SPRING FEVER is in full effect this week on the set of “Fashion Police.” Basketball star and Boston Celtic team member, Rajon Rondo, and “Arrested Development” actress Jessica Walter stop by to visit with Joan and her panel of style experts—Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic and George Kotsiopoulos—for a Friday night of fashion fun. The stylish pro athlete talks about his personal fashion sense and plays “Stash It or Trash It” with a much beloved coat pulled straight out of his closet, while Jessica plays everyone’s favorite “Man Candy” game. Check out Rajon, Jessica, and the stylish bunch on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 10 PM ET/PT only on E!
Rondo, who interned for GQ and is no stranger to bold fashion choices, is rehabbing from ACL surgery in February.
Coach: Doc Rivers
Final grade: B-
Teacher's notes: There's a very vocal mass (typically loitering in your favorite comments section) that believes Rivers deserves much of the blame for Boston's struggles this season. From this vantage point, it's hard to pin all of Boston's difficulties on Rivers when you consider the team lost three rotation players (All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, rookie standout Jared Sullinger, and Leandro Barbosa) to season-ending injuries within a three-week span around midseason. This on top of Darko Milicic's request to be released early in the year. Rivers dealt with an insane amount of roster adversity (and underperformance, which falls on him a bit, too) just to get the team to the regular-season finish line and into the postseason. Yes, Rivers was stubborn at times with his rotations (Chris Wilcox got plenty of opportunities before Shavlik Randolph finally got a turn to prove himself) and a whopping 13 different players started at least two games apiece for Boston during a mix-and-match season, where roles player saw playing time come and go. In a less-than-ideal campaign, Rivers at least gave his team a chance to compete.
What's next?: Rivers returned to Boston earlier this week and, while he hasn't made any sort of formal announcement on his future, his co-workers insist that he'll be back on the bench for a 10th season in green. Rivers pledged to lead the team through any makeover process that lied ahead when he inked a five-year, $35 million contract in May of 2011. Now, more than ever, Rivers' presence is important to determining how quickly Boston can restore itself to true contender status while navigating a murky offseason.
General Manager: Danny Ainge
Final grade: B
Teacher's notes: Ainge offered Allen enough money and security to make it worth his while to stay, but hurt feelings and a diminished role left him fleeing for South Beach. Lee, added to offset some of what the team lost in Allen, might have been the most creative deal of the offseason (Boston flipping four end-of-the-bench players and a couple second-round draft picks for a mid-level-caliber player). Both Lee and Terry struggled in their first seasons, but Ainge couldn't have envisioned their woes when constructing the roster. Much was made about Boston's lack of a backup point guard after Rondo and Barbosa went down, forcing the Celtics to lean on China import Terrence Williams as their primary backup ball-handler at times. Ultimately, it was't enough to overcome all the adversity. You can second-guess Ainge on whether the team should have found another pure ball-handler and if it should have rolled the dice on a veteran big man like Kenyon Martin.
What's next?: Ainge's staff will look different after assistant general manager Ryan McDonough took over the GM gig in Phoenix earlier this month, but the philosophies remain the same and Boston will explore all avenues moving forward. Big decisions about the future of the team lie ahead and Ainge will have to consider trade options for the face of the franchise in soon-to-be 36-year-old captain Paul Pierce, while the return of Kevin Garnett remains up in the air. This is an important offseason for Ainge and how he handles the potential makeover process, trying to keep Boston competitive in the interim while ensuring it returns to championship contender status soon.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on the 2012-13 season for Ainge and Rivers? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
And, yet, Rivers has yet to publicly declare his intentions going forward, even though everyone in the organization expects him to be back. When he said he'd take a step back and catch his breath more than 20 days ago, that made sense. Now, it's a bit curious, particularly since he is under contract to the Celtics and has few viable options.
If Rivers were a free agent, he would be one of the most sought after coaches in the league.
In fact, team and league sources confirmed to ESPNBoston.com that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was contacted by the Brooklyn Nets, who wanted to speak to Rivers about their vacant coaching position. Ainge, according to those sources, denied the Nets permission to talk with his coach, who has three years and $21 million remaining on his contract.
Reached late Thursday, Ainge refused to comment on the Nets' interest in Rivers and reiterated that he expects him back on the Celtics bench next season.
"Doc has told me he's coming back," Ainge said bluntly. "I talk to him almost every day about our team and what we are going to do moving forward."
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"We don’t feel like we have a championship team [at the moment]; It’s pretty obvious, we lost in the first round," said Grousbeck. "We have to see who is with us, we have to see what offers there are for people, we’ve got to decide what to do. It might be a multi-year plan. We’ve never intentionally lost games and we don’t intend to trash things now. We've got players -- [Rajon] Rondo, [Avery] Bradley, [Jeff] Green, [Jared] Sullinger, Brandon Bass, the younger guys are not going to let us win the lottery anyway. That’s a good roster. We hope that Paul [Pierce] and [Kevin Garnett] are back with them and we hope we can reload along the way.
"I don’t know what will happen, I’ll know more about the plan in early July. At the moment, we just have to see what the options are."
Grousbeck gave a bit of a behind-the-scenes glimpse, noting that management and the front-office staff huddled this week to gauge the direction of the team. He stressed that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will examine the trade and free-agent markets and that the team likely won't make any firm decisions until late June when it knows all the potential options.
"By the end of June, we’ll have different options to go in with this team," said Grousbeck. "Keeping it all together just as it was is one option, but we lost in the first round, so there is an obvious possibility that we ought to start making some changes. And we’re going to have to make those decisions. They won’t be made in May."
A lumbar-disc issue forced Sullinger to undergo season-ending surgery in February, confirming pre-draft fears about the health of his back. But Sullinger is adamant that the surgery will alleviate future concerns and believes he can be even better than he showed in 45 games this season.
"Everybody says back with a question mark; you might as well put an X through that," Sullinger said Thursday morning at a Stay in School assembly at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena, where the Celtics honored 1,500 middle school students from Boston public schools. "Because I had surgery and I’m taking my time getting back right, it won’t be a recurring injury."
Sullinger, the 21st pick in last year's draft, averaged 6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game. He had ascended to a starting role with Boston before the injury derailed his first NBA season. He said the surgery should allow his game to flourish moving forward and should be viewed only as a positive.
"Honestly, when I was playing, I was playing on one leg," said the 6-foot-9 Sullinger. "My right leg was pretty much dead. I couldn’t push off, didn’t have any strength behind it. With the right leg being the way it was, and still being able to produce the way I did, I guess it sets a bit of a foundation, but mentally I know I can play better."
Sullinger said doctors gave him the OK to resume light workouts about two weeks ago after being virtually immobile -- outside of walking -- since the surgery. Team doctors and strength coach Bryan Doo have constructed a 10-week program that will ramp up Sullinger's activity about 10 percent every two weeks.
"Maybe by September or October I’ll be 100 percent -- full go," said Sullinger.
That means, as expected, there will be no summer league for Sullinger, but he said that's not a disappointment for him and he's focused on rehabbing to ensure he's on the floor when the 2013-14 season begins.
A couple of other quick tidbits from Sullinger:
* REHABBING WITH RONDO: Sullinger said he's found added motivation by watching point guard Rajon Rondo rehab from ACL surgery. "We talk off and on, just trying to get each other’s minds right. Situations like this, you go through it alone, it’s kinda tough. But when you have someone by your side that’s trying to get back to where they were as well, it really helps you out." As for how Rondo is doing: "Rondo's doing great," said Sullinger. "Right now he’s rehabbing, and doing what he’s supposed to."
* NO HINTS ON KG, PIERCE: Sullinger said he hasn't had any communication with Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett about their futures in Boston and is like everyone else who's waiting to find out whether they will be back. "I’m the same way. I'm not the GM, I’m not Danny [Ainge], so I don’t know anything that’s happening. Regardless of what they do, I support them either way." Sullinger has talked with coach Doc Rivers and said the two try to steer the conversation away from basketball. "Sometimes you just have to let people breathe. And that’s what they’ve been doing with Doc, Kevin and Paul. Just letting them be themselves because, after a while, just talking about basketball every freakin’ day, it’s really tough. I experience it all the time and I catch myself, stop myself, because at some point I’ll need a mental break."
King County prosecutors said they need more time to review the allegations against NBA player Terrence Williams, who was arrested Sunday after the mother of his 10-year-old son told police he had flashed a handgun at her.
“There’s an ongoing investigation and a charging decision will be made at a later date,” Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the prosecuting attorney’s office, said today.
Today was the deadline for prosecutors to file a second-degree assault charge against Williams, a former Rainier Beach High School star.
Williams was released from the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent on Monday after he posted $25,000 bail. His attorney, Aaron Kiviat, had said at the bail hearing Monday that the claims by the alleged victim was not the full story.
Player: Jared Sullinger
2012-13 averages: 6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 19.8 mpg, 49.3 FG%
2012-13 salary: $1.3 million
Final grade: B+
Teacher's notes: Sullinger appeared in only 45 games, and that was about the only thing which might have prevented him from earning any sort of All-Rookie honors. Sullinger's teammates, including Kevin Garnett, gushed about his basketball IQ and ability to carve out an immediate role at the NBA level. Sullinger posted insane rebound rates and -- if you ignore late-season import Shavlik Randolph -- he owned the second-best number on the team in defensive rebound percentage (22.5 percent; Garnett topped the list at 25.9) and had the best overall rebound percentage (17.6 percent; Garnett was next at 15.7). What flew under the radar was how good Sullinger was defensively. Synergy Sports data shows he allowed 0.708 points per play. Among all players with at least 300 possessions defended this season, Sullinger had the third-best points-per-possession stats, behind only teammate Avery Bradley (0.697 ppp) and former Celtics swingman Marquis Daniels (0.707 ppp). The bottom line: Good things happened with Sullinger on the court as the Celtics were plus-42 when he was on the floor, but minus-60 without him.
What's next? The Celtics have Sullinger under their control with as much as four years remaining on his rookie pact. Next season he'll earn $1.4 million. So long as back problems are in the rearview mirror, then Sullinger will again have the opportunity to carve out a role in Boston's frontcourt. While Sullinger faces the same obstacles as most undersized power forwards, he showed he could overcome most of those hurdles with his IQ.
Player: Leandro Barbosa
2012-13 averages: 5.2 ppg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 rpg, 12.5 mpg, 43 FG%, 38.3 3PT%
2012-13 salary: $854,000
Rajon Rondo tore his ACL in late January. All Barbosa did was help Boston win seven straight games before tearing his own ACL in a loss in Charlotte on Feb. 11 (just 17 days after Rondo's injury, with Sullinger's loss sandwiched in between). The Celtics ultimately traded Barbosa's contract (along with Jason Collins) to Washington in a deadline deal for his "wild card" replacement, Jordan Crawford.
Final grade: B
Teacher's notes: The former Sixth Man of the Year arrived content to compete for playing time in a crowded backcourt, and injuries opened doors as he appeared in 41 games for Boston. Better known for his scoring efforts, Barbosa quietly set career highs for both assist rate (19 percent) and turnover percentage (9.1). His 2.76 assist-to-turnover ratio was second best on the team behind only Rondo (2.84).
What's next? Barbosa, set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, is rehabbing after February surgery. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said then that the team desired to bring Barbosa back if the option presented itself. That will ultimately depend on Barbosa's recovery and Boston's roster movement this summer. If the Celtics hang on to Crawford, then there's likely not as much of a need to add someone like Barbosa. Ironically, while big-ticket offseason additions like Courtney Lee and Jason Terry struggled to make a consistent impact during their first seasons in Boston, it was Barbosa who found a way to make an impact off the bench despite his late arrival and bargain price tag.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on the 2012-13 season for Barbosa and Sullinger? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
The Celtics missed Rajon Rondo so much during the 2012-13 season, why not get a clone? You'll have to hop over to Insider for the full analysis. Here are Ford's previous picks for Boston:
Mock 2.0: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse (latest mock, jumps to No. 7)
Mock 1.0: Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga (latest mock, not selected in first round)
From the editor of ESPN TrueHoop Network site Bourbon Street Shots that covers the New Orleans Pelicans:
Just heard strange rumor from EC source: Celtics talking about possibility of Pierce and Bradley for Eric Gordon.— Michael McNamara (@McNamara247) May 21, 2013
Chalk it up as the first of many rumors that ought to swirl about Paul Pierce this offseason. Trading Pierce makes a lot of sense if Boston desires a makeover, and there's a definite benefit in getting back a talented young player who can help the team now and into the future. The 24-year-old Gordon, a former No. 7 pick of the Clippers in the 2008 draft, is an intriguing player, but one who's missed 147 games (37 percent of total regular-season games during his five NBA seasons). Here's the other thing: Gordon is a max player signed for three more seasons with a 15 percent trade kicker (meaning he's due roughly $51.4 million over that span, though the final year is a player option). Getting younger is one of the appealing reasons for considering a Pierce swap and it's alluring to other teams because only $5 million of Pierce's deal is guaranteed if he's waived before June 30 (which could help free cap space). The price tag here seems a bit steep because of Avery Bradley's potential, but Boston is likely going to have to include a young player in any swap in order to entice a trade partner to give up something valuable in return. -- Chris Forsberg
Player: Courtney Lee
2012-13 averages: 7.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 24.9 mpg, 46.4 FG%, 37.2 3PT%
2012-13 salary: $5 million
Season highlight: For Lee, his season peaked in late January in the aftermath of a season-ending ACL injury to Rajon Rondo, which thrust him into the starting lineup. Boston went on to play some of its most inspired ball of the season, ripping off seven straight wins after Rondo went down. Lee combined with Avery Bradley to form the "Pitbulls" -- a defensive-minded backcourt that helped Boston go 13-4 through mid-March before injuries finally caught up with the Celtics.
Season lowlight: Lee sprained his ankle in the closing moments of a loss in Dallas on March 22. He missed the next three games and essentially lost his starting job in the process (Boston soon shifted to a smaller lineup that inserted Jeff Green with the starters). Despite closing the season strong with increased time as Boston rested veteran bodies late in the regular season, Lee faded from the playoff rotation after Game 1.
Final grade: C-
Teacher's notes: Let's start with the good: Lee lived up to his reputation as a corner 3-point specialist (connecting on 44.2 percent of those attempts), shot a career-high 46.4 percent from the floor overall, and posted the highest assist rate of his career while tasked with increased ball-handling responsibilities. The bad? Lee struggled mightily with 3-pointers above the breaks (29 percent), watched Boston's defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) climb two points when he was on the floor, and was prone to fits of turnovers. The biggest problem for Lee was that he simply never carved out a role, and once he was relegated back to a bench role late in the season, Celtics coach Doc Rivers struggled to find spots to lean on him. Lee posted solid offensive numbers, as crunched by Synergy Sports Technology (0.942 points per play, 67th percentile), but his defense was inconsistent, even when running with a starting unit that featured Bradley and Kevin Garnett (overall, Lee allowed 0.858 points per play, ranking in the 54th percentile among all league players).
What's next? Lee has three years and $16.4 million left on the deal he inked as part of the sign-and-trade swap. The question is whether he'll continue his journeyman ways (four teams in five NBA seasons) or emerge as a key part of Boston's younger nucleus. Lee was an excellent locker room presence and handled himself maturely when his role diminished in the playoffs. He deserves another chance to assert himself, though his name will almost certainly bubble up in trade whispers given his salary and Boston's potential need to make over parts of its roster (depending on how the summer plays out). Lee pledged to get back to work early this offseason in hopes of a better showing during the 2013-14 campaign.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on Lee's 2012-13 season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
A Million Stories Not One Thats TRUE.....Thanks To Those That Continue To Support Through Devil Testing Times...Those Thats Negative..THANKS— Terrence Williams (@TheRealTWill) May 21, 2013
Williams is due back in court on Wednesday.
He was booked into the King County Jail in Seattle early Monday for investigation of assault. Bail was set during an afternoon court appearance, and the judge scheduled another hearing for Wednesday.
According to a police report, the 25-year-old Williams went to the woman's apartment complex in the suburb of Kent to drop the boy off Sunday afternoon and displayed a gun during an argument. The report says Williams denied pointing the gun at anyone and told police he showed it because he felt threatened by the woman and her boyfriend.
Williams was booked into the King County Jail in Seattle early Monday for investigation of an assault charge, with a court appearance expected later in the day. Det. Melanie Frasier says the woman called police about 1 p.m. Sunday and said she had been threatened with a gun. Williams had left the scene but was later arrested. No one was injured.
Police are withholding other details while the case is under investigation. Kent is located about 20 miles south of Williams' native Seattle.
The 25-year-old Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Celtics in late February, then later agreed to a multiyear contract. He appeared in 24 regular-season games, averaging 4.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists over 13.3 minutes per contest.
Williams, the 11th overall pick of the Brooklyn Nets in the 2009 draft, has played for four teams in four NBA seasons and admitted that his own immaturity played a role in his trouble to stick with a team. He played for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association at the start of the 2012-13 season before joining Boston upon returning stateside.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Williams found a role as a backup point guard with the Celtics and appeared in five of the team’s six postseason games against the Knicks, logging a playoff-high 17 minutes in a Game 5 victory in New York.
Williams is schedule to earn $948,000 if he makes the Celtics’ roster next season. His contract is initially fully nonguaranteed, but has checkpoints that unlock portions of his salary. The Celtics have until June 30th before $200,000 of Williams’ contract becomes guaranteed (jumping to $300,000 on Sept. 1, and becoming fully guaranteed on Oct. 31 near the start of the 2013-14 season).
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg was used in this report.
Player: Jeff Green
2012-13 averages: 12.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 27.8 mpg, 46.7 FG%
2012-13 salary: $8.4 million
Season highlight: We had seen flashes and glimpses of Green's potential throughout the season -- maddening because they were not sustained -- but when Green exploded for 43 points on 14-of-21 shooting in a mid-March loss to the rival Heat, something clicked. From then on, it was as if Green understood he was capable of imposing his will on the game. For the remainder of the regular season, Green averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists over 35.1 minutes per game and maintained that production through the playoffs, all while cementing himself as a starter. An honorable mention: Green's buzzer-beating layup to top host Indiana on March 6 -- capping an incredible fourth-quarter comeback for Boston -- was one of the season highlights for the team, while his winner in Cleveland -- in front of the doctor that performed his heart surgery -- later that month had to rank among Green's top individual moments.
Season lowlight: Green struggled to assert himself over the first three months of the season, his highlight moments relegated mainly to poster dunks. In 15 games in the month of January, Green averaged 9.3 points per contest, failing to reach double figures in scoring in seven games while both his playing time (23.9 minutes per game) and shots (6.9 per game) plummeted. Few could have envisioned the late-season explosion that loomed.
Final grade: B+
Teacher's notes: There was no more encouraging aspect of a Celtics season dotted with injuries and inconsistencies than the play of Green over the final two months. You almost have to split his season in two sections the jump was so pronounced. Taking the campaign as a whole, Green averaged 0.983 points per play, ranking in the 78th percentile among all league players, according to Synergy Sports data (but that number jumped up to 1.04 late in the season). His defensive numbers were solid, too (though they slipped a bit as his offense jumped up and that remains an area to work on) as Green allowed 0.79 points per play overall, ranking in the 82nd percentile. Rivers constantly demanded more from Green at both ends of the floor and he gave more by season's end. The Celtics still need him to be a better rebounder and his turnover percentage spiked a bit with the ball in his hands more often (though his assist rate jumped up as well). Green showed the ability to be a true impact player and, despite the inconsistent start to the season, we'll give him a slight bump up in grade based on his excellent late-season numbers.
What's next?: Is there another level for Green? Can he build off -- and sustain -- what he showed in those final two months? There's an awful lot of optimism about the way he finished off the 2012-13 campaign and you wonder if, moving forward, he can combine with a healthy Rajon Rondo to be the Options 1 and 2 for Boston (which would either ease what the Celtics ask from veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, or allow them to move on if they do not return). Green will earn $9 million next season and -- after all that handwringing last summer -- it would seem an affordable number if he can replicate his late-season production.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on Green's 2012-13 season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
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