Boston Celtics Rumors
It was Jerebko’s first free agent experience after five seasons with the Pistons. “Yeah, I was up,” Jerebko said of the clock striking midnight to begin free agency. “I got a few phone calls. It was like proof that you had a good year. I had other teams interested, but after talking to Danny [Ainge] and the way we worked stuff out, this is where I wanted to be and we worked it out. It was fun to have other teams interested but Boston was always the No. 1 landing spot that I was hoping for.”
Maxwell freely admitted it was difficult watching Fred Roberts and Mikki Moore wear No. 31 before it was retired. And he suggested that the Celtics formulate a list — with the help of a committee of former players, executives, and public relations employees — of players whose numbers would be considered untouchable. Obviously, No. 2 (Red Auerbach), 6 (Russell), 17 (Havlicek), and 33 (Bird) would be on that list. But what about 18 (Cowens), 21 (Bill Sharman), 22 (Ed Macauley), 23 (Frank Ramsey), 24 (Sam Jones), and 25 (K.C. Jones)? Would No. 15 (Heinsohn), 16 (Tom Sanders) or 19 (DonNelson) be considered untouchable?
Jones was asked, directly, if he didn’t get a fair chance to showcase his talents in Oklahoma City. “I’m going to say yeah,” Jones said after a slight hesitation. “I’m just happy for this fresh new start — new start, new system, different conference — just a whole different new start. Hopefully everything works for the best.” Jones made sure to stress that he grew during his time in Oklahoma City. Asked what he learned, he noted, “Working hard every day, whether you get minutes or not, whether you are playing or not, whatever the case may be. Just come in and work, that’s something I pride myself on.”
But the Celtics are going to give Jones every opportunity to prove he deserves to stay before they decide on his future. And, at this point, all Jones is looking for is a fresh start and a chance. “With OKC, there hasn’t been as much of an opportunity for him to play as much as he would like as a youngster on a team trying to compete for a championship,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said while introducing Perry on Monday. “But [he is] very athletic — a different type of player than we have in the frontcourt right now with his athleticism and length.”
The Celtics offered four first-round picks for the chance to move up from no. 16 to no. 9: that 16th pick, no. 15 (acquired in a prearranged contingency deal with the Hawks), one unprotected future Brooklyn pick, and a future first-rounder from either the Grizzlies or Timberwolves, per sources familiar with the talks.1
Some members of Charlotte’s front office liked the Boston deal, but Michael Jordan, the team’s owner and ultimate decision-maker, preferred Kaminsky to a pile of first-rounders outside the lottery, per several sources. That’s justifiable, if you think your guy at no. 9 has a chance at stardom. The talent gap between no. 9 and no. 15 is real; ask Boston how it felt to squeeze into the playoffs, get demolished by a Cavs team in chill mode, and watch Justise Winslow fall right where it could have picked had it won three fewer games.