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.Our effort level on improving the team has been extraordinary, and [president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] and his staff and Brad have worked essentially around the clock to improve the roster. We’ve made some progress. I’m very happy with the effort. I’m still hoping for more improvement, either this year or next, because I’m impatient to get back to the level we were at.”[...]
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.
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 Mavericks. David West could opt out of the final season of his contract to secure one last multiyear deal.
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.
The rest of the links: