With less than one week until the official start of free agency, still lots of rumors floating around the free agent mill along with some more reaction on the Rajon Rondo trade front, so let’s get right to it:
–We’ll start with the story from an interview with the Boston Herald, and Rondo’s agent Bill Duffy. Understandably, Duffy was looking for some reassurance from C’s executives on his client, and here’s what Mark Murphy got from him:
“I’m told that he’s their guy,” Duffy told the Herald. “There’s been repeated interest in him, as there is in other players. But they have high expectations for Rajon now and moving forward.”
Still, the talk that the Celtics are looking to deal Rondo has caused more than a few waves.
“It’s just disturbing,” said Duffy. “It’s disturbing for everybody. It’s disturbing for me. It’s disturbing for him, because it makes one think, ‘Where do I stand in this relationship?’ Particularly because he’s a darn good player, and this is a very successful franchise, and he’s one of the key players on the franchise.
I’m more curious than ever to see how Rondo responds this year with his play to all this speculation. I’ll have some thoughts on this tomorrow.
–With several roster spots available, the C’s free agent rumor mill is also in full swing. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe has the latest on the C’s latest round of interest in players such as Shannon Brown, Kwame Brown, Marquis Daniels and Mr. Rebound himself Reggie Evans. You should be sure to check out the full article for all the nuggets, but here’s some quotes from Evans on the C’s interest:
“I was kind of surprised when they reached out to me,’’ Evans said. “It was an honor, especially with the kind of players they have on their team.’’
“[The Celtics] are a tough-minded team and I am a tough-minded player,’’ said Evans, who was a teammate of Ray Allen’s in Seattle. “I don’t really take too much on the court and they really don’t take too much on the court. So that’s why I used to love to play against them so much because they used to remind me of myself, knowing their competitive nature and they don’t take any plays off. I liked to play against them.’’
At 31, Evans is seeking a bit of security, and a chance to win a championship after advancing beyond the first round of the playoffs just once.
“I want to win a title so bad,’’ he said. “I know I’m not getting younger in the league, so I want a chance to win. I want to weigh out all my options because I got the right attitude, I’m not trying to go to a team and start shooting the ball. I just want to see if there’s a need for me out there.’’
You may also remember Evans as the guy who did this:
It’s important to keep in mind that the C’s will only be able to bring in one of the players listed above, (besides Daniels who probably would take a minimum deal) with their 3 million-dollar mid level exception. With so many needs on the roster, there is no clear-cut place where the C’s should spend that money, making all of those guys possibilities. It’s likely that many of them will be outside that price range, especially Evans and Brown.
– The C’s also will need to decide if they want to spend that 3 million dollars on bringing back one of their own Delonte West. The C’s don’t have bird rights on the hybrid guard and he’ll cost more than the veteran’s minimum this year to bring back.
ESPN LA is also reporting the C’s could have some competition for West from their rivals out west in the LA Lakers. The good news is that the Lakers have no more money to spend on him than the C’s do with the 3 million MLE.
The Lakers have interest in Delonte West, who played for coach Mike Brown in Cleveland and last played for Boston, as a potential fill-in at guard and also are keen on Indiana free agent Josh McRoberts, according to a source with knowledge of their thinking. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported that Denver free-agent guard Arron Afflalo is also on the Lakers’ radar.
Definitely a lot to keep an eye on here, and we will have full coverage here at the Hub, including a full free agency breakdown on the way later this week.