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Your Morning Dump… Where an impatient Wyc Grousbeck defends his “fireworks” comment

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. 

But Grousbeck isn’t backing down. He is bullish on his young coach, Brad Stevens, disdainful of tanking talk for 2014-15, and does not regret linking the parquet and pyrotechnics with a quote that will live on in Boston’s sports lexicon.

“No, if you go back and look at what I said, I said we were hoping for fireworks. I didn’t promise them,” said Grousbeck in a telephone interview Monday. “We tried as hard as we could. July 4 has come and gone, but there is still a lot of effort and hope that eventually with all those first-round picks and other possible assets that at some point I would imagine something would happen, whether it’s this year or next.

[…]

Grousbeck refused to discuss the state of contract negotiations with Rondo. When asked if he had spoken with Rondo since the team selected Smart on June 26, Grousbeck said, “I haven’t talked to Rajon.”

Call it the Summer of Silence between the owner and his best player.

[…]

Grousbeck disputed the idea that Boston with only a fervent fan base and a raft of tradition to offer wasn’t an NBA destination. He said the Celtics can build through free agency, as well as via trades and the draft.

“What we are working on in Boston is offering the possibility of contending for a championship. If a ring is more important to a guy than the climate or the taxes that’s the kind of guy we want,” said Grousbeck.

Patience is going to be required with the Progeny of the Parquet. The fireworks display has been postponed.

“I’m really looking forward to the year. I’d like it to be a building year,” Grousbeck said. “Brad is a great coach. I’m glad he is here. He has brought a lot of knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm to the organization. I want to see him succeed. He deserves success in the NBA. I hope we can give him a roster that will get him there.”

Boston Globe – Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck doesn’t regret fireworks comment

In speaking to the Globe, Wyc Grousbeck clarified his now infamous “fireworks” comment he made earlier this year.  I think it’s clear to most Celtics fans that Wyc and the front office are doing everything they can to avoid a long rebuild and make the Celtics a legit contender again.  While you can read that sentence and snicker when you think of them adding the likes of Marcus Thornton, Tyler Zeller and Evan Turner, well, you might be missing the point.  If you think these guys are the cornerstones of the next great C’s team you’re crazy.  They’re placeholders for now, and a mere means to an end.  What that end is, well we all have to be patient and wait.  What else can you do?

This question makes me laugh because really, you can either embrace the process (as out head coach says) or whine and complain about it.  But it’s tough to complain about ownership or the current front office.  The situation could be a lot worse and more often than not, these things take time.  I could understand (and would also get angry and complain) if the team had no direction and bad ownership (hello 1990’s).  But that is not the case now.  Wyc’s comments reassure me of that.  One other comment that stuck out was how he has not talked to his captain, Rajon Rondo in quite some time.  Many of you likely aren’t surprised since the majority seems to feel that either A) Rondo will be traded or B) you want him traded.  Time will tell on that as well, but I’m not sure how often Wyc chatted it up with Rondo in the offseason anyway.  I find it difficult to imagine Rondo sending smiley and shamrock emoji’s to Wyc and Danny while he’s working out at his Kentucky camp.  For now, it’s nice to read these comments from an owner who is clearly as driven, actually more driven, than a fan base that demands excellence.

 

Page 2: Rondo scores low on the ESPN WARP exam

With the main course of 2014 free agency completed, it’s not too early to look ahead at the menu for next summer. Last week, Insider’s Amin Elhassan broke down his top 2015 free agents. Now, I’m going to provide a statistical perspective.

As with my ranking of this year’s free agents, I’ve generated projections using a combination of my wins above replacement player (WARP) ratings and the development of players of the same age from the SCHOENE projection system, as well as ESPN’s real plus-minus (RPM), projected using a standard aging adjustment. The result is an estimate of how many WARP each free agent will produce during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

[…]

Aging veterans

Of this group, former Utah Jazz teammates Al Jefferson and Millsap are the youngest and most valuable, though teams could overpay by signing them to long-term contracts well into their 30s. Tyson Chandler will try to duplicate the terrific contract year he had the last time he played for the Dallas MavericksDavid West could opt out of the final season of his contract to secure one last multiyear deal.

The long-term projections are surprisingly pessimistic about a pair of aging point guards,Tony Parker and Rajon Rondo.

At this point in their careers, Parker and Manu Ginobili aren’t going anywhere, and they’ll hope Gregg Popovich’s minutes management slows the aging process. Rondo, a year removed from ACL surgery, will have to demonstrate that he can stay healthy entering free agency.

ESPN Insider – 2015 free agency by numbers

For a complete explanation of the WARP stat that Kevin Pelton of ESPN created, go here.  Now this is where the anti-advanced stat crowd goes crazy, cursing math while giving a digital middle finger to the “stat geeks.”  This is also where the anti-Rondo crowd spits out their morning coffee in glee, while doing cartwheels all over the office.  Clearly, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Rondo’s pending status will continue to be the green lightning rod until training camp begins because mainly every other storyline is either tiresome or contingent on him either way.  We’ve reached the dog days of summer now that the draft and free agency is essentially done.  There are two Rondo camps right now and I highly doubt anything will convince either side to switch camps.

That includes this ESPN created WARP stat, or projection to be specific.  Sure, it’s another tool to keep in the toolbox when evaluating players.  But to get bent out of shape or pumped and jacked over one piece of information, especially one that gets published in late July, is well, not worth the effort.

It’s interesting to see DeAndre Jordan ranked second on this list (personally even if we’re going with big men only I’d take Marc Gasol over Jordan any day of the week) as well as some others.  But it’s really no different than a lot of these other things for fans: they create debate when there is little else to discuss/debate about that isn’t already tiresome.  Debate away, kids.

Finally, a roundup of C’s around the social media world: Rondo at Logan airport | Brandon Bass at another airport | AB at his camp | James Young (with trimmed hair) with Coach Cal

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – ‘Toine talks Gone in an Instant | USA Basketball still loves Smart

MassLive – Rajon Rondo of Boston Celtics rates surprisingly low is ESPN’s WARP projection for 2015 free agents

Yahoo! Sports - NBA players’ union elects attorney Michele Roberts as executive director 

SI NBA – Judge rules against Donald Sterling, OK’s sale of Clippers to Steve Ballmer

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  • KWAPT

    Love how Bass is randomly walking around the airport with a basketball..

    • Jay O

      I also love his attire. Great find, Jamey.

  • BillRussell

    We are lucky to have an owner that truly cares about winning and is willing to spend when the time comes. i hope Zeller is next level. Sully could be all star-

    • LA Flake

      Come on, now. Wyc ain’t bad but it’s not like he did all he *could* to bolster our roster when he had a chance to repeat and three-peat. Not saying he should’ve spent like there was no tomorrow but he didn’t necessarily go out of his way to keep the team in contention either.

      • BillRussell

        with the big threes salary they were spending a ton as it was- it was ultimately the KG injury that messed up our chances of two peeting and potentially 3peeting- after we won we were smoking teams until KG got hurt

        • LA Flake

          KG’s injury did derail our chances that year but it was also Wyc who didn’t bring back Posey, didn’t want to pay Perk, Big Baby, Leon and so on, low-balled and failed to bring in David West and filled the roster with late 1st round & 2nd round pick rookies and guys who ALL got dropped out of the league once we let’em go.

          Now, some of those signings would’ve been questionable, I’ll give you that. But letting so many instrumental guys go after winning the championship and then filling the roster with nobodies was a CHEAP OWNER move.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Report :

    Wyc Grousbeck “THINKS” and remains full of “HOPE” that the Celtics “COULD” win as many as a dozen championships within the next 15 years….but, he cannot “PROMISE” the fan-base of any playoff appearances between now and 2025.

    • Curt Hays

      Better than Dan Gilbert?

      • RedsLoveChild

        No, “Slick Wyc” is the best……at least when it comes to feeding the fan-base a diet of pabulum and bullshit.

        Nobody is better at saying everything—and nothing at all—at the same time.

        • lunchbreak

          with 97% fill rate of the garden all thru the season, and the guaranteed comcast tv deal – ownership has fairly little financial incentive to rush

    • tvor03

      Are you gonna call for a new owner as well?

  • Rich Jensen

    DeAndre Jordan as the #2 FA?

    Your stats have to match the sniff test, Pelton. If they don’t, then you’ve got to rework your formula.

    • eddysamson

      Good centers are hard to find, is it really that surprising? Dude is a good player, people gotta stop giving him a bad rap. He led the lead in dunks last year….while playing on the same team as Blake Griffin. Get this kid a Rondo and no other big dunkers and he’s gunna be well over 60% FG shooting and leading the league in dunks….by over 100.

      I’ll leave it in just to show how good he is….I looked it up and hes had well over 60% FG shooting his entire CAREER. 67.4% last season, AND last season he almost double his rebounding average from 7.2 to 13.6. COME ON MAN.

      • Rich Jensen

        First off, let’s talk about the concept of WARP: Baseball, it’s been said, is an individual sport masquerading as a team sport. To the extent that any one individual’s play is unaffected by the rest of his teammates, the WARP concept is useful. A center-fielder’s play is minimally impacted by the 2B, SS, LF & RF, and the impact of surrounding players in the batting order can be accounted for. Try making a similar case about a PG in basketball!

        Basketball is a team sport masquerading as an individual sport, and Pelton’s assumptions include assigning a 20% weight to every player on defense (which, for instance, treats Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett’s contributions on defense equally), and its weighting on defense in general is limited to box score stats which as I’m sure you’re aware, are pretty limited when it comes to individual defense (blocks, DReb and steals).

        It should be no surprise then, that Pelton’s WARP numbers are heavily weighted towards offensive production with Love & Jordan at the top of the list.

        You mentioned DeAndre’s FG pct. Great. 67.4% last season. What about his defense? The only one-on-one opponent FG percentage tracked by SportVU/NBA is percentage at the rim, where DeAndre allows a respectable, but hardly outstanding 50%. There are no stats that show what bigs are shooting against him when they post him up, or what players are shooting against him when he defense the pick and roll, or spot-up shots. I would expect that these numbers would be either average or worse than average.

        So, again, if you’re going to talk about value above an average player what you’re left with, more or less, is the difference between his true shooting pct. (which accounts for his atrocious FT shooting) and that of a league average center, as well as the difference in rebounds, blocks and steals. Then you have to figure out what those few points are worth. That’s your “replacement player” basis, IMO.

        And, from where I sit, using the old ‘sniff’ test, coupled with DeAndre’s improvement to being–perhaps–an average defender, I don’t see this ranking at all.

        I’d put Klay Thompson in the #2 spot. And he’d be a lot closer to Love than DeAndre, at least in my ‘sniff-test’ ratings.

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  • david

    I feel sorry for anybody that actually thought anything significant was going to happen this summer. “Fireworks” rarely ever happen with this team. Keep your expectations low and you’ll never be disappointed.

    • tvor03

      that’s a sad, cynical way to look at life.

      • bill_nair

        Thats the pessimistic New England way. Now you too can have the same traits as New Englanders without the chilly winters. Just become a fan of the Sox/Pats/Celts/Bruins.

        • tvor03

          I’ll cheer for the Celtics, but I’ll keep my rosy, Southern optimism.

  • bill_nair

    Of course Wyc wants fireworks. Him and Steve want fireworks and rings EVERY season. At least they have the sense to sit back and wait. Im sure being die hard celts fans doesnt help them in that aspect though.