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Ainge Talks Perk, Shaq, TA, and More

 

It’s been an active couple weeks for Danny Ainge in the height of the C’s offseason and he joined WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan this morning to discuss the team’s most recent moves and upcoming prospects.

It was a twenty minute wide ranging interview that I encourage everyone to give a listen to. In the meantime, here are a few of the highlights from the exchange:

On TA looking for a bigger role:

Well, first of all, we didn’t let Tony Allen get away. Tony wanted to play, he saw his role here. I think Tony can answer that question more, but we were in the same ballpark, money wise, and we don’t like outbidding [other teams] to keep our own players, but I really believe Tony wanted an opportunity to play more minutes and play a more significant role in the NBA.

He’s been playing behind these guys for a while and he wants to show what he’s capable of doing. You got to remember Tony played five minutes in Game 7 and that was the best defensive performance of our entire season. We held one of the top offensive teams to 34 percent shooting. So Tony is wanting to expand his career and play a bigger role and show he can do more than just play defense.

On The Team Wanting Jermaine O’Neal:

What was funny is when this whole process started, everybody knew we needed a center, nobody more so than [Kendrick Perkins]. Perk came into my office and he gave me a couple of names and one of the names was Jermaine O’Neal. That was one of the first things I said to Perk was, “Boy, he had a decent year, but he sure struggled for possession in the playoffs.” And Perk said to me, “Don’t hold that against him. Every big man plays bad against me.”

Right on down the line, all the guys on the team agreed that he was the best big man available. He’s 31 years old, they played against him, they know Jermaine and I think it was pretty unanimous that he was the guy we would go after.

On Negotiations with Shaq:

We’ve had conversations and we’re having ongoing conversations with Shaquille. In order to get Shaquille, it would have to be a sign-and-trade situation, but that door hasn’t been completely slammed, although it’s very unlikely when we sign Jermaine. We have had conversations with the Cavs and with Shaquille’s representatives.

I don’t want to mislead you, but I don’t think Shaquille’s that much of a possibility. The door’s not shut, but I don’t think that’s much of a possibility right now, certainly not our top priority, but Rasheed has decided he is retiring. Yes, he’s going to retire.

On Ray Allen’s Injury During The Finals:

I saw a very good Ray Allen. Ray Allen got hurt, had a very severe thigh bruise that nobody really talked about in the NBA finals after he had a spectacular game early, in the third game. He had a severe thigh bruise; his legs looked about two inches bigger and all black and blue. Ray had a terrific year, he had his best year of his career shooting inside the arc and then he really stepped up and shot the ball outside the three-point line in the second half of the season, so I’m encouraged that Ray has a lot more left in the tank.

On Perk’s Prognosis and Recovery Timetable:

It’s projected that he’ll be back probably after the All-Star break, could be my guess, sometime in mid- to late February. We’ll be very careful with Perk and not be in a rush to get him back, but I guess there’s a chance to get him back probably a little earlier, that’s probably realistic.

  • MP

    Hahahaha…Perk: “Don’t hold that against him. Every big man plays bad against me.”

  • Keith Popsicle

    Horrible news on the Perk injury. Much worse than anticipated initially. Jermaine is their guy, I guess, and they got him, so he will definitely get his chance to prove it to them and the fans.

  • Jeff

    JO will be a great addition and perfect Center for this team.

    It will allow Rondo to control the game even more because JO can hit the open J and give Rondo the open lane.

    Teams will have to respect JO and KG on the offensive end, whereas Perk not so much.

    I think Rondo is in for another big jump this season. He could practically average a double double with 6+ rbp also.

  • http://www.livefromapt.blogspot.com w2

    I was so curious at the Boston Sports Radio backlash against JO. This is a huge pickup for us.

  • mike

    @w2
    agreed…boston fans don’t like it cause when last we saw perk made him look like poop…but as perk says “they all look bad against me”…

  • ElRoz

    Good point by Danny Ainge about the starting five holding the Lakers to a low score. I like TA, but it is the systems and the starting five. The team will eb able to work others into it, bradly at shooting guard will help on defense as well.

    Well, IF the C’s don’t get another center, can they go with KG at center and Big Baby at PF, and then bring J. O’Neal and Harangody off the bench as the C and PF?

    Before you you say no, remember: tthe Celtics have only one center right now. There are not that many tru centers in the NBA today anyhow, most of them are C/PF.
    I just hope Harangody will do a good job as a PF off the bench.
    A starting five with Big Baby at PF is pretty good.

    So I read Kwame Brown and his agent think they can get more $ somehwere else. Kwame, before you get a big head, just remember, you’re Kwame Brown! Perhaps many players are now looking to go to Miami where they think they will not need to work very hard, the three friends will do all the work. Will see about that.

  • JA

    garnett can NOT guard centers, he is too thin, i would rather hav baby do it

  • James Patrick

    I really wish we could get Shaq. His size would be perfect facing the Lakers not to mention his rivalry with Kobe. He’s not going to win any more titles if he goes to the Knicks or Atlanta. He’s got maybe 2 years. The only logical teams would be a return to the Heat or the Celtics.

    I hate to be presumptuous about players and their money but I’d think at this stage he doesn’t need the money. There aren’t any more big paydays coming his way unless he stays in Cleveland and that won’t even be so big.

    He should just take the minimum and become a Celtic!

    I know, wishful thinking. lol

  • James Patrick

    Oh and btw, there’s a reason the Lakers got rid of Kwame Brown. We don’t want their sloppy seconds!

  • Jay P

    @Jeff

    You hit on a good point, and it’s why I do not understand why people are questioning the move.

    When Rondo drives, a big has to help off someone to stop him from getting a clean look to the rim. Now this is no problem when that someone they help off is Perk, cause their not worried about Perk popping out for an open 10 ft jump shot.

    With JO in there, that changes everything, opposing Centers who wouldn’t think twice about leaving Perk to take Rondo’s lane away, will not have to. Once his man moves over to stop Rondo going all the way to the hoop, JO can easily take a step back and knock down a short jumper, and he is very good at that.

    Wallace also had this ability, but had a tendency to hang around the 3-point line, so with KG and JO on the floor, either one is great from 10-15ft, and will give teams some serious problems as help defenders try to stop Rondo.

  • K.J. Lee

    ‘And Perk said to me, “Don’t hold that against him. Every big man plays bad against me.”’

    Now, this is really funny. Seriously, JO should be an above average starting center and a very good rotation player.

  • Perry

    With 14 seasons in the bank JO is an aging veteran for sure. But he missed quite a bit of time over the last 3 years. Man do I remember how he used to torch us. His FGM was a career best last season, and with the length of the contract only spanning 2 years there’s no doubt this was a solid signing with little downside.

    It is true about Barnes strongly considering coming to Boston. Unclear if it would involve a s/t with perhaps Quis or him settling for the vet. minimum.

    Even if Perk does come back by the All-Star break we can’t expect him to be sharp physically or mentally. Let’s remember how long a process it took TA and Kevin to play through the mental aspect of a torn up knee.

    If there is a chance of trading Nate for Brewer, pending the numbers, and adding Barnes without touching the Sheed contract, then Shaq and perhaps Parker or even Moon is plausible since the Lowry deal fell through for Cleveland. The Sheed contract would give them some much needed cap relief, and they really need to make splash in one way or another.

  • Tom

    JO did say he wants Sheed to come back for one more year, he will talk to him today about it

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    “Don’t hold that against him. Every big man plays bad against me.”

  • Perry

    …as expected Lawrence Frank will suit up as Doc’s assistant.

    According to BR, Matt Barnes has made a grand total of $7.6m for his entire career!

    Pierce took part in a conference call (posted on ESPNBoston) with the media today and expressed a lot of thoughts most of us have been chewing on. It’s almost as if he were reading CelticsHub???

    Will Zach hire him as the next scribe?

  • Jay P

    @Perry

    That’s crazy, Barnes is a good player, lesser players have made that in one contract.

    It’s for that exact reason I thought there is 0 chance he comes to Boston, or signs any minimum deal. Now it’s reported he’s looking at all contending teams (Boston, Dallas, Miami, LA) and will sign a vet min, I’m astounded.

  • Shooter

    Hell no Danny won’t use Sheed’s contract for A S&T TO GET bARNES,COME ON GIVE dANNY MORE CREDIT THAN THAT.

  • Perry

    @JayP

    It would be very,very strange to see him in a Celtic uniform. If it happens I’ll send you a case of wine to calm your nerves.

  • mike simpson

    BS on TA. It was all about money. Paul Pierce even called Danny Ainge cussing him out for not offering TA more money and a three year contract. Don’t believe this crap.

  • ShawnCVD

    @Perry I was thinking Shaq plus a Moon/Parker for Sheed wouldn’t be too bad. Cavs need to start rebuilding. Problem is I think their monstrous trade exemption from the cHeat S&T requires them to be over the cap for them to use it…Give Shaq 3 mil 2 years with Moon. Sheed could return us up to 7.5 mil in contracts but it’s best not to go too deep into luxury tax territory…

  • I love Green

    Perkdog is the man.

  • Rich

    One thing about O’Neal is the guy can defend. He can especially be very useful against Bosh coming off the bench if they meet up in the playoffs. He’s better suited to play against finesse players like Gasol and Bosh. Still can be a VERY good shotblocker.

  • Rich

    Shawn, as a cavs fan, how does that help us at all? Parker is expiring, and Shaq isn’t even on the books. What does bringing on a guy who is retiring do for you when you are trading away expiring contracts? They both help you rebuild equally…not to mention the fact that you can actually play those guys one year compared to the guy who won’t be playing at all.

  • Rich

    Point is, yes we need to rebuild, but how does trading for what amounts to an expiring contract help with that, when we are already way under the cap AND have trade exemption? We would actually need to get a draft pick or something in return to make it mean anyhting.

  • Perry

    @ShawnCVD

    I would definitely go there…if the Cavs are willing.

  • ShawnCVD

    Cavs would do it over a draft pick ? Or maybe not…Teams approaching tax line better targets. I was kinda thinking wishfully.

  • legs-diamond

    Tony Allen, a bizarre combination of talent and flaws, but who else is going to staunch the wing players? Pierce notably is concerned with missing TA, because who’s going to spell Pierce and Allen? And the age factor becomes more of an issue. …. Danny, good job getting O’Neal, but where to now?

  • NHBluesMan

    @Mike Simpson- i don’t think it was about money, it was the years. Celtics only wanted to sign TA for 2 so he’d come off the books the same time as KG, Ray, JO, and anyone else who’s there now. TA wanted at least 3, and Memphis gave that to him

  • James Patrick

    Does anyone know if Brian Scalabrine retired?

  • Tristan

    I think a good option is GSW, they could sign and trade Toliver and Reggie Williams for Lafayette and a 2nd round pick….it would give Boston some length and offence in Toliver (good replacement for Williams) and a scoring wing in Williams. Plus they are both young, cheap and “may” be able to build into better players.

    Thoughts………….

  • The blind

    Om Ray in the 3rd game. He collided with Artest. At that time i thought Artest did in intentionally. To send a signal to Ray after his eight 3s in game 2.

    What a play by Artest. Ray wasn’t the same after that collision.

  • Rich

    Shawn, I’m sure the Cavs are willing to trade Parker, but it makes no sense for a rebuilding team to swap expiring deals. There is nothing that getting Sheed’s contract will do that Parkers contract can’t do. I understand if both teams were trying to contend then hey, maybe one has a hole at SG and the other a hole at PF so you swap the players.

    But in this case, because Parker/Shaq have expiring deal/no deal then it doesn’t save the Cavs any money at all. Moon has 2 years, but it was only a slim part of last years MLE, so the savings would be so minute when already 10+ million under the cap.

  • danny

    dont care with all this stuff just get the season started and nobody can beat the celtics is they are healthy nobody

  • mugi

    lol @ perk

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