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 confirmed that they have waived Kris Joseph and Jarvis Varnado.
At 5 p.m. today, their contracts would have become guaranteed. An NBA source termed the release of Joseph, a rookie second-round draft pick, and Varnado, who was recently signed, a flexibility issue and not necessarily a precursor to another roster move.
Both Joseph and Varnado were playing on non-guaranteed contracts, and their waivers come prior to Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline to cut such players. After signing Jason Terry to the mid-level exception, the Celtics are forced to adhere to the NBA’s $74.3 million hard cap. These moves save the Celtics a few hundred thousand dollars, which doesn’t sound like much, but it opens the possibility of adding a veteran minimum talent like Kenyon Martin down the road.
There’s seemingly no reason to believe the Celtics won’t stick with their desire to proceed patiently. Again, this all appears to be about flexibility. Boston already navigated maybe the roughest portion of its season and didn’t make a panic move, so why start now? The Celtics finally are showing signs of reestablishing their defensive identity, particularly with the return of Avery Bradley, and it would seem foolish to rock things now unless there was a steal to be had on the trade market (and what reasonable seller would make a move a month before demand would increase from buyers at the deadline?)
None of the league contacts I’ve spoken with have indicated Cousins is available, and if you’re the Kings and moving your biggest asset, wouldn’t you want to find out exactly what you can get for him? The other issue, and not a small one, is that Cousins only makes $3.8 million. While the Kings have cap space, they have absolutely no interest in filling it, which means Cousins would have to be packaged with John Salmons ($8m, $7.5m) or Marcus Thornton ($7.6m, $8.1m, $8.6m) just to do a deal for, say, Jeff Green and Avery Bradley. What sense does that make? The only tantalizing possibility is if Celtics GM Danny Ainge finally goes through with his annual Rondo trade dalliance, but he’d need to get back a PG and I’m just not sure Aaron Brooks, Bradley, Pierce, KG and Cousins gets you farther in the postseason than Rondo, Bradley, Pierce, Green/Bass/Sullinger, KG.
DeMarcus Cousins is not going to the Celtics. Teams continue to be told that he’s not available. That is all.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 7, 2013
So it seems that the move to cut Kris Joseph, no matter how much the C’s may have liked him, may simply have been a business move to save a few bucks and free up a roster spot. Which means all the talk about a move… and some irresponsible reporting by some outlets… stoked a bit of a mass hysteria around here.
There is nothing quite like a trade rumor to stoke the page views on a team blog… but one thing we pride ourselves on is actually taking a moment to consider the sources which are reporting certain stories. Posting rumors for the sake of a few extra page views is a quick way to lose credibility, and while we do like to have a lot of fun around here, we’d like to think we’re a credible source for filtering out the bullshit from the legitimate stuff.
Yesterday’s report from Sherrod Blakely, when you break it down, ultimately said Danny Ainge isn’t actively shopping anyone, but will listen to see if someone wows him with a deal. And a guy like Cousins has tantalizing talent, so I’m sure someone in the C’s organization has said “I’d love to have that guy.”
But the reality continues to be that despite how much of an asshole Cousins has been, he’s a big guy with a ton of skill, and there’s just no way in hell Sacramento lets that go for anything short of a great package in return. And while I believe the Celtics have a great mix of talented players that, despite their play to start the season, will take them far into the playoffs… those players individually don’t comprise enticing enough packages to pry away a 22 year-old center with that much talent. Smart GM’s up the price.
So to summarize:
- If you see a rumor, or a tweet, or a Facebook post out there and it’s not up here… it’s because we think it’s total bullshit.
- It’s trade rumor season, so people with legit sources will have rumors that we’ll pass along, but many of those come from team or player sources with an agenda, so take them all with a grain of salt.
- While anything is possible, all the sane analysis of the Kings situation shows that DeMarcus Cousins is staying in Sacramento at least for the foreseeable future, and the Kings won’t just give him away because he’s been a headache.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Just another triple double for Rondo | ESPN Boston: Celtics-Knicks has plenty of intrigue | Globe: C’s are winning because they have more fight | MWDN: Celtics take momentum into meeting with Knicks