Rajon Rondo

Boston assigns Rajon Rondo to D-League but just for workout

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There had been talk that the Boston Celtics would send Rajon Rondo to their D-League affiliate for a tune-up game, but that’s not what is happening here.

Rondo is just traveling a long way for a workout.

Boston officially assigned Rondo to the D-League’s Maine Red Claws on Wednesday but that is not likely to delay his expected return to the Celtics lineup Friday night against the Lakers, reports CSNNE.com.

The four-time All-Star will participate in a workout today with the Red Claws and will be called back up in plenty of time to make what’s expected to be his regular season debut against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

“Rajon is progressing terrifically in his rehab and this is the next step,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “This is a brief assignment so that Rajon can participate in a workout this afternoon with the Red Claws and he will be called back up to the Celtics upon the conclusion of the workout.”

Schedules don’t allow NBA teams to practice much — Boston hosts the Raptors Wednesday night and likely will not have a full practice before Friday’s game. There is more practice in the D-League so Rondo will get some run there.

Boston has lost nine in a row heading into Wednesday night and the return of Rajon Rondo may stop the short-term bleeding but likely will not alter the direction this Celtics season is heading — which is into the lottery in the year of a deep draft.

PBT Extra bold prediction: Is this Andrew Wiggins’ breakout season?

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Minnesota is going to be entertaining to watch this season. A healthy Ricky Rubio (hopefully) dishing at the point, Karl-Anthony Towns is already a high-IQ passer, and bench players such as Shabazz Muhammad and Adreian Payne have shown some skills.

Then there’s Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year developed quickly last season — particularly his jump shot — and he should make a big leap this season. He’s going to dunk on people and end up in a lot of highlight packages while putting up a lot of points.

Enough to set the Minnesota Timberwolves single game scoring record, currently held at 52 by Mo Williams? That’s the question for this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.

Derrick Rose being back for start of season in question

Fred Hoiberg, Derrick Rose
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The Bulls have said Derrick Rose is about a week away from returning after suffering a facial fracture this preseason.

The start of the NBA season is two weeks from today (Oct. 27).

So Rose will be ready to go when the Bulls start their season that first night against Cleveland, right? Don’t bet on it, says Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com, quoting coach Fred Hoiberg.

The opening night projection for a Derrick Rose return is a bit murky at this point, as the Bulls are taking a cautious approach to his recovery with Fred Hoiberg essentially ruling him out for the rest of the preseason.

“Most likely (out for the preseason),” Hoiberg said….

In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rose sit out the first handful of games, as the Bulls start the season with a three-game in four-night stretch starting Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is in two weeks.

“That will be in consideration, sure,” Hoiberg said. “We gotta make sure, he really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks, chances, where it could be a lingering issue.”

Just what TNT and the NBA hoped for with an opening night Bulls vs. Cavaliers showcase: Kirk Hinrich vs. Mo Williams. (Don’t forget Kyrie Irving will miss the start of the season recovering from his knee surgery.)

Of course, this is the smart play for the Bulls who need to be thinking about getting Rose fully healthy and focusing on what condition he will be come April 27, not Oct. 27.

And of course, a lot of Bulls fans who are down on Rose will slam him for this. Even though the injury was a freak accident and the team is right to be patient.

Rose could play opening night, if he gets back to practice next week and can get closer to basketball shape. But I wouldn’t bet on it.