|Report: Buddy Hield puts on a shooting clinic for Celtics in California, makes 85 of 100 3-pointers||06.13.16 at 4:21 pm ET|
Last week, Kentucky freshman and NBA draft hopeful Jamal Murray hit 79 out of 100 3-pointers during a shooting drill with Celtics coaches that was called an unofficial record for a potential draftee.
Turns out Buddy Hield’s competitiveness extends to workouts, because he reportedly one-upped Murray on Monday. According to ESPN draft insider Jeff Goodman, Hield shot 85-for-100 on 3’s in front of the Celtics brass during a workout in California.
Hield, an Oklahoma senior, is considered one of the best pure shooters in the draft, and he apparently showed it on Monday.
The Celtics hold the No. 3 pick in the draft and could consider either gunner in that spot. Murray is already on record that he considers himself the best player in the draft. For more on the decision between Murray and Hield, check out this recent edition of Celtics Choice.
And for more on draft rumors, be sure to follow our Green Street Celtics blog.
Jamal Murray hit 79 of 100 3’s in Boston last week. Buddy Hield, per source, hit 85 of 100 in front of Celtics brass today in California.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 13, 2016
|Report: Sixers prefer to trade Jahlil Okafor over Nerlens Noel||06.13.16 at 4:02 pm ET|
With the NBA draft 10 days away, the rumor mill continues to churn, with the latest report suggesting the Philadelphia 76ers have decided which big man they’d like to deal away — Jahlil Okafor.
According to Philly.com, the Sixers would rather deal Okafor than fellow youngster Nerlens Noel, because they feel they can get a better return for Okafor, who last year became their first rookie since Allen Iverson to lead the team in scoring.
Okafor is recovering from knee surgery and told a Duke podcast that he hopes to return to the court shortly.
The Sixers are expected to take LSU’s Ben Simmons with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, adding another big man to a crowded young frontcourt. The Sixers chose Okafor No. 3 overall last year, and they acquired the rights to Noel after the Pelicans selected the Malden native with the sixth overall pick in 2013.
The Celtics were linked to Okafor at the trade deadline, but there are concerns over his fit in Boston, since he’s not a great rim protector and generally plays with his back to the basket. He averaged 17.5 points a game last year.
|Celtics reportedly ‘trying to be as aggressive as possible’ in trading No. 3 overall pick||06.13.16 at 9:51 am ET|
The NBA draft is left than two weeks away and the rumors have already began.
According to CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely, the Celtics are trying to deal the No. 3 overall pick.
Appearing on Comcast’s Sports Sunday show on Sunday night, Blakely said (via Celtics Blog): “I’m hearing that number 3 pick overall is the one that they are really shopping, trying to be as aggressive as possible in trying to move that pick because they want to get a difference making impact player right now and they believe using that number 3 pick and maybe some other players and or picks might be the best way to make that happen.”
It is anyone’s guess as to who the potential impact player would be, but certainly this won’t be the last rumor between now and the draft.
For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.
|Report: Celtics to work out Croatian draft prospect Dragan Bender||06.07.16 at 12:33 pm ET|
According to a published report, the Celtics have scheduled a workout with Croatian big man Dragan Bender, whom they could potentially select with the third overall pick.
Bleacher Report’s David Pick reports via twitter that Bender will visit the Celtics, Suns, and Timberwolves in the U.S.
The Celtics have already scouted Bender in Israel, where he’s playing professionally. Team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said watching him in a practice environment and playing one-on-one against his younger brother, Ivan, a Maryland recruit, provided a better look at his skills.
“We had a 1-on-none and a 1-on-1 type of workout with his brother,” Ainge told reporters. “Actually, [Ivan] will be playing at Maryland next year. He’s a 6-10 kid. And then we watched [Dragan] in a full-team practice, which we actually thought was better than a game because we’d seen all his games. We’d seen him play in person in games and, because he’s not playing a major role as an 18-year-old in a tough Israeli league, we were able to watch him practice. And we thought that was more beneficial than what we’d seen in games.”
The 7-foot-1 center is considered a project because of his age and experience, but he’s also one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft, thanks to his shooting ability and athleticism. While there had been rumors of the Lakers’ interest at No. 2, which would’ve upended the draft, Pick recently reported that L.A. will stick with Duke’s Brandon Ingram at No. 2.
Source: Dragan Bender has NBA workouts scheduled in US with Celtics, Suns, Twolves.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) June 6, 2016
|Butch Stearns on D&C: Kevin Durant’s representatives have let Celtics know which players he wants prospective teams to acquire||05.31.16 at 11:16 am ET|
D&C guest hosts discuss Kevin Durant
With Kevin Durant’s season ending Monday night courtesy of the defending champion Warriors’ Game 7 win over the Thunder in the Western Conference finals, the speculation about Durant’s future is set to take off.
There have been rumors that the Celtics will make a push at the pending free agent. If Boston is to land Durant, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge might have to start by looking into acquiring some auxiliary pieces first.
According to Butch Stearns, during an appearance as a guest host on WEEI Monday morning, Durant’s people have informed the C’s who those additional players are.
“I have this on pretty good authority: The Celtics have sat with his agent and other representatives of Durant. The Celtics do know — I don’t know who it is — but they do know who he would prefer to be brought here in a LeBron [James]-Chris Bosh-Dwyane Wade-like way. Because that’s how it works in the NBA. You need to know who the guy or guys that that guy wants, which would be a factor,” Stearns said.
“Now, I don’t know if Durant’s told them that. But the Celtics know. They know. They’ve been told what group of guys he would want to come here.”
Considering Durant could make more money with Oklahoma City — around $30 million per season — than anywhere else, he would need more incentive to leave. Perhaps an easier path to the NBA Finals would be one such appeal.
Said Stearns: “Why would he come here? If I were him? Because I don’t have to deal with the West anymore. I only have to beat LeBron [and the Cavaliers].”
|Celtics choice: Jahlil Okafor vs. Dragan Bender||05.19.16 at 6:17 pm ET|
As the days pass by leading up to this year’s NBA Draft, we want to encourage the debate regarding what the Celtics should do with the No. 3 overall pick. In that spirit, we present, “Celtics choice”
Today: Trading for Jahlil Okafor, using the No. 3 pick as the primary chip, or drafting Dragan Bender.
The case for Okafor
As the No. 3 overall pick a year ago, the Sixers forward established himself as a legitimate, top-notch NBA big man. At just 20 years old, Okafor was named to the NBA All-Rookie team, having averaged 17.5 points and seven rebounds while playing 30 minutes per contest. He’s the legitimate, go-to, 7-footer the Celtics crave.
The case against Okafor
Google “Okafor, trouble” and you’ll get a flurry of posts using words like “off-court incident.” He also isn’t the kind of rebounder the Celtics might want from their presence in the paint.
|Report: Lakers to explore trading No. 2 pick, which could hamper Celtics efforts to deal 3rd pick||05.19.16 at 1:43 pm ET|
According to a story on Bleacher Report, the Lakers will seriously entertain offers for the No. 2 pick in the draft, which is widely expected to be Duke shooter Brandon Ingram. Such a move could seriously impact the Celtics.
If Los Angeles deals the No. 2 pick, that would make the Celtics’ third pick that much less valuable. If the 76ers select LSU’s Ben Simmons first overall, as expected, the Lakers hold the ticket for Ingram. The talent drop-off is considered steep after those two and the Celtics own first crack at the best of the rest.
Still, if a club is willing to listen on a player like Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Indiana’s Paul George, or Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor, the second pick will be a lot more enticing than the third.
The Lakers, according to the report, are willing to listen on the pick because they want to improve sooner rather than later, particularly with the 76ers holding their first-round pick next year if it falls outside the top three.
From the story:
Still, the Lakers will actively explore trading the pick. They want to get better as soon as possible—in part to make sure Philadelphia doesn’t get too good of a pick next year when the Lakers’ first-rounder conveys to the 76ers if it’s outside the top three. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is also seeking a better blend of youth and experience on the roster.
But it’s an open question if the Lakers can find a star another club is willing to send away. Trading away the likes of Paul George or Jimmy Butler would be hard-to-explain steps back for the Pacers or Bulls. And with George Karl gone and a new arena to open, the Kings aren’t likely to move DeMarcus Cousins.
It’s also valid to wonder why the Lakers would want to give up young assets they have under cost-controlled contracts that would fit perfectly with massive incoming free-agent deals.
So while nothing is definite with any of these picks, it’s worth noting that the Celtics may soon have some competition on the trade front.
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