Yesterday was quite interesting for Celtics fans. First there was the tease on Twitter of Courtney Lee signing with the Celtics. That seemed a bit far fetched because it didn't seem that the Celtics had the assets to make a trade work. But I guess we underestimated Kevin McHale's love for the Green Team.
As we got word that the trade was indeed going down, there was the very surreal atmosphere in Vegas where the Celtics were preparing for their game vs the Kings. Moore and Williams in uniform, talking with Doc, and then leaving the arena. I really feel for E'Twaun Moore. He was playing so well in SL. He was the Celtics most consistent player and had just said the day before that he was pretty certain he would make the team and his play was baking that up. Now we learn that he's on his way to Houston where they plan to cut him. I really hope some team saw his play in Orlando and Vegas and pick him up. He's proved with his play that he deserves a chance in the league. He's a combo guard who has great range on his shot and plays under control. Someone should step up and nab him.
The team that took the floor for the game against the Kings didn't look much like the one we watched through a 6-1 record to that point. They struggled to score against the 1-3 Kings and they just couldn't seem to get it going. I understand, though. They just experienced their first taste of "the NBA is a business." The team had great chemistry and they played very well together and suddenly 1/4 of the team was gone. If you think back to the nosedive the Celtics took after the Perk trade, it makes sense that the young guys would experience an integral part of their group.
We can joke about Kevin helping the Celtics out again with this trade, but it also helped the Rockets. They were set to lose Lee for nothing but now they have a nice young power forward who, in spite of his early struggles, has shown some flashes of talent. There were reports that JaJuan would ask for a trade out of Houston, but if I were him, I'd be excited about the opportunity to be coached and mentored by one of the best power forwards ever to play the game.
Pietrus has been very vocal about wanting to come back to the Celtics. He's a great locker room guy and a very good defender and can hit the 3 well enough to spread the floor. But, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York Pietrus may be looking for more than the Celtics can offer.
"Count Mickael Pietrus out for #Knicks," Zwerling tweeted. "He has a 'huge' offer overseas but wants to play for an NBA playoff team for more than vet's minimum."
The Celtics must stay below the $74 million tax threshold in order to use the full MLE to sign Jason Terry. They do have the bi-annual exception to spend, but they also still could use a back up point guard and another big man. While it would be nice to have Pietrus back, if he really wants to stay with the Celtics as he has said, he's going to have to take a home town discount to stay. Danny would be crazy to use their exception to sign him. So, perhaps Pietrus will be taking his talents to Europe.
John Hollinger is adding a few more details about the Courtney Lee deal.
Hearing C Lee deal is more like 4.6M to start. Celtics paying Pavlovic's salary for Blazers and threw Portland a 2nd.
— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) July 20, 2012
With Pavlovic in the deal, Lee's deal could have started as high as 6 million. But it appears that it will start just under the MLE level at 4.6 million . Danny really wanted Lee to pay Pavlovic's salary for the Blazers plus shell out another 2nd round pick. Danny loves his draft picks, especially the second rounders and doesn't give them up easily.
Celtics get a day off today in SL play. Hopefully they can get it together and get past the trade and their lost teammates. Even though they will still be short handed, there is still a lot of talent on that team. With the loss of E'Twaun, I expect to see Dionte Christmas get a camp invite and possibly even make the team. He's played very well in both Orlando and Vegas. Jamar Smith may have earned a camp invite as well.
Photo courtesy of ESPN Boston
Sully struggled in the last game vs Thomas Robinson and hopefully can use that as fuel to come back and dominate in the last two Vegas games. Kris Joseph struggled with the knee injury and hopefully a day off will help with that. Despite the injury and the struggles in yesterday's games because of it, Joseph has really impressed me and should make the team. He's played very well. Even Doc called him the biggest surprise of Summer League. Hopefully Fab's hand will be ok as well. I haven't heard anything bad from the x-rays so it was probably just a bruise.
Yep, yesterday was a very interesting day. I'm enjoying it very much because after Vegas SL ends on Sunday, we enter the dog days of the offseason when things will get very quiet. But, with Trader Danny on the job, there's always something going on.