It does seem that Danny has gone from trying to build from the ground up to trying to win now. He is talking more about trying to bring in another star to team with Pierce. He is talking about "winners and losers" among our kids and not being able to develop them all because of playing time. So I expect him to pull the trigger sending some of them out for a star player, whether it is Iverson, Boozer, Gooden or someone not even mentioned in rumors. Signing Ray and Powe says to me that he may be moving West, Allen, Gomes, Green, or Jefferson since the two new players could fill the spot vacated by any of them. Although it seems he is trying to pull off a trade without having to part with Green or Jefferson. Gomes probably has the most trade value following his play last year and in summer league. I would hate to see him go though.
Reynolds does make a very good point about teams that keep changing pieces not having the chemistry necessary to win consistently. We had a big trade mid year last season and the players never really got to build chemistry because Wally was injured almost immediately. He did seem to fit in very well though. I personally think we need to give this group a chance to mesh and gel and play this season to see what they can do without all the injuries and a trade mid year. I fully expect Danny to pull off a big trade though because of bringing in more young players. We didn't have a pick but he went out of his way to draft 2 more players as well as to sign an undrafted free agent. I can't help but feel that he is replacing players that he plans to trade.
The Celtics just re-upped Paul Pierce to a contract that figures to keep him in green for five more years, a visible statement that Pierce has become the signature face of this franchise one year after the Celtics were trying to peddle him.
This also follows the well-publicized pursuit of Allen Iverson.
So what's the larger message?
The Celtics are trying to win.
Not in some undetermined future. Not off in some hazy distance somewhere.
I really like this kid. He is so strong playing under the basket and seems like a genuinely nice kid. I really think he is going to be a good player. He has a knack for rebounding and after all he has been through in his life, he is a tough kid. I am watching him in the SL game and he has some really nice moves underneath and is impossible to move when he gets position. You have to pull for a guy like this!!!
``It's a relief,'' Powe said. ``All the things I went through in the past, overcoming knee surgeries, everything that went on during draft night, it shows it all paid off. All my life I've had to prove myself, and this is no different.''
Powe, who always has relished the opportunity to be a role model for troubled Oakland youth, said that is still more important than the amount of money he might make in the pros.
``It's about helping kids,'' Powe said. ``I want kids to see that they can do it, too. I just want to give back. I haven't really thought too much about the money.'' More] source: Contra Costa Times
Don't miss Celtics Summer League action tonight on NBA TV. The game is scheduled to air from 7-9 Eastern Time and again from 1am to 3 am Eastern Time. This one was a very hotly contested game from start to finish so it should be a good one to watch.
Ainge admits he doesn't know if he can bring Iverson here. That means that the talks must be completely stalled. (Unless it is a smokescreen). Pierce mentioned Boozer and Mo Pete as players who could realistically be brought in. I know that Danny is going to keep working on bringing in another star, but I hope he continues to stick to his guns that we aren't going to give away the future to win a couple more games now. Now that Pierce is wrapped up, he won't need to feel he has to make a deal to get him to stay and that is a good thing.
``With the [possible deal] for Allen Iverson, he straight-up said, `Paul, I really don't know if we're going to get Allen Iverson, but the one thing I can say is we're working hard to bring someone here to help you and to help this ballclub become better.' I believe him. I don't think they would have made this commitment to me if they weren't trying to help this team be a winner. If they didn't want to re-sign me, then they were going in a different direction. By making this commitment to me, I think they're making a commitment to be a contending team in these next five years."
Neither Ainge nor Pierce knows where that help will come from or if it will arrive before the start of next season. But recognizing the importance of the chemistry between Pierce and any additions, Ainge promised to keep the captain informed of major personnel moves and solicit his opinion on players. When asked for names of players who might be realistic acquisitions, Pierce mentioned Carlos Boozer and Morris Peterson. As the offseason progresses, Pierce trusts Ainge will come up with intriguing deals and keep him up to date. More] source: Globe
Pierce has finally set the date for his surgery. Glad he is having it done now instead of hoping that it will be ok next season without the surgery. Pierce is a very tough player...He was stabbed and almost killed and was back out shooting a couple weeks later... He also played a game after sitting in the dentist's chair for 8 hours getting his teeth put back in that someone knocked loose the night before. I have no doubt he will be ready for training camp.
The article also quotes Ainge as saying that the next step is surrounding Pierce with players who can help bring a championship to Boston. I think he has done that and I would love to see him stand pat and see what this group can do but this gives me the feeling that he will be making at least one big trade before the season to bring a veteran in. I just hope it's a big and not Iverson.
WALTHAM-It was all smiles and cautious optimism as the Celtics officially announced the signing of Paul Pierce to a three-year, $59 million extension at a press conference today.
Pierce grinned through the whole affair, even as he announced plans to have surgery on his left elbow Aug. 1. Team physician Dr. Brian McKeon will clean out the area in minor procedure set to take place in Boston. After approximately two weeks to three weeks of recovery and rehab, Pierce expects to be back on the court and more than ready to go when training camp starts in October.
I believe that Danny is on the way to building a championship team in Boston as long as he doesn't get impatient and trade our young guys off before we know what they can really accomplish. I loved that quote from Doc. Too many players go all over the league from team to team trying to land on a championship team. I think Pierce is willing to stay in Boston and build one here... Hopefully Danny and Doc will do their part to complete that team around him.
--WALTHAM - A year ago, Paul Pierce was at the crossroads, and it didn't look like any of them would lead him back to Boston.
Fast forward to July 18, 2006; a few hours ago, he was crossing the T's and dotting the I's on a five-year contract extension to be the leader in Boston.
--"Last summer was my longest summer," said Pierce moments after his press conference to talk about the contract extension. "There were a lot questions about my future, and a lot of contemplating if this was the right place for me. But as that summer grew on, I knew I wanted to be here, I knew I wanted to change things on my own with my attitude and my play."
--But it seems like Pierce has embraced the leadership role and enjoys the challenge of bringing the Celtics to the championship level. Rivers is especially pleased that Pierce didn't just look for the easy way out.
"I'm so tired of all of these guys around the league saying, 'I wanna win, I want to go to a championship team.' If you're that good, stay in your place and make it a championship team," said Rivers. "I think Paul is saying that he's willing to take that chance. Paul has held up his end of the bargain, now we have to try to hold up ours."
Pierce sounds really happy to be here and he also sounds excited about the young guys on the team. He wants to build on his career year last year and be even better this year. I agree with Pierce that this team will be even better with no other moves. These kids are all working hard and improving and with the addition of 2 pure points we should be a different team. It sounds like Pierce is very much looking forward to playing with this group.
The ink on the new contract as barely dry, but Paul Pierce is already fired up about the upcoming season and renewing his commitment to the Celtics for the next five years. We caught up with The Truth for an exclusive one-on-one interview for Celtics.com just minutes after his press conference. Here's what The Captain had to say about his new deal and future with the Celtics. The contract is signed; you've already heard the same questions over and over. But how does it feel?
"This is a dream come true, man. It's another opportunity to add to my legacy with the Celtics and also add to my commitment, like I've said all along, to me being here the rest of my career."
You've had quite a few ups and downs over the years with the Celtics, from the Eastern Conference Finals run, to the first round exit in 2004, and even going back to the nightclub incident. How far have you come to get to this point?
"I'm just thankful to be in this position, to say that I've committed to the Celtics my whole career. You know, I didn't know what was going to happen last summer. There were a lot of trade rumors going around, and the way the season ended, people didn't think I'd be here last season. So that just shows you that when you change your attitude and turn it around that anything can happen.
"I showed the team my commitment, and I think that's never been a question for me, my dedication and my commitment. When you have a long relationship like that, you're going to have your ups and downs. That's part of life. But we've been able to turn things around and make it a more positive environment and everybody's happy with where we're going."
Talk about that direction. It's a young team, and it's already changed quite a bit since the draft. Do you feel like the team has already gotten better than it was at the end of last year?
"We're going to be better next year just with the fact that we've got guys that have been working all summer to improve, including myself. We had a great draft, [Rajon] Rondo played great in the Summer League, and we added Telfair to the mix. So it pretty much changes the look of our team.
"I think we're definitely going to be a playoff team this year, and I'm excited about playing with these guys and watching them grow."
Hmmm no headbands in Utah. I am afraid that if Doc tried to institute a rule like that in Boston there would be mass mutiny. Or maybe next year Doc will tell Gerald that he has to wear his headband like a "normal" player. Or how about in Indy where Stephen Jackson wears so many sweat bands that he looks like a human barber pole. I don't get the problem with players wearing sweat bands but I guess Sloan has a reason for them not wearing them. As long as they produce out on the court, I am fine with it... even the way Gerald wears them...
All three of the Utah Jazz's draft picks participating in the Rocky Mountain Revue - Ronnie Brewer, Dee Brown and Paul Millsap - wore headbands in college. Will they be allowed to continue the practice in the NBA? "Not unless I get fired,” said a smiling Jerry Sloan. Now 63 years old and entering his 19th season as the Jazz's head coach, Sloan is known for insisting that his players respect the game and obey some old-school rules. Among other things, Jazz players are required to wear their jerseys tucked into their shorts. Headbands are also prohibited. No exceptions. Brown has been wearing a headband "ever since high school. I'm a sweater, you know, and I didn't like the sweat getting in my eyes.” In Friday night's Rocky Mountain Revue, however, Brown played without a headband for the first time in years. "That's the rule Coach Sloan has,” he said. "You can't argue with it. So I'll make the adjustment.” As soon as the Jazz used the 14th pick in the draft on Brewer, he knew his headband days were numbered. "After talking to some people, I knew that wasn't going to slide here,” he said. "But it's not a problem. I'm still in the NBA.” More] source: Salt Lake Tribune
I love Perk. Center is the hardest position to fill, especially with a very good one. Perk came to the Celtics directly from high school and proceeded to work about as hard as any player I have ever seen to remake his body and to become an NBA level center. He is a monster under the basket and last season, even battled Shaq pretty evenly for position. All of this development came with very little playing time. His first year, he only played in 10 games and averaged 3.5 minutes but yet in those sparce minutes came up with 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. His second year wasn't much better in that he played only 9 minutes a game and averaged 2.5 ppg and almost 3 rpg. Last year, the first part of the year, he got very little playing time while Doc showcased Blount for the world to see. When he finally did get consistent minutes and was showing some great play, he injured his shoulder. He averaged only 19 minutes per game but averaged 5.2 ppg, almost 6 rpg and 1.6 blocks. He has made steady progress in spite of getting limited playing time. This year, Perk has Clifford Ray to mentor him and should be getting regular playing time and I expect big things from him. Danny better get the extension done soon or Perk will be able to ask whatever he wants. Big men get big contracts. And good big men like Perk can pretty much ask what they want. Danny will be very sorry if he lets Perk get away from him.
On the day the Celtics officially announced Paul Pierce’s three-year contract extension, there’s room to wonder whether Kendrick Perkins will be next to get a longer-term deal.
Perkins won’t be in nearly the same financial neighborhood as Pierce, who will play for $15,101,625 this season and $16,360,094 the next before an additional $59,387,127 goes his way over the ensuing three years. Pierce holds an option for the last season, 2010-11. In cutting the new deal, he passed up a similar option that would have kicked in next summer.
The extension also includes an altered payment schedule that will give him a larger percentage of his money sooner in the season, improving the contract’s actual cash value.
Perkins, meanwhile, has one season left on his rookie contract, but if he plays the type of minutes that are expected, he’ll be somewhat of a bargain at $1,689,409. The Celtics won’t necessarily lose him at the end of the year - he’ll be a restricted free agent - but the club has discussed signing him to a longer-term agreement nevertheless.
According to sources, director of basketball operations Danny Ainge has spoken with Perkins’ rep to see if a deal exists that would give Perkins security while retaining some flexibility for the Celts.
Ainge declined to discuss the matter in detail yesterday, saying only, “We like Kendrick. We hope he stays with the Boston Celtics.” More] source:
This is an excellent article. It is long but well worth the read. I have been saying the same thing but this article lays it all out in very clear and straight forward terms. We need to be patient and let our kids develop for at least another year. Right now we have no idea what these kids can become. We need to give them another year to play together. Last year just isn't a good gauge of what this team can do (see my article from earlier today). Just as I said in the article I wrote earlier, in a year, Green, Gomes, Powe, West, Telfair, Rondo, Perk, Big Al, Tony and Allan may just prove that we don't need another star and trading any one of them may be a huge mistake. And in case you were wondering -- Interregnum: the time during which a throne is vacant between two successive reigns or regimes. Let's hope it is just about over.
The Long Interregnum: The Celtics Entering Year IV AD (After Danny) The Celtics are now entering the dark ages for being an NBA basketball fan: the period from the end of the summer leagues and major free agent signings to the opening of training camp in October. This is the period in which Danny and Doc take their vacations, the paltry Boston press coverage of the team is pushed behind coverage of Australian mud wrestling and Malaysian motocross racing, and the sport seemingly goes into hibernation. This year fans will scour the web daily for any indications of blockbuster deals for the likes of Allen Iverson or Drew Gooden, but, as I argue below, let’s hope none of these trades actually occur. Let’s hope Danny spends much of the next ten weeks with his grandchildren and on the links, and restricts his scouting to working on his files for upcoming college drafts. This team is not ready to contend for flag 17 quite yet, and needs at least a year to develop the young core before it will be time to enter the trade market in a significant way. More] source: RealGM/Elrod Enchilada
Lucky, the Celtics' Mascot is in China for the next 2 weeks, performing for NBA China. Celtics.com is sharing his adventures with us.
Hello Celtics fans, this is your favorite New England mascot here... Lucky the Leprechaun! After spending a few months resting up after a long season, I'm happy to report that I'm back in action. I'm writing to you from Shenyang, China. I've been asked to perform at several events for NBA China and I thought it would be fun to document my trip for those of you who have never been 'lucky' enough to see the sites of China first-hand.
The more I think about it and the more I hear, I think we need to wait a year to make any more major moves. There doesn't seem to be many stars out there for Ainge to bring in this year. There is Iverson but we don't need another guard, let alone one with enough baggage for an entourage. There is Gooden but he is asking too much. He wants 60 million over 6 years and I don't think he is worth that kind of contract and we would have to give up a couple of very promising players to get him. His effort has been suspect and he is not a very good defensive player. The The Morning Journal mentions that they are asking for West and/or Gomes or Ratliff in a sign and trade. There doesn't seem to be any other veteran players who could really help us available.
KG isn't available this year. McHale has said over and over again that KG isn't going anywhere and KG has said he wants to give Minny another year to build around him. According to Hoopshype, KG will be able to opt out of his contract after this season. It will be possible that he will want out of Minny after this year or that they will be ready to trade him and rebuild. I would much rather wait for a chance at getting KG than taking either Iverson or Gooden.
Bird has said over and over that O'Neal isn't available this year. But I think that especially with Peja packing up and leaving them with nothing from the Artest trade, I think Larry may be ready to re-tool and will trade O'Neal who will have the most trade value on the team. He may even try to trade him at the trade deadline this year. I would much rather have O'Neal than Iverson or Gooden.
Finally, if we wait until next year to pull the trigger on a big trade it will give us a chance to evaluate the players we have on our team. Last year was not an indication of what this team can do. We had injuries to key players all year long. Al's ankles, Perk's shoulders, West's groin, Wally's knees, Dickau's achilles, Tony's knees, and Pierce's elbow all kept the team from playing as they could have if all were healthy. Although, some of the injuries were blessings in disguise as they gave players like Gerald Green and Ryan Gomes a chance to prove that they could play.
Doc was playing Blount big minutes to showcase him for a trade while keeping players like Perk and Gomes on the bench. Then there was the big trade mid year and the chemistry had to build all over again. New players had to be incorporated and it was as if the team was going back to trading camp, although Wally did fit the team very well and seemed to mesh with Pierce right away. However, his knee injury kept him from showing us what he could really do.
We lost an astounding 24 games by 5 points or less. Many of those were by 2 points or less. In my opinion losing that many close games was partly due to youth and inexperience and partly due to coaching errors. Hopefully Doc will learn from his mistakes and do better this year and our youth have another year's experience under their belts and I doubt they make the same kind of mistakes this year. All have been working hard in the off season and I think we will be surprised at how much better they are.
We didn't have a true point guard last year. Delonte did a great job but he isn't a true point. He was learning the position on the job and did as well as anyone could have expected, but there is a big difference between a player learning to play the point and a true point guard. We now have 2 very quick true point guards who can push the ball up the floor and can without a doubt find the open man. That will make a huge difference in the team and the play of everyone else around them.
I say that we need to stay with what we have now and see how they play together. We will know more of what we have and will be less likely to trade away that gem who will become a perennial all star as we have in the past.
Danny hinted that he likes every player on this team. He said that he doesn't feel he needs to make a move and then on the other hand he says he isn't done dealing. I sure hope he gives this team a chance and next year when JO and KG may be available, it will be more evident who we need to keep and who we can afford to trade. Who knows, by that time, Al and Perk may have proven that we don't need a JO or a KG... We have Clifford Ray to develop our bigs and I think that will pay big dividends. By next year, Telfair, Rondo, or Green may be playing so well we won't need to trade for that All Star to play along side Pierce.
So let's wait and give these kids a chance ... or we may end up being very sorry when JO and KG are available and we have traded our chips away for way less. Or even worse, we will be sorry when the young players we give up make us pay time after time long after the player we traded them for is gone.
Today the buzz is about Peter May's article in the Globe titled "Truth Is Pierce's Deal Could Have Waited." Boston Sports Media Watch has a good look at how ludicrous Peter May's article actually is. In it they also have a good email from Bill Simmons who calls May "a middle-aged white guy who openly dislikes the sport and can't relate with most of the players." Jeff Clark also takes a look at it on True Hoop. It is bad enough that we know that for the next couple months, barring a major blockbuster trade, finding Celtics coverage anywhere will be very hard. But then to realize that the lead sports writer for the Globe is a complete joke, it really does make it hard for us Greeniacs to spend the off season.
In his article Peter May says, "I understand this is a contrarian line of thinking, but I also can't fathom why the Celtics were so eager to get this done. Why not wait another year, see where the team is going, see how Pierce responds, and go from there."
Peter May doesn't seem to have a clue that Pierce could have opted out after this next year. And it is obvious that the Globe doesn't screen its articles in that they let May's article go even though it was based on an entirely false premise. If we waited two years to sign Pierce, as May wants us to, he may have taken that to mean that the Celtics weren't really serious about keeping him and try to sign with a contender, who would accept him without a doubt with open arms. Danny wanted to be sure we don't lose him for nothing and to avoid the distractions that would have certainly surrounded Pierce this year without the extension in place. That truly would have been bad business for the Celtics.
I lost all respect for Peter May when he went on his all out attack on Ricky Davis. I loved Ricky and feel he gave everything he could to the Celtics and was a great player for us both on and off the court. But for some reason, May took it on himself to attack Ricky at every turn for no reason at all. He launched an attack to try to prevent Ricky from being the sixth man in a year that he truly deserved it. Peter May is not a nice man and now, I am happy to see that the media and fans can realize what a joke he really is as a sports writer. He truly doesn't have a clue.
[More] source: Boston Sports Media, True Hoop, and The Globe
In this article about Summer League and our newest players, Gomes is very positive about what he saw from playing with Telfair and Rondo. He is excited about playing with quick point guards who can find the open man. Delonte did great last year learning a new position and playing it well but you can't beat a pure point who can push the ball up the floor. West playing at the 2 with either Telfair or Rondo can only be better this year and can run the team if we need him to. It just makes us that much more versatile.
Telfair, the subject of an acclaimed documentary film and book before he even turned pro out of Lincoln High in 2004, has yet to live up to the hype with which he entered the league, but Gomes can see why he's so highly thought of by Boston decisionmaker Danny Ainge.
"I like him a lot. I like him a real lot," said Gomes. "He's a quick, uptempo guard who knows how to play the game. He played well in Summer League, and for his first showing with new team, he did a good job."
"I think they're all good pickups. Rondo is another quick, uptempo guard, but he's more defense-oriented. Ray is a scorer. And Powe can score in the interior," Gomes said. "(If you) played well in Summer League, you can't harp on what you did out there when training camp starts. They would ask me questions, and I'd try to tell them, just go out and play your game. You can control when you're out there (on the court), but they control the decisions. As long as you know you gave everything you've got."
The rumors of a sign and trade of Drew Gooden are still swirling. They are asking for a starting quality 4 in return. In the case of the Celtics that would mean Ratliff or Gomes along with West. I think that price is too steep as I think Gomes will be more important to us than Gooden would be in the long run. Also, Ratliff is one of 3 centers on the team and if we trade him, we are left with Perk and D Jones. Very, very shaky. I would trade Wally and Allen. Or Wally and Scal... Scal could be their starting quality PF. (I can dream, can't I?) But don't want to give up West, Gomes or Ratliff in the deal. It may just be more rumors but usually where there is smoke, there is fire somewhere.
If the Cavaliers are forced to execute a sign-and-trade deal for restricted free agent Drew Gooden, they'll need to get back a starting-quality power forward.
One rumored deal has the Bulls sending Michael Sweetney and point guard Chris Duhon to the Cavaliers.
''It's a possibility we're interested in,'' agent Calvin Andrews told Chicago reporters. ''We haven't talked too much about that happening. It's up to the Cavs. If something would come up with the Bulls, it would interest us, definitely.''
Another possibility is to Boston for guard Delonte West and/or Theo Ratliff or Ryan Gomes.
One source said the Cavaliers don't want Gooden to accept the qualifying offer of $5.4 million because they'll probably lose him for nothing next summer. More] source:Morning Journal
Scott Souza gives some good impressions of our players in Summer League and groups them into Ryan Gomes... Worth the Ticke Price... Mixed Reviews ... and Better Luck Next Time. Gomes and Rondo rose above the rest as impressive. After watching the game last night (I know it is only one game) I was very impressed with Rondo. He plays completely under control while being just as quick if not quicker than Telfair where as Telfair seemed to be out of control at times when trying to push it. Both had very impressive passes and played the point like nothing we have seen for a long, long time. Green looks like he is progressing in that he played adequate defense and seemed to move without the ball a lot better than he did last year. I liked Powe. He has a very nice hook shot and good hands in the paint. He also seems to know how to position for rebounds. I am not sure why D Jones isn't getting more time as from what little he has played, he is very strong under the basket and rebounds very well. He also has a soft touch on the put backs. I don't think he should be in the better luck next time group but as thin as we are in the middle, I think we need to keep him unless we pick up a veteran center who we can depend on.
Question: If Gomes (50), Green (18), Powe (49), Jefferson (15), Rondo (21), and Perk (27) all reach their potential, which at this point, there is no reason to believe they won't ... how many steals of the draft can one team have?
There was Ryan Gomes. Except for the Clippers game, when the action had all the continuity of a junior high contest, Gomes was immense. Most of the time he looked like an honors student attending summer school simply because he enjoyed taking tests. When he wasn't flogged driving to the basket in the league's free-for-all of fouls, he showed great touch and continued to improve his stroke from outside. Talk around the league went beyond the theory that the 50th overall pick of the 2005 draft was the steal of the second round that year, but that he may now be among the best draft bargains in all of the NBA.
You start with Rajon Rondo. Momentum seems to be gathering even among the skeptical that Danny Ainge may have another late first-round find here. His speed, court vision and passion for defense will all help in areas that were lacking last year. He was especially dangerous guarding on the perimeter and finishing around the basket with a nice floater. There still has to be concern over the former Kentucky Wildcat's size -- an area where he pales in comparison to the recently jettisoned Orien Greene -- and his lack of willingness to even attempt a jump shot. While his aggressiveness on defense was admirable, it also piled up his foul total quickly (he had eight in a 49-point victory over the Raptors).