Rajon Rondo’s Broken Hand; Keith Bogans Trade

The Boston Celtics received some discouraging news on Friday in regards to their best player. Reports are coming out that Rajon Rondo will miss at least six weeks after breaking his hand and undergoing surgery.

While this injury news is not what Celtics fans wanted to hear, it’s really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Sure, Rondo will miss training camp and the start of the season — but it’s a season where the Celtics aren’t expected to do much of anything. Yes, the All-Star PG’s absence will be felt in Boston. The Celtics may not win as many games without him. But what does it really matter for a team that’s headed nowhere?

The main objective here should be getting Rondo back to full health without rushing his recovery. There’s just no reason to take any extra risk. Because if the team ultimately does decided to deal him away on or before this season’s deadline — what’s he really going to be worth at less than 100 percent?

If the Celtics are set on keeping him and building around him, the same logic should apply.

This news stings if you’re a Celtics fan. There’s no doubt about that. But if you’re a Celtics fan who wasn’t already looking slightly ahead to the future, then you’re just not being realistic.

Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery for one of the game’s best point guards.

The Celtics made a trade on Thursday. Keith Bogans and his non-guaranteed $5.3 million salary was sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for John Lucas III, Erik Murphy, Dwight Powell, and Malcolm Thomas. Both teams swapped a pair of second-round picks. The Celtics shipped their top-55 protected selections in 2015 and 2017 from the Sacramento Kings while they received the Cavaliers’ picks in 2016 and 2017.

The Celtics received a new $5.3 million trade exception for Bogans, which they have a year to use. While Powell and Murphy face long odds to make the roster, they are talented. Powell is a young power forward who was taken with the 45th pick by the then-Charlotte Bobcats and the only player in this deal with a guaranteed contract. Murphy enjoyed a good college career at the University of Florida. Both of the second-round picks from Cleveland could come later in the Draft because the Cavaliers are expected to contend for the NBA title.

The team also waived Chris Johnson and Chris Babb on Thursday.

Christian Watford was released on Friday, but the Celtics brought him back. The Celtics can only have 20 players under contract during training camp. Since they had 18 players before they traded Bogans and took back four players, they were over the maximum amount of 20 players with the still-pending signing of Evan Turner. After the trade was completed, the Celtics released Lucas and Thomas. This brought their roster down to 18 players so they have space to sign Watford and Evan Turner. This may be confusing, but the Celtics will have more moving parts over the course of this season.

The Celtics still have 16 guaranteed contracts for 15 roster spots. They will need to be creative as they cut down their roster before the season begins on October 29th against the Brooklyn Nets.

 

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Celtics Release 2014-’15 Schedule

The Boston Celtics released their schedule for the 2014-’15 season on Wednesday.  The Celtics will play only one nationally televised game on January 14th at home against the Atlanta Hawks. This means the Celtics are not a premier team in the NBA.

Their lone star (Rajon Rondo) is in the final year of his contract. Their roster is filled with either players who have been disappointments (Jeff Green, Evan Turner, and Tyler Zeller) and rookies like Marcus Smart and James Young.

The Celtics schedule in November looks to be daunting. They have to travel to Houston (Rockets), Dallas (Mavericks), and Chicago Bulls. The only game where they could be favored is on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers. Then they have a six-game road trip through the Western Conference from January 19th through January 28th.

Here are some notable games for Celtics fans to look forward to.

-October 29th – The Celtics open the season versus the Brooklyn Nets at the Garden. Kevin Garnett could be back with the Nets. This might be Garnett’s final season in the NBA.

– November will be filled with home dates against the elite teams in the NBA. On November 12th, the Celtics will square off against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Two nights later, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will visit Boston. Then on November 28th, the Bulls make their first appearance at TD Garden. On the last night of November, the Celtics will face the defending champion San Antonio Spurs.

– Paul Pierce, Kris Humphries, and the Washington Wizards play in Boston on December 7th in their only visit to Boston.

– The Celtics will not play on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. Boston sports fans will have a doubleheader with the Bruins and Celtics both playing at home on Black Friday (annual ritual except in the case of lockout) and New Year’s Eve. The Celtics will host the Bulls on Black Friday and they will see the Sacramento Kings on New Year’s Eve.

– In January, the Celtics begin their journey on the West Coast against Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers come to Boston on March 29th.

– The All-Star break is lengthy this year as the Celtics will be off from February 11th until the 20th. The Celtics last game before the All-Star break and trade deadline (February 19th) is against the Hawks at home. This could be Rondo’s final game with the Celtics among other veterans like Brandon Bass, Green, etc.

– Featured rookies: Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves will be in Boston on December 19th. The Milwaukee Bucks led by Jabari Parker play in Boston on April 3rd.

– The Celtics’ two meetings against the Los Angeles Lakers will be on December 5th (in Boston) and February 22nd (in Los Angeles).

This season appears to be another frustrating trek in the win-loss column. Though,there could be some interesting developments in the 2014-’15 season such as whether the Celtics will move Rondo and the development of Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Smart, and Young. Next summer, the Celtics will have money coming off their books, but Kevin Love is not walking through that door.

Cleveland Cavaliers Smart to Have Agreement to Trade for Kevin Love

The Cleveland Cavaliers will become the clear favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2014-15 NBA Finals if their agreement to acquire Kevin Love in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves goes through.

According to Yahoo! Sports, the agreement is in principle because the actual trade cannot occur until Aug. 23 due to Andrew Wiggins not being able to be dealt until exactly one month after signing his rookie contract. The trade will send Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 first-round draft pick to the Timberwolves for Love. The agreement also states that Love will opt out of his contract and sign a five-year, $120 million contract extension with the Cavaliers.

With Kyrie Irving playing point guard and Love dominating the frontcourt, superstarLeBron James will have the necessary pieces in place to lead Cleveland on a legitimate postseason run that should end with a NBA Finals appearance. Even though James stated in his return essay that he believed it would take a couple years to reach the top of the mountain with the Cavaliers, the addition of Love will certainly speed up that process. In fact, if the Cavaliers do not reach the NBA Finals in the depleted Eastern Conference, the 2014-15 season is a major fail.

As far as the Timberwolves are concerned, they are definitely not getting the raw end of the deal. Minnesota had no shot of re-signing Love in free agency as he basically told the organization he would not return. Therefore, getting Wiggins, Bennett and a 2015 first-round pick is very good. Not to mention, pairing up Wiggins with fellow rookie Zach LaVine, who is by far the most athletic player among the 2014-15 rookie class, could mean that success is right around the corner for the Timberwolves.

It will be interesting to see if James, Love and Irving will be able to find the necessary chemistry this upcoming season to make the previous “Big Three” in Miami look like nothing.