Adam Silver

Adam Silver

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday that the league is likely to remove division records from playoff seeding, and the change probably will be finalized before the 2015-16 season.

As currently constituted, the division winners are guaranteed a top-four seed in the first round. The change would mean that the qualifying teams in each conference would simply be seeded one through eight according to their records.

“It wasn’t voted on yet,” Silver said following the NBA Board of Governor’s meetings in Las Vegas, “because we wanted all the owners to have an opportunity to go back and discuss that recommendation with their general managers and their coaches, and we’ll vote on it before the beginning of the season. It’s my expectation that that change will be adopted.”

Last season, the Blazers finished 51-31 and won the Northwest division. They had the sixth-best record in the Western Conference, but were the fourth seed in the conference playoffs.

Meanwhile, following the DeAndre Jordan saga, the free agency moratorium has been a topic of much discussion. Teams could agree to terms with free agents starting July 1, but were not permitted to actually sign contracts until July 8. In Jordan’s case, the moratorium allowed for the center to agree to a deal with the Mavericks, renege on the agreement and return to the Clippers.

According to Silver, the moratorium is likely to remain in the collective bargaining agreement, and Jordan did indeed act within his rights afforded by the agreement.

“I would say from a personal standpoint, it was not a great look,” Silver said. “There was a breakdown in the system to a certain extent. Teams come to rely on those assurances. … I’m not sure it’s [Jordan’s] proudest moment either, but, again, he was exercising a right that he appropriately has under the collective bargaining agreement.

“And what happens when teams can’t sign — especially the star players, and they’re building their rosters around them — it’s a holdup for a lot of other players in the league [to whom teams can’t make commitments],” the commissioner said.

Other topics of conversation at the Board of Governor’s meetings included the addition of a countdown clock to monitor the length of breaks between quarters and during timeouts so that they are consistent. The board also discussed possible manners of improving players’ on-court safety, such as adding a second escape lane in order to minimize player collisions with camera operators on the baselines.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

The Celtics once again benefited from another team’s cost-saving machinations, acquiring Thunder forward Perry Jones III, Detroit’s 2019 second-round pick and cash from Oklahoma City in

Perry Jones

Perry Jones

The Celtics once again benefited from another team’s cost-saving machinations, acquiring Thunder forward Perry Jones III, Detroit’s 2019 second-round pick and cash from Oklahoma City in exchange for a protected 2018 second-round pick, the teams announced.

The deal reportedly saves OKC about $7 million in salary and luxury tax expenses while creating a $2.o4 million trade exception.

Meanwhile, the Celtics will audition the 23-year-old Jones for one season on that same $2.04 million salary before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2016. The 6-foot-11, 235-pound Jones averaged 4.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in just 14.7 minutes over 43 games this past season. Bostonians probably best remember the Baylor product as one of several late first-round picks the C’s passed on in order to select Fab Melo in 2012.

The deal brings to mind last summer’s trade for Tyler Zeller, who the Celtics acquired along with Marcus Thornton for a conditional second-round pick in a cost-cutting move by the Cavaliers. Zeller played a similar role to Jones before starting for the C’s in 2014-15.

Even if the Celtics can get just one game close to his performance against the Clippers in the second game of this past season ‘€” a 32-point, seven-rebound, three-assist night when OKC was missing Kevin Durant ‘€” the trade will be worth the phone call to Sam Presti.

The deal theoretically brings the Celtics to the requisite 15 guaranteed contracts once Jae Crowder is officially signed and the David Lee trade is completed, which either means second-round pick Jordan Mickey won’t be earning a roster spot or more moves are coming down the pike. The latter scenario is more likely so early in the 2015-16 calendar.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Any truth to the rumor Danny Ainge sang Umberto Tozzi’s “Ti Amo” quietly in his office when Gigi Datome informed him he signed a three-year, $5 million deal with Euro power Fenerbahce? Adieu, Gino reincarnated.

Gigi Datome, God how I love you so
My heart just won’t let go
Day after day I’m still holdin’ on
Even though you’re gone
Gigi Datome, wasn’t I good to you?
I did all that I could do
To make you want to be here with me
I thought you loved me
I can’t believe you could just turn and leave
Y’did it so easily
You pulled my world out from under me
Look what you’ve done to me
How could you end it this way
After the love that we made?
God how I wish you had stayed
Can’t you see that I just want you back?
Gigi Datome, I never had a clue that I was losin’ you
You never once let me know you were lettin’ me go
Oh, I guess it was there in your eyes
Guess it was there in your sighs
Guess it was there in your lies
I was blind then, couldn’t face the end
Gigi Datome, thought we’d go on and on
Thought we had something strong
You pulled my world out from under me
Look what you’ve done to me
How could you end it this way
After the love that we made?
God how I wish you had stayed
Can’t you see that I just want you back?

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Some advice for Danny from former teammate Bill Walton.

If you love something very much
Let it go free.
If it does not return, it was not meant to be yours.
If it does return, love it as hard as you can for the rest of your life.

At the end of my 2 years in the NBA my targets for the Free Agency were:To play at the highest level of basketball and…

Posted by Luigi Datome on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Thanks for the memories, Gigi.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

During Isaiah Thomas’ trip abroad for the NBA 3X Spain three-on-three basketball tournament last month, the Celtics guard conducted an interview with Spanish newspaper Diario AS as a precursor to the team’s preseason game against Real Madrid on Oct. 8. He touched on subjects as wide-ranging as DeMarcus Cousins and Floyd Mayweather.

Here are a few highlights roughly translated from the original interview.

When will we see the Celtics fighting for another ring?

“In the next two years. That is the plan. Danny Ainge is trying to build a winning team from scratch. I hope to be part of that future and reach that goal.”

And so, what is the way to go?

“As easy as getting us a couple more good players. That is what we need. I hope that this summer we can do really well in the market for free agents, which already being a playoff team will take us to the next level. The most important thing for us is getting a big man and starting from there to continue to grow. I’d like to be able to persuade Marc Gasol to come to the Celtics.”

NOTE: Keep in mind, this interview was conducted prior to free agency and shortly after Thomas joked on Twitter about recruiting Gasol during his trip to Europe.

And DeMarcus Cousins?

“[Laughs.] It would be something special to join him in the locker room again. For me, he is among the best big men in the world: He is intelligent, and there aren’t many big men with his talent …”

Would you like to rejoin him?

“Who knows! I think that once you land in Boston, you realize how special it is. When you say it may not be so attractive [to free agents], but when you play there and see the fans, all the tradition and the history of the Celtics, you fall in love.”

What can you say about your coach, Brad Stevens?

“He is a basketball mind and an outstanding coach, but even better as a person. He works very hard, comes to training before anyone else and is the last to go. He has the knowledge to be one of the best coaches in the NBA. It is that type of person that you want to learn from, and of course he has our full attention.”

You grew up a fan of the Lakers …

“Yes, I grew up being a fan of the Lakers. My father’s from L.A., so I followed his example, because the Lakers was all he knew. Although, even when I was playing with the Kings, where there is a rivalry with the Lakers, he always told me something about them. And now, in Boston, you can’t even bring it up. There is a rivalry for so long! I’m happy to be part of the Celtics while at the same time … my father is still a fan of the Lakers.”

So, if you could choose would you like to sign for the Lakers?

“I would not say that, but you never know, especially how it works today in the NBA. It’s a business, and you never know what can happen. If it happens, it happens, but right now I’m happy as a Celtic.”

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

The Celtics aren’t content with their current roster. That much we know.

Danilo Gallinari

Danilo Gallinari

The Celtics aren’t content with their current roster. That much we know. They’re stocked with good players, but fresh out of great ones, and team president Danny Ainge has openly discussed the C’s need for star power.

But is Nuggets wing Danilo Gallinari the answer? Ainge explored a trade with Denver, and while nothing resulted from the discussion, sources told the Boston Herald a deal for the 26-year-old “could be revived.”

His versatility as a 6-foot-10 wing whose shooting can stretch the floor certainly fits Celtics coach Brad Stevens‘ system, but Gallo was hardly a star even before an ACL tear cost him more than a year of his prime.

After missing the entire 2013-14 NBA season, Gallinari regained form after the All-Star break in 2015, averaging 18.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range over his final 24 appearances. Those numbers would make him an upgrade over any other wing on the C’s roster, including newly signed Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson. His defense when healthy has also steadily improved since his early days on the Knicks.

And while Gallinari would be an upgrade in the short term, his expiring $11.6 million contract would also maintain the Celtics’ flexibility for the long haul, as is the case with soon-to-be C’s forward David Lee, whose expiring $15.5 million deal comes off the books next summer.

Because the Celtics landed Lee for Gerald Wallace‘s expiring contract, they surely would be looking to make a similarly lopsided deal for Gallinari, which is likely where the talks stalled.

Even if the Gallinari discussion is dead and gone, though, Ainge’s interest at least offers an indication of the team’s thinking. For the time being, it does not appear there is a star available on the trade market, so the Celtics are looking for players who will improve the roster now and not limit their ability to land a better one at the trade deadline or in free agency next summer.

Either that, or the Celtics were simply interested in fulfilling their Italian stallion quota with the dearly departed Gigi Datome signing with Euroleague power Fenerbahce overnight.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Heads were turned over the weekend when guard Isaiah Thomas revealed that he had offseason wrist surgery, but the Celtics played down the seriousness of the procedure.

Heads were turned over the weekend when guard Isaiah Thomas revealed that he had offseason wrist surgery, but the Celtics played down the seriousness of the procedure.

Thomas tweeted a reference to the surgery Saturday. Coach Brad Stevens then explained that the it was done sometime last month in an effort to clean up the wrist, on which Thomas had surgery the previous year as well — which apparently led to the development of a cyst.

“I don’t know exactly what the deal was, but just had a little cyst removed from his wrist,” Stevens told reporters Sunday (via MassLive.com). “It was something that we knew at the end of the year they would have to [remove it]. It’s a small, minor thing, so they had to take care of it.”

Contacted by The Boston Globe, Thomas said he hopes to be healthy in 2-4 weeks, and Stevens said he expects Thomas to be ready for training camp.

“He’s well, well, well ahead of schedule,” Stevens said. “There’s no long-term ill effects or anything like that.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas told reporters in Salt Lake City Thursday night that he doesn’€™t feel that Danny Ainge is done making moves this offseason.