Author: Kurt Helin

Detroit Pistons v Boston Celtics

Report: Rajon Rondo wants to start season with Celtics, see how things unfold


The reports that came out last week that Rajon Rondo told the Boston Celtics he wanted out and to trade him was oddly timed — you demand trades near the deadline or at the start of the summer when teams have money to spend. By August rosters are largely locked in and big deals are hard to swing (Kevin Love not withstanding, but that had been in the works all summer). Plus you don’t have much leverage when the Celtics just drafted another point guard (Marcus Smart). Then, of course, Rondo’s people denied there was a trade request.

Either way, Celtics GM Danny Ainge is in a position with options — right now he can try to bring in another star to play alongside Rondo if that kind of deal comes up (they tried to get in the Love sweepstakes), or he can trade Rondo if the right option comes along. He just has to make his call by the trade deadline (Rondo will be a free agent next summer).

All that combined makes the report Rondo wants to start the season in Boston make the most sense, a report that comes via A. Sherrod Blakely of

Multiple league sources have repeatedly said that Rondo wants to start the season in Boston and see where things go from there. A similar sentiment has trickled out of Celtics camp, as well.

Rondo is hopeful that the team Danny Ainge is assembling around him is better than most anticipate, that they can be this season’s feel-good story not only in the East but throughout the NBA.

I’m not sure these Celtics are a surprise, unless Jeff Green (finally) or Kelly Olynyk make huge leaps. That said those two guys and players like Jared Sullinger and Smart are good trade assets if the Celtics can find someone to bring in to pair with Rondo (the Celtics have picks, too).

If not, Ainge can be patient and see what trade options come up at the deadline.

Rondo can start the season in Boston, show he is fully healthy after the ACL injury and show he is a real leader and elite point guard, then see who comes after him at the deadline.

Or, next summer he could just re-sign in Boston. Nothing is set in stone.

Report: Clippers close to deal with Chris Douglas-Roberts

Chris Douglas-Roberts, Gary Neal

Doc Rivers is rounding out his Clippers roster. He’s bringing back Hedo Turkoglu to have a little size and shooting (44 percent from three with the team last year), plus Chris Paul said the Clippers need consistency to take the next step and a veteran like Turkoglu helps provide that.

The Clips also would like to land Ray Allen, but he has options… if he even wants to play next season.

Now comes word they also may bring back Chris Douglas-Roberts.

From Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.

The team is also close to an agreement with free-agent Chris Douglas-Roberts.

Douglas-Roberts, a 6-foot-7 wing player, spent last season with Charlotte, averaging 6.9 points in 49 games. In four playoff games against Miami, Douglas-Roberts averaged 9.5 points in 17.5 minutes per game. Douglas-Roberts would make $1.06 million on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal.

On a minimum deal for wing depth, this would be a solid get. Douglas-Roberts came into the NBA in desperate need of a jump shot but last season in Charlotte more than half his shots came from three and he hit a good 38 percent of them (he shot well from the corners).

Douglas-Roberts got a fair amount of run the second half of the season in Charlotte when injuries (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeff Taylor) forced him into the rotation — and CDR was solid. His effort and threes made him a fan favorite. He also defends well, which every team could use, certainly the Clippers.

The Clippers will start Matt Barnes at the three but need some bodies there, someone to get minutes besides Reggie Bullock. CDR would be a quality addition, especially at the minimum.

Kevin Durant confirms he is staying with Nike


Under Armour wants to break into the basketball shoe market but needs a serious name endorser and was reportedly willing to pay Kevin Durant at least $265 million over the next decade to be that guy.

But KD likes Nike (he signed for less with them years ago) and when the swoosh came in with a counter offer that reportedly could get up to $300 million and could contain a retirement package, he took it to stay home. He confirmed he is staying put with the tweet you see above.

The real winner here (well, besides KD who is about to get PAID)? Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.

The new agency signed KD as its first big basketball client and with this they got him his first big endorsement deal — one where he stays with the company he wanted to be with all along but gets paid far more than they originally offered. They got KD what he wanted.

What does that mean heading into 2016 and Durant’s free agency? Nothing really. Durant is an obvious max player and a number of teams will be lined up to offer him that. It comes down to what Durant really wants, which very well could be to stay in Oklahoma City (they have the most money to offer and are contenders). Durant will have options, it’s Roc Nation’s job to lay them out for him.

But it’s KD’s call. So far he has gotten what he wants.

Rajon Rondo’s agent denies they asked Celtics for a trade

Oklahoma City Thunder v Boston Celtics

Well what did you expect?

First came the leak (it wasn’t really a report) when the very connected Jackie MacMullan of ESPN said in an off-air moment on “Around the Horn” that All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo had told the Celtics he wants out (that moment got released by ESPN). This would be the equivalent of what Kevin Love did in Minnesota, telling the team he would not re-sign with them so trade me know while you can still get something for me.

Except maybe Rondo didn’t ask for a trade after all.

From Mark Murphy of he Boston Herald.

Usually these kinds of requests are not made directly, rather it’s done through second or third hand parties. It allows the player to deny making any such request.

Whether Rondo’s “people” did or not isn’t really changing his situation anyway.

Danny Ainge has played it so he has options — he can try to bring in another star that will get Rondo to re-sign and stay, or he can shop him. Ainge can do both right now then decide what direction to go if he does/doesn’t find that star player or he gets a trade offer that wows him.

Rondo does like Boston and being a Celtic, but it’s hard to imagine him sticking around through years of rebuilding.

FIBA Day 2 wrap up: Sixers’ Dario Saric looks good teeth or no

Dario Saric

The FIBA World Cup is in the group play stage, but you’re probably choosing to spend your time watching College Football. We get that. Which is why we’re here to give you a wrap up of the games you didn’t watch today.

• Team USA couldn’t coast on Day 2. A veteran Turkish team (eight of their players were on the 2010 team that went to the World Championship final) came in with a plan — play zone, foul when the USA was trying to get out on the fast break, and just make the game ugly. It worked for a half because the Turks were nailing threes, plus the USA contributed by committing a lot of fouls (and the refs helping on a few). Turkey led But in the second half Anthony Davis started to come alive (19 points) and Kenneth Farried was a scoring machine on his way to a team best 22 points on 11-of-14 shooting and that was enough. The USA pulled away for a 98-77 win. (By the way, Derrick Rose didn’t look great on the back-to-back, for those keeping score of such things.)

• The Philadelphia 76ers traded for Dario Saric (the No. 12 pick in last June’s draft) in part because he has potential as a point forward and in part because they knew he would play overseas for a couple years to develop, all part of their “be bad now and accumulate assets” plan. We saw the Croatian’s potential Sunday — an elbow from Argentina’s Andres Nocioni (you expected someone else?) knocked out a couple of Saric’s teeth but he kept on playing and finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds. He moves well for a big and has skills, there is legit potential there. Saric and Croatia picked up a key win 90-85 in the game thanks to Saric and the Nets’ incoming rookie Bojan Bogdanovic who had 19 points (3-for-6 from three). Luis Scola had 30 for Argentina in a losing effort.

• France bounced back from a rough loss to Argentina by coming back from 11 points down against Serbia to win 74-73 on Joffrey Lauvergne’s free throws with 1.1 seconds left. He was fouled by Serbia’s Miroslav Raduljica — the guy the Clippers just traded for a cut to save money, a guy who is a free agent and had another nice game with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Somebody should give the 7 footer a chance.

• Goran Dragic had 18 points and his brother Zoran Dragic added 22 points — and combined they were 14-of-16 shooting — to lead Serbia to an easy 89-68 win over Mexico.

• Senegal looks like it could make the knockout stage (finishing in the top four in Group B) after an 82-75 win over Puerto Rico. They can thank Gorgui Dieng who had 18 points and 13 rebounds, plus a couple of blocks.

• In other games on Sunday: Brazil beat Iran 79-50; host Spain had another easy win, 91-54 over Egypt (Serge Ibaka played and had 18 and 8); Greece beat the Philippines 82-70; the Dominican Republic bested New Zealand 76-63; Finland picked up a nice win over Ukraine 81-76; Australia thumped Korea 89-55; and Lithuania dismissed Angola 75-62.