Boston Celtics: Summer Romance
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
ESPN Boston reaction: Young is an enticing prospect, standing at 6-foot-6 with a penchant for hoisting up shots without much of a conscience. His ability to score the ball can't be questioned (career average of 11.4 points per game), which is exactly why the Celtics would be inquiring about his services. The whole point of seeking out guys like Young, Jason Terry, and Jamal Crawford, is to upgrade the bench with a consistent offensive weapon that will help the C's steer clear of disastrous offensive droughts, particularly late in games. Young's only 27, and he submitted to a bench role after being traded from the Wizards to the Clippers last season, so Boston would likely view him as a now-and-later commodity. But that brings up the issue of money. Depending on how enamored Danny Ainge is with Young's scoring ability, the C's might not be willing to offer Young any sort of long-term deal, opting instead for a hefty portion of the mid-level exception. But, similar to Brandon Bass, Young could be looking for some long-term stability at this point in his career, and a bigger payday than what he's cashed in on up to this point (Young made $3.7 million last season). The Celtics will have to gauge the kind of money Young is looking for before they make any real push to land the talented USC product. -- Greg Payne
From Yahoo!: Faced with the possibility of losing Ray Allen, the Boston Celtics are pursuing Dallas Mavericks free-agent guard Jason Terry, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Celtics are preparing themselves for the possible loss of Allen, and began the process of recruiting Terry after midnight ET Saturday, league sources said.
ESPN Boston reaction: It's no real wonder why the Celtics are reportedly pursuing Terry. He's a proven winner, a big-shot maker, he boasts significant playoff experience, he's been a key part of a veteran locker room before, and he'll gladly fill the coveted sixth man role Boston so strongly values. Terry still has strong ties in Dallas, so prying him away from the Mavs won't necessarily be an easy endeavor. Terry will still draw a number of solid offers from different contenders, so the C's would most likely have to throw the full Mid-Level Exception at him if they want to give themselves any real hope of landing him. An MLE offer for Terry, 34, would probably extend two years, setting up Terry's new contract to expire at the same time as Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and, possibly, Kevin Garnett's (depending on the terms of that third year of his new deal). If Terry, who made $11 million last season, demands more money than the MLE, the Celtics might want to look elsewhere, but if he's willing to take a bit of a pay cut, Terry certainly seems like he'd be a great fit for Boston. -- Greg Payne
ESPN Boston reaction: Crawford's always been an attractive player due to his flashy scoring ability, and the Celtics certainly wouldn't mind an accomplished scorer coming off of their bench -- someone who can fill up the stat sheet more consistently than the likes of Mickael Pietrus and Keyon Dooling did last season. But it's certainly a trade off, as Crawford has never been lauded for his efforts on the defensive end, and he's a very poor rebounder on top of that. What's more concerning is the drop-off in Crawford's shooting percentages last year. While he might have shot a career-high 92.7 percent from the free throw line, he shot a career-worst 30.8 percent from 3-point nation, and just 38.4 percent from the field overall, his worst mark since his rookie season back in 2000. All of this is to say that the Celtics should entertain the idea of adding the 32-year old Crawford, but perhaps shouldn't look to break the bank or hand away any significant players in order to acquire his services (he could be available via trade until June 28 and then signed as an unrestricted free agent after that). If the Celtics can get him for cheap (which is unlikely, given the other teams reportedly pursuing him), they should look to add him. If the asking price is too high, they should look elsewhere.
From Greek news outlet Red Planet: The Celtics have reportedly worked out former Memphis forward Joey Dorsey, who never found a home during his three seasons in the NBA after being drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers and was immediately traded to the Houston Rockets back in 2008. Dorsey most recently played overseas in Greece for Olympiacos.
ESPN Boston reaction: Dorsey might never have found success in his first go-around in the NBA, but he contributed to Olympiacos' ascent to the top of the Greek League and the Euroleague this past season. Despite what appear to be subpar career stats on the surface for Dorsey (2.6 points and 3.8 rebounds), he actually boasts a tremendous 21.7 career rebounding rate (to put that in perspective, Kevin Garnett's highest rebound rate for a single season is 20.3 during the 2004-2005 campaign. Dorsey played a career-high 43 games for the Raptors during the 2010-2011 season, and put forth a 21.6 rebounding rate over that span, playing just 522 minutes). It would most likely be a low-risk, high-reward scenario for the Celtics if they were to take a flier out on Dorsey, as it's difficult imagining him demanding more than a minimum contract. Based on his NBA resume, the Celtics probably wouldn't be willing to offer Dorsey more than the minimum for his services. Perhaps if Dorsey were put into a situation where his role would be to do one or two specific things (rebounding and blocking shots) -- like one he might find in Boston, for example -- he would be able to put up consistent numbers and contribute to a team. -- Greg Payne
ESPN Boston reaction: Asik is a restricted free agent on the books for a $2.3 million qualifying offer from the Bulls. If the Celtics bring back Garnett, they will almost certainly be over the cap and that means Boston will have only the taxpayer's mid-level exception ($3 million) available to lure anything more than a minimum-salary player (at least for a free-agent of which they don't already own the rights to). All of which is to say, Asik would almost certainly command more money from another team and -- even if he didn't -- the Bulls can still match the price tag, so don't expect an Asik-Garnett pairing. Now, if Garnett does not return, clearly the Celtics might be interested in a young defensive-minded center who already has knowledge of their system having played for Tom Thibodeau in Chicago. Alas, the question becomes whether Asik is a long-term answer worthy of an elevated price tag. -- Chris Forsberg
Bonus reading: For a solid breakdown of Asik's season and what lies ahead, check out his season-ending player recap on ESPN Chicago.
Play Podcast Buster Olney and Jayson Stark talk about the chances that Jon Lester and David Price will be moved before the deadline. Plus, Roch Kubatko on the Orioles' momentum.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi weighs in on the responsibility Tom Brady shoulders for the Patriots, Rob Gronkowski's physicality and how New England will use Darrelle Revis.
Play Podcast Buster Olney talks to Alex Speier, Karl Ravech and Justin Havens about whether the Red Sox will move Jon Lester before the trade deadline, pace of play and much more.