Celtics trade rumors suggest Danilo Gallinari was a backup plan to a mega deal

Posted by    |    February 23rd, 2017 at 3:18 pm

But that made little sense for the Celtics or Nuggets.

The Boston Celtics fell short of acquiring Jimmy Butler or Paul George ahead of the 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline. On Thursday’s SportsCenter with Cari Champion, ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst said that one possible Celtics plan B was to trade for Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari.

They also fell short of that deal, and it’s easy to understand why.

Gallinari has been an integral piece to a Denver Nuggets team currently holding the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. He is averaging 17.2 points per game on 38 percent three-point shooting. The Nuggets clearly didn’t have an interest in parting ways with their second-leading scorer.

Boston’s discussions with the Chicago Bulls came to a halt when the Bulls required Jae Crowder in any deal involving Butler. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was reportedly unwilling to part ways with his versatile forward.

The Celtics’ other tradeable assets include swap rights with the Brooklyn Nets’ 2017 first-round pick, the Nets’ 2018 pick outright, and the Memphis Grizzlies’ 2019 first-rounder, as well as a bevy of young, talented players in Marcus Smart, rookie Jaylen Brown, Avery Bradley, and Terry Rozier.

Boston could have also offered two expiring contracts in Amir Johnson and Tyler Zeller.

But trading Gallinari didn’t make sense for the Nuggets

Denver’s already made one splash this season, sending reserve big man Jusuf Nurkic to Portland in exchange for a rim-running center in Mason Plumlee. That deal seemingly solidified the Nuggets’ standing as the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Trading Gallinari would have undid the chemistry and success the team has built this season.

Gallo is a capable perimeter scorer and is shooting the second-best field goal percentage (.432) of his eight-year career. Moving him would have reopened the door for the West’s bottom half to challenge for the eighth seed.

Trading for Gallinari didn’t make much sense for the Celtics, either

Moving a core piece for a superstar, a la Jimmy Butler or Paul George, makes sense for a team with championship aspirations. Star power wins championships in this league, and the Celtics have the movable pieces to acquire another All-Star talent to pair with Isaiah Thomas.

But Gallinari isn’t an All-Star, let alone a superstar. He can space the floor if Brad Stevens puts him at the power forward slot, but Denver’s asking price was too steep. And if the Celtics were unwilling to part ways with Crowder for an All-Star in Butler, they were even stingier for a player with fewer accolades.

Gallinari also has a 15 percent trade kicker on his contract currently scheduled to pay $16.1 million next season. He can exercise his player option to opt-out of the 2017-18 season and enter free agency a season early.

Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon, Chase Elliott among NASCAR drivers in ‘Cars 3’

Posted by    |    February 23rd, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Twelve NASCAR drivers and personalities will voice characters in the upcoming film.

Richard Petty’s owns a NASCAR record 200 wins and his seven championships is a record he shares with Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jimmie Johnson. But according to Petty, it’s his voice work in the original Cars film that many young kids most identified him with.

Petty will have a chance to reconnect with another generation when he reprise his role as “The King” in the upcoming Cars 3 scheduled to open June 16. Jeff Gordon, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney, Darrell Wallace Jr., Kyle Petty, Ray Evernham, Darrell Waltrip, Mike Joy, Humpy Wheeler and Shannon Spake are the other NASCAR drivers and personalities voicing characters in the Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures summer flick.

Current drivers Blaney, Elliott, Suarez and Wallace, who were all kids when the original Cars opened in 2006, will play up-and-coming drivers in the latest installment. Blaney’s character is “Ryan Inside Laney;” Elliott’s character is “Chase Racelott;” Suarez’s character is “Danny Swervez;” and Wallace’s character is “Bubba Wheelhouse.”

In addition to Petty, retired NASCAR championship drivers Gordon and Waltrip, along with track promoter Wheeler and television broadcaster Joy have appeared in previous Cars films.

“I just can’t tell you how excited I was when I got the opportunity to work with Pixar for the Cars 3 movie,” Suarez said. “I’m a huge fan of (Lightning) McQueeen. My bedroom in Mexico in my mom’s home, I have a ton of little cars of McQueen, I have a pillow of McQueen. I’m a huge fan.”