Boston Celtics

Stern vetoes Paul deal, creates uneasiness around NBA

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Stern vetoes Paul deal, creates uneasiness around NBA

It looks like Chris Paul isn't going to the Los Angeles Lakers at all or Boston or any major market - at least not anytime soon.

Shortly after the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets engineered a three-team blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, the deal was called off by NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The deal would have netted the Lakers Paul, one of the top players in the NBA.

Timing, more than anything else, is why Paul will be in the Hornet's training camp on Friday.

One of the many issues that league officials talked about during the 149-day lockout, was trying to limit big-market teams from running roughshod over mid-sized and small-market clubs for the game's superstars.

Killing the Paul trade?

Mission accomplished.

But here in Boston, you have to wonder what would have happened if the Celtics' offer for Paul of Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, along with two first-round picks, would have been accepted by the Hornets?

Would that deal have been killed too?

While there are certainly some owners who feel good about the deal being killed, there are just as many bothered by the move.

Here's what the league had to say on rejecting the Paul trade:

"Not true that owners killed the deal," read a statement from the NBA. "It wasn't even discussed at the Board meeting. League office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons."

Uh, OK.

So what's to stop them from killing any trade for "basketball reasons."

This decision by the league really stinks on so many levels. It creates the allusion that the league, at least when it comes to trades, will play favorites.

In addition, you can bet that Paul will consider taking this thing to court.

By forcing him to stay in New Orleans - a team he has no intention of playing with beyond this season - the return may cost him several millions in his next deal, money that he may never recoup.

One more thing.

The idea of forcing a player back to a team in this manner, won't sit well with the NBA's fan base or the players - the two most important components to the league's success.

So as much as folks outside of L.A. probably did a quiet little double-fist pump when they heard Stern had killed the deal, be careful.

Because the next time a trade comes around that the league doesn't like for "basketball reasons," it just might be your team - and not the Lakers - getting screwed.

Hayward opens up about disappointment of losing Isaiah Thomas

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Hayward opens up about disappointment of losing Isaiah Thomas

Gordon Hayward wanted to go to Boston to play with Isaiah Thomas.

Of course, that's not going to happen. The Celtics traded Thomas to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a package for Kyrie Irving. Hayward explained what it was like for him to learn he and Thomas would not get the chance to hit the court together in Celtics' green.

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"My first reaction was to text I.T., and wish him the best," Hayward wrote in a blog post which he published Thursday. "That was a really strange moment because I’d really been looking forward to playing with him. He didn’t just help recruit me to Boston—he was a big piece of that recruitment. He had talked a lot about city and how it was different to be a Celtic. He talked about the intensity of playing in the Eastern Conference Finals, playing at the Garden in the playoffs, and how much fun it was, and how much fun he had playing in Boston.

"All of that ultimately helped win me over. And by the time of the trade, I had already started to build a little bit of a relationship with him.

"But that is just how the business works. I have spent enough years in the NBA to realize that things can change like that, in an instant. Still, even though we didn’t necessarily get to be teammates, I’m definitely going to be watching him as a fan. In this league, I think we are all rooting for each other in some way or another—just to try to stay healthy, to try to be the best we can be."

Hayward may be genuine about rooting for Thomas -- except perhaps when he faces off against the Cavaliers in the season-opener on Oct. 17 at Quicken Loans Arena. Thomas is uncertain to play due to a hip injury. But the two teams are expected to see each other in the Eastern Conference Finals again after the 2017-18 season. This preview will be an opportunity for Thomas and Irving to get their first shot at revenge against their previous team.

The trade wasn't all bad for Hayward, he explained. He was pleased at the prospect of playing with Irving. Hayward cited Irving's abilities in 1-on-1 situations and clutch moments. He appreciated Irving's scoring ability, because Hayward knows the point guard will open up space for Hayward to knock down open shots. Above all, Hayward seemed to value Irving's unique experience.

"And then getting a chance to play with LeBron James, and going to the Finals three straight years—those are experiences that are invaluable and that you really can’t teach," Hayward wrote. "Having that experience of playing in those big moments, dealing with the circus of the media, dealing with expectations, those are all things that I think he can help us with. Because most of us, myself especially, have never been through that."

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