Doc Rivers on trade rumors

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Doc Rivers on trade rumors

BOSTON With Ray Allen (sick) out for tonight's game against New Jersey, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers knows all too well the kind of chatter that will generate.

"The Ray (trade) rumors will start tomorrow," Rivers said, in jest.

But trade rumors this time of year are no laughing matter, especially when the rumors have little to no foundation in the truth.

Rivers said he was especially bothered by rumors that the Celtics were "aggressively" looking to trade Rajon Rondo, and another rumor involving the C's shipping Rondo to Los Angeles for a package that would ultimately send Pau Gasol to Boston.

"That's two (rumors) I haven't been happy with," said Rivers, who added that it doesn't bother him if a rumor is in fact true. "There was no truth to that (the C's were aggressively shopping Rondo), and the Gasol thing was even crazier. That was just ridiculous. When that kind of stuff happens, it bothers you."

Another one that started making the rumor mill rounds within the last 24 hours has Kevin Garnett going to Atlanta in a deal that would send Josh Smith a good friend and former prep school teammate of Rondo to Boston.

When asked whether he heard the Garnett-Smith rumor, Rivers said, "just now; just now. You just told me."

Another one of those crazy rumors, coach?

"I'm going to put it like this," Rivers said. "If this is the first time I've heard it, what do you think?"

With so many rumors involving so many players, there's no question that it has the potential to have a negative impact on the C's.

"Every team handles it differently, even when you have the same team every year," Rivers said. "It's going to continue for the next two weeks with us with every team. If I think it'll affect a guy or even the team, you'll talk about it, sometimes you don't."

Isaiah Thomas not among Eastern Conference All-Star starters

Isaiah Thomas not among Eastern Conference All-Star starters

BOSTON – For all that Isaiah Thomas has accomplished in his NBA career, the hallmark of his rise from the last player picked six years ago to where he is now is nothing short of amazing.

Thomas will be an All-Star for the second year in a row, but it’s not going to be as a starter.

The NBA announced the starting five for the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively, Thursday night.

Despite not being named a starter, there is still a lot to be excited about the season Thomas is having.

The 27-year-old leads the Celtics in scoring with a 28.7 points per game average which ranks fourth in the NBA.

His 10.1 points scored in the fourth quarter leads all players in the NBA. And if he can maintain that average, he will become the first player since the statistic began being recorded in 1997 to average double digit points in the final quarter of play.

While most players try to be low-key in their desire to be an All-Star, Thomas has made it known to anyone within earshot that he deserved to not just be an all-star, but an all-star starter.

His head coach Brad Stevens agreed.

“He’s having a hell of a year,” Stevens said.

But not enough to earn what would have been a starting spot on the East all-star team which would have made him the first Celtic to do so since Kevin Garnett in 2013.

 

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

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Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.