Mere moments after finalizing a deal with his former assistant general manager, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge phoned another erstwhile front office employee to make a separate trade on a wi

Mere moments after finalizing a deal with his former assistant general manager, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge phoned another erstwhile front office employee to make a separate trade on a wild Friday night.

According to multiple reports, Ainge has agreed to trade Jeff Green to the Grizzlies in exchange for Tayshaun Prince‘s expiring $7.7 million contract and a protected first-round draft pick. The two teams are reportedly waiting on a third team to facilitate the deal. Green remained active for the C’s game against the Pacers on Friday, but was replaced in the starting lineup by Jae Crowder.

The news comes shortly after the Celtics sent the newly acquired Brandan Wright to the Suns for another protected first-rounder. Suns GM Ryan McDonough was once Ainge’s assistant, and Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace held the same position in Boston from 1997-2007.

The deals give the Celtics as many as 11 first-round picks over the next four seasons, although that number will more likely be eight based on the protection of deals involving Green, Wright, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers and Jordan Crawford. In addition to their own No. 1 picks through 2018, the Celtics also have the rights to the following:

— The Mavericks’ 2015 first-round draft pick (protected 1-3 and 15-30 in 2015 and 1-7 from 2016-20): This one will most likely end up being a late first-rounder in 2016 for Rondo.

— The Clippers’ 2015 first-round raft pick (unprotected): This one’s locked in for Rivers.

— The 76ers’ 2015 first-round draft pick (protected 1-14 before becoming a pair of second-round picks in 2015 and 2016): At least the C’s will likely end up getting two high second-round picks in exchange for Crawford.

— The Timberwolves‘ 2015 first-round draft pick (protected 1-12 from 2015-16 before becoming a pair of second-round picks in 2016 and 2017): In all likelihood, the Celtics will have another pair of high second-round picks for Wright.

The Nets‘ 2016 first-round draft pick (unprotected): This could be a gem for Pierce and Garnett.

— The Cavaliers‘ 2016 first-round draft pick (protected 1-10 from 2016-18): In exchange for helping Cleveland make cap room for LeBron James, the Celtics picked up what will likely be a late first-rounder next season (unless James makes Decision 2.0).

The Nets‘ 2018 first-round draft pick (unprotected): Again, a potential windfall for the Celtics.

In addition to those first-round picks, the Celtics will have what ESPN’s Marc Stein and Adrian Wojnarowski are reporting is a heavily protected pick from the Grizzlies in exchange for Green that likely won’t come to fruition until 2019. On top of that, the C’s have the right to switch first-round picks with the Nets in 2017.

Oh, and they own a 2015 second-round draft pick from the Wizards (protected 31-49) and 2016 second-rounders from the Cavaliers, Heat and whichever is more favorable between the Mavericks and Grizzlies.

Got it? Good. Now go enjoy your Friday night, because the Wolf of Causeway Street certainly is.


Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

The Celtics traded recently acquired and underused forward Brandan Wright to the Suns for a future draft picks(s), the team announced on Friday night. Yahoo Sports guru Adrian Wojnarowski firs

The Celtics traded recently acquired and underused forward Brandan Wright to the Suns for a future draft picks(s), according to Yahoo Sports guru Adrian Wojnarowski.

In exchange for Wright — seemingly the prized jewel in Celtics president Danny Ainge’s trade of Rajon Rondo — Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is sending a Timberwolves pick to his former employer that is top-12 protected for this season and next before turning into a pair of second-round picks in 2016 and 2017.

The 6-foot-9 Wright came to the Celtics with the league’s highest field goal percentage (74.8 percent), but then played in just eight games for Boston, averaging 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds in only 10.8 minutes a night.

In essence, the Celtics have turned Rondo into Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson’s relatively low $2.73 million expiring contract, a late 2016 first-round pick from Dallas and two second-round picks from Minnesota in 2016 and 2017.

Meanwhile, the Celtics are nearing a deal that would send Jeff Green to the Grizzlies in exchange for Tayshaun Prince‘s $7.7 million expiring contract and a future first-round pick, according to Wojnarowski, likely giving Ainge nine No. 1 selections over the next four seasons.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

On Dec 18 Brandan Wright was acquired by the Celtics as part of the deal that shipped Rajon Rondo to Dallas.

On Dec 18 Brandan Wright was acquired by the Celtics as part of the deal that shipped Rajon Rondo to Dallas. That date was no accident — it leaves enough time for Boston to trade the players it received in the deal after 60 days, just before the Feb 19 deadline.

CSN Washington is reporting that Brandan Wright has already been told by Danny Ainge “that he’s on the block and should expect to be on another team.” Obviously, Wright is a very attractive piece to other teams, so the idea of him being traded again this season isn’t far-fetched. It is, however, odd that Ainge would already tell Wright that he should expect to be gone.

Wright has taken on a much lesser role since arriving in Boston, somewhat odd considering how big of a role he played for the Mavericks — a much better team than the Celtics. But with so many players of similar talent levels in Boston, as well as young projects to develop, Wright has seen a dip in his minutes, including a DNP Wednesday in Brooklyn.

Wright is shooting 72.4 percent from the field so far this season, and his 24.27 PER ranks 10th in the league as of Friday morning. Ainge won’t be able to command two first-rounders like the desperate Cavs gave up to Denver for Timofey Mozgov, but Wright certainly has some value on the trade market. If this report it true, we will find out exactly what Wright’s value is on the day of the trade deadline.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

A major theme of the rebuilding Celtics has been that no player is safe from being traded for the betterment of the team — something Danny Ainge has shown the willingness to do throughout his career (and now once again by trading Rajon Rondo). Here are some trades that make sense for the mess that is the Boston Celtics. Again, these specific trades are not rumors, simply ideas. This is part three.

In part two we looked at the idea of re-swapping Jeff Green and Kendrick Perkins, the idea being that Boston could add a young player like Jeremy Lamb while not having to possibly pay Green next season (since Perkins is an expiring contract). A deal like this makes sense, but in all likelihood would never actually happen. Green remains the subject of part three, but this time there’s some actual traction to the idea. Here’s the proposal:


CELTICS GET: Tayshaun Prince and two future second-round picks

Marc Stein of is reporting this deal is being discussed, and Zach Lowe of tweeted that there had been three-way trade discussions that would have landed Green in Memphis in a deal that also involved the Cavs. Now that Cleveland landed Timofey Mozgov from Denver, they likely have no incentive for the trade talks anymore, meaning Boston and Memphis would have to work a deal straight up (or find another trade partner to create a three-way deal with).

It’s safe to assume that the reason this deal has only been talked about, but has not yet happened, is that Ainge is asking for too much in return. Ainge likely is set on getting either a first-rounder or Kosta Koufos (the young center that would have gone to the Cavs in the three-way) in exchange for his best player now that Rondo’s gone. That’s not going to happen.

Either this deal is going to fall apart, or Ainge is going to lower his standards. It should be the latter. Rondo only commanded one first-round pick on the market — and a late one at that — so there’s no way Green is worth that high of a pick to any team. Ainge should shift his focus to trying to gain a couple of second-rounders before he has so settle for just one. He would be able to acquire the Grizzlies second-round pick in this upcoming draft if he acts quickly, and then barter for another one a couple of years down the line to be included. That’s a fair asking price.

Prince simply plays the role of Perkins in the Oklahoma City trade from part two. His expiring contract means there is no way he can count against the salary cap next season, whereas Green has the option to opt in for $9.2 million. In addition, Prince makes only $7.7 million this season. The $1.5 million difference would save Boston just under $1 million this season — hey, every little bit counts when you’re in a rebuild. But more importantly, Ainge has to stop overvaluing what has once again become a very inconsistent Green and get a deal like this done to continue moving in the direction he has already committed to.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

A major theme of the rebuilding Celtics has been that no player is safe from being traded for the betterment of the team — something Danny Ainge has shown the willingness to do throughout his career (and now once again by trading Rajon Rondo). Here are some trades that make sense for the mess that is the Boston Celtics. Again, these specific trades are not rumors, simply ideas. This is part two.

Part 1 of this series involved sending Rondo to the Kings, that obviously didn’t happen. But in the time since, Rondo has been shipped out West and the Celtics have begun to fall apart. No more “build around Rondo” arguments exist, which means the direction of the team is clear: Any trade Ainge makes will either create cap space or add assets.

Here’s a proposal that helps that direction:

THUNDER GET: Jeff Green and a future second-round pick

CELTICS GET: Jeremy Lamb and Kendrick Perkins

Yes, Perkins and Green were swapped for each other in 2011, and obviously that has not worked out as planned for either side. It would be humbling to see Ainge and Sam Presti (the general manager in Oklahoma City) admit their wrongs and swap these players back, and it makes sense now in 2015.

The Thunder just added Dion Waiters from the Cavs, which tells us a couple of things about them:

1. They are buyers

This is good in the sense that Presti could be interested in Green. With the emergence of Steven Adams and the small-ball philosophy of the league, Perkins is almost valueless in Oklahoma City. Adding Green would not only provide the Thunder with another starter/sixth-man to go along with Waiters, but with Kevin Durant hobbled this season, Green could provide spot starts for Durant throughout the regular season to help the team into the playoffs.

2. Lamb is no longer needed there

The UConn product has barely been playing of late, but with Waiters in town, Lamb’s role is pretty much diminished. Using him as a piece to help acquire Green makes total sense for Presti given Lamb’s demotion. Lamb is a nice prospect too — really, he’s the reason the Celtics do this deal. Boston is a place Lamb could have some value. The former lottery pick would be another asset in Ainge’s pile that is so often referred to.

Boston may need to use a second-round pick to sweeten the deal for the Thunder, but it would be worth it to shed Green’s contract for Perkins’ contract — one which we know will expire at the end of this season, whereas Green has a player option — as well add Lamb to the mix. The players’ familiarity with the organizations, including Lamb going to school in the New England area, only helps this whole deal fall into place.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

It’s a new year, and time for a new gimmick. I got sick of writing about the same five teams for my Power and Sour rankings, so I have decided to switch it up. Instead, I will rank the entire roster of our hometown squadron, the Boston Celtics. These rankings are based on gut feelings and convenient statistics. If you disagree, which if you are a regular WEEI commenter you will, please sound off at the bottom of the page. If that doesn’t feel like a enough of a personal attack, please yell at me on Twitter @SPackGuy.

Honorable mention: Tim Frazier

I love me some D-League, and especially some Maine Red Claws. Frazier is easily the best player stashed up in Maine, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a 10-day contract later in the season.

15. Gerald Wallace

Averaging seven minutes per game and sounds like a didgeridoo.

14. Jameer Nelson

13. Brandan Wright

12. Jae Crowder

Small sample size, but I do like Crowder’s hairdo and his defensive intensity. Given Wright’s length, I expected to see him get more minutes. Never predict a Brad Stevens rotation.

11. Phil Pressey

Instant energy off the bench, but really too short to make a significant impact. He consistently drives with reckless abandon with no intention of attempting a shot. It’s frustrating.

10. James Young

Young has only played in six games, but he is the future, and one time he answered some of my questions about his time in Maine. Can you believe he has never been to Freeport? I just hope he continues to get minutes, because he clearly has a knack for getting buckets.

9. Marcus Thornton

Marcus “The Microwave” Thornton is the Celtics‘ only irrational confidence scorer. Injuries have kept him out of the lineup and thus low on the rankings. He does win the award for Celtic I would most like to hang out with.

8. Brandon Bass

“BASS IS WHO YOU THOUGHT HE WAS!” Thanks to Dennis Green for the guest commentary. I hope for Bass’ sake that Danny Ainge finds him a nice contender for whom he can play meaningful minutes down the stretch. There is really no reason he couldn’t be the Warriors’ version of P.J. Brown.

7. Avery Bradley 

Without a doubt, AB has been the most disappointing player on the team. He just keeps shooting and shooting and shooting, and the ball rarely goes in. I appreciate his defense, but you need more that 12.5 PPG and 32 percent from 3 from your starting shooting guard.

6. Marcus Smart 

Smart has had some great moments, but he also has struggled to run the offense, often committing stupid turnovers. Stevens tried him as the starting PG and quickly realized that was a horrible mistake. Plus, Rob Bradford hates his shot, so he can’t be top five.

5. Kelly Olynyk 

Jelly Man Kelly has done quite well ever since he started coming off the bench. He goes through stretches where, depending on the opponent, he might be the second-best player on the court. He needs to continue to stay aggressive and possibly cut his hair. Jelly Man Kelly with a Brian Bosworth haircut would not only scare small children, it would produce at least four more points a game.

4. Evan Turner

The people of the Internet love to hate Evan Turner. Maybe it’s because he was a No. 2 overall pick, maybe it’s because his voice is very confusing, maybe it’s the fact that he is guaranteed to commit two dumb turnovers each game. With that being said, Turner has done an very good job when starting at PG and is one of the few Celtics who can create his own shot.

3. Jeff Green

Before the Rondo trade, Uncle Jeff would have been at No. 1 on these rankings. He had yet to put together one of those classic Jeff Green clunkers where he forgets that its his job to shoot the basketball. After the Rondo trade, he has seemed mildly depressed and had his first three games where he only scored in single digits. It almost like he is aware that he is going to be traded soon and that somehow is affecting his play? I know, Crazybeans.

2. Jared Sullinger

Before the season there was an absurd amount of Sully-hype. (I’m looking at you r/BostonCeltics) After hearing it suggested that he could be an All-Star this year, I started the year with an anti-Sully agenda. Slowly but surely, with each double-digit rebound game, I have climbed back on the Sullinger Caboose (pun intended because, you know, he has a giant ass). Before I can consider myself fully on board, Sully needs to stop throwing up a shot every time he finds himself with the ball beyond the arc. If he can limit the 3’s, then ALL ABOARD.

1. Tyler Zeller, aka #GodZeller

This guy has the softest hands in the league. He has a knack for finding the right place to be in transition and has the ability to catch almost any pass thrown in his direction. Everyone assumed that with Rondo gone he would stop producing, but everyone was wrong. Zeke has unparalleled finesse around the rim and actually is playing decent low-post defense. The only thing that could make #GodZeller better would be if he did the Sam Cassel big balls celly after hitting one of his beautiful two-footers. I know that is a complete pipe dream because as I understand it, if you are from the Midwest you are not allowed to have a personality. (Just look at the head coaching robot B. Stevens).

Blog Author: 
Sam Packard

James Young had played 18 minutes on the entire season entering Monday night’s game against the Hornets. His last appearance on an NBA court was when he played two minutes in a blow out against the Lakers on Dec 5. Since then, Young has missed time with a shoulder injury and spent time playing for the Maine Red Claws in the D-League.

Monday night was a coming out party for the No. 17 overall pick in this past June’s draft. Young matched his season total by playing 18 minutes in the game against Charlotte, coming up huge by nearly leading the Celtics to a comeback victory. In the second half alone the rookie played 15 minutes, pouring in 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting, while going 3-for-4 from downtown. Young’s finest moment came on a 3-pointer he hit in the fourth quarter to cut the Hornets lead to just six points, the smallest it would get after being as many as 22 points.

“I just tried to take every shot with confidence,” Young said following the game. “After one fell I just tried to go for another, and another and that’s how I’ve been playing all my life so I just tried to stick with it.”

Young has been sent to the D-League often of late, playing major minutes for the Red Claws when asked to. In eight games in the NBADL, Young has averaged 22.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.6 minutes of action. He has also been practically automatic from beyond the arc, shooting 35-of-73 in those eight games. His experience seems to be paying off, though.

“I was king of nervous when I first got in. [It was] My first time playing, really, in the regular season,” said Young of his jitters. “I was just trying to go out there in the second half and just be aggressive, everyone told me to be aggressive.”

So did Young get advice from anyone in specific before his breakout game?

“Yeah, before I walked out [Brandon] Bass just told me to be me. [To] stay aggressive and just zone in, and that’s what I did.”

Young’s performance easily could earn him a longer look in Brad Stevens‘ ever changing rotation, he’s a player the coaching staff certainly wants to give minutes to in order to help his development. At the same time, Stevens admitted he was “throwing darts” with his rotation on Monday, Young could have simply been one of those darts on this night.

“I just want to go out there and just provide for my team,” Young said of his role. “If I get more minutes, I get more minutes. [I] just want to bring energy to the floor.”

One way or another, the 19-year-old rookie will get more shots at earning minutes as the season progresses. What Young does with those minutes remains to be seen, but if he can produce as he did in his first opportunity, he may have a bright future in Boston.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow