Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, in an appearance on the Mut & Merloni show, suggested that the Celtics remain an attractive destination for marquee players despite the fact that David West chose to sign with the Pacers over the Celtics and Magic star Dwight Howard has suggested that the Celtics are not on his desired list of teams to join.
"We just have to make our club attractive for players to come to. It’s been attractive. We attracted Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. We think we’ll attract players in the future," said Pagliuca. "We still think it’s an attractive place. We have a great coach in Doc Rivers. We have Rajon Rondo, who’s a fantastic point guard who people want to play with. You see the young guys playing really well right now. We have two first-round draft picks in the next draft. It’s going to be an attractive place to play. When players come in and see those banners up there, they see that the Garden is filled every night, from a fan’s standpoint, there’s nothing like this, playing in the Boston Garden. We don’t really find reticence to come here. In fact, they want to come here.
"Doc is a player’s coach. Players love him. We’re lucky to have Doc, the tradition. We’ll compete to get these players," Pagliuca added. "Lists don’t mean very much. At the end of the day, players often go to places that are not on the list. I don’t think we were on [Kevin Garnett’s] list. ... Who knows what those lists mean? I think if you have a good organization, have a great coach and a great tradition, then you can compete."
Pagliuca also talked on several other topics. Among them:
On Paul Pierce, the team's slow start and subsequent turnaround coming out of a lockout-shortened camp: "Across the league it was tough, especially for us because we had seven new players coming in. ... One of the keys for us was Paul [Pierce] was hurt. Now we’re seeing the real Paul Pierce. Superman is back in the building, for sure."
On whether Pierce will be a member of the Celtics for his entire career: "It would be great if that could happen. From day one, we’ve had a fantastic relationship with Paul," said Pagliuca. "In the dark days -- it seems long ago now – in the dark days, Paul carried the team. In the rebuilding, he went along with the rebuilding. We sat down with him many times and said we need you here. We need you committed. Paul trusted us, we trusted him and it brought us a championship.
"He’s back. He was player of the week last week," he said. "He’s back and looking like the old Paul Pierce. It’s a great thing to watch, isn’t it?"
On whether Danny Ainge can blow up the team: "Danny doesn’t use the term ‘blow it up.’ What he is constantly doing is [asking] is there a way to upgrade the team for the long-term and the short-term," said Pagliuca. "When you’re blowing it up, you’re trading a transcendent player. That player can be very good for the next couple of years and you can end up trading him for something that doesn’t work out. So you have to be very thoughtful. You want to get another player who’s younger or can help you in the long-term or draft choices, something that is going to really help the club compete and win a championship again. So, blow it up is a bad word. You’ve got to be strategic and thoughtful."
On whether the owners would tell Ainge not to trade a specific player: "We really listen to Danny. Danny has seen all these players. He watches tape, he watches every player in the league. ... We obviously factor that in, for sure, but Danny is the ultimate decision-maker.He’ll make a recommendation to ownership. Ninety-nine times out of 100, we agree with that recommendation."
On the trade of Kendrick Perkins almost one year later: "As you know, you can do anything with 20/20 hindsight. I’d step back and say the philosophy of the trade was [right]. Danny was trying to get us ready for the stretch run. We were trying to win another championship. The easy way out would have been to do nothing," said Pagliuca. "We needed another scorer. We needed another piece in the puzzle. Shaq was supposed to come back. If all that had come into play, I think we really would have competed.
"I think it was the right thing to do. The greater goal is to win a championship and not just to play it safe. That’s what I like about Danny. ... On paper, looking at it, we would have done it again."
On the Celtics' financial ability to make moves: "We’ve been a tax-paying team for the last five years. We’ve been over the cap. We’ve invested to try to win a championship. The way we look at it is, when we brought Garnett in, we went over the cap, for sure, but you had a chance to win a championship. You can’t go too crazy, but if you really have an inkling that you’re going to win, this is going to be a valuable player, you’ll spend that tax money."
On possible improvements through adding players returning from foreign leagues: "Danny is looking at anything and everything to improve the team. The team has played really well. We’ve won five straight. Garnett had over 20 last [game], he’s looking good. Paul Pierce is looking good. Ray Allen seems ageless. You’ve seen the emergence of Avery Bradley, he’s turned us into the Baltimore Ravens. ... At the end of the game [between the Celtics and Magic], Jameer Nelson was saying to Bradley, ‘C’mon now, you don’t need to keep pressing me.’ He was saying that on the floor. … You’re seeing Avery blossom now. ... The nice thing we have about this roster right now is that nine through 14 it’s one of the best in the league. Our second-team players can beat anyone in the league."
Ian talks with Chris about the NFL offseason and specifically what the Pats have done and will do. He talks about NFL free agency, if Brandon Spike will come back to New England, all things NFL Draft and more in an extensive interview.
in hour 2 of NFL Sunday, Greg and Chris discuss some news from around the league including the Philip Rivers situation in San Diego, if the Titans may sign Rivers, where Marcus Mariota may end up, and what the Jets will do. Price talks with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport about all things NFL offseason and the draft. Finally, the guys touch on if the NFL is over-saturating fans with too much coverage all year round now.
Greg and Chris talk a ton of NFL Draft in hour 1 of the show. They discuss what the Pats might do with their early picks and get Mike Petraglia's thoughts on the issue as well.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Xander had the game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th to get the Red Sox on top of the Baltimore Orioles 3-2, he talked with Joe and Dave after the game about what his thought process during the at-bat was and the excitement of a walk-off.
Buster Olney of ESPN joins the guys to talk about the first two weeks of the baseball season. They discuss the struggling Red Sox rotation and the potential of the high-powered offense.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan after the Red Sox come back to beat the Nationals 8-7.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
Bryan Price lost his mind.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk opened the show by discussing the Olympics in Boston.
Kyle Draper and Sports Radio Hack Lou Merloni make up after beefing earlier in the week, Aaron Hernandez gets taken down by Larry Willmore, and our very own Christian Fauria makes his Country Music Debut
Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman joins the guys to defend his prediction of Celtics in 6.
After some suspicious outfield play from Red Sox Left Fielder Hanley Ramirez, the guys question whether or not he has what it takes to play in the outfield, a position he has never played before.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the Celtics loss in game one, and whether or not they can steal game two before returning to Boston on Thursday.
We wrap up the day with some of the best sound you may have missed.
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart discuss this year's Celtics as they enter the playoffs to take one of the best teams in the East in the NBA Playoffs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Erin talk about the Sox 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Patriots Day and the Sox hold on first place in the AL East. Also, the Celtics trail the Cavs 1 Game to 0 in their 1st Round series and the 2015 Boston Marathon is in the books.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Ben and Sam are joined by Julian Edlow from WEEI.com to give their predictions on every series in the NBA Playoffs.
Jerry is joined by hockey writer Brian "Rear Admiral" McGonagle of Barstool Sports to perform a post-mortem on what happened to the 2014-15 Bruins, who's to blame and where the team goes from here.
Ben and Alex break down Leg 1 of the quarter finals of the Champions League and talk about some of the most interesting transfer rumors.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk discuss Ben Affleck's attempt to hide his family's history of being slave owners in a recent documentary.More from this show
The guys talk about the David Ortiz ejection, the poor pitching performances and everything else from an ugly weekend series against the Orioles.More from this show
The guys talk with Christopher McDougall about his best selling book, "Born to Run," and its future adaptation into a movie.More from this show