Report: Celtics ‘locked in on’ Aaron Gordon with No. 6 pick

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The Celtics are surely interested in Kevin Love – who just visited Boston – and their fans are dreaming of Carmelo Anthony, too.

If the Celtics pull off another star coup on the scale of adding Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen – or even a smaller one – they’ll probably surrender the No. 6 pick in the process.

But they go the conventional route and keep the selection?

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:

Several league sources believe that Celtics GM Danny Ainge is locked in on Gordon.

That would Aaron Gordon, freshman forward from Arizona.

First of all, any draft rumors could be smokescreens. There’s often incentive to provide incorrect information to other teams.

However, if this intel is at least somewhat correct, I don’t condone this strategy.

[MORE: Multiple lottery picks available in trades … at the right price]

It’s too early in the process to lock into any player – especially Gordon.

Watching Gordon, it’s easy to become infatuated with his talent. He’s an elite athlete with excellent size. He moves so easily around the court, and he’s an impact defender. At just 19, he possesses an extraordinarily high ceiling.

But a closer examination reveals flaws. He can’t shoot. That he made just 42 percent of his free throws suggests he’s not close to developing a jumper. And for such a strong defender, he doesn’t get many steals or block many shots. That could be nothing, or it could be something. It deserves more scrutiny, though.

[MORE: Comprehensive Celtics coverage from CSN New England]

No. 6 is not necessarily too high for Gordon to get drafted, but it’s too high to lock in on him. If the Celtics vet other prospects and still like Gordon, great. But make him earn it first.

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.

 

 

Video of Kawhi Leonard struggling to board team plane concerning

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The San Antonio Spurs have been very tight lipped about how serious Kawhi Leonard‘s ongoing quadriceps issue is. He hasn’t played in the preseason or now the start of the regular season, with no timetable for his return. Part of that is the nature of the Spurs organization, but it leads to the feeling there is something more there.

Now surfaces this video of Leonard gingerly, slowly making his way up some stairs to the team plane, and it’s concerning.

To be fair, there is a real lack of context here, but according to the San Antonio Express-News, he had just come out of a rehab session. That means he might have been especially sore (and could have been iced up for the flight).

Still, this video makes one think it could be a while longer before we see Leonard back on the floor for San Antonio. (By the way over the past three seasons, including this one, the Spurs are 15-4 when Leonard sits. They will be fine short term.)