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Sunday , Apr , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

End of the Shoulder-Shimmy: Antoine Walker retires from basketball

Former Boston Celtic Antoine Walker announced his retirement from basketball on Saturday night in the Idaho Stampede locker room following their win against the Bakersfield Jam, according to a team statement.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There will be no heroic comeback for Antoine Walker. 

Last night, the former All-Star announced his retirement from basketball following the Idaho Stampede’s win in the D-League.

Walker, a generous and outgoing person, came out retirement and returned to basketball in hopes of earning enough money to pay creditors after declaring bankruptcy.

It never panned out.

Walker, out of shape and older, was a shade of his former self. The shoulder-shimmy was a thing of the past, along with the days of the round forward leading the break and firing away from three-point land for the Boston Celtics.

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Saturday , Mar , 31 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Is Tom Thibodeau ‘fine’ as lame-duck coach of Bulls?

The Chicago Tribune, quoting team sources, subsequently reported Friday night on its website that “Thibodeau has raised the topic — his lack of an extension — with Bulls players.” Thibodeau, however, tried to downplay any notion of his discontent after the Bulls’ 83-71 home win over the Pistons. “I don’t know where that’s coming from,” Thibodeau said. “I’m not worried about any of that stuff. I’m under contract. I’m fine with everything here.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I call it the ‘thou protest too much’ rule, which, of course, was coined by Shakespeare in one of his many fine plays.

The latest example of this has to be Tom Thibodeau’s situation with the Chicago Bulls. The 2011 Coach of the Year insists he’s just fine continuing on the sideline without an extension beyond this year.

Really?

Thibodeau, of course, has to say such things. The team would fall apart if he complained or whined about not having an extension -even if he’s deserving of one.

After all, Thibodeau’s defensive sets have played a major part in the Bulls becoming an Eastern Conference contender. His work rate is second to none -as the former Celtics assistant lives in the Bulls' training facility and watches game film late into the night.

Bottom line: Thibodeau can’t be happy as a lame-duck coach -no matter what he says.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Mar , 31 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Garnett on returning to Minnesota: ‘No way’

During the second quarter, Garnett was taking the ball out of bounds and a fan hollered: "Hey Kevin, please come back next year!" Garnett simply muttered: "No way."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Garnett may have considered returning to Minnesota -if Glen Taylor didn’t kick him on his way out the door so many years ago.

Taylor, the Timberwolves' owner, publicly bad-mouthed Garnett months after wrapping the Hall of Fame post in a bow and giving him to the Boston Celtics as part of the most one-sided swap in franchise history.

Garnett, for better or worse, has pride. Lots of it. He has a long memory and won't consider signing with the Timberwolves as a free agent this summer.

It doesn’t matter that he still loves the city. And it doesn’t matter that the team are returning to prominence behind the fine play of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.

Taylor still owns the team, which means the Timberwolves have no shot at Garnett.

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Saturday , Mar , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Mickael Pietrus hospitalized after awful fall in Celtics-76ers game

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The score didn’t matter. Not one bit.

During tonight’s Celtics-76ers game, Mickael Pietrus drove the lane and fell awkwardly on his back and neck. The green-and-white’s reserve swing lay motionless for several minutes and was throwing up before being removed from the court on a stretcher.

There is good news: Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters Pietrus had passed several medical tests and was being kept overnight in hospital.

Watch the fall (it’s a bit of gruesome) and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.

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Monday , Mar , 12 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Report: Celtics, Lakers discussed Rondo for Gasol swap?

The Lakers and Boston Celtics hate each other, an animosity that extends into the front offices of the two teams. Not really. The teams talked last week about a trade for Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, though nothing was close to accomplished and discussions dried up.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The rumors don’t die. They multiply.

For months, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have been testing the trade market for table-setter Rajon Rondo and post Pau Gasol.

The Celtics and Lakers had little luck finding a deal to their liking, so these great rivals recently discussed a Rondo for Gasol swap.

Yes, Rondo for Gasol. Straight.

(For the record, such cooperation would make former Celtics and Lakers like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and James Worthy puke.)

The Celtics shouldn’t make this move -unless the tales of Rondo’s diva behaviour are true. The Kentucky alum’ is young, productive, and, can dominate without taking a single shot. Most importantly, he covers up for an aging Big Three.

Gasol has a world class skill-set. However, the green-and-white would be wise to keep Rondo.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Mar , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Rasheed Wallace trained with Heat?

A source close to the situation confirmed Rasheed Wallace has worked out with Heat, but source said he hasn’t decided if he’ll play again.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Rasheed Wallace, if serious about coming out of retirement, would help the Miami Heat.

‘Sheed would help Erik Spoelstra’s squad on both ends. The veteran’s length and experience makes him a great individual and team defender, while he can still score in a multitude of ways.

Best of all, Wallace would shift Bosh to his more natural position -the high post. The left-handed-four excels when facing up opponents at the elbow rather than receiving the ball on the block.

Still, everything hinges on Wallace‘s fitness. Remember, he was often ineffective with the Celtics because of poor conditioning.

If motivated and in shape, Wallace can contribute.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Mar , 04 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ray Allen to Clippers?

Yet for all the talk of Boston point guard Rajon Rondo possibly being traded, some league executives have shooting guard and free-agent-to-be Ray Allen pegged as the most likely to be moved. Sources say the Clippers are interested, having lost Chauncey Billups to season-ending injury and lost out to New York in the J.R. Smith sweepstakes.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This seems more logical.

Rumors have been swirling that the Boston Celtics are looking to trade Rajon Rondo, even though the young table-setter is an All-Star.

It would make sense to rebuild around Rondo and move The Big Three to contenders for a package of draft picks, expiring contracts, and young talent.

Ray Allen, even at 36 years of age, would be the first to go. After all, he’s still in demand because he can spread the floor with his outstanding range.

While GM Danny Ainge can’t trade Celtic-fixture Paul Pierce and probably wants to let Kevin Garnett’s $20 million per season contract come off the books.

So Allen would appear the most likely candidate to change teams come trade deadline, with the veteran being linked to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Of course, appearances can deceive.

Rondo, for all his gifts, is reportedly a handful. He’s been called stubborn, emotional, and difficult by teammates, coaches, and media.

Perhaps logic won’t matter and the Celtics will move Rondo.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Feb , 28 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Shaquille O’Neal: the Boston Celtics ‘miss me’

“It’s a different team,” said O’Neal, at All-Star weekend as part of the TNT broadcast. “They (the Boston Celtics) miss me.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shaquille O’Neal will thrive as a broadcaster once he gets over his shyness.

O’Neal, the new darling of TNT’s Emmy-winning cast, is declaring that the Boston Celtics 'miss' him.

On the one hand, he’s right. O’Neal provided a post presence in limited minutes for the green-and-white.

On the other hand, he’s forgetting about Kendrick Perkins, the club's heart and soul.

O’Neal was signed, in large part, to fill in for Perkins who was out with knee troubles. The Celtics then dealt Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder at the deadline for Jeff Green because they believed O’Neal would be healthy.

Well, The Big Shamrock wasn’t healthy. He got hurt in February and never played again. So, the Celtics were without their heart-and-soul down-low, Perkins, and O’Neal in the playoffs. Not surprisingly, they lost in the second round.

And GM Danny Ainge hasn’t replaced either -even if Brandon Bass can score.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Feb , 09 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron: Kendrick Perkins should be embarrassed by Blake Griffin dunk

"For me, social media and Twitter is all about connecting with your fans," James said. "From day one, that's why I got to Twitter, to connect to my fans."I would never apologize for anything like that when I'm connecting with my fans." James said he certainly never "called out" Perkins."I can see why he may have felt embarrassed," he said. "I don't think I was the only one that reacted to that unbelievable play by Blake, and that's what it was all about, me acknowledging how great of a play it was. If Kendrick Perkins had dunked on somebody else on the other end, I would have done the same thing. "I'm an easy target, let's leave it at that."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kendrick Perkins and LeBron James have no problem telling us how they feel, especially about each other.

Clearly, Perkins didn't like James teasing him on twitter after he got poster-jobbed by Blake Griffin in a recent game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.

So Perkins responded. Now it's James' turn. Of course, the back-and-forth between these two isn't surprising.

Perkins and James have history. They two spent years battling each other for Eastern Conference supremacy with the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers.

They may have changed teams, but are still rivals. 

James' Heat could meet Perkins' Thunder in the NBA Finals. Both players know this. And both players are attempting to gain an edge during the dog days of the regular season. 

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Feb , 09 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Rondo for Gasol?

“Well, if there were a way for us to get a 25-year-old, All-Star, ball-handling guard we’d love to do it," said Kupchak to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com. "But that’s not likely in February. So you look at other alternatives, and see if it’s better than what you have. That’s all.” Rajon Rondo is the player that fits that description, possibly the only one in the NBA.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The NBA's two glamour franchises, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, are open for business

The Celtics are looking at trades that can give their 'Big Three' a boost, and also help their rebuilding program when Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce finally retire.

The Lakers are 14-11, which doesn't cut it with Kobe Bryant and the celebs' at Staples Center expecting a championship every year.

But Rajon Rondo for Pau Gasol seems unlikely.

Adding Rondo helps the Lakers, but there's no reason the Celtics would swap him for the older Gasol. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak would have to sweeten the pot because a straight Rondo for Gasol deal isn't happening.

Here's what's interesting about this scenario: Rondo's name is again in the rumor mill.

Two months ago, Rondo was supposedly heading south to the New Orleans Hornets for point guard Chris Paul. That rumor upset Rondo, which forced the Celtics into denial mode.

Now Rondo may head west to the purple-and-gold. And he'll be upset with the latest reports.

So, will the Celtics deny, deny, deny or admit to taking offers for their lightning quick guard?

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Feb , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Did Kobe’s ego hurt the Lakers’ chances of getting Dwight Howard?

Howard stated that there was "no way" he would give up everything he has in Orlando to go to the Lakers and be the third option, a source close to the situation said. Howard certainly wouldn’t mind being a third piece on a star-studded team, similar to the situations in Miami and Boston. However, he was turned off by Bryant's presentation as it suggested something totally different.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard isn’t interested in being the Third Wheel for the Los Angeles Lakers behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

After all, Howard is the current franchise face and superstar for the Orlando Magic. Being the third amigo, the ‘Tyson Chandler’ of the purple-and-gold, wasn’t a selling point for the NBA‘s best center.

Howard was expecting co-star status when meeting Bryant this summer to discuss joining the Lakers. Instead Bryant told Howard he’d have to wait until he retired, which wasn’t especially appealing.

So Howard has turned his attention elsewhere. His initial wish list -which started with the Nets, Mavericks as well as the Lakers - has expanded to include the Bulls and Celtics.

And if Howard ends up elsewhere, Laker-nation may blame Bryant.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
 

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Wednesday , Feb , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: Who wouldn’t want to play with Dwight Howard?

“Me and Dwight definitely have a relationship, especially because of adidas. I know our market and the city speaks for itself, if someone was interested to come to the Chicago Bulls,” Rose said of the Magic’s All-Star center. “Dwight, he’s a great player. Who wouldn’t want to play with him, but you never know what’s going to happen.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard will have options. All he has to do is take a pay cut.

The All-Star center for the Orlando Magic can opt-out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent July 1st.

Naturally, the rumor mill has been working overtime.

Howard was initially linked to the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Jersey Nets. Then it was the Boston Celtics. Now it’s the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls are appealing because they have the 2011 Most Valuable Player in Derrick Rose, and currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Problem is, they already have Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, who are slated to earn a combined $27 million per year.

And with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, it might be difficult for the Bulls, or any team, to find the cap space to sign Howard or find a taker for Boozer and/or Noah.

Of course, the Magic can offer $30 million more than other teams, so Howard is free to leav Orlando - but he`ll have to take far less money.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Sunday , Jan , 29 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard: Magic lack heart and soul

“Looked like guys didn’t want to play,” he said. “I told them at halftime, if you don’t want to play, just stay in the lockerroom. It doesn’t make sense for a teams we should beat to just demolish us. “You bring everything down,” Howard said, referring to a player who isn’t playing with heart and soul.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: First he said he wouldn’t mind playing for the Boston Celtics. Then, after his Orlando Magic gave-up a 27 point lead and lost to those same Celtics, he questioned his teammates' heart.

Add it up, and this is a problem.

In case you’ve been living in a cave, Dwight Howard can opt-out of his contract at season’s end and ditch the Magic as an unrestricted free agent.

Currently the signs aren’t good that Howard inks another four or five year pact with the Magic. Face it: the signs were never good that he’d stay …

1) Howard wants to win, and the Magic have never found him a legit’ co-star. Instead, GM Otis Smith overpaid mediocre talent, killing the club’s cap space.

2) Howard wants to transition into the entertainment industry, and the small city of Orlando can’t compare to larger markets like New York and/or Los Angeles.

3) The grass is always greener on the other side, especially when the same old, same old (Orlando) isn’t working.

Bottom line: perhaps it's finally time the Magic trade Howard.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Jan , 22 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ainge ready to trade Allen, Garnett, and Pierce?

But with Paul Pierce dealing with heel issues, Kevin Garnett fading, Ray Allen still effective shooting threes but headed for his 37th birthday and the Celtics 5-8 entering the weekend, the team’s owners gave GM Danny Ainge the official go-ahead to move any member of the troika. "We’ve got to move on,” said one Celtics official. “Let’s face reality.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s not if but when.

Eventually Boston Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge will have to trade his ‘Big Three’ of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, so the green-and-white can rebuild.

But when?

Should Ainge hold off on a major trade, acquire reinforcements, and let Allen, Garnett, and Pierce take a final run at an NBA Title? Or, should the executive start again by dealing some/all of his veterans for draft picks, expiring contracts, and young talent?  

There’s no easy answer, however, Ainge can only stick with Allen, Garnett, and Pierce if he believes they can still contend.

Right now, they’re not capable of playing in June. Or May. Or, maybe past game 66 in this short regular season. The Celtics defend yet lack the talent, especially down-low, to score easy points.

In a short season, there isn't time to fix things. So, Ainge has a tough decision.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jan , 21 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Timberwolves blowing opportunity with Kevin Love extension?

"From a coaching standpoint, it's really important," he said. "He's crucial to us. I'm hoping that something is going to happen for his sake. He came out with a great start this season and, hopefully, they're going to come to some resolution. I don't know what would happen if it didn't come to fruition. That's something that we'd have to deal with at that time." If Wednesday's deadline passes and Love isn't signed to a four- or five-year deal expected to be worth $15 million a year or more, the issue will hang over the franchise until next summer, when he will become a restricted free agent able to negotiate with any NBA team. The Wolves would have the right to match any offer, however.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Love’s extension is an opportunity for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

For years, the Timberwolves were a joke, the league’s northern laughingstock where no decent talent would ply his trade.

The players saw how owner Glen Taylor treated former franchise face Kevin Garnett. Taylor couldn’t get Garnett a decent supporting cast, and insulted the Big Ticket after trading him to the Boston Celtics.

The losses piled up. And those losses became draft picks, which became young talent.

Like Love.

The power forward has been a major force in the franchise’s drive to respectability on-court. Currently, Love’s averaging 25 points and 15 rebounds for an improving 7-8 Wolves side.

Sure, they’re not perfect, but the Timberwolves are making major strides in the Western Conference.

Are they making strides off-court, though? Will Taylor open his wallet, pay Love the maximum contract he deserves, and show the league the Timberwolves' days in the league basement are over?

Well, it depends on Taylor. If he views Love’s extension as an opportunity, he agrees to terms as soon as possible with the young superstar’s people.

If not, he stalls and maybe saves money by matching an offer from another team this summer when Love becomes a free agent.

However, the rest of the league are watching, and they'll realize nothing, or very little, has changed with the Timberwolves' ownership. 

And Taylor and the Wolves will have blown another opportunity.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Jan , 18 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Celtics open to trading Paul Pierce?

With the Celtics struggling to begin the 11-12 season, several teams have inquired about the availability of Paul Pierce. One Eastern Conference official said, there are “lots of calls asking if [Boston] will blow it up.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They'll listen.
 
The Boston Celtics might be open to moving Paul Pierce -if they get an appropriate offer and, most importantly, decide to tear down their Big Three and rebuild.
 
The once-mighty green-and-white are struggling and dealing Pierce's big-ticket for a combination of young players, expiring contracts, and draft picks might be wise.
 
There's another route, though.
 
GM Danny Ainge may instead stick with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Pierce, and rebuild the supporting cast. After all, the Celtics are Rajon Rondo's team.

However, Ainge, in order to stand pat with his 'Big Three', has to believe his old heads have a final playoff run left in the tank.

And that is very much in doubt.

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Saturday , Jan , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Rasheed Wallace ‘real interested’ in Bulls?

Former #Celtics F Rasheed Wallace is "real interested" in the #Bulls, source close to Wallace tells #CSNNE.com. Chi has some reservations.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Rasheed Wallace has interest in the Chicago Bulls, however, the feeling may not be mutual.

Wallace, once a premier power forward in the NBA, is looking to come out of retirement and join a contender for a title run.

On paper, the Bulls could use Wallace. He defends, has championship experience, and would provide another option on the block and perimeter.

The reality would be more complicated. The Bulls are a young, impressionable bunch, and Wallace's temperament and affinity for collecting technical fouls (see video) might not be the best influence.

For instance, Wallace excelled on experienced teams like Boston and Detroit, where Celtic and Piston veterans like Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton and Ben Wallace kept him in line.

The younger Bulls, even though they recently signed Hamilton, lack veterans. So expect them to pass on ‘Sheed.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

 

Slow Starting NBA Squads Can’t Be Counted Out… Yet
Thursday , Jan , 05 , 2012 Paul Eide

Slow Starting NBA Squads Can’t Be Counted Out… Yet

 

After the strike and being without a hint of basketball action since last June, it’s easy to overreact to what we see out of the chute. We were all so starved for so long it’s only natural to read too much into what transpired during the NBA’s first week of the season.
 
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Sunday , Dec , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers to sign Troy Murphy?

Troy Murphy has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s not Chris Paul or Dwight Howard, but Troy Murphy is something.

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers inked stretch-four Troy Murphy to a one-year contract likely for a portion of the mid-level exception or the veteran’s exception.

Murphy was once an effective and useful player, but spent last year toiling on Avery Johnson’s bench in New Jersey before joining the Celtics for a late season push.

Expect Murphy to pressure opposing defences with his range and contribute on the glass as a reserve.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Dec , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Celtics lose Jeff Green for season

A source close to Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green says the 6-foot-8 forward is expected to miss some games early on this season due to an undisclosed health condition that became apparent during his most recent physical.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Boston Celtics have had a mixed off-season.

First, they were unsuccessful in their attempts to send Rajon Rondo to New Orleans for Chris Paul, who has since been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. Rondo is still upset with the Celtics trying to move him.

Second, they couldn’t put the final touches on a sign-and-trade for post David West, so their front line will be anchored by veterans Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal.

Third, Jeff Green is now out with a heart ailment. Green was acquired last year at the trade deadline in a controversial deal for Kendrick Perkins.

The green-and-white’s season immediately went down the toilet after the trade and now they’ll have little to show for dealing their defensive anchor.

Expect Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge to stay active in an attempt to give his aging Big Three a final chance at a championship.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.