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Celtics Set To Workout Six Point Guards, Four Centers
The Boston Celtics will host six point guards and four centers for draft workouts this weekend.
Point guards Shane Larkin of Miami, Phil Pressey of Missouri, Pierre Jackson of Baylor, Peyton Siva of Louisville, Erick Green of Virginia Tech, and Myck Kabongo of Texas are scheduled to attend.
The centers expected to participate are Jeff Withey of Kansas, Steven Adams of Pittsburgh, Colton Iverson of Colorado State, and Greg Echenique of Creighton.
The Celtics have the No. 16 pick in the June 27 draft.
Anthony Bennett Doesn't Want To Be Labeled By Position, Believes He Can Play Inside And Out
Anthony Bennett proved to be a versatile player in his lone season at UNLV.
Bennett possesses a 7-foot-1 wingspan and shot 38 percent from beyond the arc in 35 games for the Runnin’ Rebels.
"I just feel like I’m a basketball player. I don’t really have a position. I can play inside. I can play out," the 6-foot-8 Bennett said. "So whatever a team needs, I think I got it."
Bennett has spent time doing background work on teams that might select him. "I can go anywhere in the top 5. I feel I can play in any of those systems," Bennett said. "I don’t even have to change my game."
Raptors Request Permission To Interview Kevin Pritchard
The Toronto Raptors have requested permission to interview Kevin Pritchard for their general manager opening, according to sources.
The Indiana Pacers do not want to allow interviews until the season ends. They are currently down 1-0 to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
One of the possibilities that the Raptors have identified is teaming Pritchard with Oklahoma City assistant GM Troy Weaver.
Koufos Declines To Play For Greek National Team This Offseason
Kosta Koufos will train with the Denver Nuggets' coaches and trainers this offseason rather than playing for the Greek national team.
Koufos averaged 8.0 points per game and 6.9 rebounds this season.
Greece is playing in the FIBA EuroBasket 2013 tournament in Slovenia.
Grunfeld Believes This Is A Three Player Draft, Won't Rule Out Trade For Wizards
Ernie Grunfeld believes there's talent beyond the top two picks in the upcoming draft.
"Well, I think it’s a three-player draft," Grunfeld said, when told the draft is being described as top heavy, with the top two players being Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore. "But I won’t tell you who that third player is."Grunfeld seemed to suggest the Wizards already have a player in mind."Obviously we've been going through this process already, but the process will continue," he said. "And as I said before, we feel good about the player that’s probably going to be available to us at that spot."Grunfeld wouldn’t rule out the possibility of trading the No. 3 pick."Well, I think everything is on the table," he said. "We feel good about where we are, we think we’ll get a nice player, but you never say never to anything."
Trey Burke is scheduled to work out for the Orlando Magic before the June 27 draft.
Burke has scheduled just one workout thus far.
"I may do three or four (workouts with teams), two or three, I don't know (yet),” Burke said. "Everything's not (totally) scheduled yet still."
Burke doesn’t have a preference for where he could end up.
"Wherever I go, it doesn't matter," he says. "Wherever I go, I'm going to be ready to play right away.
"Try and contribute at a high level."
Luol Deng Doesn't Plan To Have Repair Procedure On Wrist
After playing a second consecutive season with torn ligaments in his left wrist, Luol Deng doesn’t plan to have a procedure to repair the wrist, a league source told RealGM.
Deng made his second straight All-Star team this season for the Chicago Bulls, averaging 16.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and three assists in 75 games. He decided to bypass surgery after last summer’s Olympics and played all season with his wrist taped.
Instead of undergoing surgery, Deng will rest his wrist. He also dealt with a fractured thumb earlier in the season.
Deng led the Bulls to a 3-1 series lead over the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, but he missed the final seven games – including the series win – of Chicago’s playoff run due to lingering symptoms from a spinal tap. He’s since recovered and felt better. The Bulls’ season ended in a Game 5 series loss to the Miami Heat on May 15.
Over the past two seasons, Deng has cemented himself as an integral, durable piece on the Bulls, establishing himself under Tom Thibodeau as one of the NBA’s elite wing defenders.
Carlesimo: Nets' Title Expectations Not Realistic Based On Roster
P.J. Carlesimo had a 35-19 record as interim head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and said that expectations from ownership are not lining up with the level of talent on the roster.
Carlesimo, however, did say that the Nets' head coach opening is one of the best in the NBA since they are a playoff team.
"Having said that, the expectations to win a championship in two years, that’s a heavy load for anybody, not just for Brooklyn. But I don’t know if that’s realistic the way the roster is right now," Carlesimo said Thursday.
"I wouldn’t say that team cannot win a championship, because we thought we could this year if things broke a little better for us. But if that’s on your plate that you need to win a championship in two years, I think that makes it a little challenging."
Mikhail Prokhorov said after buying the Nets in 2010 his goal was to win a championship within five years.
"I also think the expectations are maybe not totally realistic, but you’d rather have that from your owner, and then he’s got the wherewithal to back it up," Carlesimo said. "That’s his goal. We talked about that from day one. He doesn’t make any bones about it. He doesn’t want to have a nice team, he doesn’t want to just sell tickets in Brooklyn and make the team competitive. He wants to win an NBA championship, and as a coach you can’t ask for more that. So if what comes with that is a short leash, well, so be it."
Dumars, Pistons 'Comfortable' With No. 8 Draft Slot
Joe Dumars is “comfortable” with the Detroit Pistons staying in the middle of the draft lottery.
"I'm good with it," Dumars said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday night. "I just talked to Tom Gores about five minutes (ago) and I basically said the same thing ... there are no franchise changers, there's no franchise guy, really, that you're looking at in this particular draft.
"So to be at seven or eight, we're going to get a good player. We'll add another really nice piece to the core we that already have and we'll move forward. So like I said, I'm very, very comfortable with it and OK with it -- totally OK with it."
Dumars said the Pistons are most focused on perimeter players.
"You rate these wing guys and it gets to the point where the ones you rated in the top seven or eight (are off the board), so why not take the best big guy or the best player on the board at that point?" he said. "Our preference is to look at the perimeter with this particular pick. But by no means are we locked into that where that's all we're going to take, no matter what."
Trey Burke Hearing Draft Position Likely Between Two And Six
Trey Burke is beginning to get a feel for where he might fall in the NBA draft.
"I'm hearing anywhere from two to six," Burke said Wednesday. "That's pretty much everything I'm hearing now. It's really a toss up and up in the air. So I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next month or so."
Burke wouldn't mind falling to the Pistons at No. 8.
"Absolutely, that would be great," he said. "To be able to play for the Pistons, right there in Michigan where I've already played for the Michigan Wolverines, that would be wonderful and I would be looking forward to it."
Tony Parker underwent a precautionary MRI on his bruised left calf Thursday, and the San Antonio Spurs' guard received a positive outcome.
Parker said Thursday that his calf contusion is dissipating well.
Parker is averaging 18 points in five games since the injury, alternating two strong shooting performances (9 for 16 and 9 for 14) around three poor ones (6 for 17, 3 for 16, 6 for 20).
The Spurs lead the Memphis Grizzlies, 2-0, in the Western Conference Finals.
Calipari: Cavaliers Should Draft Nerlens Noel With Top Pick
Kentucky coach John Calipari wants the Cleveland Cavaliers to draft Nerlens Noel with the first overall pick in this year's NBA draft.
"My hope is they take Nerlens because they do their research and say, 'We need that shot blocker behind what we have. ... We know he's going to gain 40 pounds. We know the trajectory,'" Calipari said. "They know where he was at the beginning of the year and they know how much he improved because they were here.
"They haven't made mistakes. If they pick him, in all likelihood, history tells you something: It's not a mistake, which means it's good for my kid."
The Cavaliers won the draft lottery on Tuesday.
Dwyane Wade acknowledged before Wednesday's Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers that his left knee injury is more painful than it was last season.
This season's injury is a bone bruise while last year's involved the cartilage, which required surgery in the offseason.
"It’s unfortunate I’ve had to deal with this thing for two months now," Wade said. "When I feel great, I’m going to attack. When I don’t, I know how to be a team player and give of myself for other guys.
"Even though my knee isn’t 100 percent, it ain’t gone.”
Stan Van Gundy: 'It Is Possible' I Don't Coach Ever Again
Stan Van Gundy knows his family has become comfortable living together in Orlando and has made it clear that he will not coach in the NBA next season.
Furthermore, Van Gundy is leaving open the possibility of never coaching in the league ever again.
"It is possible and that scares me," Van Gundy said. "Coaching is all I've ever done and all I know.
"Every year, you're out of it, it gets harder and harder to get back in."
For now, Van Gundy has decided not to pursue head coach openings and has turned down offers.
"We love where we're living and quite honestly it would be hard for us to leave Central Florida," Van Gundy said. "... As much as I would like to be back in coaching, we're all real happy here. I don't know what will happen in the future, but for right now we've decided not to pursue anything."
LeBron, Durant, Duncan, Kobe, Paul On All-NBA First Team
LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul have been named to the All-NBA First Team.
On the Second Team are Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, Marc Gasol, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook.
On the Third Team are David Lee, Paul George, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and James Harden.
Frank Vogel decided to leave Roy Hibbert on the bench in two key defensive plays late in the Indiana Pacers' overtime loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Hibbert is one of the NBA's best rim protectors, but struggles to defend the perimeter. Vogel was concerned that guarding Chris Bosh on the perimeter would negate Hibbert's usefulness at the basket. Nevertheless, the Pacers would surely prefer to be beat on a jumper than a LeBron James' layup.
"I've grown as a player, this is my fifth year and maybe I need to start talking up more," Hibbert told Yahoo! Sports. "They pay me [max-contract money] for a reason.
"I didn't say anything, and I wish I did. From now on, I need to speak up."
Vogel admitted after the game that he will almost certainly not make the same mistake again in the series.
"I would say we'll probably have him in next time," Vogel said.
Landry Wants To Return To Warriors, Hasn't Decided Whether To Opt Out
Carl Landry wants to return to the Golden State Warriors, but doesn't know how he’s going to proceed regarding his player option worth $4 million for next season.
"The Warriors are home whether I opt in or out," Landry said. "Hopefully, I can spend the rest of my career here because this is a very special place. Everything here is what you want: the city, the fans, the front office, the coach, the teammates. You can’t ask for anything more."
Landry called it the hardest decision of his career.
"I mean, this is the best team I’ve ever played for on this level, especially as far as chemistry," Landry said. "And the scary thing is we’ve been together one year."
Levien: Grizzlies Using Analytics To Manage Salary Cap
The Memphis Grizzlies are using advanced analytics to manage the salary cap.
“People talk about analytics in evaluating players, but there’s a lot of analytics around the salary cap,” said Josh Levien, the first-year CEO of the Grizzlies. “How much should we spend for a player at a certain position and what role he’s going to play? So that’s a lot of what we’ve done and are working on, is salary-cap analytics, being thoughtful about how we structure our roster and how we can get the best bang for our buck.”The collective bargaining agreement imposes unprecedented penalties on teams exceeding the cap.
“With the rules set up the way they are, there’s minimal room for error,” Levien said. “You’ve got to be very thoughtful in your approach to how you build your team, how you build a roster, and you’ve got to keep the cap and the tax in mind.”