Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The Celtics have reportedly changed their stance on whether they'd require a long-term commitment before trading for Paul. It was believed to be a requisite to a deal getting done when SI.com first reported their interest in Paul. Sources said their offer includes point guard Rajon Rondo, a 2012 top-10 protected first-round pick from the Clippers, second-year guard Avery Bradley and rookie guard E'Twaun Moore. Another source said restricted free agent Jeff Green would likely be part of that deal as well.
ESPN.com reported Monday that in addition to the Warriors and Clippers — New Orleans' preferred trade partners — at least three teams have told the Hornets that they're willing to trade for Paul without any assurance that he'll extend his contract or re-sign next summer. They are the Celtics, Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, with Boston widely considered to be the strongest bidder in that group despite what sources describe as the Hornets' lukewarm interest to date in the primary players offered by the Celtics: All-Star guard Rajon Rondo and forward Jeff Green.
Buckle up. The Chris Paul trade reports are coming fast and furiously.
Whatever the Celtics are offering, it appears they are not the front-runners. Rajon Rondo isn't satisfying the Hornets appetite in a trade. I'm not sure why, but that's a topic for another post.
The Herald's Steve Bulpett is the first to mention that Glen Davis may play a role in all of this:
Glen Davis could end up playing a part in all this, no matter which way New Orleans goes. The C’s unrestricted free agent has received interest from the Hornets during the past couple of days as they try to put the right pieces around Paul that might make him want to stay (no doubt it will take more than the forward to sway Paul).
But if New Orleans decides there is no way it will be able to retain Paul, then Davis, a Louisiana native, could be a welcome component in a Celtics package that surely will be headlined by Rajon Rondo [stats]. And, according to a source, said package would have to contain more than those two players.
I want Chris Paul on the Celtics, but I fear the asking price is getting too high. The package reported by Sports Illustrated (Rondo, Bradley, Green, 1st round pick) is flat out ridiculous.
On Page 2, a look at the Celtics strength of schedule.
Boston, with 57 wins, and Oklahoma City, with 56 wins, both were among the NBA's elite last year. However, both drew exceedingly difficult home-and-home opponents, likely by virtue of their television-friendly teams.
Boston plays the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Thunder twice each. The Thunder is set to play the Celtics, the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic twice each. If Tyson Chandler and/or Dwight Howard change teams prior to the start of the season that would probably be appreciated in Massachusetts and Oklahoma.
Both Boston and Oklahoma City, despite being well above .500 last year, have differentials of zero thanks to the tough scheduling.
I'm not overly concerned with the Celtics opponents. I'm more concerned with the back-to-backs and back-to-back-to-backs. As I mentioned last night, the Cs schedule is not as bad as I feared.