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Report: Rajon Rondo makes it hard for Celtics to attract free agents

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsRajon Rondo will never be known as the easiest player to coach. Doc Rivers alluded to that on several occasions during his tenure with the Boston Celtics.

But how is Rondo as a teammate?

While the Celtics point guard certainly does a great job of sharing the ball and getting everyone involved, he’s not exactly the most affable character. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman even says the presence of Rondo makes the Celtics less attractive to some free agents.

[Related: Rajon Rondo skipped team trip without permission?]

Goodman had an interesting back-and-forth with Jeff Clark of SB Nation’s Celtics Blog on Thursday morning. Clark questioned Goodman’s belief that the Celtics should trade Rondo. That led to this exchange:

Goodman later said that he would not drop any names, as the conversations he had with players who don’t want to play with Rondo were off the record. We know Rondo and Ray Allen struggled to get along in their last season together in Boston, with Rondo later referring to Allen as “that guy.

Kevin Love met Rondo during his trip to Boston last month, and as far as we know Love would still be willing to accept a trade to the Celtics and sign a long-term deal. Perhaps Love is the exception rather than the rule.

[Also see - Ex-teammate says Rondo is a diva, but in a good way]

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Celtics doctors said not to draft Greg Oden or Brandon Roy

Greg Oden

The Boston Celtics have become known for taking risks in the draft on players with medical questions, but that doesn’t mean they’ll take just anyone.

According to Austin Ainge, the son of Celtics president Danny Ainge and team director of player personnel, the Celtics’ medical staff told the team not to draft Greg Oden or Brandon Roy. Both players have had knee problems that shortened/ruined their careers. Oden has only played in 105 career games since being drafted in 2007, while Roy had five really good seasons, missed a year, attempted a comeback, and then retired for good.

Even though the Celtics had no plans to draft either player (they had to contemplate the decision since they were in the lottery both years), they still have taken risks by drafting players like Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley, both of whom had medical concerns.

So why is this story now relevant? Because of Joel Embiid.

Embiid is expected to miss several months after undergoing surgery on his foot for the same condition that ruined Yao Ming and Bill Walton’s careers. The Celtics are picking fifth in the draft and could look to Embiid, but after reading some of Ainge’s comments, it sounds like Boston won’t be taking that risk with the damaged goods.

“€œFoot and back, those are not good body parts to injure,” Ainge said Saturday via WEEI. “We try to focus on the long-term health more than the short-term when you’re dealing with draft picks,” he added. “Free agency, it might be a little different. But when you’re drafting kids that are 19, 20, 21, it’s usually best to think: ‘Two years, five years down the road, will it be a concern?’ Those are the ones we usually try to avoid.”

I wouldn’t want any piece of Embiid either, if I were them. Why take a guy who you already know has a lot of problems? The only place I’d take a guy who is damaged goods like that is probably 18th or lower, and that’s only if I don’t see someone who could probably help my team. You just know that this will be an issue moving forward. Why mess with it if you don’t have to?

Kevin Love hangs with Rajon Rondo; David Ortiz tries to recruit him to Boston

Kevin-Love-Rajon-Rondo

If nothing else, Kevin Love is seriously toying with the emotions of Boston Celtics fans. After galavanting around town and hitting up some popular spots in Beantown on Friday night, Love went to the Red Sox game on Sunday. Guess who else was at Fenway Park? Rajon Rondo.

Love and Rondo were spotted greeting each other inside the ballpark. As if that wasn’t enough to make Celtics fans giddy, David Ortiz later got in on the fun by tweeting at Love.

Plenty of teams are going to be interested in Love. Boston is one of them, but that hardly means Love is going to be playing for Brad Stevens next year. Neither does his trip to Fenway and the surrounding area.

Photo via @BigDub74
H/T Boston Globe

Kevin Love visited Boston ‘to see what it’s like’

Kevin-Love-visits-Boston

Kevin Love visited the city of Boston over the weekend, igniting a flurry of speculation about a possible trade between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics. As Dirty Water News first reported, Love had dinner at The Greatest Bar and later headed to Rumor nightclub. He was also planning to attend the Red Sox game on Sunday.

Larry Brown Sports has confirmed through multiple sources that Love was in fact in the city and taking in the sights. When asked why he was there, Love reportedly said, “I’m here to just check out the city and see what it’s like.”

What does all this mean? Absolutely nothing is one possibility. It’s the offseason for Love, and maybe he just felt like taking a weekend trip to Boston to check out a new place. However, reports have already indicated that Love is open to being traded to the Celtics. The T-Wolves are also supposedly interested in players the Celtics would be in position to draft with their two first-round picks, one being Kentucky’s Julius Randle.

If Boston has a chance to acquire Love, Danny Ainge will try his hardest to make it happen.

Kevin Love reportedly open to Celtics trade

Kevin LoveThe list of potential suitors for Kevin Love continues to grow by the day, but rumors about one particular team have heated up over the past 24 hours. The Boston Celtics did not have the luck of the Irish with them at the NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday night, which has been the norm throughout team history. Will that inspire Danny Ainge to make a run at Love?

The Celtics came away with the No. 6 pick in the lottery. They also have the 17th overall pick thanks to their blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets. The Minnesota Timberwolves could be interested in those picks and/or future Celtics draft picks if they decide to move Love. According to Comcast SportsNet basketball analyst Tim Welsh, Love would be open to going to Boston.

“(Love) wants to play for an organization that’s going to be a winning organization; not necessarily I have to go to a championship team now, but a team that’s going to be built to move in that direction,” Welsh said, via CSNNE.com’s A. Sherrod Blakely. “Maybe it’ll take a couple years. That’s OK. But he needs a change from Minnesota.

“He is not one of those guys that’s saying, ‘I want to go to Miami. I want to go to L.A.,’ the hype cities. Now would he prefer L.A.? His girlfriend lives there. She’s an actress. He went to college there (at UCLA). He was born there. But he’s a professional. He wants to go where there’s the best opportunity for him which would be in a winning organization and he respects the history of the Celtics.”

To make matters more interesting, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told “The Toucher and Rich Show” on Wednesday that he would be open to trading for a high-caliber player in the last year of his contract without an agreement to an extension. As you know, Love is in the final year of his deal and has informed the T-Wolves that he will not re-sign with them.

The Celtics don’t have much on their roster beyond Rajon Rondo. What they can offer Love is Ainge’s history of being aggressive to acquire the pieces his team needs. In 2007, Boston was disappointed to receive the No. 5 pick in the draft lottery. They used it to draft Jeff Green, who they packaged for Ray Allen, and later acquired Kevin Garnett. A championship immediately followed.

How likely is Love to go to Boston? About as likely as he is to go to any other city, and it’s too early to tell. If anyone can make it happen, it’s Ainge.

Danny Ainge: Celtics likely to retire KG’s jersey, not sure on Ray Allen

Kevin-Garnett-Ray-Allen-CelticsDanny Ainge said on Thursday that he thinks the Boston Celtics will likely retire Kevin Garnett’s jersey, but he’s not sure if they will do the same with Ray Allen.

Allen and KG joined the Boston Celtics prior to the 2007-2008 season. The two combined with Paul Pierce to give the Celtics a formidable Big Three. They posted the best record in the league in their first season together and won the NBA championship. But is that enough for Garnett and Allen to have their jerseys retired?

Ainge, who has been a front office exec for the Celtics since 2003, told Toucher and Rich of The Sports Hub in Boston that he believes Paul Pierce (obviously) and Garnett are likely to have their jerseys retired, but he’s not sure about Allen.

“I’m not sure yet.” Ainge said about Allen’s number when asked. “I don’t know the answer to that. It will be something the ownership of the team will decide. Who knows what happens when those guys careers are over and time settles in. I honestly don’t know.”

The Celtics’ ownership group will make the determination on whose jerseys are retired, so Ainge is just offering his opinion.

If Allen came to the Celtics the same year as Garnett, why would KG be honored instead of him? Ainge mentioned (with prompting from the hosts) that Ray leaving the team for the Miami Heat would have something to do with it.

“I think that’s obviously somewhat of a factor. But I think time heals those hurts, and logic will take over,” said Ainge. “The question is did he play long enough and that kind of thing? There are a lot of great Celtics in history, and Ray Allen is certainly one of them. I know there will be consideration and discussion about that happening. We’ll see.”

Pierce is a franchise icon and no-brainer to have his jersey retired. But what I’m wondering is what makes Garnett any more deserving of the honor than Allen? Because he played six seasons with the team instead of five? That’s not a huge difference.

I asked Boston sports fan Steve DelVecchio for his opinion, and he said he would only retire Pierce’s number. I probably would do the same. But I can’t imagine you retire KG’s jersey and not Allen’s just because he left for Miami a year early.

Chest bump to Celtics Hub

Doc Rivers admits he walked out on the Celtics

Doc RiversDoc Rivers left the Boston Celtics when it became obvious that their championship window had closed. Ray Allen had already signed with the Miami Heat, and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are clearly nearing the end of their careers. Rajon Rondo is still recovering from a torn ACL. Rather than rebuilding with Boston, Rivers has chosen to coach the more championship-ready Los Angeles Clippers.

Despite the obvious facts, Rivers has been reluctant to openly admit that he walked out on the Celtics. During an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger and Mazz Show” in Boston on Monday, Doc was asked if he walked out on his former team.

“I did at the end of the day,” Rivers admitted. “You make choices in your life, it happens … It was a very difficult decision for me to make; whether to walk away and sit a couple of years, which was another way I was leaning, or if the right job presented itself to walk away and do that.

“I was afforded a great opportunity here with the Clippers. This is the first time I’ve been able to coach a team and run a team. This may work, it may not work. It’s a far bigger gamble for me than anyone else. So I thought it was the right time to take it.”

By that, Rivers means he has more control with the Clippers than he did with the Celtics. Danny Ainge is ultimately in charge of all roster and personnel decisions in Boston, and he did a fairly good job of bringing in the right pieces during Doc’s career with the C’s. Even though Rivers admitted to bailing on Boston, he said he would be disappointed if Celtics fans booed him in his return to TD Garden on Wednesday.

“I’m sure some will, but I was booed at times as a coach,” he said. “That’s fine, but I don’t anticipate that. I’d be surprised by that, and if it happens it happens. I’d be disappointed by it, of course, but I’m a human being.”

Over the summer, Rivers got into a fairly animated war of words with Bill Simmons when Simmons called him out for walking out on a rebuilding project. He still may not like Simmons, but it sounds like Doc has changed his tune a bit.