Your Morning Dump… Where a deal isn’t a deal, and the Celtics’ fortunes probably improved | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Your Morning Dump… Where a deal isn’t a deal, and the Celtics’ fortunes probably improved

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Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Boston owns Dallas’ first-round pick in the 2016 draft as part of its haul in the Rajon Rondo trade last December. The pick is top-seven protected, but that would seemingly only come into play if the Mavericks elected to purposely tank.

While Dallas owner Mark Cuban said the Mavericks had considered going that route if they didn’t land Jordan — this when Cuban assumed the big man would honor his commitment to come to Dallas — it would seem that Dallas has enough remaining talent to not be among the league’s bottom feeders. Would the Mavericks really tank in the twilight of Dirk Nowitzki’s career?

ESPN BostonCeltics could benefit from DeAndre Jordan saga

The night that resurrected one franchise and devastated another played out in absurdity, reported in real time as history’s most amicable hostage crisis. Jordan broke no rule save for the functional binding of the NBA’s moratorium. Each of the dozens of agreements made since July 1 are considered all but official. Jordan’s word to join the Mavericks on a four-year, $80 million contract was apparently the lone exception.

Sports IllustratedJordan’s reversal keeps Clippers contending, brings Mavs’ undoing

Yesterday was, no doubt, the wildest day ever in NBA free agency. It had two teams in crisis mode, dueling over an elite free agent; a shocking renege on a verbal contract agreement; reports of a lockdown in the free agent’s home; a former Celtics coach and captain in the middle of it all; and NBA Twitter in its full glory, highlighted by a wacky emoji battle.

At the end of the day, literally, DeAndre Jordan re-signed with the Clippers, but forfeited whatever integrity he may have possessed. Jordan not only jilted the Mavericks, he reportedly wouldn’t even talk with Dallas owner Mark Cuban to explain himself. That’s a junior high school move, made infinitely worse because at stake were millions of dollars and the futures of two franchises.

Celtics fans watched with interest because of the involvement of Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce, and more to the point, because Boston owns the Mavs’ first-round pick. Most of us likely feel sympathy for Mavs fans – but not too much.

The next shoe to drop will be Cuban’s response. Verbal agreements are unofficial, and it appears Jordan broke only an unwritten rule. Cuban may not have any actual recourse, but he’ll come up with something. Billionaires don’t usually take setbacks lying down.

The NBA may have to alter the free agency period in some way to prevent this circus from repeating. But that’s down the road. The league’s priority now will be to schedule the Clippers for a nationally televised visit to Dallas, ASAP.

Related: Fort Worth Star-TelegramDeAndre Jordan breaks agreement with Mavericks, re-signs with Clippers  |  ESPN5-on-5: DeAndre Jordan sticks with Clippers

On Page 2: It’s July 9, time to do the paperwork

The Celtics are set to drop below the salary cap for the first time in nearly two decades and, in doing so, must carefully plot their moves in order to maximize the space they are creating.

In the aftermath of reports that the Celtics would acquire Lee and his bulky $15.5 million contract, former Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Bobby Marks said, “Not sure how Mike Z in BOS will make it work but possible.”

That’s Mike Zarren, Boston’s assistant general manager and team counsel. A Harvard Law School and University of Chicago grad, he’s the team’s brainy capologist who has helped structure deals to maximize the return for Boston.

ESPN BostonCreative Celtics

As everyone well knows, the NBA’s moratorium period ended at 12:01 a.m. today, and player contracts could be signed. The league’s new salary cap kicked in, too. It’s now $70 million, which reports say place the Celtics around $7-8 million under the cap. With the complexity of the cap structure and collective bargaining agreement, it’s reassuring that Boston has a “brainy” expert in place to handle all the steps for the Celtics’ front office. In his own way, Zarren is just as valuable to the franchise as Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens.

Related: ESPN – NBA sets 2015-16 salary cap at record $70M for 11 percent increase  |  Basketball Insiders – Boston Celtics Team Salary

And, Finally: High comedy with emojis

Among all the emoji silliness that developed from the Jordan saga, Celtic-for-life Paul Pierce probably stole the show with his tweets of what looked like clip art. Pierce was widely mocked for being ancient and not understanding smart phones. Laugh it up, whippersnappers, but as a member of the older generation, I have no doubt: PP just trolled all of Twitter.

Related: ESPNClippers, Mavs in emoji race for DeAndre Jordan  |  Sporting NewsInternet has field day with DeAndre Jordan’s free agency meltdown

The Rest of the Links:

HeraldDanny Ainge, Brad Stevens still need proven scorer to contend  |  MassLiveBoston Celtics mailbag  |  CSNNECeltics’ strategy: Make themselves good and attractive  |  San Jose Mercury NewsWarriors outgrew David Lee  |  Providence JournalOn matters of race, basketball was a game-changer

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  • dk

    the celtics haven’t been under the cap in 20 years??? that can’t be right.

    • Richard Jensen

      It is. It’s why all the free agent deals have been mid-level exceptions, biannual exceptions and veteran’s minimum deals. It’s also why “free agents won’t come to Boston”

      • Curt Hays

        I’m so sick of that cliche. It’s wide-spread sufficiently to actually be self-fulfilling.

  • Sean McLaughlin

    I dunno, I thought it was a halfways exciting situation in an otherwise boring free agency. Just like you give the owners and GMs time to make and break deals, the players have that time as well to use at their discretion. Hell, most players don’t know they’ve been traded or discounted as a returning free agent until AFTER we know via twitter, etc. And USUALLY these are players that have been told by their GMs that there’s no way in hell they were being traded, the respective team is “built around them”, etc to keep them working hard. What’s good for the billionaire is good for the millionaire as the old adage goes.

  • Curt Hays

    So…generally, verbal agreements are binding in Texas. Cuban probably has enough of a commitment (even though NBA rules and arbitration will support the commitment as non-binding) in a very public forum that he may actually have a case in court.

    It would help neither Cuban nor the league for something like that to occur, but DeAndre has certainly stuck it to Cuban with his about face. This is such a juvenile move that will cost so many millions of dollars and years of planning (essentially ending Dirk’s chances at another title run) that I’d be surprised if Cuban or the league doesn’t do something in response.

    Cuban is cool enough to just do something funny, but he’s rich enough to throw lots of money at it simply for publicity.

    The main thing to consider is Cuban’s future in recruiting players. If he goes over the top with his response, players will avoid Dallas. It is probably most advantageous to Cuban if he does nothing [publicly] but prepare for the future.

    • Mike Spoon

      I highly doubt he has a case. The CBA governs agreements between players and teams here, and the CBA prohibits verbal agreements during the moratorium period. So really, players aren’t bound until they sign on the dotted line today.

      • Curt Hays

        I agree that this is likely the case, but it could easily be tied up in court for a while just to teach DeAndre to grow up.

    • jgtwentysix

      Cuban actually bumped up Wesley Matthews contract to a max deal as a “loyalty bonus” they’re calling it, so that’s one way to look good to future free agents

  • Randy

    I find it so telling that Doc Rivers was involved in this fiasco. Although I appreciated what Doc did for the Celtics in coaching the 2007-2008 title team, I always found him to be sanctimonious and subtly selfish. He professes to be this great father figure, who values morals above everything else. However, he had no scruples about orchestrating his own “trade” to the Clippers a year after signing a lucrative contract extension in Boston. Recently, he has used every excuse in the book to absolve himself in connection with the Clippers’ monumental playoff collapse this past season, going so far as to say that he “laughed” when he saw the Clippers roster after joining the team (for the record, I believe that Doc has blown more 3-1 and 3-2 series leads and game sevens at home than any coach in NBA history: 2003 Magic v Pistons, 2005 Celtics v Pacers, 2009 Celtics v Magic, 2010 Celtics v Lakers, 2012 Celtics v Heat, 2015 Clippers v Rockets). And now, he encourages one of his players/protégés to go back on his word, simply because it benefits him. Take a bow, Doc. Take a bow.

    • Curt Hays

      I don’t disagree with you here–at all.

      However, it is important (if you believe it) to remember that DeAndre contacted Doc first. If he was truly distraught, Doc was not only helping himself, but he was also helping DeAndre.

      I think it is very cool that all those guys, including a newly joined Pierce, were happy to go support/recruit their good friend in his home (who just happens to be an elite, professional athlete).

      • Richard Jensen

        I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that report about DeAndre contacting Doc first came straight out of the Clippers camp, and should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

        Remember we’re talking about a guy who has yet to tell the same story twice when it comes to his departure from the C’s.

        • Curt Hays

          That was my first reaction as well. I can’t wait to see what kind of drama we see with Austin Rivers being on the team.

  • RedsLoveChild

    The Take-Away :
    Someone just needed to remind Jordan that the Clippers could offer him roughly $30M more in guaranteed money…and that`s what Rivers did.

    $109M will always beat $80M

    • Rod Shaftwell

      What the hell must have been going on there for him to turn down 30 million more dollars to go to a worse team?

      Falling out with CP?

      Mavs had plans that didn’t pan out?

      • RedsLoveChild

        Leaving $29-30M sitting on the table = Insanity

        • stephen

          no when you already have millions and is going to make almost 100…..a fucking 100 million dollars to play…basketball…yet millions of people cant keep jobs, homeless, and people are getting poorer and poorer every year. there are so many abandoned houses there are enough for every homeless person in america to have 6, there are so many new cars made that dont get bought or drove there is enough for everyone to have 3….whats 30 million when you are already set for about 20 lifetimes

          • RedsLoveChild

            How do the homeless or unemployed benefit if he refuses the additional $30M?

          • stephen

            just saying money shouldnt matter when he already has that much

    • stevemb34

      It was $88M not $109M. Factoring in the tax differences that’s basically the same.

      • RedsLoveChild

        I was assuming LA would give him a 5th year. Most of the LA sports media also assumed a 5th year.

  • forever_green

    Danny just realized the value of Zarren & traded him for two 2nd round picks & cash considerations.

  • Luke Walton

    I always loved Zarren, especially during the Werewolves of London Era.

  • stevemb34

    My favorite tweet about Paul was Rudy Gobert’s fantastic line that “Paul Pierce just tweeted with his Gameboy color lol” I died when I saw that one.