According to sources around the NBA, Celtics executive Danny Ainge is still looking to make a major trade to improve the team’s roster, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald relays. Ainge understands that more talent needs to be acquired in order for Boston to become a contender, and with the early chatter calling the 2017 NBA draft one of the deepest and most talent-laden in many years, it will only serve to increase the value of the Nets’ first-rounder, which the Celtics have the right to swap for their own pick next June, Bulpett adds.
Boston’s roster doesn’t blend well, which is a by-product of drafting for talent rather than need, the scribe adds. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich faced a similar situation in 2011, which led to the team dealing George Hill in exchange for the rights to Kawhi Leonard, Bulpett notes. “We’d be exaggerating if we said we knew what he [Leonard] was going to be,” said Popovich. “Kind of like Manu Ginobili. We didn’t know Manu was going to be Manu or Tony Parker, Tony. It just worked out for us. But we needed size when we made that trade, because it didn’t make sense to have Tony, George Hill and Manu Ginobili out there. It’s just too small. So we were looking for size. George Hill was one of my favorite players all-time. We’re still involved together in some charity stuff, off-court activities, so it was real difficult. But Kawhi had such size, and we thought he had the foot speed to move from an inside player to the 3 position, so we decided to roll the bones.”
Here’s more from the East:
- Pistons guard Reggie Jackson, who hasn’t played since receiving plasma injection therapy to treat tendinitis on his left knee October 10th, has been cleared to participate in full contact drills and practices, Rod Beard of The Detroit News relays. Jackson’s exact return date is still undecided, Beard adds. “I’ve seen him for a couple weeks; he looks fine playing,” coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said regarding the player. “Obviously, stamina is going to be an issue; I don’t think he can play 33 minutes a game right now. Whenever they tell me he’s ready to go and he tells me he’s ready to go in his mind, then he’ll go.”
- Bucks big man John Henson recently regained his spot in the team’s starting lineup, but the player noted that coach Jason Kidd‘s decision to have him come off the bench didn’t affect his attitude, John Raoux of The Associated Press writes. “It’s a long season with too many opportunities to get stressed about it,” Henson said. “[Kidd] said all the roles are open and you’ve got to be ready for whatever comes at you. Hopefully, I can keep this going.”
- The Heat are still struggling to recover from the loss of Dwyane Wade via free agency this past summer and are likely headed to the 2017 Draft lottery as a result, Marc D’Amico of NBA.com writes.