Basketball Wiretap

'Significant Change' Could Occur For Celtics In Offseason

May 26, 2017 5:11 PM

The Boston Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals this season while not sacrificing any future assets, but Danny Ainge acknowledged the team needs improvement.

“I don’t know what ‘level’ that means,” he said. “I feel like wins are deceiving sometimes. I think that the fact that we were one of three teams still left playing was something to be proud of, but it’s not necessarily where we really are.

“I think sometimes teams make false assumptions of their team based on things like that. I think that our team is not that much different than a lot of our competition in the East. I think we had a good year in spite of some injuries, you know, with [Al] Horford going down early and Isaiah [Thomas] missing a short time and Avery [Bradley] missing 22 games there in a stretch. We had to overcome some injuries, and it was good because our depth got a chance to play. Everybody on our roster got a chance to prove their worth.

“But I feel like it doesn’t really matter what we’ve accomplished. If we’d lost Game 7 against the Wizards, I don’t feel any different than if we’re where we are today. I know that we’re good. I know that we’re not great. I know that we still have more to do, and, you know, that next step is by far the hardest.”

The Celtics were eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games.

“This is what’s difficult about our business that I think sometimes... you know, I don’t think I knew this even when I was a player and maybe even when I coached as much as I do now,” Ainge said. “As I look around the league, I think sometimes the mistakes that are made are when you’re just that little bit, just that one piece away and you can’t get that piece.

“Just because you’re one piece away doesn’t mean you can get it. And if you force yourself to get it, and if you force a deal or force yourself to get the second best available or the third or fourth best available player at that position that you need, then it might not make you that much better or make you still not good enough, and you’re stuck. So, yeah, we’re not that far away, but we’re still a ways away. We still know we need to get better. Everybody in our organization knows we need to get better. We need to add.”

While the Celtics own the top overall pick and have a good core, they could make major changes this offseason.

“Time will tell on that, but, yeah, there is a potential for there to be some significant change,” said Ainge. “But maybe less change. Maybe more change; maybe not. A lot will be dependent on what we’re able to pull off in the draft and in deals leading up to free agency and then what happens in free agency. There’s just so much unknown right now. Right now it’s all talk and pipe dreams and planning. But there’s no certainty. It’s an exciting time for us, and it’s a very busy time for us.”

Steve Bulpett/Boston Herald

Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Raptors Acquire 2018 2nd Round Pick From Magic For Jeff Weltman

May 25, 2017 2:15 PM

The Toronto Raptors will acquire a second round pick in 2018 from the Orlando Magic as compensation for Jeff Weltman.

Weltman was hired by the Magic this week as president of basketball operations.

Orlando will send the Raptors the least favorable of two second round picks they control in 2018. The Magic have their own second round pick in 2018 along with the second round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers as part of the Dwight Howard trade.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Knicks Hope To Revisit Ricky Rubio Trade Talks With Wolves

May 23, 2017 11:26 AM

The New York Knicks have interest in revisiting trade discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves for Ricky Rubio.

The Knicks and Wolves discussed a Rubio trade at the deadline.

Rubio fits the mold of a two-way contributor that the Knicks are seeking.

Rubio had an excellent second half of the season after trade talks with the Knicks broke down.

Ian Begley/ESPN

Tags: Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Hawks Offered Four Future First Round Picks To Pacers For Paul George

May 19, 2017 1:12 AM

The Atlanta Hawks offered four first round picks to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Paul George at the trade deadline.

The Pacers also received trade interest in George from the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets.

In addition to their own picks, the Hawks own future first rounders from the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2018 and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2019.

The Hawks' front office has since undergone significant changes, with Mike Budenholzer stepping down as president of basketball operations. Atlanta is still searching for their ultimate decision maker.

With George only one year from free agency and believed to prefer to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, it is unlikely the Pacers will receive a package of that quality again if they revisit trade talks.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: Paul George, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Celtics Will Only Trade Top Pick For 'Second Coming'

May 18, 2017 12:52 PM

Owner Wyc Grousbeck indicated the Boston Celtics are unlikely to trade away the top pick in June's draft.

"I think these picks are very, very valuable," said Grousbeck. "You think of it, if you’re going to trade this pick as part of a package for an established star [who is] making max [money], you’ve got to send max money out the door, as well. You’ve got to send more guys along. So, this guy coming back better be the second coming. What’s more, he’s going to be halfway through his career, whoever he is. And he’s going to be paid, right now, a ton of money, which restricts you in other ways.

"If you can get a really good guy with this pick, you’ve got him. You can build with him. You can grow with him. You can coach him up. And you get to max money eventually — five, six years down the road — but it’s a totally different thing.

"So, these picks are really valuable in today’s NBA. And so our intention would be to make the pick unless someone blows us away with an offer. That’s the way I would probably think about it."

The Celtics are widely expected to select Markelle Fultz.

CSN New England (via ProBasketballTalk)

Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Markelle Fultz Considered 'Clear Choice' For Celtics If They Keep No. 1

May 16, 2017 9:31 PM

The Boston Celtics won the lottery and made their potential trade offers more valuable since they control the draft.

The Celtics had interest in trading for either Paul George or Jimmy Butler at the deadline and can revisit those discussions in June.

"Fultz is the clear choice" for the Celtics if they decide to keep the pick, according to Chad Ford. 

The Celtics will also own the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected first rounder in 2018.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Tags: Markelle Fultz, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Rival Execs: Phil Jackson Harming Carmelo Anthony's Trade Value

May 15, 2017 2:16 AM

Executives of other NBA teams have been baffled by the way Phil Jackson has spoken publicly about the status of Carmelo Anthony with the New York Knicks.

With Anthony possessing a no-trade clause, Jackson has appeared to antagonize him into leaving the Knicks via trade.

“Phil made a statement basically that Carmelo’s a losing type of player. Well, if he’s a loser for the Knicks, he’s going to be a winner someplace else? That obviously didn’t help,” one Eastern Conference executive said. 

“Tremendously,” another exec said when asked how much Jackson may have damaged Anthony’s trade value. “He essentially said, ‘I want to dump this guy.’ ”

Jackson spoke in negative terms about Anthony at the end of the regular season and again at the combine.

“Most owners would just roast you if you said something like that,” the Eastern exec said, theorizing the return for Anthony could be a protected first-round pick.

The Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics have most been mentioned as possible trade partners for Anthony.

“People have done their homework and watched Carmelo and how he interacts and plays,” the first Eastern exec said. “Carmelo obviously needs a change of scenery, probably does a better job in a different city, but you’ve got to look at how he would fit. But I don’t think people are going to break the bank and give New York what they initially want.

“Carmelo can fit in with anybody with the right role. Hell, he’s a talented guy. Not many guys can score like him, but he’s not the All-Star he was. He’s a very talented player and if he goes to the right team and they tell him what role they’d like him to play, he could figure it out. … He has to accept, ‘OK, I’m not going to be the star, but I can play off a couple guys.’ ”

Fred Kerber/New York Post

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Phil Jackson Would Like Carmelo Anthony 'To Have Success Somewhere'

May 13, 2017 3:00 AM

Phil Jackson continued his public campaign for Carmelo Anthony to accept a trade while speaking at the draft combine.

Anthony has a full no-trade clause, which complicates the New York Knicks' position.

"We'd like him to have success,"Jackson said. "The opportunity is narrowing. We'd just like him to have success somewhere. We're not going to be there. Hopefully, we'll be maybe a playoff team next year. It would be tough to consider us a possible champion."

Jackson said last month that he believed Anthony would be "better off somewhere else" to pursue a championship.

"He has a no-trade contract," Jackson said Friday when asked if he wanted Anthony back with the Knicks next season. "I think I expressed what I felt. I can't express it any better. I thought it was well-said, even though a lot of you didn't feel quite that way."

Jackson said he sent some text messages to Anthony but hasn't spoken to him since the season ended.

"[General manager] Steve [Mills] has," Jackson said. "I know I've reached out to him in the text but not personally."

Nick Friedell, Ian Begley/ESPN

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Kristaps Porzingis Wants To Remain With Knicks

May 11, 2017 10:09 AM

The brother of Kristaps Porzingis said he wants the New York Knicks to create an environment that fosters player development and winning.

Janis Porzingis is a certified agent who works for Andy Miller, agent of record for Porzingis.

"Kris wants to stay in New York; he feels at home there. There is no question about it. The only thing he wants is for the Knicks to create an environment where he can develop and grow as a player and win," Janis Porzingis said in an interview with ESPN. "If he were traded, he would play out his contract and head into free agency, where he can choose his own destiny."

The Knicks received interest from teams about a trade for Porzingis after he skipped their exit meetings. 

Porzingis said there was confusion from "top to bottom" due to multiple changes in schemes by Jeff Hornacek. 

Ian Begley/ESPN

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Heat Unlikely To Have Interest In Carmelo Anthony

May 8, 2017 2:51 AM

The Miami Heat are not expected to have interest in trading for Carmelo Anthony this offseason.

Anthony’s cap hits would be $30.3 million next season and $27.9 million the following if he’s traded before July 1.

The Heat are expected to be active in free agent talks.

The New York Knicks are attempting to move on from Anthony this offseason.

Barry Jackson/Miami Herald

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Kristaps Porzingis Says He Was Hacked With Clippers' Tweet
A tweet was published from Kristaps Porzingis' account that read "LA Clippers" with three smiley-face emojis.

Ian Begley/ESPN

Knicks Received Mulitple Trade Calls On Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis did not appear to meet with management at the end of the Knicks' regular season to show his frustration with the direction of the franchise.

Ian Begley/ESPN

Lawrence Frank Supportive Of Clippers' Pursuit Of Carmelo Anthony
The Knicks would likely need to acquire J.J. Redick in a sign-and-trade in order for a Carmelo Anthony to the Clippers deal to be realistic.

Marc Berman/New York Post

Bulls Not Looking To Trade Jimmy Butler
The Bulls would like to pair Jimmy Butler with a downhill point guard.

K.C. Johnson/Chicago Tribune

Michele Roberts: Jackson Deliberately Tried To Shame Carmelo Out Of New York
Michele Roberts wanted the NBA to sanction Phil Jackson as they have when players have made similar comments.

Harvey Araton/The Vertical

Bulls Unlikely To Make Major Changes In Offseason
The Bulls are likely to stay the course with Jimmy Butler.

Joe Cowley/Chicago Sun-Times

Dwight Howard Likely To Only Fetch Cap Relief, 2nd Rounder On Trade Market
Dwight Howard averaged just 26.2 minutes per game in the playoffs as he was relegated to a lesser role.

Kevin Arnovitz/ESPN

Thunder 'Hopeful' Of Signing Russell Westbrook To Supermax Extension
If Russell Westbrook doesn't sign an extension this summer, Sam Presti says he hasn't considered whether they would trade him.

Royce Young/ESPN

Paul George Only Talked Scenarios Of Staying With Pacers During Exit Meeting
The future of Paul George with the Pacers remains uncertain but new chief decision-maker Kevin Pritchard seemed to suggest he wants to remain with the franchise.

RealGM Staff Report

Knicks, Clippers Expected To Revisit Carmelo Anthony Trade With J.J. Redick Included
If the two sides expand the deal, Courtney Lee could also be included heading with Carmelo Anthony to the Clippers

Marc Berman/New York Post

Dwight Howard Frustrated With Role At End Of First Season With Hawks
Dwight Howard expressed displeasure with how his first season with the Hawks ended.

Jeff Schultz/Atlanta Journal-Constitution