Associated Press

Report: Celtics have had preliminary contact with Andrew Bogut

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Boston heads into next season as the only team in the East with a realistic chance to challenge LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they’ve got some questions to answer this season.

At the top of the list: How good is the defense going to be after losing Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder this offseason? Boston was middle of the pack defensively last year (12th in points allowed per possession) and just lost its two best perimeter defenders. It’s not like the Celtics have a vintage rim protector in back to clean up the mess when guys drive the lane, either.

Andrew Bogut might be able to help there, and the Celtics have had some communication with him according to  Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.

A league source said Boston will not rush to fill the spot, and might even keep it open to maintain flexibility. The Celtics this week have been in contact with representatives of several free agents. According to another league source, that group includes center Andrew Bogut, who considered signing with Boston last February before ultimately agreeing to a deal with the Cavaliers. Bogut broke his leg in his first game with Cleveland, though, and has spent this summer rounding back into form.

Bogut is a good defensive center in the paint. He’s not flying in from the weak side for the block athletic, but he’s a big body always in the right position, and he’s also good at helping quarterback the defense. If he could play 15-18 minutes a night off the bench behind Al Horford (who is a solid defender in the paint), it would be a boost for Boston.

The Celtics have one open roster spot and, as noted by Himmelsbach, they will be patient in filling it. But whoever gets that spot is going to have to bring some defense to the party, the Celtics will need it.

Spurs’ pick Chimezie Metu to miss time with fractured wrist

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Chimezie Metu showed some promise in the Summer League games he played for San Antonio, scoring 12.5 points a game on 55 percent shooting in Las Vegas, and 10.7 per game on 54 percent shooting in Salt Lake City. The second round pick of the Spurs (No. 49 overall) is raw and needs a lot of development, but he can get buckets. The potential is there.

That development is going to be on hold a while, as what was thought to be a sprained wrist has turned out to be a fracture.

From Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

After an examination Saturday, the Spurs medical staff downgraded second-round pick Chimezie Metu’s left wrist injury from a sprain to a fracture, a league source said Saturday.

Metu was injured late in the Spurs’ 95-90 win over Washington on July 8 at the Las Vegas Summer League, when he landed awkwardly after leaping to catch a lob pass at the rim. The 6-foot-10 big man finished the game but was sidelined for the remainder of the schedule.

After undergoing X-rays at the Thomas & Mack Center, Metu was diagnosed with a sprain. But Spurs’ team doctors suspected a possible fracture, which was confirmed after Metu returned to San Antonio on Saturday.

Metu should be good to go by training camp. Metu is hoping his summer and training camp play will earn him a roster spot, although the Spurs tend not to sign second-round picks the year they were drafted (they tend to let them spend a year or two in the G-League or in Europe). A lot of his chances on making the roster depend on any other moves the Spurs make this summer and what their roster looks like come the fall.

French NBA stars (and others) react to France World Cup win

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For the second time in it’s history, France is the World Cup champion.

Celebrations erupted all over France, and in French enclaves around the world — and the celebrations spilled over to social media. NBA players from France were posting their joy, as you’d expect.

Other NBA players, international and domestic, also were in on the party.

Even some NBA teams got in on the online congratulations party.

Watch best of Wendell Carter Jr. at Summer League

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I will own my mistake: Coming into the NBA Draft I was not high on Wendell Carter Jr., particularly how well he would defend at the NBA level.

I missed on that one — he has impressed me and everyone else in Las Vegas at Summer League. While nobody should ever read too much into Summer League perormances, he has shown potential on both ends of the court. Check out his highlights above

His offensive game is everything that was advertised — versatile and polished. He has nailed turnarounds in the post, can score with either hand, has a jump shot with real range, and he is a smart and willing passer. Defensively he has been physical, works hard and uses his athleticism to be dispruptive.

We will see how he fares against NBA-level competition (and how he pairs with Jabari Parker and the rest of the Bulls frontcourt), but the work ethic and tools are there. The Bulls may have something in Carter Jr.

Stephen Curry nailing putts, doing shimmy at American Century Championship

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If there’s one thing Stephen Curry loves as much as draining a 28-foot three over the outstretched arms of a defender, it’s golf. Curry is a golf fanatic.

Which is why he never misses — and always has fun at — the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. And when he makes a putt, he will do a little shimmy, as you can see above.

Curry is currently tied for 19th in the tournament. The highest NBA player on the leaderboard is retired sharpshooter Ray Allen at seventh, and on top of the leaderboard heading into the final day is San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski.

You can watch the final round live on NBC at 3 ET Sunday.

Here’s Curry and his father Dell talking a little golf and family.

And here is Curry talking a little golf before the tournament.