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Ainge Talks About West Signing

 

Upon confirming the C’s will be signing Delonte West to a deal this afternoon, Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge spoke with the media this afternoon about the signing and other concerns relating to the team. Our man over at ESPNBoston.com. Chris Forsberg has us covered with the latest the C’s top dog had to say on West, training camp, and the rest of the roster.

On Trading Delonte West in 2007:

“He was one of the toughest guys for me to trade, I’d do it again, of course, but we really liked Delonte when he was here. Even though we knew the issues and the challenges he needed to take care of, we also think Delonte is in a better place today than he was the day he left. He wasn’t perfect, but we still liked the player.”

On Team’s Familiarity with West:

“There’s a familiarity with the roster and a familiarity with the players, Paul [Pierce] and Rajon [Rondo], especially, were big fans having played with him. I’m a fan of Delonte.”

On  Training Camp Plans:

“When I played for the Celtics, we never went away… It’s a long season, guys can sleep in their own beds.”

On Prospects of Tony Gaffney and Oliver Lafayette of Making The Roster:

“We’ll keep the best players.”

A couple other key notes from Forsberg’s column include the admission that Ainge wouldn’t close the door on making any more moves before the start of the season. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe also got Ainge to open up about the team considering West’s past before breaking him in:

“He is a competitor and we’re all aware (of his issues) and we’ve done a lot of checks and had a lot of conversation with Delonte and his people and we obviously have a long history with Delonte also and we think he can help us win.”

“We liked him. He was well-received by our fans, by our coaches and well-received by our teammates because he’s a guy who gives all he’s got every night. Delonte’s had some challenges off the court and I feel that right now that some of those challenges have given him some pretty serious wake-up calls. I think he’s actually in a better place today than when he left us a few years ago.”

I’ll have a full post analyzing Delonte later tonight, but it’s hard to argue with Ainge’s analysis here. The guy was one of the few bright spots this team had this decade before The Big Three Era. Danny is clearing putting all his eggs in one basket here for this year before the start of a potential Heat dynasty, and given the team’s history with West, they clearly have a much better sense of familiarity with him that enabled them to take a chance on bringing him in.

Most of West’s serious off-court problems surfaced after he left Boston, so hopefully this return brings a sense of stability back to his life as well as a chance to start fresh.

  • Dan

    Now that he’s no longer a Cav, let’s hear the real Delonte / Lebron’s mom story!

  • Jeff

    Good job Danny.

    Doc will definitely be ready to retire after this year with all the hedache this roster could POTENTIALLY cause him.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…my gut feelings are usually dead on with sports, and I feel Banners 18 and 19 the next two years. LA, MIA, ORL…none of them has as stacked a roster as Boston from top to bottom. Depth, youth, enegry, athleticism and motivation to bring vengeance upon the NBA all will wind up in a title this year.

    Bet on that.

  • Perry

    … Rebel Yell … might replace ‘In the air tonight’ , but at least we keep the 80′s theme. I would love to cover this lockeroom.

    $850k for West and Wafer … Both have huge payoff potential. Delonte plays very hard, and he’ll miss the first 10 games, so this bench could be something real special if he avoids injury … ditto Quis.

  • Rib

    jesus, we are officially stacked. I mean look at these additions

    Jermaine O’neal-Starting center on a 5th seeded team

    Shaquille O’neal-Starting center on the 1st seeded team

    Von wafer- Huge 6th man a couple years back

    Delonte West- Basically a starter on the 1st seeded team

    Avery Bradley- Unproven but has so much potential

    Luke harangody- Late second round steal

  • NHBluesMan

    @Rib, don’t forget a full season of Robinson, plus hopefully a healthy year for Quis

  • http://Aol.com Matthew

    I’m not sure about this move we needed a longer wing….6-6 6-7 6-8 not west. I like west. I’m not scared of his off the court. He hasn’t been an issue on the court that I know of. He can shoot and he competes. I don’t really see a fit. We need youth and athleticism. West is neither. Maybe we can package and trade a couple guys for an upgrade at wing. I’ll bet by the trade deadline Danny makes a splash for some real starter potential tallent. Just wAit. Baby Nate and scrubs for a big piece. I can’t wait to see who we’ll get.

  • http://www.balktalk.org Chooch

    Those quotes pretty much sum it up

  • Kevin

    Mark my words Big Baby and Quis will share time as backups for Pierce and will do a GREAT job at it. When Perkins gets back we will see a 2nd team of this Nate, West, Baby or Quis, and the Oneals with Shaq at Center. Imagine a front court of the Oneals and Baby wow. Jermaine could play PF with no problem and pull out that person. Nate can drive and pass to Shaq for a slam. Baby will overpower ANY SF in the league. Shaq will tear up #2 Centers as will Jermaine with #2 PFs. Basically we have nearly 2 starting lineups on 1 team when Perk gets back.

  • schuwinggg

    So, which team will LeBron’s mom root for on opening night ?

  • Freshberries

    Matthew I couldn’t disagree more! Delonte was the PERFECT guy to get. We needed a guy to provide depth at that spot, we got the best available by far!! Dude can really shoot, he can run the point if we really needed, and he works his butt off! Plus, he already has chemistry with a couple guys on the team. He can score which the bench has really needed. With him and Shaq u can put in Bradley to focus mainly on defense which could make up for losing TA. He was the exact guy we needed and we got him, I couldn’t be happier and I think this really puts us over the top as the favorite to win the championship this year. Then, after the lockout year we are set to have an offseason like the Heat had this year. We should be able to add at least 2 star players along with a bunch of roleplayers with almost everybody except PP and Rondo coming off the books!! No reason at all to trade him unless the guy we get would be leaving in 2 years. They aren’t gonna look for guys beyond that time cuz they want to rebuild around Rondo

  • JP

    I like this move in theory, as I think West has some good basketball in him. What I dislike about this, is that West is nuts and could really cause some trouble with chemistry and whatnot. I think with Shaq, and Wafer and West, the C’s got some guys with chemistry issues. Hopefully the core is strong enough to straighten everyone out.

  • Jason

    Mark my words, Big Baby will not play a minute at SF backing up Pierce. His feet are nimble but not that nimble. Even if he could play SF, Doc is too much of an orthodox coach to ever try such a radical idea.

    I really like the signing of Delonte. I grew to dislike him when he was here because he was so methodical at the point. I used to scream at him to make a decision and not play by the college shot clock but as a combo-guard off the bench, he’s really good. I love that he has range on his shot. I think his signing makes Von Wafer a DNP most nights and also eats up any time Bradley might have gotten.

  • Pete

    Lebron will try even harder because he knows West gave his mom herpes

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    fact1: good signing

    fact2: most colorful and combustive collection of personalities ever assembled on one team (as long as i can remember at least – but i ask thee wise wizards at Celtics Hub to bring some historical perspective – i’m guessing no one can come close)

    fact3: doc wins with this crew and he becomes legend. i mean, how many guys could could handle and connect with this crew (again, i say no one, not popovich, not sloan, not adelman, not scott, not mcmillan….phil or karl or brown are the only other guys not in sobbing heap by december)

    fact4: its going to be a very, very, very entertaining season for Cs fans!!!

  • Rangatiratanga

    Don’t know about West i really don’t know………and i’m not concerned about whose backing up PP.Obviously whoever it is he’ll be playing 2nd unit guys.And please stop with the Baby playing the 3 retarded comments.

  • Kevin

    Quis will be primary backup to Pierce but if you all havent noticed a trend we got at least 2 backups for each position. There is a skught chance Harangody is the 2nd guy HOWEVER Doc does NOT like rookies in that spot and Harangody is about as slow as Scal was. So IF Quis goes down then WHO plays #3? Quis is injury prone so it is a given he will get hurt at some point. Which I hope not however history does not look good.

  • Sophomore

    @Kevin -yes. Quisy is the primary backup for Pierce, and he’s never gone through a season without injury. The Cs don’t have another good backup at the 3, simple as that. I would’ve preferred to see us get somebody longer.

    Wonder what this signing does to Wafer’s mindset. Allen and West are both capable of long minutes at the 2, so when does he figure to play?

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

    I think that the battle is as much between West and Nate as it is between West and Wafer.

  • Chris

    Rondo, Allen, Nate, Wafer, West and Bradley (with Quis strictly at the 3)… Seems like the backcourt is overloaded now.

    Rondo plays big minutes (but with his FT%, the C’s need a closer). Allen is still going to play 30/night. Doesn’t leave much for the rest.

    Wafer and West are not playing out the string on min salary deals, they’re hoping to get some minutes and re-establish their NBA bona fides. Bradley can forget about getting any serious regular season minutes to help his development. And Nate? You have to be thinking that he’ll be trade bait after 12/15, right? Unless Danny isn’t expecting Wafer to make any impact.

    Good problems to have in the offseason, but once the reg season starts… that’s a lot of guys fighting over not a lot of minutes.

  • Ross in Maine

    @ JP: my only worry as well. We’ll have to rely on the big 3′s tenacity and Doc’s level headed fatherliness to keep the lid on this “meth lab” of personalities.

    @Koolaid: Right on! Sit back and enjoy the ride, baby, ’cause we’re not likely to have this opportunity again for years to come.

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