Ainge: Injuries may alter short-term plan

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Ainge: Injuries may alter short-term plan

BOSTON Danny Ainge was already searching high and wide for ways to bolster the Boston Celtics' roster.

Now with Jared Sullinger out for the season following back surgery, it's basically a matter of what type of deal he's able to pull off prior to the Feb. 21 trading deadline.

The Celtics have been sifting through the list of players they suspect might be available to trade for as well as players still without a team.

Although the best player available mentality is still in play, the focus now has to shift almost exclusively towards adding a big man.

"It (Sullinger's injury) might have some affect on what we do now," admitted Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations. "But it's not going to have an affect on what we do long term."

In other words, teams looking to give up talent attached with a toxic (read: long and bloated) contract are not realistic options under consideration by the Celtics.

Instead, look for the C's to focus their sights on players with expiring deals, or contracts with a decreasing value attached to them after this season.

Ainge wouldn't rule out adding a player or two that's currently a free agent as well.

One free agent option that remains available is Kenyon Martin. However, league sources indicated on Friday that the C's have not expressed any interest in adding the former all-star recently and even with Sullinger's injury, it appears that's not going to change.

And while Ainge's focus remains on doing what he can to bolster the Celtics roster, he remains confident that the C's have enough to continue winning games.

Despite the injuries to Sullinger and Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL), the C's have won three in a row.

"I'm not ready to cave in yet? You kidding?" Ainge said. "It's going to take more than that. We'll just have to win in a different way. Jared's our best rebounder. We don't have to play that way. We're going to have to win in a different way without Jared and without Rajon. We'll see what we have."

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”