NBA Rumors and News – October 28, 2009

It’s truly time for Baby to grow up

Grizzlies courting Abdul-Jabbar

Rondo won’t sign new deal

It’s truly time for Baby to grow up

Bob Ryan

We started with “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby,’’ and he was, in fact, a promising rookie.

We advanced to “Baby, Baby, All The Time,’’ when, after Kevin Garnett went down, he was a useful starter on a team that came within a game of going to the Eastern Conference finals.

And now, sadly, it’s “Bye Bye, Baby’’ for the foreseeable future, the result of a broken thumb sustained in a strange off-the-court confrontation with what was supposed to be a friendly visitor from the South.

If you’re Doc Rivers, you’re thinking, “Almost a clean getaway.’’ Doc thought he had every base covered. Hah. A coach’s life is never that easy.

Glen Davis is a big part of the Celtics picture, in more ways than one. He was an integral part of a bench unit Doc had hoped would be among the league’s best. His uncategorizable versatility made him a difficult matchup for opponents, because Baby has both a power game and a finesse game flowing out of that 6-foot-8-inch, God-knows-whatever-pound body. He has grasped the team defensive concepts in a way the lovable and rootable Leon Powe never did. He is also one of those guys around whom things just kind of happen. In the entire NBA, there is no one quite like him.

I suppose the timing is good, actually. Better to know right now that a person you thought was going to be important won’t be there than to lose him after you’d gotten used to what he would bring to the table, isn’t it? I think so. The Celtics know precisely where they stand, and what they must do. Anyway, it’s not a career-threatening incident; it’s a setback. Every player has a physical setback, sooner or later.

Grizzlies courting Abdul-Jabbar

Elliott Teaford and Ramona Shelburne

The Memphis Grizzlies asked for and received permission to speak to Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, possibly about a position with the team, a Lakers spokesman said Tuesday.

Abdul-Jabbar attended opening night festivities at Staples Center, but declined to comment.

Abdul-Jabbar, whose role as a special assistant to Lakers coach Phil Jackson has been decreased this season, attended the Grizzlies’ practice Monday. He also had dinner with the Grizzlies’ big men Sunday, according to a report in a Memphis newspaper.

The Grizzlies declined comment when asked by a reporter from the Memphis Commercial-Appeal whether they would hire Abdul-Jabbar or what his role might be.

Abdul-Jabbar, 62, tutored Lakers center

Andrew Bynum for the past few seasons. Bynum said during training camp that he hoped to continue to work with Abdul-Jabbar, but Abdul-Jabbar said their association was scheduled to be lessened.

Memphis has three youthful centers, Marc Gasol (Pau’s younger brother), Hamed Haddadi and first-round draft pick Hasheem Thabeet, who could benefit from Abdul-Jabbar’s knowledge and experience. The four of them dined Sunday in Memphis.

Rondo won’t sign new deal

A meeting between Bill Duffy, the agent for Rajon Rondo, and Celtics GM Danny Ainge apparently netting nothing but major difference in how each side perceives Rondo’s worth. Duffy, according to Yahoo! Sports, wanted Rondo amongst the top 5 highest paid point guards while the Celtics didn’t feel that strongly.

That means unless the two sides suddenly close the gap and reach agreement on deal by Friday, Rondo will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, leaving the guard open to ponder offers from other clubs. The Celtics will have the right to match any offer.

"We’re not going to do an extension right now,” Duffy told Yahoo!. “The conversation has been cordial. We’ve been talking the last couple of weeks. There is a difference between the perception of him in their eyes and our eyes. With that being said, the focus is on Rajon to have a fantastic season and concentrate on winning a championship.”

Chris Paul, at $13.6 million, is the league’s highest paid point guard, Deron Williams $13.5 million), Steve Nash ($13.1 million), Chauncey Billups ($12.1 million) and Baron Davis ($12.1 million) are also on that list.

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