NBA presents offer, and deadline

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NBA presents offer, and deadline

NEW YORK What a mess we have here.

After more than eight hours of negotiating on Saturday, the NBA and the NBA players' union are no closer to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, further throwing the 2011-2012 season into what appears to be a drowning sea of uncertainty.

"We for sure, unequivocally made true, good-faith efforts to try and get this deal done," said NBAPA president Derek Fisher. "And we're at a loss for why we could not close it out based on the moves that we made towards the NBA and towards the league, in getting a deal done."

But there is a deal on the table, according to NBA Commissioner David Stern.

However, he's quick to add that it won't last long.

"If we're unable to make a deal on those terms, by the close of business on Wednesday, we will be making a new proposal which we will also share very soon with the players in writing which is multi-faceted," Stern said. "But for purposes of this press conference, suffice to say, it will be a 47 percent proposal and a flex cap and lots of other issues that you have become familiar with in these negotiations."

Here's a snapshot of the proposal that Stern plans to present to the players union later today.

A 49-51 band for the basketball revenue income.

A mini, mid-level exception for tax-paying teams that's worth 2.5 Million per year, for two years, and can only be used every other year.

No Sign-and-trades for tax-paying teams.

A Mid-level exception for non-taxpaying teams, worth 5 million, that will be three and four years in length, but will alternate from one year to the next.

A harsher tax system for teams that repeatedly are tax-payers.

NBAPA president Derek Fisher said there might have been one item on the NBA's wish list, that the union might have been in agreement on.

Among the points that seemed to draw the ire of the union's lead counsel, was the BRI split.

"The proposal that this is a robust deal to 51 (percent of the BRI for the players), is a fraud," Kessler said. "They came in here with a pre-arranged plan to try and strong-arm the players. They knew today, they would stick to 50 essentially, 50.2, and make almost no movement on the system and then they were gong to say, 'my way or the 47 percent highway.'

Kessler added, "these are professional basketball players. The finest athletes in the world. How do you think they feel about threats? How do you think they feel about efforts of intimidation? Who negotiates in good faith, 'it's this proposal or 47 percent. We'll make it worst. Take it or leave it.' That's where they were. The players will not be intimidated. They want to play. They want a season. But they will not sacrifice the future of all NBA players under these types of threats of intimidation. It's not happening under Derek Fisher's watch. It's not happening under Billy Hunter's watch. It's not happening under the watch of this executive committee."

As Kessler state, the players still want a majority of the BRI but with a twist.

"In that 51 percent, we'd take a portion of it, and work with the NBA on a new benefits program that would significantly impact the lives of retired players," Fisher said.

From the union's perspective, that would give the owners the economics they were looking for in a new CBA.

"We believe the conversation (about economics) should have been over at that point," Fisher said.

In addition to the 51 percent cut of the BRI, here are some other items the union was seeking:

A mid-level exception, worth 5 million, and can be used every year by non-tax paying teams and every other year for tax-paying teams.

Sign-and-trades for all teams.

Mid-Level exception contracts can be signed for as many as four years.

A less punitive taxing than the league's proposal, for teams that cross the luxury tax threshold.

While the NBA's proposal isn't nearly as restrictive as there earlier ones, it's unclear if it meets the economic and competitive balance standards Stern and his ownership group, were focused on achieving in a new CBA.

"They certainly would come closer than our current system," Stern said. "And they're the best we can do at this time. And so, we're prepared to live by them if they're accepted by the players."

But based on comments by Fisher and Kessler (NBAPA executive director Billy Hunter did not attend the press conference because, according to a union official, he had a sore throat), it appears unlikely that the proposal will be approved by the union.

"We made the proposal, and we hope that it will be accepted by Wednesday," Stern said. "I'm not going to make percentage guesses, or anything like that. We want our players to play. We'd like to have a season, and these are the terms upon which we are prepared to gear up, and get in as many games as possible.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Phil Jackson: Knicks' biggest mistake was not trading for Jae Crowder in 2014

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Phil Jackson: Knicks' biggest mistake was not trading for Jae Crowder in 2014

BOSTON -- Phil Jackson will be the first to admit he has made some mistakes during his tenure in the New York Knicks' front office.

Among the miscues was a deal that would have landed them Jae Crowder.

"One of the first deals I engineered when I came back to New York was to trade Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert, plus a second-round pick that the Mavs owed to the Celtics," Jackson told the website, www.todaysfastbreak.com.

Jackson later revealed that in conversations with Boston leading up to the 2014 NBA draft, he was given an option to either keep the second-round pick which was to be conveyed to Boston from Dallas, or take Jae Crowder and allow Boston to keep the second-round pick from the Mavs.

"I liked Crowder but I thought he wouldn’t get much of a chance to play behind Carmelo (Anthony)," Jackson said. "So I took the (second-round) pick which turned out to be Cleanthony Early.”

Ouch!

With Crowder left out of the six-player deal between New York and Dallas, the Celtics were able to engineer a trade with the Mavericks six months later that sent Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell to Dallas in exchange for Brandon Wright, Jameer Nelson, draft picks and what many believed at the time to be a “throw in” player by the name of Jae Crowder.

Less than two years later, Crowder is the lone player acquired by Boston in that deal who remains on the Celtics roster.

And as we have all seen, Crowder is far from just a warm body on the Celtics’ roster.

The 6-foot-6 forward has emerged as a core member of this young, up-and-coming Celtics squad, a key to Boston going from being a team rebuilding just three years ago to one that’s poised to be among the top teams in the East this season.

And the play of Crowder has been a significant part of that growth.

Last season was his first as an NBA starter, and the 26-year-old made the most of his opportunity by averaging career highs in just about every meaningful category such as scoring (14.2), steals (1.7), assists (1.8), rebounds (5.1), field goal percentage (.443) and starts (73).

Meanwhile, Early has had a pair of injury-riddled seasons which have factored heavily into him seeing action in a total of just 56 games (9 starts) while averaging 4.3 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting 34.6 percent from the field and a woeful 26.3 percent on 3s.

“While Cleanthony has missed lots of time in the past two seasons with us,” Jackson said, “He still has the potential to be a valuable player.”

That said, Jackson knows he screwed that deal up, big time.

Even with the potential Early brings to the game, Jackson concedes, “I should have taken Crowder."

 

Can Jerebko parlay playoff starts to a bigger role with Celtics?

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Can Jerebko parlay playoff starts to a bigger role with Celtics?

Every weekday until Sept. 7, we'll take a look at each player at the Celtics roster: Their strengths and their weaknesses, their ceiling and their floor. We continue today with Tyler Zeller. For a look at the other profiles, click here.

BOSTON – Considering all the different storylines that developed among the Celtics at the end of last season and this summer, it’s easy to forget that Jonas Jerebko was in the starting lineup.

With sporadic minutes in the regular season, Boston found itself trailing the Atlanta Hawks 2-0 in their best-of-seven playoff series.

So what did coach Brad Stevens do?

He shook up the starting lineup by inserting Jerebko. who helped Boston even up the series at two games apiece before the Hawks bounced back and ended the Celtics season after six games.

Those last four games against the Hawks – the only games Jerebko started all season - served as a reminder to many that the 29-year-old could still be an impact performer.

It was the kind of run to close out the season that Jerebko will certainly be focused on trying to build upon this season.

The ceiling for Jerebko: Starter

While he will likely begin the season as a reserve, Jerebko will certainly come into camp with a little more bounce in his step courtesy of a strong showing in the playoffs.

After averaging just 4.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 15.1 minutes in the regular season a year ago, Jerebko became a major force in the playoffs for Boston.

In his first game as a starter, Jerebko had a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds as Boston won Game 3, 111-103.

He was even more impactful 48 hours later with another a second straight double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) in yet another Celtics victory.

The Hawks made some adjustments in Games 5 and 6 to close out the series, but it wasn’t before Jerebko had put together the best postseason stretch of his career.

Compared to the regular season, Jerebko more than doubled his playing time in those final four games by averaging 31.3 minutes to go with 11.5 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Jerebko will be hard-pressed to return to that role at the start of this season.

Boston signed Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract, so you know he’s starting.

And Amir Johnson’s defense and ability to run the floor so effectively will likely result in him resuming a starting role, too.

That leaves Jerebko joining what looks to be a very talented and deep Celtics bench.

Even though he’s unlikely to start, Jerebko will get his share of opportunities to play.

At 6-foot-10, Jerebko has the size to play both power forward and center. And depending on the opposing team’s lineup, Jerebko has the potential play some small forward as well.

It was that versatility that made Stevens turn to Jerebko in the playoffs last season to replace Jared Sullinger, who signed with the Toronto Raptors in the offseason.

And while the idea of Jerebko as a starter seems a bit far-fetched at this point, he is yet another Celtics reserve who has proven himself to be ready to play and play well when given an opportunity to step on the floor regardless of what that role may be.

The floor for Jerebko: Seldom-used reserve

Despite a strong finish last season, Jerebko will once again have to fight and claw for any minutes on the floor. While the Celtics certainly were aided by his versatility, this season’s roster has a number of players who, like Jerebko, can play multiple positions at both ends of the floor.

NBA veteran Gerald Green is 6-8 and will play shooting guard and small forward. But depending on the lineup, it’s not a stretch to envision him playing some power forward. Ditto for rookie Jaylen Brown and starting small forward Jae Crowder sliding up one position.

Beginning the season on the rotation fringes is nothing new to Jerebko, whose role was very much up in the air when the Celtics traded Tayshaun Prince to Detroit prior to the 2015 trade deadline for Jerebko and Gigi Datome.

Gradually, Jerebko earned his minutes and proved he was indeed a valuable piece of what Stevens and the Celtics were trying to build here in Boston.

And now, with a season-plus of time with the Celtics under his belt, Jerebko finds himself once again being challenged to show that he’s more than just a body on the roster.

 

Report: Celtics renounce draft rights to 2013 pick Colton Iverson

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Report: Celtics renounce draft rights to 2013 pick Colton Iverson

By Dan Feldman, NBCSports.com Pro Basketball Talk

The Celtics bought the No. 53 pick in the 2013 NBA draft to get Colton Iverson out of Colorado State, and he thanked them by allowing them to keep his rights the last three years.

Iverson rejected the required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the minimum, teams must extend to retain exclusive negotiating rights to a second-round pick – year after year to sign overseas. Accepting the tender would’ve likely meant Iverson going to Boston’s training camp and getting waived. Perhaps, the timing of that would’ve limited his European options that year. But it would’ve made him an NBA free agent – or, best-case scenario, he could’ve made the Celtics and drawn an NBA paycheck.

As it was, Iverson limited himself to joining Boston and only Boston. If another NBA team wanted Iverson, it would have had to trade for him.

And what does Iverson get for that loyalty? A Celtics contract with at least a partial guarantee?

Nope.

Just a head start on finding another team – which he could’ve gotten for himself three years ago.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

This is why second-round picks should be more aggressive about accepting the required tender. Even if you get waived, you open NBA options.

Iverson is a strong 7-foot center who plays with physicality. He can help in certain matchups, and he’d make sense as a third center on teams that have first- and second-stringers playing a different style.

But Iverson is 27, and his NBA window may be closing if it hasn’t already.

It’s a shame he spent so many years beholden to Boston, which didn’t want him.

It was probably just courtesy of the Celtics to renounce his rights now rather than have him sign the tender. They would have guaranteed him no money with the tender, and they could have gotten a few minor benefits with it – an extra body for training camp, the ability to assign his D-League rights to their affiliate after waiving him and the slightest chance he impresses enough in the preseason to hold trade value.

But them forgoing those potential advantages, even if out of courtesy, also sends a signal about how little they value him. Teams don’t do these types of favors for players they actually covet.