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Your Morning Dump… Where free agency begins with contacting Isaiah Thomas

windhorst

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.

Boston making a young point guard one of its initial calls will do little to quell speculation about Rajon Rondo’s future here. In the aftermath of drafting Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart with the sixth pick in last week’s draft, Boston’s top decision-makers maintained that Rondo is part of the team’s future plans and that there was room for multiple ball-handlers in the guard rotation. The 25-year-old Thomas is a restricted free agent after averaging 20.3 points over 34.7 minutes per game last season. Some have speculated that his salary could jump up towards (or above) the nontaxpayer’s mid-level exception ($5.3 million), which means Boston might have to explore sign-and-trade options to make a potential courtship work. At the right price, Thomas would provide a much-needed scoring punch, while also giving the team another in-house option should Rondo’s future take him elsewhere. If nothing else, this is the latest in a persistent bunch of rumors regarding the Celtics and Kings.

ESPN Boston – Free-agent buzz: C’s reach out to Thomas

The never ending rumors involving the Celtics and the Sacramento Kings just keep turning up.  This time as the NBA’s free agency period begins, we learn that the C’s have reached out to Isaiah Thomas.  Thomas was included in those original trade rumors that involve Rajon Rondo, earlier in the season.  He also plays for the Kings, who were rumored again in another deal on draft day with the C’s.  Ainge and the entire Celtics organization continue to say that they want Rondo back (what are they supposed to say? “No, we hate him, please someone take him for nothing) but this latest rumor can’t make Rondo fans feel very confident.  Either Ainge is trying to revolutionize the game of basketball by trotting out 3-4 point guards at all times on the floor, or he’s planning for a longer haul.  The thing that doesn’t make much sense is if they feel Marcus Smart is truly a PG that could replace Rondo, then why would you try to sign another PG who is still relatively young?  Also, he’s a restricted free agent which doesn’t exactly make it an easy task, especially when you’re already over the salary cap.

Either way, there are things cooking as Ainge (and Wyc Grousbeck) indicated there would be.  Perhaps Ainge is trying to outright sign one of the players the Kings are trying to include in an offer for Rondo, thus one-upping Sacramento in the negotiation.  These might not be fireworks, but it’s looking like Ainge is currently shopping at the store right now to see what het can get.  We’ll see if that means firecrackers and bottle rockets as opposed to M80s.

On Page 2: Philly contacts Avery Bradley, Brad Stevens contacts Kent Bazemore

The Sixers are an intriguing suitor for a couple of reasons:

A) They have oodles of cap room. The Celtics would obviously prefer Bradley’s offers to stay low. They have the right to match any offer he receives.

B) The Sixers might actually be trying to acquire a good, established player. By paying him more than a minimum deal, even. Weird, right?

After averaging 6.0 points last season while splitting time with the Warriors and Lakers, Bazemore’s not a big-name target by any stretch of the imagination. But he was better during his time in Los Angeles (13.1 points, 28.0 minutes, 37.1 percent 3-point shooting) and at the very least would provide unrivaled bench celebrations. The Lakers have also expressed interest, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

MassLive – Avery Bradley contacted by Philadelphia 76ers, Brad Stevens calls Kent Bazemore

It would be interesting to see what kind of offer AB gets from Philly (or any team for that matter).  Mainly because it would force the C’s into a decision to make on him.  But hey, they’re clearly targeting every player at the guard position anyway so why not?  As far as Bazemore goes, well when you’re team is over the cap and might not be able to go with Plan A of getting the star players to pair with Rondo, then these are the type of players you can expect to hear rumored with the Celtics.  Welcome to NBA free agency.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Celtics have some angles to playBradley: ‘I want to be here’ in Boston | Celtics picks say all the right things at intro | Smart stories: Number, pressure, position

Boston Globe -  Danny Ainge says he hasn’t talked with Rajon Rondo | Danny Ainge now focused on free agents or trades | Jay Larranaga to become lead assistant coach Where does Rajon Rondo fit into Celtics’ rebuilding plans?

Boston Herald – Plenty of options on Danny Ainge’s table | New Celtics: Mind your banners | Celtics notebook: Larranaga in fresh role on staff | Avery Bradley wants to stay put

CSNNE – Young comes to Celtics ready to learn | Celtics’ search for rim protector heads to free agency | Celtics’ Bradley: ‘Obviously I want to be (in Boston)’ | Ainge: ‘Can’t rush the process,’ but ‘we’d like to’ |  Smart joins Celtics with fresh approach to life | Ainge playing rebuild by ear?

WEEI – 2014 free agent power forwards available to Celtics | Travis Ford on MFB: Marcus Smart ‘just a warrior’ | James Young on MFB: ‘Definitely wanted to come here’ to play for the Celtics | Danny Ainge: Avery Bradley ‘is a big part of our future’ as Celtics extend qualifying offer | Marcus Smart: ‘We embrace the banners’

MassLive – Jay Larranaga expected to become top assistant, Darren Erman likely to join Brad Stevens’ staff | Danny Ainge on possibility of Boston Celtics keeping restricted free agent Avery Bradley: ‘It would mean a lot’

Celtics.com – Bradley 1-on-1: Offseason Update

Michigan Live – Kalamazoo’s Devin Oliver has high comfort level with Boston Celtics, who give him ‘amazing’ opportunity

Yankton Daily – Iverson ready for second summer with Celtics

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  • bill_nair

    I like IT but I always thought he was a 6th man type player. If Danny is looking to sign him I hope its not with the future intent on starting him.

    • LA Flake

      Rondo is as good as gone. He was gone the moment we couldn’t find a trade partner for our 6th pick and ended up drafting Smart.

      I just wish Danny finds a way to get some assets for his All Star PG. Why can’t we trade Rondo to Houston for Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin?

      • bill_nair

        Rondo may be gone and im starting to care less and less at this point, I just dont want IT starting. Throw Marcus in the fire and see waht hes made of.

        • LA Flake

          Well, I’m sure Marcus will get his chance eventually. IT will be Danny’s insurance, I suppose, in case Smart @ PG experiment doesn’t work out.

          Man…Danny really likes short guards.

      • BIG_HITTA1

        Rondo isn’t that bright but he isn’t stupid enough to see the writing on the wall. Smart is THE PG of the future. Danny never intended (with or without Smart) to give Rondo a max deal. Rondo was always going to expect and DEMAND a max contract. Rondo never intended to stay with the C’s if re-building was to occur over the next 2 to 4 yrs. Its the perfect scenario now to trade Rondo for a respectable 6′ 10″ or bigger dude that can defend and rebound. I’ll bet Rondo has already asked to be traded.

        • BIG_HITTA1

          above should read “Rondo isn’t stupid enough to NOT see the writing on the wall”. Love the double negatives……..

          • Curt Hays

            You can edit your posts after you post them, FYI. There will be an “edit” button after it posts.

    • Curt Hays

      The thing about IT is that he has higher win shares than both Kyrie and John Wall. He made a larger impact, granted on a crappier team, but consider that he has Gay and Boogie to share the ball with. He may be better than we think.

      • bill_nair

        I like IT and despite SAC trying to play him less to keep his value down (cause he played so well) I think hes legit. Im just not a fan of rolling out a 5-9 pg.

  • Herman Bubbert

    One of these days, it’s going to dawn on the Rondo knob-slobberers that their binky is on the way out. $100 million? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    I doubt if this is the day, though.

    • tvor03

      I hate douchebags who only show up to this site to say one thing over and over again. Jester00 only shows up here to bash Jeff Green. And you only show up to bash Rondo. We get it. You don’t like him. Now STFU about it.

      • KGino

        Seriously. Especially when 95% of the ppl on this site agree rondo is not worth a max contract. What rondo knob slobbers are you even talking about

      • bill_nair

        Im really hoping hes not a grown man cause its sad at this point.

      • P Funk

        Hey tvor03 – Jester brings a lot more to the table than just bashing Jeff Green. He also brings at least 3 cases of beer. Seriously though, even though he doesn’t like JG, he does talk about a lot more than that. Herman Bubbert, however…I’ve only seen him make 1 point. I’m with you on that.

        • LA Flake

          Where was I when Jester brought beer? I hate you a$$holes! You never tell me these things!

          • CFH

            I’m pretty sure he actually drank it all before he got here. But it was nice of him to try to bring it.

          • LA Flake

            Well, by the look of things on July 1st, we’re gonna need a keg.

        • tvor03

          Four years ago, that would be true. But Jester isn’t here to defend himself so I really shouldn’t have even brought him up.

      • Curt Hays

        Seriously, I enjoy dissent (it helps combat dogmas), but this guy is just in a bad mood all the time. He isn’t even always wrong — he’s just always an asshole.

      • BIG_HITTA1

        I am not on here enough to know Bubbert’s gig or your gig. I do know this – if you don’t think Rondo is overrated by many and if you thought Danny was going to give a poor shooting, 28 yr old with a bad knee, – and a weird personality – a max contract then you don’t know your hoops. That isn’t Rondo bashing, its pretty close to factual info, whether people like to hear it or not.

      • Curt Hays
  • Kahnstantine

    Sam Hinkie is really starting to piss me off

  • tvor03

    Why are only hearing about guards? Are positions 3-5 not a concern at all for the front office.

    • bill_nair

      We made a call to Jordan Hill. I actually wouldnt mind him being our starting C.

      link: http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/234061/Celtics-Made-Direct-Call-To-Jordan-Hill

      • LA Flake

        Wow…So we’re after the Lakers’ roster from last year?

        • bill_nair

          Ya I thought the same thing when I read we called Bazemore. I dont mind bringing in Hill. Sorta young and could play the C immediately. With more playing time could improve to a stable starter. Its hard to ignroe that LA stink thats left on these players though.

      • RedsLoveChild

        Did you just say you wouldn`t mind having Jordan Hill as our starting center?!?

        Ouch! When did you start hating the Celtics?

    • Curt Hays

      Don’t worry, Danny will pick up a slew of 6′ 9″ “bigs” soon enough.

      • bill_nair

        Youll be disappointed if you look at our summer league roster. Im starting to think Danny is allergic to height.

        • Mike C

          @Bill…”Allergic to Height”, Exactly Right!! This better just be one of those ‘Many’ ridiculous rumours that we are going to have to wade through this summer. Unless,… Danny wants to experiment with single digit wins next season, Cause we get outrebounded by over 20 every game!

      • BIG_HITTA1

        how do you suggest he get the better bigs, trading Rondo?

        • Curt Hays

          I’m not suggesting how he does it. He has had ample opportunity in the last 4 years to make it happen, but he keeps going after the short guys.

          He could bring in Colton Iverson and Vitor for all I care. Get us some damn size.

  • Herman Bubbert

    Or maybe Ainge is getting ready to take over the Kings and is going all Jason Kidd on Wyc. There’s a theory for the Rondo Excuse Machine.

  • LA Flake

    I like Isaiah Thomas but damn. Rondo must be one big head case because Danny’s been trying to unload him for ages now but he has to go get more for Rondo. Much much more. Speaking of more, Bezemore? WTF??? Really? WTF is the matter with us?

    Get ready for another loooooong season. Long as in dreadful. Sigh.

    Bring Pierce back to mentor the kids, Danny!

    • bill_nair

      Brazemore would be CJ with a bit more offense. I thought that was move insurance for moving on from AB.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Ainge feels that Phil Pressey is too tall to be a “lock-down” defensive guard, who can shoot over opponents.

    Thomas is 5`9″…that sounds perfect to DA!

    • LA Flake

      Nate Robinson is still out there…Can we get JJ Barea, too?

      • RedsLoveChild

        Danny was going to do that….but, Smart looks and plays a lot like Nate Robinson at 6`3″

        • Mike C

          I’m starting to think your right. Keep recruiting guards ‘Danny’, if you want to set the Celtics all time single season loss record. If this deal goes through, I dont know what the hell they’re thinking!

  • CFH

    I suppose this explains the timing of Max dropping the $100 million rumor yesterday. Now his old teammate Danny can say “look, the only way we can keep Rondo is to cripple our salary cap and our future so of course we’re shopping the very popular last remaining member of the 08 team.” It doesn’t matter if the $100 million demand is even true (and I’m inclined to think it isn’t, because it would be bad strategy from Rondo’s camp and it conflicts with what Rondo has said in the past).

    I believe that the fastest, best way to rebuild may be getting rid of Rondo. With the current salary cap, a team can most easily thrive by paying players less than what they’re worth, and that’s usually guys on rookie deals or the most elite superstars who deserve more than the max.

    But I’m not going to believe that Rondo was somehow destructive or horrible. And I’l miss him. I’d much rather root for players than for “assets.” But until the Celtics are contenders again, assets are all we’ll get.

    There are pros and cons to having Machiavelli for your team’s GM. The pro is you’ll have a great team sometimes. The con is… this.

    • LA Flake

      What Rondo says in public and what Rondo does behind the scenes are two different things. I’m not saying I know anything about Rondo that you don’t but it doesn’t help his image that Danny’s always trying to build a team without him. Look at our nucleus. All in their early 20s except Rondo.

      I’m pretty sure Rondo’s days here are numbered now. Danny just has to get something for him. Greg Monroe, Parsons or something.

      • CFH

        Absolutely true. Maybe even the $100 million demand is true… it would be inept, but that never stopped plenty of players and agents.

        I do agree that Rondo’s out the door barring a bizarre twist.

        • bill_nair

          Rondos gonna be gone eventually, but I dont put much into the $100 mill rumor. It could very well be true, but it was reported he wanted $85 before his last deal. Im just interested in what his deal is gonna look like in the end.

  • Thatguy

    Is Danny Ainge taking advice from David Kahn? Why does it seem he wants every available PG?

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