Jabari Bird

Celtics Notes: Pagliuca, Hayward, Bird, Ojeleye

Celtics managing partner Steve Pagliuca promises the team is ready to become a taxpayer again if that’s what it takes to win a title, relays Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Pagliuca says it’s not a guarantee that the franchise will cross the tax threshold next summer when Isaiah Thomas enters free agency, but vows that potential tax penalties won’t affect the decision on Thomas.

Pagliuca adds that cap management is becoming important again after last summer’s spending spree, which factored into the decision to trade Avery Bradley to the Pistons to make room for Gordon Hayward. “There was a time when teams had lots of cap space with the increase in revenues,” Pagliuca said. “Now we’re entering a period where cap management becomes imperative. Now we’re going back to the future, where people had to work hard for cap space.”

There’s more news out of Boston:

  • Hayward is denying reports that the controversial delay regarding his choice of the Celtics was related to his article for The Players’ Tribune, writes D.J. Bean of CSNNE. Hayward explained that he was on the phone with his agent, Mark Bartelstein, when the story broke that he was coming to Boston. “At that point in time we decided, look, we have to step away from this,” Hayward said. “I was pretty upset that that had happened. I didn’t feel like I was ready to say, ‘Yes, I want to be a Boston Celtic,’ so I had to take a step back and regroup and I think we talked about it more and more, then finally we put out the article, but I know there was a lot of reports with people saying we were finishing up the article for the Tribune, which is just completely false.”
  • Jabari Bird‘s play during summer league has made him a candidate to receive one of Boston’s two-way contracts, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. A 6’6″ shooting guard out of California, Bird was the 56th selection in this year’s draft. He has been given a larger role with some of the Celtics’ top players sidelined and has responded by averaging 13.7 points and shooting 19-of-27 in his last three games.
  • The versatility shown by second-rounder Semi Ojeleye could give him a role in Boston this season, Himmelsbach adds in the same piece. A 6’7″ forward out of SMU, Ojeleye shot 40% from 3-point range in Las Vegas and earned praise for his defense from coach Brad Stevens.

Pre-Draft Workouts: Hart, Smith Jr., Kennard, Adebayo

It’s that time of the summer, days until the NBA draft, when your favorite team is doing its due diligence and working out every prospect and his brother. Here is the latest in pre-draft workout news:

Draft Notes: Josh Jackson, Fultz, Smith Jr., Heat

Kansas forward Josh Jackson paid a visit to Kings today, but didn’t go through a workout, tweets Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Jackson is expected to be one of the first players selected next week and probably won’t be around for Sacramento’s pick at No. 5. There have been rumors that the Kings would like to move up, but a report today said they aren’t willing to give the Sixers the fifth and 10th picks to get No. 3.

There’s more from a full day of draft workouts:

Pacific Notes: Fox, Kings, Suns, Lakers, Warriors

The Kings may be willing to trade both their No. 5 and No. 10 picks to move up in the draft so that they can move up to select De’Aaron Fox, according to Chad Ford of ESPN (link via Sporting News’ Joe Rodgers). Sacramento has apparently become infatuated with Fox and does not believe that he will be available at No. 5, prompting internal discussions about the possibility of trading up.

Here is more from the Pacific division:

  • On Wednesday, the Kings will host their fifth pre-draft workout, per the team’s official website. Attendees will be Donovan Mitchell (Louisville), Dominique Hawkins (Kentucky), Caleb Swanigan (Purdue), Cameron Oliver (Nevada), Erik McCree (Louisiana Tech), and Jabari Bird (California).
  • Beyond bringing back the Warriors‘ core, “every non-core player might end up elsewhere if the price is too high,” writes Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News. As Kawakami states, the Dubs have shown in the past “they can be fairly cut-throat in evaluating the middle-to-bottom of their roster.” The Kawakami piece also includes +/- statistics for the Warriors and Cavaliers this postseason, this year’s NBA Finals, and the Finals from a year ago.
  • Malik Monk worked out for the Suns on Tuesday, per the team’s official Twitter account.
  • Yoan Granvorka will work out for the Suns on Wednesday, according to Sportando (link via Twitter).
  • The Lakers worked out point guard Jawun Evans and are considering him at No. 28, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com reports (link via Twitter). Howard-Cooper adds that Evans is “getting interest in the 20s, including from the Blazers with two in that range.”

Central Notes: Pistons, Valentine, Bucks, Pacers

Having remained at No. 12 after Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery, the Pistons are scouting a wide range of prospects and won’t necessarily target a player at a position of need next month, per GM Jeff Bower (link via Rod Beard of The Detroit News). As Bower explained, a player’s value and long-term potential may make him the best pick for Detroit, even if he doesn’t immediately fit into the team’s rotation.

Our list of draft picks by team shows that the Pistons’ 12th overall selection is currently their only pick in this year’s draft. That could make it difficult for the club to bring in second-round prospects for workouts, but Bower remains hopeful that those players will be willing to audition for the team, recognizing that they could be undrafted free agents, or that the Pistons could acquire a second-round pick.

“Some guys aren’t going to want to come in and work out if they don’t see a vehicle at the end of it,” said the Pistons’ GM. “The reality of it is we are looking for guys where we don’t have a second-round pick now — we could (via a trade) — but those possibilities change, so you want to try to be prepared. … Our relationships with agents are strong. They like our program and like their guys to have the exposure to us.”

Here’s more from around the Central division:

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