Tonight is our first chance to see if Yi Jianlian has the skills that would have helped the Boston Celtics. Judging from the early returns though, Yi had a better time practicing against the furniture.
Yi went into last night’s game against the Knicks shooting 20%… then shot 0-6 to finish with 3 points and 9 fouls. He’s not the only one struggling in Vegas, though. Greg Oden was a mess… but he’s getting his tonsils out… so he’s done for the summer. And Kevin Durant is putting up Iverson-esque shooting numbers.
The lesson… as we’ve been trying to tell you… summer league doesn’t mean crap. Still you can watch Yi play and maybe we can pick something out of his performance. Game time is 10pm eastern.
The only real item of note regarding the Celtics today is the revelation of the obvious: Wyc Grousbeck blew any chances of a Sebastian Telfair trade by pulling the the whole “nameplate off the locker” stunt:
Multiple sources confirmed that the Celtics agreed at the end of the season to trade Telfair. With Rajon Rondo planted at the point, Telfair wanted to start over with a better opportunity – and the C’s were more than willing to give it to him.
But then came Telfair’s April arrest for gun possession and driving with a suspended license, and more importantly, co-owner Wyc Grousbeck’s announcement that his nameplate would be removed from his locker.
“That really hurt (director of basketball operations Danny) Ainge’s chances of trading him for anything decent,” a league source said.
When will owners learn? You DON’T get publically involved in the day-to-day running of the team. Wyc seems like a nice enough guy. He’s at the games… he’s excited about things… but running a team is like playing poker. If you let everyone know you’d love to fold… you can’t try to bluff your way to winning the pot later… because everyone knows to call your bluff. What’s worse… other GM’s now know that Wyc has zero patience for someone who has a brush with the law. Now the next time a guy gets in trouble… other teams will offer us much less than the actual value of that player. Danny sucks enough as it is when it comes to trades… you don’t need to make it any harder for him.
For you people curious about salary numbers: The 2007-08 salary cap will be $55,630,000. The mid-level exception will be $5,356,000. The luxury tax threshold will be $67,865,000. The Celtics payroll is currently $63,147,632. We know that Wyc doesn’t want to pay the luxury tax… which is dollar for dollar (every dollar you’re over the threshhold, you pay that same amount in luxury taxes). That means the C’s have $4.7 million to spend before hitting that threshold. Just something to consider when you’re looking at potential free agents.
Camerato: Kevinn Pinkney owes any success to the C’s | Boston’s NBDL team will be in Utah | Sean Williams signs with Nets | Rashard Lewis sign-and-trade deal not quite done | Steve Francis gets $30 mil. to walk away from Portland | Darko to Memphis?