The Celtics have gotten rid of their morning walkthrough, but that doesn’t mean we have to. Here are a few Celtics links, and maybe even an NBA link or two, to help wake you up and get you focused for the day.
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “According to general managers from two other clubs, Ainge may still believe the C’s can win a championship with what they have, but he is clearly more open to discussing trades that could significantly alter the team. ‘He wanted to do something that would shake things up a little, but I think now he’s looking at something bigger if it works for him,’ one GM said. If the Celts are to pull off a larger move, it would almost certainly have to include Ray Allen’s expiring contract and force them to take back salary and contract lengths that could hinder the team’s flexibility down the line. ‘That’s why it’s very important that, if they do make a move like this, they have to hit on it,’ said a league source. ‘Anything more than a minor move is going to affect them for a while. He has to get guys he can live with beyond this year – or guys he thinks he can move down the line. It’s going to be tough. That’s why I think they could end up staying pretty much intact. They might not, but it’s kind of a tightrope they’re on.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “As for the likelihood of the trade happening, Wojnarowski said, ‘I can’t put a percentage on [it] . . . At the end of the day, only Danny and Washington know what that percentage is. Like I said, it’s not imminent, it’s a trade discussion, it’s what’s going on between the two teams, and that’s how I portrayed and reported it.’ But Wojnarowski praised Ainge for attempting to improve the team. ‘Danny’s a good GM,’ he said. ‘He’s actively talking to a lot of people. He’s going his job. And so, obviously, [if] they have to keep Ray, he’d rather Ray not think that they’re shopping him. But Ray’s name is out there. That’s a fact, and I’m certainly not the only one reporting it . . . I think there could be a lot of people in play. Danny’s not afraid to do something big, and so I think we’d probably all be surprised by some of the names that may come up between now and the deadline.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “‘When you start struggling, you hear rumors,’ said Celtics captain Paul Pierce. ‘The deadline is a week away and hopefully it comes and goes… You definitely hear the names and, any time you come into one of these media sessions, they talk about [potential trades]. It’s part of the business. You have to go out there and do your job. You can’t let it affect you.’ Added Kevin Garnett: ‘Trade rumors are part of the game. Anybody that’s been in the league for a decade or more knows it is what it is. It’s part of the business. You’re going to travel a lot and you can be traded at any point for any player.’ For his part, Allen, who was vacationing in the Bahamas, wrote on his Twitter account, ‘I have no control over trade rumors people. Let’s just focus on being positive. I am a Celtic. Green all day.’”
Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “There is a fantasy-land feeling to the NBA All-Star proceedings. Tomorrow’s game is the one contest on the league schedule that has nothing at stake, so players are greeting each other like friends and teammates, instead of opponents. Everyone is allowed to get out of their routine. And this is just what Kevin Garnett believes he needs at this time of year. ‘When you come to All-Star, this is the time for you to sort of step out of reality, versus still being dismal, still being down,’ Garnett said yesterday. ‘All-Star weekend, for players, is for them to sort of rejuvenate themselves; gives you a chance to sort of tone down the volume, if you will, a chance to enjoy other guys, peers, interact, get out and do some different things with family, friends. It’s the one time you can call a break a break. You sort of come out of reality a little bit here.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “‘I’m speaking one time about my health: I’m great and I’m happy to be here, playing in this game,” said Garnett. “Nothing more, noting less than that. My leg, my health — whatever — I’m here to enjoy the break. I’ve got two guys here with me. I’m rooting for [Pierce] in the 3-point contest and I look forward to this weekend and enjoying it all.’ Added Pierce: ‘I’ve dealt with injuries my whole career, it’s always frustrating, because you get to a certain point, and you’re playing well, but then you have a setback. We definitely have to find [a groove] right away. After the All-Star break, we have a big road trip. The key for us is we finally have our whole roster — that’s the first time we’ve had that all season now that Marquis Daniels is back. But we gotta start turning it up, because we can’t just turn it on once the playoffs start.’”