Elite prep recruit asks LeBron where he should go to college

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Deciding where to go to college is difficult, and you’re smart to ask for advice on the process.

It’s not smart to say you’ll go where a basketball star who never went to college tells you.

But that’s what Chris Walker has done. Walker is the kind of guy you might hear about on this site in a couple years anyway — a 6’10” forward who is athletic and has a face-up game and is considered one of the top 10 players in the nation for the class of 2013 by most recruiting services.

Walker tweeted LeBron James about what to do for college, Brian Windhorst reports for ESPN.

“I’m a top 5 player in the country in class of 2013. Where should I go to college Mr. James?” Walker asked James on Twitter.

“If LeBron hits me back and tells me where he thinks I should go, I’d do it,” Walker told ESPN’s Jason Jordan in an interview this week. “In my opinion, he’s the best player in the league and I really look up to him. Plus, he’s the king. Gotta listen to the king, right?”

When James heard about the request he offered some advice, and a few school suggestions.

“The advice I would give Chris Walker is to follow his heart and go where he believes he can help the program and they can give him a great education,” James told ESPN.com.

“Of course Ohio State and Kentucky are my two favorite programs for many reasons. They have great basketball programs, great coaches, players and are two of the best colleges in America. But with that said, Chris, you will know where you want to go when the time comes. I’m looking forward to seeing you make the decision and take your talents to that program and shine.”

LeBron goes with the “taking your talents” line again, but this time at least it’s better advice.

What Walker should do is see who recruits him and see which of those schools have a style of play and a coach he thinks he likes. Narrow it down to five or so then visit those campuses and see where he feels he most comfortable and at home. It’s about fit, and it needs to be because you have to choose the college that will prepare you best for life after basketball. The number of guys out there who are big time recruits like Walker who never make the NBA are staggering, but the chance to get to get a good college education because you can play can and should alter your life. Don’t squander it.

Trust your own gut to make a good decision.

Gordon Hayward’s agent says return this season unlikely

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Wednesday night in Boston Gordon Hayward underwent surgery to repair his dislocated ankle and fractured tibia suffered just five minutes into the season-opening game, a gruesome injury that put a pall over the rest of the night.

There had been hope from some Celtics fans that Hayward could return this season, likely for the playoffs, but now that the surgery is complete Hayward’s agent told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN not to expect him back until next season.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw the injury. Hayward is in the first year of a four-year deal with the Celtics, they were always going to choose a cautious path rather than rush him back. Under Danny Ainge Boston has always taken the long view, even with all their moves this summer — specifically bringing in Hayward and Kyrie Irving — the target was to be the team set up for next as LeBron James and the Cavaliers faded. That plan does not change now.

Earlier in the day, Hayward had sent a social media message out to Celtics fans thanking them for their support in the past 24 hours.

Without Hayward, the Celtics now will focus more on smaller lineups, rookie Jayson Tatum will get more run, as will Marcus Smart in his contract year. Jaylen Brown will be thrust into a more significant role. Also, Kyrie Irving will be asked to do more as the team’s second-best playmaker is now out for the season.

The Celtics will take a step back this season without Hayward, who was going to be crucial for them on both ends of the floor. That’s evidenced by their 0-2 start, falling to the Cavaliers and Bucks on the first couple nights of the season. Boston should still be a team well above .500 and in the playoffs, but they will not be quite the same this season.

Trail Blazers beat Suns by 48, biggest season-opening rout in NBA history

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Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.

More than fine.

Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.

Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):

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The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.

Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova scrap (video)

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Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.

Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.

Report: ‘Tremendous concern’ for Jeremy Lin’s knee injury

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The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?

Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:

If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.

The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.

It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.