is stocked with pure athleticism. He also has no problem mixing it up down low and has a knack for getting those tough rebounds.

His offensive game is pretty basic.  He has a decent mid range jumper, but can certainly dunk the ball and is consistently there for put backs. Defensively, he has solid size and intangibles that would really fit the Celtics needs down low.

His brother Miles, is currently on the Pacers and really struggled to get into any games this season. Mason is projected to be a more impact player.

Likelihood Mason Plumlee will be available at 16: Chances are good here. Plumlee has been projected  in the late lottery. If a few picks go the other way he could be available for the Celtics who sit just outside the Lottery at 16.

NBA Comparison - Well his brother Miles would be a pretty accurate comparison seeing as they have the  same Plumlee blood flowing through their veins, but Mason is a lot more talented. I would say his ceiling would be a David West type guy, a lot of grit and athleticism.

Gorgui Dieng  Louisville  6'11" 230  Junior
9.8ppg 9.4 rpg 2.5 bpg

Dieng, a key piece to the Louisville National Championship run this year,  is probably the best NBA prospect from the top college team in the country.

He is a beast in the paint and has shown significant improvements over his 3 seasons playing in the Big East. 

Dieng has the potential to be a defensive force in the NBA. He is long and has shown the natural instinct to be a professional shot blocker.  As a sophomore he was averaging 3.3 blocks per game, and 2.8 as a junior.

The Celtics could use a guy who will fill the gap for the inevitable retirement of Kevin Garnett over the next few years. Dieng is not KG in the least bit offensively or as a leader, but the defense and rebounding he could bring to the table would help replace that portion of his game. Plus, the thought of Sullinger and Dieng, or Plumlee for that matter,  as the future of the front court would certainly help the major rebounding need for the C's

Likelihood of Gorgui Dieng being available: High.  Dieng is valued at a mid to low first round pick. There are a lot of big men who look to be projects with a higher ceiling that will probably be taken off the board prior. You get what you see with this guy and will be ready to contribute right away.

NBA Comparison :  Festus Ezuli. Reminds me a lot of the rookie from last year who was able to truly make his name on the Warriors this year with his presence down low.

This draft is full of 7-footers with a lot of potential. After drafting Fab Melo last year, it would be wise for the Celtics to stay away from any projects. Including the likes of Lucas Nogueira , Rudy Gobert, or Steven Adams. They may turn out to be better players than Dieng and Plumlee but from all accounts are 2-3 years away, plus Fab Melo all ready has the D-League center spot wrapped up.

-Sean Dutra

@seandutra on twitter