We’ve written it here before and we’ll write it again — don’t bet on the Boston Celtics trading Rajon Rondo. Danny Ainge thinks Rondo is a potential franchise cornerstone and he’s not moving Rondo for anything other than another cornerstone.
However, the Celtics are willing to deal other high-priced veterans on their roster to gain a little roster and cap flexibility, reports the Boston Herald.
We’ve written here before that despite the lack of interest in trading Rondo — unless they get the proverbial offer they can’t refuse — the Celtics are still active in the market. Sources continue to say they’d love to move some veteran contracts (think Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace) to put them in a better position vis-a-vis the salary cap.
“I think that we don’t have much flexibility, as much as we would like,” said Ainge. “I wouldn’t say it’s a priority, but we are having conversations.”
Kris Humphries maybe could be moved, he is in the final year of a deal paying him $12 million, plus he can provide rebounding and depth on the front line — he’s played fairly well (shooting 53.3 percent, PER of 15.3) in Boston, he’s just not part of the plan there. I could see a team grabbing him for the last half of the season.
Gerald Wallace… that’s going to be harder. He is owed $21.2 million after this season (at age 31) and other teams will be reluctant to take that on unless Boston wants to throw in a sweetener (or he is part of a larger deal). Wallace brings defense and energy, but he isn’t a guy who creates offense for himself or others. It would need to be the right fit, and there aren’t many places like that.
Expect Boston to make moves this season, with Humphries on the top of this list. Just don’t expect a Rondo deal.
Like I said, there are better reasons to criticize Phil Jackson than him saying his priority was the Knicks and that he had discussed trading Kristaps Porzingis.
Jay Williams of ESPN:
A top-15 draft pick told me the other day, because we were involved in this out of this conversation about Phil Jackson and the Knicks, and he said, “Phil Jackson was falling in and out of sleep in my workout.”
Yes. “Falling in and out of sleep at my workout.” This is what this guy told me.
Especially given Jackson’s salary and reputation for not being a diligent worker, this story is too good to check out.
The NBA’s invitations to the draft are a good indicator of when players will get drafted. The league samples executives, who are more likely to be honest here than in leaks to the media, about how they rank players. So, the list is worth monitoring.
The players who will attend tonight’s draft nearly match the leaks – with one exception. O.G. Anunoby is going, and Harry Giles isn’t.
Here are the players who will be at the draft – a reasonable placeholder for the players most likely to get picked in the top 20 – via A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England:
Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress:
Harry Giles declined his invite sources told DraftExpress.
Did Giles decline his invite because, with his extensive injury history, he feared falling too far? Or did he just prefer to watch elsewhere?
Was Anunoby simply 21st on the NBA’s list of players to invite? Or was the league too unsure of his medical status to include him until getting a stronger grasp now?
I don’t know, but the possibility that Giles could slip or Anunoby is more secure alters my perception of their draft stock (Anunoby up, Giles down).
What has Phil Jackson actually done? He discussed trading Kristaps Porzingis with other teams and called the Knicks, not Porzingis, his priority. That’s it.
At face value, this is fine. It’s what devoted executives, not always Jackson, should do.
Jackson hasn’t traded Porzingis for meager return. He hasn’t traded Porzingis at all.
Everyone up in arms should take a deep breath.
Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:
David Aldridge of NBA.com:
I wouldn’t rule out the Knicks trading Porzingis. The No. 1 pick got traded, after all. I wouldn’t rule out them trading Porzingis for too little return. Look at Jackson’s track record running the front office.
But wait until they do before bashing Jackson for not understanding Porzingis’ value.
There are plenty of better reasons to criticize Jackson, including overseeing the toxic culture that led to Porzingis skipping his exit interview and setting this latest “crisis” into motion. Publicly discussing trading Porzingis won’t endear Jackson to the budding star, but the problem is how it reached this point. Players in sound organizations can handle this. Jackson has engendered little confidence from his players, the distrust existed well before this round of trade talks.
Lonzo Ball doesn’t play for the Lakers. LeBron James isn’t a free agent.
But they’re headed that way – and Ball is already embracing it.
The Lakers are expected to draft Ball No. 2 tonight, and rumors are heating up about LeBron leaving the Cavaliers in 2018.
Why should LeBron join Ball in Los Angeles?
Ball on ESPN:
LeBron, I like to win. I know you like to win. I think our games can help each other out a lot. Any time you want the ball, just let me know. It’s going to be there.
Ball was asked to to pitch LeBron, so it’s not as if Ball is out here talking so brashly on his own. But answering the question was a rookie mistake.
Besides, I’m not sure Lonzo Ball can undo the bad blood between LeBron and LaVar Ball.