Report: If you want Rajon Rondo or Jeff Green then Celtics want a lot in return


This is exactly what Flip Saunders was talking about when he suggested this will be a slower than expected trade deadline because teams are not willing to part with picks in perceived good drafts.

There is buzz out of Boston that GM Danny Ainge is shopping around just about everyone on the roster —Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green included.

At the right price.

That price is likely to include first round picks and be too steep for other teams, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix told WEEI Radio (hat tip to Eye on Basketball).

“If Danny gets a monster offer for Rondo, I don’t think he’s attached to him in the sense that he’s untradeable,” Mannix said. “But I think it’s going to take a huge, All-Star level Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen type of offer.” (To be clear, he means a blockbuster deal like the ones the Celtics made to get those two in 2007, not bringing those two back.)

“I think at this point, Jeff Green is absolutely on the table for a deal. I think if Boston can find a way to find a way to get either a first-round draft pick or some kind of young piece back that can be better for their future, they would be willing to deal him,” he said. “The problem is that other teams are seeing what Jeff Green is, and other teams are seeing just how much money Jeff Green is making, and I don’t think they’re willing to deal for him.”

There’s a reason Oklahoma City was willing to move Green in the Kendrick Perkins trade, that they didn’t see Green as part of the future. Ainge gets that now, but he also gave Green a new contract that makes him very hard to move.

Rondo is going to be a Celtic next season. The question Ainge really has to deal with here is if he can re-sign Rondo in the summer of 2015, and if not should he move him.

One thing seems clear — Boston is going to look to make a big splash in the summer of 2015 (and beyond), that is when they will decide if they like what they have and will have the cap space to go after some big name free agents. It will be a tough market (the Lakers and Knicks should have cap space then too, among others) but that is clearly the plan.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.