Post-game Reactions

• I mentioned Shane Battier a week ago in a post listing wing players the C’s might be able to get using Sheed’s deal. I focused on teams over or near the luxury tax line, because such teams have extra motivation to shed payroll. Here’s what I wrote about Battier then:

Shane Battier’s getting old and the Rockets are stacked at the wing, but they value Battier’s leadership, and his expiring $7.1 million deal might be able to fetch more than Sheed and a draft pick.

The Battier rumors picked up steam today thanks to this piece by A. Sherrod Blakely, but Daryl Morey, Houston’s GM, quashed those rumors today, according to Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston.com:

“With a lot of key guys like Yao Ming and Shane Battier [at the end of contracts] and the lockout [looming] next year, we’re trying to make this is a special year and go as far in the playoffs as we can,” said Morey.

So Battier is off the market for now. If Houston decides to use Battier as a trade chip mid-season, the C’s likely won’t have the sort of assets the Rockets would want. 

• Marc Stein re-tweets Tracy McGrady’s current wish list of teams:

Lakers, Heat, Bulls, Clippers. I’d be surprised if either the Lakers or Heat gamble on T-Mac. The Celtics aren’t on the list, and they can’t pay McGrady any more than the minimum. I’m skeptical that McGrady has much value left, but the C’s at this point need bodies at the wing spot. 

• Teams are dipping into the minimum bin for wing players. The Thunder signed Royal Ivey today. Daily Thunder thinks the contract is a non-guaranteed training camp invite, and they’re probably right. 

• The biggest news of the day: Chris Paul wants out of New Orleans, and he’d prefer to be dealt before the start of the season, according to Ken Berger at CBS Sports:

“He wants out,” said the person, who has been briefed on Paul’s strategy but spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly. “He wants to play with another superstar. He wants to follow LeBron’s model of teaming up with other great players.”

Great. Another super team that won’t be in Boston. Suitors for CP3 probably need to have:

• A very good young player, preferably a big man, they’d be willing to deal as the centerpiece in the trade (for New Orleans, anyway);

• The financial flexibility/willingness to take on any number of contracts New Orleans would love to get off its books in any Paul deal;

• The requisite filler players to make the deal work;

• Good draft picks.

Matt Moore lists some teams that fit the criteria. The Hornets are not going to get equal talent back in any theoretical Paul deal. You don’t get equal talent back when you trade one of the top 10 players in the league. But the Hornets don’t really have to get equal talent in order to salvage something out of dealing their franchise player. They’ve got a second-year point guard (Darren Collison) who looks ready to put up a 15-8 season should he start. He’s not Chris Paul, but he’ll do. If you can nab, say, Andrew Bynum for Paul, get a pile of draft picks and clear some bad long-term contracts? That’s not the end of the world. 

The problem is there aren’t many players like Bynum—potentially available young guys who aren’t All-Stars yet but are very close. That’s why Bynum’s name comes up in trade discussions involving just about every supposedly available superstar or pseudo-superstar (i.e. Chris Bosh). 

Seriously: How many are there in the league? David Lee? He’s an All-Star, but we’ll count him. Brook Lopez? Sure. Devin Harris? Not good enough. Rodney Stuckey or Andrea Bargnani? Please. Carl Landry? I like him, but let’s be serious.

LaMarcus Aldridge or Russell Westrbook? Maybe, but their teams view them as cornerstones already. Kevin Martin? He’s already 28.

Danny Granger or Andre Iguodala? Hmm…

Dell Demps, the brand new GM in New Orleans, will have a tough time getting an acceptable deal. And so the odds are long that Paul is anywhere but New Orleans when the NBA tips off again.

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Zach Lowe

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  • Ray Leighton

    We ought to be in the running. We give up Rondo, Davis, and Sheed’s expiring contract for Chris Paul. I love Rondo, but we are talking about Chris Paul. The math on the salaries etc. works; it’s a legal trade. NO gets an elite PG, some cap relief, and brings Davis home where he would be a fan favorite (although first, we see if NO is stupid enough to make the trade without including Davis — although we might have to give him up to make the math work).

    We get the best PG in the league — and I agree with Vince Thomas on this one — Chris Paul is going to be the best PG in the history of the game since Magic. I expect that two decades from now, if CP3 winds up with the right team, that he will be remembered more than Lebron. Paul is as good a one-on-one defender as Rondo, as good a passer and shooter as Nash, as good as anyone at finding and hitting the open man, and he is a better ball-handler than anyone that I have ever seen. And he would be thrilled to come to Boston.

    We would have the best starting five in the game. Imagine the damage that Ray would do with a permanent outside threat bringing the ball up the court. No team would ever be able to really play help-defense on any of our starters. My only concern would be the major lack of depth, but (a) we already have that problem, and (b) I suspect that a lot of players on the verge would suddenly decide that Boston was their best chance at a ring — we would get a lot more people willing to take the VME.

  • baller4life

    so shane is out of this now ? great . can goc just try to convince to play for boston ? i mean come on now he had his best years in orlando as doc the head coach .

  • I love Green

    The Nets.

    You can take it to the bank like Dan Gilbert.

  • baller4life

    @ray lington , i never thought of that but i love rondo and he is younger than chris..

  • I love Green

    Paul wants to go to New York, LA, or Orlando.

  • It doesn’t really matter where Paul wants to go. He doesn’t have a no-trade clause or anything.

    And the Hornets likely won’t be interested in getting a PG back, since they’ve already got Collison.

  • Rondo and RW exp. deal+anderson and a future #1

  • I love Green

    Hey, I was just throwin it out there.

  • Jason

    I would love Chris Paul. I know New Orleans has Collison and they don’t need a point guard back but they could always trade Collison if they get Rondo. Because Rondo is signed for five years at a bargain rate, I think he would be very attractive to them. Rondo being a BYC guy complicates things a bit, Rondo, Rasheed and Davis works. Getting a point guard who can shoot and who can carry a team in the fourth quarter would be tremendous.

  • rob

    probably not going to happen but if danny could get chris paul wow. This would be a great off season but I’d settle for a wing like trevor ariza or anyone with decent talents on both sides of the ball

  • Zain

    You guys are willing to throw Rondo under the bus this quickly? I’m kind of shocked.

    @Green: I’ve probably made the cut in the mail bag for Forsberg the last 2 of 3 or 3 of 4 weeks. Just gotta ask some not so common questions or be detailed about it.

  • Ray Leighton,

    get your head out of ‘CP3’s lap. rondo hasn’t had an injury take him out for half a season. he also has been through three playoffs, got a ring with three of the toughest alphas out there, and honestly, he has NO GODDAMN CEILING. chris paul gets respect, but never you mind. rondo is ours.

  • I love Green

    Remember boys, Rondo is a consistant mid-range jump shot away from the best PG in the league.

  • Zain


    Green is correct.

  • Celticjay

    Paul wanted a long-term deal…. now he wants out. The Hornets wont deal him unless they can get rid of Omeka Okeafor’s contract (massive) in the same deal. Plus there would have to be draft picks as well.

    Hey Chris, STFU and play. You signed a contract now live up to the terms of it. Just because a lockout is looming & your ‘boys’ got together in Miami doesn’t give you the right to suddenly bail on New Orleans.

    BTW, didn’t you miss half of last year due to injury?

    You still got paid though….. right?

  • This blog is uncharacteristically absurd Zach….

    First, you act like Boston should feel slighted because they’re not well positioned to make a play for Paul.

    Why on earth, with all of the things that the Celtics need to improve on to stay at the top of the Eastern conference, would this development possibly have you imagining that Chris Paul should jump to the top of the priority list?

    H-E_L-L-O? The Celtics already have Rondo and the point guard situation covered Zach.

    Second you start in with Andrew Bynum.

    Take a look at the US international squad right now. How many quality centers do they have?

    Right. How many quality point guards are trying out for that team?

    But you think somehow, some way a Phil Jackson team that doesn’t even depend on a traditional point guard in the triangle offense is going to give up one of the only true center prospects in the league right now for a point guard just as injury prone as their young center?

    In what alternate universe is any of this making any sense to anyone?

    Who cares what whether or not Chris Paul thinks it’s time he gets traded? He’s under contract like Lebron was. He gets traded if and when New Orleans feels like they want to trade him.

    PERIOD end of discussion.

  • Chris Paul to the Lakers? Odom would be fair value for this injury prone PG in a league of PGs.

    Yeah he’s fine when he’s not injured but there are at least 10 other point guards around the league that would work out just fine (Rondo, Rose, Wall, Roy, DWill, Evans, Westbrook, Collison, Lawson, Bledsoe) not to mention Kidd, Baron Davis, Steve Nash, Agent Zero and several other quite serviceable veteran point guards.

    Good Grief People!

  • I love Green

    Alright Dave we get it. You’re the best, and all of us are scrubs. And CP3 gets injured for half a year one year, so he’s injury prone. You’re #1.

  • Jason

    “Remember boys, Rondo is a consistant mid-range jump shot away from the best PG in the league.”

    That’s it. That consistent mid-range jumper should be coming any day now. After four years, it should be worth the wait.

    Rondo has never been a good shooter in his life. Not in high school, not in college and not in the pros. He’s not even a good free throw shooter. If he was, then maybe one could be optimistic but no. It may be that his hands are too big to ever allow him to be a good shooter. Despite that, he’s become a great player and I love that he raises his game in the playoffs. But Paul is only a year older and could go down as one of the greatest point guards and players ever. He’s worth even sacrificing Rondo for.

    There is the risk that Paul might not want to resign and leaves after two seasons. But then again, the Celtics could have a lot of salary cap room in two seasons and good free agents would want to play with Paul, which could entice him to stay.

  • Chris O.

    Paul is still better than Rondo although the gap has closed. Please BTW do not tell me Paul is as good a defender as Rondo because he is not. He does get a lot of steals but is inept at times. I think he even somehow gambles more than Rondo does…

  • I love Green

    @Jason- He improved his jumper this year. Don’t argue with me boy. He’ll get there.

  • Jason

    @I love Green:

    My son, his improvement was incremental. When you’re starting from horrible, it takes more than that, it takes a quantum leap to get to consistent. If he gets there, he’ll be as good as Paul, who is a pretty tenacious defender in his own right. It’s not all just steals with him; he’s a strong and feisty dude. He is not a bad defender.

    For the next two years, Paul gives this team a better chance to win a championship. That goes for the next eight years as well.

  • I love Green

    @Jason- Rondo is definitley a better defender than Paul. And I bet next year Rondo will suprise us. His confidence in his jumper will improve, thus, his consistancy in it will too.

    Lets be honest here though, he doesn’t need to be automatic to be the best in the league. He’s lockdown, great rebounder, fast as lightning, great passer, gets to the paint at will, and runs the break like no other. Add in decent mid range shooter, and he’s not doubt the best in the league.

  • rondeezy

    @dave sounds like you had a bad day at work lol youre an idiot how do you put wall and bledsoe, two guys that didnt play a single game in the nba next to chris paul…… not to mention collison, lawson, and roy who isnt even a pg……
    and to everyone who thinks DA should deal rondo for cp3… wow…………………………………..

  • I love Green

    @Rondeezy- Don’t mess with Dave, he’s #1.

  • Sophomore

    Chris Paul is not coming to Boston. The end.

  • I love Green

    ^Da Troof

  • Ray Leighton

    Wow, never thought that this would stir up this much hostile debate. OK, look, Rondo is great — and I have gotten trashed on this website before for defending him — but let’s make something clear here — when I throw something out like this, it’s always backed by data. So I would appreciate it if counter-arguments were not abusive and actually involved some thought as opposed to merely expressing your knee-jerk opinion, especially if you are new on the blog. Rondo is one of my favorite players, but if I thought that it would help the Celtics to trade KG, who has been my favorite player for years, then I would understand if the Cs traded him.

    So let me put all of the numbers out there:

    All stats are listed with Rondo first, then Paul.

    Effective FG% .517 vs .534
    Jump shot Effective FG% .374 (ugh) vs. .516
    FT% 62.1 (really ugh) vs. 84.7

    Assist per 48 12.9 vs. 13.5
    Assist/Bad Pass 4.6 vs. 7.6
    Passing Rating 16.1 vs. 17.9

    Rebounding Rating 13.0 vs. 12.0
    Block Rating 0.5 vs. 0.8
    Hands Rating 31.1 vs. 33.9

    Opponents Turnovers Created 4.1 vs. 3.2
    Opponents Points Scored 19.0 vs. 21.3

    Production 21.6 vs. 26.5
    Opponents Production 16.6 vs. 18.4
    Production Differential +5.0 vs +8.1

    So Rondo has an edge defensively, especially in terms of creating turnovers (although he also gives up more points than he scores) and Paul is clearly the superior scorer, passer and ballhandler. And note that this was Chris Paul’s worst season, with no talent around him, and his numbers were still better than Rondo’s best season ever. If you view Chris Paul as injury-prone, then you must also view Kendrick Perkins as injury-prone.

    No doubt Rondo is going to get better and I already view him as an elite PG — which I said as much in the original post. I would like to think that if he continues to work with Mark Price, he will become a better shooter and free-throw shooter. But 37% jump shooting is awful — Rondo has to improve a LOT to become the sort of outside threat that would keep opposing defenses from collapsing into the paint. Do we have time to wait for that improvement?

    Danny needs to decide right now if we are still trying to win right now. If he wants to rebuild, then fine, blow it up, rebuild around Rondo and make the Celtics a running team so that we can utilize Rondo’s talents best. But if Danny wants to win now, than Chris Paul is the better PG and would give us a better chance of winning the championship — the guy is still an elite defender, and he is good for 20-10 a game and he is not much older than Rondo.

  • Shooter

    Collison…..15-8???? If NO does trade CP,Collison would put up more like 18-9.
    @I Love Green CP runs the break better than Rondo,you must need glasses if you think otherwise.
    I would deal Rondo for CP in a fraction of a heartbeat.In fact if i was talking to Demps over the phone discussing trades and he mentioned ROndo’s name before discussing a trade i would be like “YEP IT”S DONE”
    @ Jason you’re on the money,Rondo’s improvement in shooting has been incremental.He needs to “QUANTUM LEAP” to get anywhere near a “good jumpshot”.He was never a good shooter,in college in high school and his FT% hasn’t improved one iota since he was drafted into the NBA.If you haven’t improved your shooting after 4 years in the NBA you won’t improve at all.
    He even has Mark Price coaching him and even he can’t figure out what Rondo’s still doing wrong.

  • Shooter

    lol it took a dumbass team like the Clippers to workout T-Mac.Memphis must be next.

  • Renato Afonso

    Guys, I know I’m the enemy and all, but Boston would be just scary if they traded Rondo for CP3. The Lakers won the title (partially) because Kobe was able to play free safety.

    The Lakers didn’t do that with DWill or even Westbrook. Now, if Rondo could hit a jumpshot then certainly the outcome of the series would be different. We all think that the players in our team are better than they really are, but please, be serious… CP3 is on a whole different level. However, this is irrelevant since I think that he’ll either go to NYC or Orlando, if they trade him.

    @ Ray Leighton
    Dude, is it possible that Rondo’s defensive numbers are inflated due to the fact that he is playing on a defensive juggernaut? I mean, the team defense plays a good part on those stats…

  • CJ

    I’d rather have Rondo any day are you kidding me? 29 points, 18 rebounds, and 13 assists in the playoffs! Yeah you’re right the team defense handing him those 18 rebounds and the 2 steals and a block. Give the man some credit, I mean how many rings does CP3 have?

  • Evan

    My preference would be to keep Paul out of the East. I would love to see him in Portland. I think he ends up going to Jersey, where they can take on his contract and a bad contract like Peja or Okafor and give back Favors.

  • KB

    How many 3’s/long jumpers have you seen Rondo make at the end of a shot clock, even one at the end of game 7 of the finals. He has the shot, just needs some development. He has a good flow to it, I think this should be his breakout year in terms of shooting. Plus this team has been together for 3 years and been successful, why try and change that?? CP3 is better but not that much better to disturb chemistry, and Rondo will be a better shooter this year anyways which will further close the gap between the two. Rebuild around Rondo in 2 years!

  • Ben

    Paul is a better player, but Rondo’s contract is a far better value.

  • Renato Afonso

    “Give the man some credit, I mean how many rings does CP3 have?”

    Do you want to compare each team’s roster? That’s not a valid argument in this case.

    My point is: yeah, Rondo’s putting up some huge stats in the playoffs but he has a glaring weakness which you are expecting to see solved after 4 years in the NBA. His jumpshot and FT has not improved and yet you expect a miracle for this season.

    The point about chemistry may be valid, though. However, CP3 is not known for having a big ego and I think he would fit in just fine… But hey, keep Rondo. Kobe loves playing free safety…

  • Anthony

    I think a lot of people are missing the point…we all think Rondo is an elite PG that hasnt even reached his ceiling yet. But if a potential trade was actually available, you have to think about it. I doubt anyone here would just dismissed it and say abosolutely no without giving it a single thought.

    I actually posted the exact same question (Rondo for CP??) during the playoff but didnt get much feedback. Still a tough call but it wont likely be an option so no point in putting too much thought into it.

    How about Rondo for D-Rose? or Pierce and Ray for Lebron (pre-decision…lol)? It’s not happening but it would be interesting.

    Go Celts!

  • Renato Afonso

    Yep, I think he’s going to NYC. Jameer is the heart of the Magic, so I don’t think they’re THAT interested in CP3.

  • I love Green

    @shooter- You say that just because you love to hate on Rondo.

  • celtics freak

    y is every1 always talking about PG’s or SG’s we need a small some1 like jeff green or has not reached his full potential and wont mind coming off the bench or james posey but i would really like to get mickael pietrus in 2012 but we dntr have money but even bill walker is good as long as we play him or SHEED FOR BARBOSA and that would be amazing and they can all play SF

  • celtics freak

    since we r already talking about PG’s what if avery is a bust we need some1 youg to come and play PG like daniel gibson or even ty lawson

  • KB

    @ Celtics Freak: No to Daniel Gibson. Ty Lawson is quite good but don’t think Denver would get rid off him… he had a good year

  • Rich

    Dave, where in the world did Zach mention he was slighted that Paul isn’t on the Celtics radar nor are the Celtics on Paul’s radar? He never mentioned any such thing. Read bro.

  • Shooter

    @ILoveGreen ahhh i don’t know where you get that idea from.It is what it is dude,Rondo’s jumpshot hasn’t improved…….OK incrementally.I LOVE Rondo but he has to,absolutely has to improve his jumper,if he doesn’t we don’t have a shot at winning another title.
    Facts are facts.

  • For CP3 best team could be Knicks with Mike D’Antonio

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