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Press Conference Notebook: Ainge on the Trade, the New Guys and the Trade Exception

 

This notebook of Celtics news and notes discusses the significant parts of Monday’s afternoon press conference with newcomers MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans and Kris Humphries, who were accompanied by Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens.

THIS IS NO BIG THREE

Sitting in front of Gatorade bottles on July 15, the five members of the Celtics organization answered questions from the media. In exchange for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and D.J. White, the Celtics actually acquired five players from the Brooklyn Nets, but waived Kris Joseph and excused Gerald Wallace from the press conference to attend the first day of his basketball camp in Alabama.

While this was not the ‘big three’ that Celtics fans were hoping to see in summer 2013, they spoke about the different skills that they will be able to bring to the Celtics. However, as expected, there were many lingering questions about the past. Ainge had some very interesting responses about the blockbuster trade:

“You don’t really want to trade to a divisional rival, but there were no other teams that were even close. As a matter of fact, it was interesting that the offers that we got for Paul and KG this summer were greater than offers that we had for them in years past. It was an opportunity that I feel we needed to jump at.”

It was very important for Ainge to get enough value for Pierce and Garnett, and he feels that he did just that:

“To be able to get this many draft picks for guys at their age, it doesn’t happen very often. And it wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t a team that was willing to spend a lot of tax dollars.”

It is even more notable to understand that the Celtics were not dead set on trading away the veteran stars:

“The decision to make the trade was because of what we were getting – which was unique – not because we were trying to get rid of them. If Kevin Garnett came back to the Boston Celtics, we would have been thrilled. And if Paul would have come back, we would have been thrilled. As a matter of fact, most of our thoughts were geared in that direction because there really wasn’t much value on the market for us to start the rebuilding process.”

Then, in response to a question about Pierce and Garnett’s ability to help the Nets, Ainge said the following:

“They got a lot left in the tank, especially the fact that they don’t have to do it every night.” Ainge continued, “But this is a good deal for us. We’re excited about the players that we’re getting, and we’re excited about the opportunity for us to start fresh and start over – not completely over because we have a lot of good players returning and a lot of good players that we acquired in the trade – but start over as far as the new coaching staff and new players and a new identity.”

 

THE FRESH FACES

If they remain in green, these three role players should all see the court enough to make an impact on the 2013-14 Celtics. The most important fresh faces present Monday has to Brooks, who is already a strong scorer. He received limited minutes last season, but still put up more than 15 points per 36 minutes for the second straight season:

“I’m really excited for the opportunity to play with some young guys, get out and run and play hard. We don’t have too high of expectations, so we are just going to go out there and play hard everyday and rally behind the crowd and get as many wins as possible.”

In addition to being excited for the new journey with the storied franchise, Brooks also complimented Bogans’ veteran leadership off the floor:

“Keith is a very good locker room guy. He makes everybody laugh, bringing everybody together. I think that will make it a lot easier for myself having some of these older guys around.”

Bogans was a defensive stalwart for Tom Thibodeau’s 2010-11 Chicago Bulls that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. He spoke confidently in his deep baritone voice about his excitement to contribute to a team that has such a great fan base:

“I know the fans in Boston appreciate hard work and a guy who plays hard. And that’s pretty much my game.”

He continued on the subject of becoming a role model:

“I’m going to be more of like a coach because I went from being the youngest guy to now being one of the oldest guys in the locker room. I know my job will be an extension of coach Stevens to be on the floor helping the young guys learn a lot faster and just being a good teammate and a leader, a professional.”

And finally, we have Humphries – what can you say about this power forward? Well, other than all the obvious jokes about his past and his expiring $12-million contract, he brought comic relief to the room. He also spoke about mending his relationship with Rajon Rondo after their skirmish in the previous season:

“I think we’ll have a good relationship, and I think things happen within the game. If you look it, it really was nothing. The media tries to blow things out of proportion.”

Although Kris was the one who tweeted the picture of the scratches that Rondo left him, it seems that Humphries wants to put this all behind them. He even referred to a recent talk that he had with Ainge:

“I was talking earlier with Danny Ainge. They’re not tanking; we’re playing hard. We got to come out here and compete, trying to make it to the playoffs.”

Monday’s press conference could all be moot because Ainge admitted that there is still more work to do, but he did say the following about the future of the players that were introduced:

“I think they’ll be here. I think they’ll be here.”

 

THE TRADE EXCEPTION

While Celtics fans were able to hear from the current members of the trade on Monday, there could be a “secret gem” in the future, courtesy of the ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg:

“The Celtics acquired a $10.3 million traded player exception as part of the Nets swap. That’s an insanely valuable asset for a team that could put itself in position to vault back to contender status — and remain there — if it makes the right steps moving forward.”

The Celtics not only received three first-round draft picks from the Nets, but they also obtained this impressive trade exception:

“The creative wizards in the Celtics’ front office — a group helmed by president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, assistant general manager Mike Zarren and director of player personnel Austin Ainge — were able to structure the Nets deal in such a way that a trade exception was generated for the difference in salaries between Paul Pierce ($15.3 million) and Keith Bogans ($5 million). Understanding exactly how that happened and why it works is enough to make you go cross-eyed. The bottom line is that Boston now has the ability to absorb $10.3 million worth of salary so long as it does so within a one-year window that started with Friday’s official consummation of the trade.”

The organization will have until July 12, 2014 to use this trade exception. Celtics fans hope that this brings in an essential piece to the puzzle that Ainge and Stevens are looking to create.

For more Celtics coverage and pertinent statistics, follow Celtics Hub and Stats Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam

  • tbunny

    “I was talking earlier with Danny Ainge. They’re not tanking; we’re playing hard. We got to come out here and compete, trying to make it to the playoffs.”

    -Kris Humphries' expiring contract

  • hax

    Trade exception is pretty nice.

  • Ben

    What would the C's do with that trade exception? If they're trying to get in the lottery for next year, would they try to pick up an expiring deal with that money? Say they traded Rondo (who is on a reasonable deal) for a max expiring contract. That would put them in prime position to not only get a very good player in the draft, but potentially a stud free agent who you might not be able to get straight up in a trade for Rondo.

    • Phil

      If you're getting a 10m dollar salary player, you have to send out a player who makes close to 10m as well. That's why the Nets had to send Wallace and Humphries and sign and trade Bogans to a deal 5X what he would've gotten elsewhere, to make the salaries close to Pierce/KG.

      A trade exception allows a team to circumvent the normal salary cap rules of a trade. Now the Cs could take in a player who makes up to 10.3m this year without giving up a player in return.

      It's not overly useful IMO because most teams looking for salary relief would gladly take Humphries' expiring contract instead of not getting anyone. It's not like the Cs are going to give up draft picks for a mid-tier salary guy in the next year. It could be used to help get a team under the luxury tax, but that's getting very speculative.

      As far as your Rondo trade, they could trade Rondo + Wallace (for max salary relief,) in exchange for expiring contracts, but I assume they think they can get more than that. They also wouldn't need the trade exceptions in that case, because the other team would presumably be giving around 23m in expiring contracts back. The Cs also have a lot more money they need to clear before they can start signing free agents. Rondo is the least of their cap problems.

      • Ben

        Ah, thanks Phil I get it. The only way I see them using the exception now is if they hit the lottery and they're looking for a third piece of a new big 3 (Rondo, #1 pick).

  • james patrick

    We better tank! Otherwise, I'd rather "try" to make the playoffs with Paul and KG!

  • JP

    I agree with James. I want to tank for Wiggins and that stacked draft class. If Jason Kidd screws up the Nets while we are tanking, then even better. We could potentially get into a situation like the Thunder were in with a lot of young talented guys.

    • Phil

      The Celtics are highly unlikely to get a lottery pick from Brooklyn after this upcoming season. Even if they completely implode somehow, the Hawks have the choice to swap their pick with Brooklyn before the Cs get it. You would need both Brooklyn and Atlanta to miss the playoffs, and even then it would be the higher pick between the two.

  • Banner18

    Seriously though, what are the odds of us getting a HIGH draft pick. C's are in the same position as they were in last year looking at a 7 or 8 seed with an early playoff exit. This team is not bad enough to be considered a "blowup" (unless, of course, either Rondo sits out the majority of the season or he gets traded along with Humph, Bass, etc. which is unlikely). Moreover, people are failing to realize that other teams are tanking as well. Love the optimism, but realistically, a mid to late loto pick is something we should expect in next years draft.

    • Phil

      We don't know that this is the team that the Cs are taking into the season. For all of the 'WE'RE NOT TANKING DAMMIT!!' bluster the Cs front office has been pushing of late, they know the situation. They know they're a 30 win team right now, and that's not gonna get it done for either side.

      The most logical way to pull off the tank would be to suck early, showcase Rondo as healthy for a few games before flipping him for something at the deadline, then suck late. Aside from trading Rondo/being cautious with his injury, it won't take much to scuttle the rest of the roster.

  • TeedeKima

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  • Murphman

    pretty fair to assume Danny Ainge will be active as usaual at the Trade Deadline and Draft night.

    Kevin Garnett is kinda year to year, and Paul Pierce is in last year of his deal.

    The Nets Could drop Way off after this season.

    If The Clippers Win it all this year Will Doc Rivers be back in 2015?

    With Fab Melo gone and Kris Humphries likley to be traded in Seaso,

    wonder if they would bring back Colton Iverson after the trade deadline?

  • AbrardNar

    I like you view on the subject to tell you the truth its about time somebody tackle this isssue.xtube96.com

  • Arrotthut

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