The Celtics are really committed to telling you everything’s fine

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The Celtics have been in trade rumors, progressively more and more as the weeks have gone on and finally on Friday, they snapped a little bit and went on a media binge to try and quell talks about Rarjon Rondo. Danny Ainge essentially went on every outlet in the Boston area and blasted the idea. And the Boston Herald followed up with Rondo about it.

“I’m doing all right,’’ Rondo said. “Like they say, it’s part of the business. I’m happy just playing basketball. I’m happy with the guys they have surrounded me with, the coaching staff. Other than that, when I’m on the court I’m just focused on winning and just having fun while I’m doing it.’’

Rivers and Rondo have both acknowledged past troubles with their relationship, but said it is vastly improved.

“It’s good to hear [positive words] come from the head coach, but some great opportunity might come out and [a trade] may happen, but you never know,’’ Rondo said. “Obviously, that was big of Doc to come out with that statement. That meant a lot to me, but I know the relationship we have.

via Rajon Rondo, Celtics move on from trade rumors – The Boston Globe.

Doc Rivers, also pretty mad.

“I don’t mind any rumors that are true,’’ he said. “I do get upset when it’s not true or in my opinion sometimes news is created and then people report on the news that they created. And when that happens, I’m not real happy with it.

“So in this case and in the [Pau] Gasol case, that’s two already, I haven’t been real happy with it because there’s no truth to that.

“The Gasol rumor was even crazier. That was just ridiculous. I don’t know where it came from. When that kind of stuff happens, it bothers you because it’s being created by somebody outside of your touch and you can’t do anything about it.’

via Rajon Rondo, Celtics move on from trade rumors – The Boston Globe.

The problem is that teams assert these rumors come out of nowhere. Which it’s easy to say. “A reporter completely made this up.”

So to bear that out, a reporter for a major media outlet decided that the best thing to do would be to fabricate a trade rumor which will die in 24 hours, risking killing his or her own career in order to generate page views for less than 24 hours and losing their job. That makes sense.

The Celtics are clearly shopping everyone. That’s the plan. They’re not aggressively calling trying to dump players. But they’re open to talks and will continue to talk with teams about what they can do. Things can be great with Rondo. The talk won’t end until March 15th.

The trade deadline is 12 days away.

Report: LeBron James ‘hustling’, suggested Josh Jackson for Kyrie Irving

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Is LeBron James staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers? Who knows?

But The King is reportedly working to try to find trade deals for disgruntled point guard Kyrie Irving.

According to ESPN’s Pablo Torre, James has begun hustling for the Cavaliers this offseason, suggesting a trade of Irving for Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson.

Here is what Torre had to say, via Fear the Sword:

“LeBron James is doing some LeBron James offseason work. And my understanding is it’s not just Derrick Rose, it’s not just Eric Bledsoe. LeBron James happens to know a guy named James Jones . . . LeBron James is hustling behind the scenes, is my understanding, asking ‘Is Josh Jackson available for Kyrie Irving?’ And the answer back that I heard is ‘no, he is not.’ But LeBron James is hustling on behalf of the Cleveland Cavaliers, at least for this one year.”

Then again, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has sources that are saying LeBron has not been active:

Irving has a preferred landing destination in New York, but there is apparently not mutual interest between the Cavaliers and Knicks. While before it was rumored that Carmelo Anthony would like to in Cleveland with LeBron, but that trade has yet to happen despite the obvious answer to the question of what to do with each player.

Rumor has it that Anthony only wants to play in Houston, and sort of puts the brakes on getting Irving to New York.

Cleveland seems to have lost a bit of leverage with Irving’s open trade request, so it will be interesting to see what the return for Cleveland is once a trade is finally made and we can compare it to the deals for Chris Paul and Paul George.

Irving reportedly isn’t talking to the Cavaliers at the moment so one would have to assume a deal will be coming within the next few weeks.

Report: Warriors re-signing JaVale McGee to one-year contract

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The Warriors helped rehabilitate JaVale McGee‘s career to the point he wanted more – more money, a starting spot.

But old reputations die hard, and it’s a tough market for free-agent centers.

So, McGee is returning to Golden State.

ESPN:

The Golden State Warriors are re-signing center JaVale McGee to a one-year contract, source told ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

McGee could receive between the minimum ($2,116,955) and Non-Bird Exception ($2,540,346). He’ll cost Golden State between $5,968,023 and $10,511,120.* Here’s guessing he gets the minimum.

*Factoring in the NBA’s reimbursement for one-year minimum contracts and the luxury tax, also assuming the Warriors keep the same roster when the tax is assessed at the end of the regular season

Golden State played to McGee’s strengths by simplifying the game for him. He chased lobs, blocks and rebounds and was asked to do little else. He still made the occasional gaffe, and questions about his basketball intelligence remain, but McGee progressed in his never-ending battle to stifle the laughter.

Not every team could protect McGee like that, so he’s more valuable to the Warriors than others. He’ll take another crack at free agency next summer, but at 30, he might not find eager suitors then, either.

In Golden State, he’ll again join a center rotation that includes Zaza Pachulia and David West and maybe Damian Jones and Jordan Bell. With stars at every other position, the Warriors have taken an equalitarian approach at center.

McGee gives the Warriors 15 players clearly on standard contracts, the regular-season limit. Chris Boucher is on a two-way contract, and Antonius Cleveland might be, too. Even if he’s on a standard contract, Cleveland is unlikely to stick past the preseason. It seems we know the roster Golden State will take into the regular season.

Then again, McGee surprisingly made the regular-season roster on an unguaranteed deal last year. Maybe he’ll have to fend off challengers this year.

Warriors lock up Cleveland

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The Warriors smoked the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

Now, the Warriors are taking control of Cleveland.

Antonius Cleveland.

NBC Sports Bay Area:

Golden State agreed to terms on a training camp invite with Antonius Cleveland, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned.

Cleveland went undrafted out of Southeast Missouri State, where the 6-foot-6 guard was either a late bloomer or just a 23-year-old who outgrew his competition. He’s likely ticked for the Warriors’ minor-league affiliate, either as an affiliate player waived in the preseason or maybe even on a two-way contract.

Did the Warriors sign Cleveland for the jokes? Probably not. He’s a viable developmental prospect.

But they also signed JaVale McGee in Nick Young the last couple years. I can’t completely rule it out.

Report: Lakers signing Thomas Bryant to two-year contract with team option

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The Lakers have negotiated just a few contracts this summer – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tyler Ennis and now Thomas Bryant.

The deals all have something in common: no guarantees beyond 2018, when the Lakers are expected to pursue free agents like Paul George and LeBron James.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Lakers still had the room exception, so they could’ve offered more than the minimum. They might have had to get Bryant to bypass the required tender, a one-year contract – surely guaranteed at the minimum – teams must extend to maintain draft rights to a second-round pick.

Bryant entered the draft a year too late. After looking like first rounder last year, he returned to Indiana and saw his stock slip. He’d have reason to bargain for more compensation.

Brook Lopez is clearly the Lakers’ top center, but there are minutes available behind him. Bryant will join Ivica Zubac in the effort to prove they play hard enough and have enough skill to overcome their lack of athleticism.