There didn’t appear to be much happening on the C’s free agent front.
The club last spoke with Ray Allen’s people Saturday, and the veteran guard still seems to be checking out the market.
• The Globe’s Gary Washburn gives his take on the Paul Pierce deal, which will become official on Thursday:
The deal, agreed to late Saturday night, offers peace of mind for both sides. Pierce now can finish his career with the Celtics. And the club avoided the public relations nightmare of letting one of its all-time great players get away, while also getting some salary-cap relief.
Pierce opting out of the final year of his contract was in no way an indication that he was looking to move to another team. It was a way of garnering a long-term extension in which he traded money for security.
I’ll have my own take on the Pierce deal tomorrow. One note: The C’s aren’t getting salary cap relief; they’re getting luxury-tax relief. I know it’s a minor thing, but when people see the words “salary cap relief,” they think the team has room under the cap. Boston doesn’t and won’t.
Washburn also has a quote from Pierce’s agent, Jeff Schwartz:
“Paul’s goal from the beginning of free agency was to stay with the Celtics,’’ agent Jeff Schwartz said in an e-mail. “He restructured his contract to give the organization the flexibility to sign other players. Paul’s thrilled to continue to be a Celtic and hopes to help the team win more championships.’’
• It’s Luke Harangody day in the papers today, as both the Herald and the Globe have stories about how much the C’s love the 6’8” Notre Dame product so far. Here’s Austin Ainge, coach of the team’s summer league squad, which opens play today:
“I thought Luke played great today,” said Austin Ainge, the D-League affiliate leader who’s running the C’s summer entry. “He really runs the floor well. With that kind of big body (a stocky 6-foot-8), you wouldn’t expect it, but he gets up and goes. He really runs the floor.”
Ah, but the downside—defense. Here’s (Austin) Ainge again:
“Luke is smart and tough and skilled. His obvious deficiency is his lack of size, which will hurt him on the defensive end. But offensively he’s got all the moves, and he’s got a knack for scoring.”
Harangody is happy with the early reviews but has a good understanding of his situation as a second-rounder:
“It’s nice to hear,’’ Harangody said about the praise. “But organizations have easily let guys go after drafting them in the second round, so I know I can’t come out here and mess around. I’ve got to come out here and make this team.”
“That’s obviously one of the big question marks about me, whether I can guard out there,’’ Harangody said. “The Celtics put a huge emphasis on it, positioning and where you’re at on the floor. I’m aware of that — what I need to do out there. And they need to see me guard out there.
“I’m strong enough to push a guy off the block, but at times I’m out of position. An organization like this, they’re so focused on the defensive end you kind of know you’ve got to come in and do your thing.’’
It speaks well of Boston’s system (and Tom Thibodeau’s legacy) that a rookie just being introduced to it knows already how intricate the team’s positioning is on screen/rolls and other plays.
• Tony Gaffney is excited for summer league, which will mark his first time playing since he broke his foot during his stint in Israel, according to the Herald:
“Oh, my God,” he said, “I cannot wait.
“I would like to get my wind up a little more, but that’s going to come. It just feels great being back out there. Eight months away from something that you love is too long, you know?”
Ah, summer league. Full of hope. Remember how everyone was sure Lester Hudson could be a contributor?
• ESPN.com speculates that with Joe Johnson signed for $119 million, the Hawks will be much less interested in matching offers for Josh Childress, who remains a restricted free agent. I looked at Childress’ NBA stats here, and everyone who has watched him in Europe seems to agree he has improved over two seasons there.
Childress has enjoyed playing in Greece, where he is a key player for Olympiakos. There have been rumblings that Childress wants to opt out of his 2010-11 deal with Olympiakos, but we heard similar rumblings last off-season.
The Hawks have tendered Childress the required $4.8 million qualifying offer, so they retain the right to match any competing NBA offer for Childress.
Is he a candidate for the full mid-level?
• Marc Spears at Yahoo! has a one-sentence report that the C’s are “optimistic” about re-signing Ray Allen.
• At the same round-up linked above, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reports that the Lakers are interested in signing Tony Allen. Just to clarify: The C’s have Bird Rights on TA, so they can go over the cap to re-sign him.
• The Nets will be the latest team to enter the David Lee derby, Wojnarowski reports.
• Same link as above: Phoenix big Lou Amundson is getting serious interest from about a half-dozen teams—a list that does not, so far, include the Celtics.
That’s it for now. Hope you all are enjoying a day off from work.