Mark Murphy’s notebook is full of tidbits, the most relevant of which is the fact that Nate Robinson and the C’s are close to a deal:
Aaron Goodwin, the agent for Nate Robinson, said yesterday the two sides could reach a deal by the end of the week.
“Things are going well,” Goodwin said. “We’re just trying to get something worked out. But both parties are talking.”
Inking Nate would give the C’s 10 players under contract, and, taken with the team’s decision to let TA walk, would seem to signal that the organization realizes the team’s offense must improve in order to compete for a title again next season.
Or perhaps that would be reading too much into the pair of decisions? Here’s Murphy on what went down with TA:
According to a league source, the Celtics offered Allen an amount similar to the $3 million he will receive annually from Memphis but were unwilling to guarantee the third year as the Grizzlies did.
Two other notes:
• Murphy reports trade talks with Portland for Rudy Fernandez are dead:
Portland guard Rudy Fernandez was thought to be another target, though talks between the Blazers and C’s appear to have fallen apart.
“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” a league official said. “That deal came and went.”
I’m not surprised. The Celtics have very little to offer Portland for Fernandez, a marketable player on a cheap and potentially expiring deal.
• Murphy writes this about Nate Robinson:
Unlike they had with Allen, the C’s don’t hold the so-called “Larry Bird rights” to Robinson, and as a result, can’t go over the salary cap to give their backup point guard more money.
Robinson, however, has professed a desire to return.
That’s mostly true, but if I’m reading Larry Coon’s Bible correctly, the C’s have a sort of mini-Bird rights on Robinson. The collective bargaining agreement includes a so-called “non-Bird” exception that allows teams to go over the cap to sign their own free agents, even if the team does not have Bird Rights on those free agents. Players simply have to complete a partial season for their current team to qualify for this mini-Bird exception.
The difference between this and regular Bird Rights, though, is that the team in Boston’s situation can only offer 120 percent of the player’s previous salary. That would appear to allow Boston to offer Nate $6 million for 2011 even though the team is over the cap.
I will try to verify this with Larry Coon later today, but if the capologists among our readers think I’m misreading this section—or that it doesn’t apply to Robinson because he forfeited his traditional Bird Rights when the Knicks traded him to Boston—please let me know.