Rondos personal checklist of improvements

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Rondos personal checklist of improvements

WALTHAM -- With every year that passes, Rajon Rondo continues to improve facets of his game that bolster his rank among point guards -- and all players -- in the NBA. This season, the 26-year-old has a checklist of areas he would like to work on over the next months.

I want to take care of my turnovers, he said after the Boston Celtics first practice of the season on Saturday. I want to get more looks at the basket, I want to be more aggressive to the rim. I want to get to the line, obviously, maybe seven, eight times a game, realistically.

What does Rondo have to do to surpass last seasons performance in those categories? Take a look at how the Celtics floor leader fared and how he compared to others in the league.

Turnovers per Game

Rondos goal: Limit turnovers

2011-12 regular season: 3.6 TPG, 5th among all players

1. Deron Williams (4.0)
2. John Wall (3.9)
3. Kevin Durant (3.8)
4. Steve Nash (3.7)
5. Rajon Rondo (3.6)

2011-12 postseason: 3.8 TPG, 3rd among all players

1. Chris Paul (3.9)
2. Carlos Boozer (3.8)
3. Rajon Rondo (3.8)
4. LeBron James (3.5)
5. Baron Davis (3.3)

Free Throw Attempts per Game

Rondos goal: Attempt seven or eight free throws per game

2011-12 regular season: 3.4 FTA, 64th among all players, 26th among all guards

Top 5 Guards in FTAsRegular Season Game
1. Kobe Bryant (7.8)
2. Russell Westbrook (6.3)
3. Derrick Rose (6.1)
4. John Wall (6.1)
5. Dwyane Wade (6.1)

2011-12 postseason: 2.9 FTA, 49th among all players, 20th among all guards

Top 5 Guards in FTAsPostseason Game
1. Kobe Bryant (7.9)
2. Dwyane Wade (7.2)
3. James Harden (6.3)
4. Tony Parker (6.3)
5. Russell Westbrook (5.6)

Report: Ainge could prefer George to Butler with Nets pick

Report: Ainge could prefer George to Butler with Nets pick

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson was named the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations after longtime Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and vice president of basketball ops Jim Buss were fired, the team announced.

"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights [late owner] Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss, Jerry Buss' daughter, Jim Buss' brother and Lakers president and co-owner, said in a statement. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”

Johnson, the Hall of Famer guard who led L.A. to five NBA titles, said in the same statement: “It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family. Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”

Johnson, part of a group that owns MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, returned to the organization as an adviser earlier this month. Johnson coached the Lakers briefly in the 1993-94 season, going 5-11. 

Johnson's new job with the Lakers won't change his role with the Dodgers, according to the L.A. Times.

The current Lakers have the third-worst record in the NBA at 19-39 after finishing with the second-worst mark in the league (17-65) last season. Kupchak was named an assistant GM under Jerry West in 1986 and in 2000 took over for West as GM.