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Wednesday Notebook: Signings and Injuries

 

Danny Ainge’s offseason got a bit more challenging today when Kevin Love agreed to terms on a 4-year contract extension with the Timberwolves. He can opt out after three years but that takes him out of play for the C’s, the same way the Clippers’ acquisition of Chris Paul eliminated him as a target. Dwight Howard, of course, remains completely uninterested in Boston.

There’s more than one way to use cap space, though. Ainge can still make a play for a star through a trade, because he’ll have the ability to absorb salary, which will put him at a premium position relative to most of his peers. Finding a star may not be a summer-2012 proposition but common belief is the Celtics are not interested in a long-term rebuild through the draft (likely because they don’t want to sabotage fan attendance or interest while fielding a lineup filled with the Sebastian Telfairs and Gerald Greens of the world).

The one thing I’d caution C’s fans against is expecting big money contracts for supporting players, like the one Denver handed to Danilo Gallinari. Ainge has been careful to avoid paying non-stars big money the last few years and that’s likely to continue.

Additional deals with the class of 2008 can be completed up to midnight ET tonight.

***

The Celtics may try and one-up their successful Monday night formula tomorrow in the second half of a home-and-home against the Magic. Which is to say they may have six guys on the bench in street clothes instead of five.

Chris Forsberg lets us know that Mickael Pietrus, Keyon Dooling, Chris Wilcox, Rajon Rondo and the newly injured Jermaine O’Neal (knee, wrist) all participated in practice today, but will be game-time decisions tomorrow. Ray Allen did not make the trip to Orlando.

It’s good news everyone is getting close and on the back of the spirited efforts of Monday night’s mix-and-match lineups, it’s not even that discouraging if they don’t play. The bench may not be able to step up so boldly two games in a row, but if it’s Avery Bradley and Sasha Pavlovic starting in the backcourt tomorrow, the C’s know they can still eke out a win. And this season, more than ever, is about the long game. The last thing Boston needs is Rondo falling hard on that wrist and spending an extended period of time on the injured list.

  • Phil

    Celtics fans should be thrilled at not throwing money at mediocre players; that's the quickest way to Piston hell right there. If there's no star, let the cap space sit and just suck short term. Every year there are bad teams giving away good players, you won't stay bad for too long if you're smart.

  • skeeds

    I wouldn't call Gallinari a supporting player. The kid is playing some serious ball this year, the Knicks are gonna be very sorry for trading him for Melo.

    I think that Danny Ainge will be forced to work around the "star" issue, and it might turn good. I mean, it's supposed to be a star league, but look around. Star ridden teams are playing at a level lower than the sum of their stardom (Hello New York!) while no star teams, Philly, Indiana, Portland and Denver, are flat out dominating.

    Personally, I hate the star thing. Especially this generation of stars, who seem to fall into the NBA with their crown already on. Screw that. Who made Carmelo a star and denies Ginobili the honor? There are amazing players out there that will never be considered stars, yet outperform their famous opponents. I can think of a bunch of underrated players that around Rondo could turn into a lethal team. (Iggy, DeRozan, Hibbert, Josh Smith)

    Players should become stars by having a noteworthy career, not by media hype. And Boston breeds stars. So as for Dwight especially, he's great and everything, but you know what? He's no Olajuwon. So I'd much rather we went for Hibbert, or Bogut, or McGee, and make a star out of any of them, than pay Dwight 20mil/year to grace us with his presence.

    • SteveB

      Exactly. That's why it was refreshing to read about Ray Allen speaking about the two rookies this year, Johnson and Moore. Saying how mature they were when they arrived but also that didn't show up with some sense of entitlement. Granted, they were lower picks without the fanfare, but those guys are more often the kind that "get it". That's one reason I like Derrick Rose. Despite the high pick and accolades he seems pretty grounded and has a lot of the qualities you would want in your players. The NBA has gone through a lot of phases. Back in the Cowens era when players had offseason jobs, then the rampant drug use in the 70's and 80's, then the Bird/Magic then Jordan times with stars and lots of money, which transitioned into this era of players thinking it's normal to be an average player and make 10 million a year. Even John Wall by all accounts seems to work hard and give it all every night. He may not have developed all the skills he needs but he seems to work at his craft, not be happy to collect a pay check and give half his effort.

      • skeeds

        Rose is a role model I think, as is Dirk, and Nash, and a bunch of those not-exactly-superstars that end up league MVP's and for good reason. I wouldn't mind if Rose developed some swagger either, his game justifies it, which is much more than you can say for Westbrook for example.

        I think that it's not about the salary though. Somewhere along the Jordan era and beyond, it became ok to be a superstar without achieving anything as a player. Guys were rewarded both in the media and with endorsements, ads and all that, and I have no problem with that, except the fact that market value became more valid than winning. With the expansion of the league, also, it means that much fewer even get the chance to win, so why even bother?

  • Devonte

    Next month Ainge need to trade C.Wilcox,K.Dooling,M.Daniels,J.Johnson,S.Pavlovic, & 1st round pick to Houston for C.Budinger,T.Williams, & H.Thabeet. Ainge should also trade A.Bradley & E.Moore for to Sacramento for I.Thomas. After the trade deadline Ainge should sign R.Wallace & E.House for 1 year. These guys coming off the bench for Boston along with Pietrus,Bass, & Stiemsma we will come out the East and win it all.

    • Guest

      This isn't NBA 2k12 dude

      • Batman

        Oh Devonte
        You wacky man

      • Anthony

        I wouldnt make that trade in NBA 2K12 either.

        A few bigger names that Celts should pursue if possible:
        - Josh Smith – Tho he's playing well, ATL might be willing to deal to get cap space to go after Dwight Howard
        - Roy Hibbert – Might also assist in resigning J.Green at discount
        - James Harden/ Serge Ibaka – How's OKC going to resign both after Westbrook/Durant contracts
        - Eric Gordon – think he's a bit injury prone tho
        - Amare Stoudamire – long shot and doubt we have the pieces to make the trade but the guy made the Knicks revelant again until Melo changed it back to their losing ways. Can flat out play as long as it's not with Melo.

        A few players that I think can be pretty good additions – Jason Thompson, Dorell Wright, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Landry Fields, Amir Johnson, Mario Chalmers, Ersan Ilysova, Shannon Brown (improved jumpshot, and maybe an Boston version of Lob City).

        I know there are names missing (ie Demarcus Cousins) but I think he's part of the entitled "stars" that were discussed above. And I thought Big Baby was a headcase.

        Any thoughts?

    • CG12

      At least with this one we'd be getting Budinger instead of Jonny Flynn. And I do enjoy TWill the Thrill.

  • LACelticsFan

    Guys possibly not receiving extensions and thus becoming RFAs. Nicholas Batum, JaVale McGhee, Brook Lopez, Brandon Rush. I am sure there will be more but for now I would love to see Lopez suiting up in Green next year.

    • Batman

      Wow me too
      Big Lopez fan

      • Anthony

        Brook Lopez is just ok player. No way is he worth anywhere near a max contract or even 10 mil per.

        Agreed with Roy Hibbert comment… cant see Indy not resigning him. Only David West and Danny Granger are paid more 10 mil+ on their team.

        Was hopeful Kevin Love wasnt going to resign. Oh well.

        • LACelticsFan

          Brook wouldn't get a max deal especially coming off a broken foot. But we could trade a 1st rounder for him or a decent package for him. He is a legit center that could average 19 and ten, easily with Rondo. And seeing as how Doc is locked up for the next 5 years, and he doesn't play rookies, we could get him and it could pay big dividends immediately.

          • LACelticsFan

            Actually Brook would be a RFA after this season so we could offer something maybe NJ wouldnt want to match because they are hard after Dwight and need the cap space to sign him.

  • pam

    i would love to see hibbert in green. could be a really good fit for rondo. also we need to resign kg and ray for the min for at least a year just to mentor whoever we sign. i hope stephen a smith is just blowing shit out of his ass when he talks about the lakers signing kg in the offseason. i dont think i could watch basketball if that happened

    • Batman

      No way Indiana doesn't keep Hibby, they'll match anything

  • JR99

    "if it’s Avery Bradley and Sasha Pavlovic starting in the backcourt tomorrow, the C’s know they can still eke out a win" — strange, seems to me they didn't "eke out a win" against Orlando this week… they blew them out so badly, it made history.

    Losing JO would be a big problem, likely greatly diminishing their chances of winning. He played a big role in neutralizing Howard, and we need him against this team. Let's hope he's good to go, at least.

    • CG12

      Agreed – losing JO would be a really big problem, especially with Wilcox out. The last number of games have put into stark contrast how weak Stiemsma's one-on-one defense is. He is a great help-side shot blocker, but that's about it. He can't handle real centers one-on-one. He has been getting killed. JO's man D has been extremely good. It seems like the Steamer could give them a little more on O. He has that surprisingly nice J and seems to roll to the hoop pretty well.

  • W2.

    Shannon Brown looks awful.

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