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NBA PM: Clippers, Celtics Closing In on Deal?
Posted By Yannis Koutroupis On June 17, 2013 @ 5:02 pm In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
In today’s video of the day former Louisville point guard Peyton Siva talks about the 2013 NBA Draft and what he brings to the next level from ASM Sports’ 2013 Pro Day.Watch More Video Here
According to Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers are working towards a resolution on a blockbuster deal that stalled over the weekend.
However, the Clippers refused to include Bledsoe. Their reluctance stems from the fact that they don’t have All-Star point guard Chris Paul signed to a new long-term contract yet and they have hopes of using Bledsoe as a centerpiece in a bigger, separate deal if they do keep Paul.
Their top target with Bledsoe is reportedly soon-to-be free agent Dwight Howard. Howard may be a longshot, but even if the Clippers are unable to acquire him – they will have no trouble finding a team willing to give them value in return for Bledsoe.
Bledsoe is regarded as one of the most promising young guards in the league, looking prime to take over as a starter. The Clippers have wisely refuted offers up to this point because if for some reason they end up losing Paul, Bledsoe can slide right into his spot and help ease the blow a bit. But, ideally they’ll re-sign Paul and flip Bledsoe for a significant piece that answers a more pressing need shortly after.
With Bledsoe seemingly unobtainable in this deal, the Celtics are now asking the Clippers to take back one of their longer contracts, either Jason Terry or Courtney Lee, instead. Getting Lee or Terry’s contract off of the books would help give them added flexibility as they prepare for a rebuild. Clippers forward Caron Butler and draft picks would have to be included in the deal to help meet the requirements of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
ESPN reports that a resolution is expected one way or the other early this week. If completed, the ripple effect across the league could be huge.
With Garnett and Rivers on the Clippers, the already slim likelihood of Paul leaving becomes even slimmer. That would force teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks, who were all hoping to try and lure Paul and Howard away from L.A., to change their plans for free agency and try to find another way to convince Howard they’re the best fit for him.
It would also create yet another head coaching vacancy with the Celtics, which could be coming regardless because Celtics ownership has little interest in paying Rivers $7 million over the next three years to coach a rebuilding team. Possible replacements are already being floated around, including former Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro and Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, who had a Hall of Fame playing career in Boston.
If Rivers does not end up with the Clippers, they are expected to continue pursuing Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw.
Ellis Opts Out: Explosive combo guard Monta Ellis officially notified the Milwaukee Bucks today that he will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The option was worth $11 million.
This decision does not come as a surprise. Opting out not only gives Ellis the opportunity to shop around and choose the right situation for himself, but it also allows him to secure a long-term deal now rather than waiting and being a part of the star-studded 2014 free agency class.
Two other Buck guards, Brandon Jennings and J.J. Redick, are also set to hit free agency. Redick, like Ellis, will be unrestricted while Jennings will be restricted, giving the Bucks the right to match whatever offer he receives. The Bucks have made keeping Jennings seem like a priority, but they want to let the market dictate his value first. Barring a max contract offer from a team with cap space, the Bucks are expected to match.
The Bucks are coming off of a 38-44 season in which they earned the eight seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. They were swept by the Miami Heat and afterwards decided to relieve interim head coach Jim Boylan of his duties. Former Hawks head coach Larry Drew was brought in to replace him and help the Bucks advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since their run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001.
This is a pivotal offseason for the Bucks. Their decisions in free agency will be a major determining factor in whether they climb up the ranks, or remain stuck in mediocrity as they have been for most of the past decade.
Nuggets Hire Connelly From Pelicans: Earlier today the Denver Nuggets officially named their replacement for Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri in Tim Connelly. Connelly, who we profiled yesterday in our look at the Nuggets options to replace Ujiri, comes to the Nuggets from the New Orleans Pelicans, where for the last three years he served as the assistant general manager for Dell Demps.
Demps hired Connelly away from the Washington Wizards, calling him one of the bright young executives in the league when doing so.
“We are extremely excited to have Tim join the Denver Nuggets organization,” Nuggets team president Josh Kroenke said in a statement. “He comes from a great basketball background, possesses an incredibly strong work ethic and is a wonderful person. His passion and energy for the game of basketball are contagious and I am confident that he will be a great fit with us in Denver.”
Connelly, whose official title will be vice president of basketball operations, will work closely with Kroenke, the final decision maker on the Nuggets. He’ll handle the day-to-day operations and also be one of the prominent voices when it comes to all personnel decisions, including their pending head coaching search.
Like other teams in the league with a head coaching opening, the Nuggets have Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw firmly on their radar. Along with finding the team’s next coach, Connelly’s top orders of business are preparing for the 2013 NBA Draft, where the Nuggets have the 27th pick overall and free agency. Nuggets swingman Andre Iguodala will be opting out of his contract, but they have his bird rights and the ability to offer more than any other team on the market can, should the chose to do so.
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