Merloni: Is Napoli health long- or short-term concern?

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Merloni: Is Napoli health long- or short-term concern?

As the Mike Napoli saga drags on, Lou Merloni weighs in on what the Red Sox should do.

Merloni says before the Sox can make a decision, they need to find out if Napoli's injury issues are long-term issues or short-term issues.

If they're long-term issues, Merloni believes the Sox can put in some protective language so if an injury does crop up in the next 2-3 years, they're covered.

But if the injury concerns are in the short term, it might be best for the Sox to walk away now and pursue another option. As it stands now, the Sox do not have a suitable internal candidate to play first base if something were to happen to Napoli.

The Sox do still have some options at first base with Nick Swisher and Adam LaRoche both on the market, but both players would require the Sox to give up a draft pick - something they've been unwilling to do thus far.

Buckley: ‘How can you not rip [Farrell] after this?’

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OFFSEASON

Yabusele expects to be on Celtics summer league roster

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Yabusele expects to be on Celtics summer league roster

ROXBURY, Mass. – The Boston Celtics shocked many on draft night last week when they selected French forward Guerschon Yabusele with the 16th overall pick.

Well here’s another unexpected twist involving Yabusele: He said he plans to be on the Celtics’ summer league team which begins play next week in Salt Lake City.

“My agent is working in France to do something for me, to be able to play in summer league,” Yabusele said.

Like most NBA rookies, Yabusele is eager to get on the floor and get his first taste of NBA basketball this summer.

“That’s a dream come true,” Yabusele said. “When I was young thinking about the NBA all the time. I knew it would happen at some point.”

But the 20-year-old forward isn’t focused on testing the NBA waters and returning to overseas play soon.

“Not just stay three years or four, but stay all my life in the NBA,” he said.

Yabusele made the announcement following the Boston Celtics’ rookies (minus Ante Zizic) all participating in a basketball clinic at the Madison Park Community Center as the Boston Celtics celebrated their 50th Renovation project since 2008.

The news isn’t quite as optimistic for fellow international Celtic Ante Zizic who is not likely to have his contract situation overseas worked out in enough time to join Boston for summer league play in Salt Lake City and afterwards in Las Vegas.

Still, Yabusele getting a shot to play now is huge both for his own personal growth and that of the Celtics to get a better feel for how their first-round pick stacks up against fellow rookies and young teammates like Jordan Mickey.

This past season, Yabusele averaged 11.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 28.7 minutes with Rouen Metropole Basket in the LNB Pro A league in France. He appeared in 34 games and grabbed 10 or more rebounds 11 times while tallying eight double-doubles.