This playoffs could be the last run of this Boston Celtics era — Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are free agents this summer, and with one year left on his deal the Celtics will look to move Paul Pierce (as they did at the trade deadline).
It is possible that none of it works out, that all four key players — Rajon Rondo is in there, too — will be back with the Celtics. But there are teams interested in getting some of these Celtics.
Allen’s free-agent options are up in the air. The Miami Heat are expected to make a strong run at signing him this summer, one league source said.
“First of all, (Boston) has to be willing to have me back,” Allen said. “Then you have to look around to see what’s acceptable and who is capable of having me on the team and then you go from there. It’s hard to really say.”
To play for Miami, Allen will have to take a steep pay cut. With each of Miami’s big three making more than $17 million, the Heat already have $78 million on the books for next season — that is over both the projected salary cap (by about $20 million) and luxury tax. Either the Celtics would agree to a sign-and-trade or Allen wants to play there at whatever salary because the Celtics and other teams could and will offer more money — shooters are always in demand.
But that’s something to watch this summer. It also will be interesting to see who comes forward and goes after Garnett.
Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.