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.
Celtics president Danny Ainge would prefer to trade the Clippers’ 2015 first-rounder, the pick the team obtained as compensation for allowing LA to sign coach Doc Rivers — the Clippers are likely to be a good team next season, which would lessen the value of the pick. The Rockets would prefer to have a pick in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft. Boston owns its pick and the lesser of the picks between the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets.
If I’m Danny Ainge (and thank God I’m not or Devin Harris would be our point guard), I draw a hard line on this draft pick. It’s the Clippers 2015 pick or NOTHING.
Ainge can look Rockets GM Daryl Morey in the eye and say, “Make a deal with Philly for Spencer Hawes, I dare you.”
For those fans freaking over the inclusion of a 1st rounder in this deal, the Celtics have 9 1st round picks over the next 5 years. 9 picks. 5 years.
The Herald’s Steve Bulpett has an interesting take on the trade talks. He claims this offer came last week and was rejected by the Rockets:
The Celtics were not deep in talks with the Rockets yesterday. They were not negotiating which first-round pick to include in the deal, or how well-protected that pick would be.
According to a source from a team that was involved in the process but dropped out, the next move would have to come from the Rockets.
“It’s kind of funny how things that have been dead for a while keep coming up,” he said. “The only way I can see anything happening is if (Rockets general manager Daryl Morey) decides he wants something that he’s already said no to.
“I can see where the thing with Boston makes sense for (the Celtics). Lee and Bass are good, but they’re complementary guys. And if the first-round pick is protected, what do (the Celtics) have to lose? But Daryl didn’t go for that before, and I don’t see how he changes on that. Asik has to be a more important asset than that.”
I’m buying this scenario. It’s possible Morey rejected this offer initially and Ainge has left it on the table.
Sherrod Blakely and Chris Mannix both think the deal will happen today.
On Page 2, analyzing the final shot from last night’s loss
[Stevens said:] “I thought we got [Jared Sullinger] setting the screen for Jeff [Green] … then they were going to play off that, just single pindown. And with four seconds left, I think the bottom line is to try and get it to a guy that you think can make a play and, even though it wasn’t a great night for Jeff overall, getting it into the middle of the floor with him driving in that direction –- we’ve all seen him make those plays time and again so I don’t have a problem with the last shot we got, by any means.”
The Celtics got the ball back down a point with 17 seconds to go. An initial attempt fizzled, leaving Brandon Bass dribbling the ball in isolation for 13 seconds before Stevens called timeout with Bass uncertain whether to put up a shot or look elsewhere with the ball.
Echoed Sullinger: “I thought it was a great shot, it was a good look for us. Brad put me on the strong side with Jeff, where he had his right-hand. And it forced [Andre] Drummond to make a decision. And Drummond kind of stuck with me and Jeff had a good look. And then Josh did one hell of a job to contest the basketball.”
I credit Green for driving to the hoop with 4 seconds remaining. Most guys will attempt the 20-foot pull up or step-back jumper in this situation. Josh Smith played tremendous defense.
The real problem with the final possession came on the first attempt. Brandon Bass dribbled the ball for 13 seconds. I don’t want to see that in the 1st quarter, never mind with the game on the line in the 4th. You could blame Brad Stevens for not recognizing the situation and calling a time-out sooner.
The rest of the links:
Herald – Balanced Cs fall to Det | CSNNE – Outplayed Cs watched 21 point lead vanish | Green looks for more consistency on D | Sullinger tip-in with 0.2 | Play the waiting game with Rondo | Globe – Celtics can’t prevail in the end | ESPN Boston – Rapid Reaction | Turnover bug returns |