Kevin Garnett is returning home to Minnesota, and now Tayshaun Prince is headed back to Detroit according to multiple media reports.

Prince was shipped off for the likes of Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome, who both have one thing in common: they are both expiring contracts. Unless Danny Ainge sees either player as a long-term piece in Boston (which is very unlikely), the deal was simply a money saving move.

Jerebko is owed $4.5 million this season while Datome will earn $1.7 million, which will cost the C’s less than paying the remainder of Prince’s $7.7 million contract. No word yet on if either of the C’s new additions will be bought out of their contracts.

Although the trade doesn’t bring back an exciting return like the Isaiah Thomas deal that the Celtics also reportedly agreed upon, there is more potential upside than just saving a few bucks. With both Marcus Thornton and Prince now gone, a path has likely been carved out for rookies Marcus Smart and James Young to see serious playing time as the season winds down — something fans should enjoy watching.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

The Celtics did in fact make a trade at the NBA’s trade deadline Thursday.

The Celtics acquired Isaiah Thomas on Thursday. (Getty Images)

The Celtics acquired Isaiah Thomas on Thursday. (Getty Images)

The Celtics did in fact make a trade at the NBA’s trade deadline Thursday.

The team acquired point guard Isaiah Thomas from the Suns. The Celtics will send Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round pick via Cleveland to Phoenix, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.

Thomas has averaged 15.2 points per game in 46 games this season. He was a 2011 second-round pick by the Kings.

For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Surprise, surprise: The Celtics have entered the Goran Dragic sweepstakes.

Surprise, surprise: The Celtics have entered the Goran Dragic sweepstakes.

According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has placed a call to his former assistant general manager, Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough, about the NBA’s reigning Most Improved Player.

Dragic, who is expected to decline his $7.5 million player option for the 2015-16 season, has alerted the Suns he will not re-sign in Phoneix come July, per USA TODAY’s Sam Amick. Given the team’s wealth of point guards after signing Isaiah Thomas and Eric Bledsoe for a combined $97 million this past summer, McDonough is reportedly seeking to trade Dragic by Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Enter Ainge, who has enough draft picks, expiring contracts and affordable young talent to join any trade discussion. But how much are the Celtics willing to pay for a 28-year-old point guard who can walk in June? (See: Rondo, Rajon.)

Granted, Dragic is coming off a Third Team All-NBA season and has 9,118 fewer NBA minutes on his legs than the 28-year-old point guard they traded two months ago — not to mention an entirely different skill-set than Rondo — but Ainge will have to compete with a host of other teams for the Slovenian’s services, including reported suitors in the Heat, Kings, Knicks, Lakers, Pacers and Rockets. Ainge’s familiarity with McDonough, which led to the exchange of Brandan Wright for draft picks last month, can’t hurt in that regard.

Would Brandon Bass‘ $6.9 million expiring contract and pick(s) be enough to land Dragic? Or would the C’s have to include Kelly Olynyk or another burgeoning young talent? The Suns, who currently lead the Thunder by a half-game for the Western Conference’s eighth playoff seed, could use another floor-spacing big man after losing veteran locker room favorite Channing Frye to the Magic in free agency.

Additionally, the Celtics must determine whether the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Dragic — a willing defender and brilliant playmaker who submitted a remarkable statistical season in 2013-14 (20.3 points, 5.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 35.1 minutes per game while producing a 60.4 true shooting percentage and 21.4 player efficiency rating) — could coexist with Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley in the backcourt. (Unless, of course, either Smart or Bradley is shipped back to Phoenix in exchange for Dragic). The feeling here is that Dragic and the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Smart could wreak the same kind of havoc Dragic and Bledsoe did during the Suns’ 48-win campaign last season.

According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Dragic has included the Los Angeles Lakers, New York and Miami among his list of preferred landing spots, demonstrating a willingness to re-sign with a team currently out of championship contention, but it’s unclear whether he’d be open to staying in Boston. Dragic’s agent, Bill Duffy, also represents Rondo, whose desire to test free agency led to his trade. Just as with Rondo, though, the C’s — or any organization acquiring Dragic — could offer an additional year and roughly $25 million more on the open market. With the NBA’s new television deal expected to increase the salary cap in 2016, Dragic could command a max contract this summer.

For more on the impending trade deadline decisions Ainge faces, click here.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Where do Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens steer the Celtics from here? (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)



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 seven.

With Rondo and Jeff Green shipped out, trade ideas are running thin as the Feb 19 deadline approaches.

No doubt Ainge would love to shed an expiring contract or two in the form of Brandon Bass, Tayshaun Prince or Marcus Thornton. However, contenders have yet to come calling for the services of Boston’s veteran pieces. But maybe Ainge can use one of those contracts — along with one of his accumulated draft picks — to add a young talent that’s potentially now available.

JAZZ GET: Brandon Bass and Clippers 2015 first-round pick

CELTICS GET: Enes Kanter

Bass is in this deal simply to make the money match, but it achieves Ainge’s goal of moving an expiring veteran. The important part of the deal, however, is Kanter’s contract. He too is expiring at season’s end and there is no chance the Celtics would risk sending a first-rounder to Utah without assurance that Kanter has interest in remaining in Boston. For the sake of making the trade idea work, let’s say Kanter approves of being a Celtic past 2015.

Tyler Zeller (9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds) has had a solid season, but he is certainly not the starting center of the future. Kanter, who recently told reporters that he hopes to be traded, has the potential to be a valuable piece long-term. The former No. 3 overall pick is averaging 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds while playing 27.1 minutes per game so far this season — those numbers would be an immediate upgrade at the center spot.

Kanter is still just 22-years old, though. Ainge’s hope in making the deal would be that his new young big would make a smooth transition to Boston and continue to grow his numbers in upcoming seasons. There’s a risk involved for the Celtics in giving up a first-round pick, but the risk could prove worth the reward if Kanter develops into Boston’s future center. After all, Ainge didn’t accumulate all these picks to use each of them. At some point some of them have to be moved for talent that can provide an instant impact.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow

 

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

Could Evan Turner lead Celtics on a playoff push? (Getty Images)Brad Stevens is a realistic man.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

BIO | ARCHIVE


It’s been exactly one month since the Celtics finalized the Jeff Green trade — completing a series of deals that also sent Rajon Rondo packing — and yet they’re playing their best basketball of the season. After losing three straight immediately following their leading scorer’s departure, the C’s have won seven of their last 12 games to enter the All-Star break trailing the Hornets and Heat by only one loss for the Eastern Conference’s final two postseason spots.

Despite a 20-31 record, the Celtics are in the playoff conversation. Seriously.

“It’s always been a conversation, since Day 1,” said Marcus Thornton, whose 14 points helped ground the  Hawks on Wednesday night. “I believe we can make it, and I believe we can make noise, too, so it’s on us to make that happen.”

Except, some of the current C’s weren’t here when the season began — namely rotation players Jae Crowder and Tayshaun Prince — and not all of them are expected to be around when the team reconvenes for the second half in Sacramento some 24 hours after the league’s Feb. 19 trade deadline.

So, Jared Sullinger can decry all he wants, “It’s the All-Star break; that’s the last thing on our mind,” but the harsh reality is this team that appears to be just hitting its stride could look completely different in a week.

“I’m going to use that time to take off and kind of forget about basketball a little bit,” Thornton said when asked about an eight-day vacation leading up to the trade deadline, “but wherever I’m at, I’m ready to go.”

Thornton’s $8.6 million expiring contract and scoring prowess (team-high 19.6 points per 36 minutes and 41.9 percent 3-point shooting) make him attractive trade bait for a team looking to bolster its playoff roster this spring and clear cap space over the summer. Same goes for Prince and Brandon Bass, a pair of veterans who respectively carry $7.7 million and $6.9 million price tags while still proving productive on the court.

“My teammates are great,” added Thornton, 27, who’s already on the record saying he’d like to stay in Boston. “We’re young. I’m kinda like old here on this team, which I don’t like to say, so none of y’all better not say it, either. But it’s great. The way we interact with each other is great. It’s one of the funnest teams I’ve been on.”

It’s a chemistry Brad Stevens has somehow concocted despite constant uncertainty throughout his two-year tenure. And while the Celtics coach would like to see his current team stick together for the final two months, he also knows Danny Ainge & Co. in the front office aren’t all that concerned about the here and now.

“Certainly, I’d love for us to have as little movement as possible,” said Stevens, “but I understand those guys will do their jobs, and they’ll take everything and look at it and figure out how best to move forward with our team, especially with 30-some-odd games left. I think that we have built momentum and have a good group of young guys that are — like I talked about before with Atlanta — figuring out how to be stars in their roles, and I think that’s the key. And that’s why I think we’ve been able to have a little bit of success here and there.”

Ainge has turned his coach into a real-life Sisyphus, and if another set of trades sends the Celtics careening down the hill again, Stevens will begin anew his mission to carry Boston back up that NBA mountain.

“We’ll figure it out depending on what happens in the next week,” added Stevens. “I really like these guys. They’re a good group of guys. They work hard, and you see a lot of growth in a lot of them.”

 

 

 

 

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

 

Brandon Bass called it.