Celtics continue to shop around for a backup SF

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Celtics continue to shop around for a backup SF

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

SAN FRANCISCO - The Boston Celtics are still gathering information on the best course of action in treating Marquis Daniels and his bruised spinal cord injury.

As much as the C's would love to have him back this season, the chances of that happening becomes more slim with each passing day.

"There is a chance that he will miss the season and may need surgery to resume his playing career," Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com Wednesday night. "We're still gathering information, but that's where we're at."

That's why the Celtics have been working the phones so diligently in search of a backup small forward to replace Daniels in the rotation.

When he suffered the injury a couple weeks ago against Orlando, the initial prognosis was that he would return to action in a month or two.

While Daniels has shown improvement, the C's want to do all they can to make sure they are as informed as possible as to the best ways to treat him, with the goal being to ensure, as best they can, that he doesn't suffer a similar injury in the future.

Daniels' status has in a sense, made the days leading up to Thursday's 3 p.m. EST trading deadline pretty cut and dry for the Celtics.

They need a backup small forward.

End of discussion.

Ainge acknowledged as much on Wednesday, adding that he has had talks with a number of teams.

"Right now, we're just kind of waiting, listening to what other teams have to say, fielding calls and just kind of going from there," Ainge said.

Several names have been linked with the Celtics as possible players they would pursue.

Ainge wouldn't get into specifics, but it's clear he has a list of players that he feels comfortable with bringing on as Celtics.

"We don't have a lot of assets to trade," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "So whoever we get, it'll be a good player who can help us, but it's not going to be a great, superstar player or anything like that."

Some of the more talked-about names include Cleveland's Anthony Parker, Los Angeles Clippers forward Rasual Butler and Indiana's Dahntay Jones. The Celtics are also hopeful that if a trade doesn't work out, they might be able to add a player who receives a buyout. Two of the more talked-about options along those lines are Detroit's Richard Hamilton and Troy Murphy, who was recently traded from New Jersey to Golden State. The Warriors are expected to buy Murphy out.

The C's suffered yet another blow to one of their big men when an MRI taken Wednesday morning revealed that he had a strained MCL in his left knee. Ainge said Perkins would not play in the remaining three games on Boston's West coast trip.

"But he should be good to go right after the team gets back," Ainge said.

Perkins' injury, Ainge said, has no impact on how he and the C's will proceed with trade talks.

"No, Perk's going to be fine," Ainge said. "He's only going to be out for like a week, so it's not like we have to do anything drastic. We just have to find a way to get through the two or three games, that's all. At some point, we're going to get most or all of our bigs healthy."

If the C's don't make a trade or add a player via buy-out, Ainge is still confident that the Celtics will be among the last teams standing when all is said and done.

Right now, Delonte West and Von Wafer will be counted on to fill that backup small forward position.

"Delonte played great defense against Golden State on Tuesday," Ainge said. "And Von Wafer has really been coming on for us lately. He can play some 3 small forward as well."

Ainge reiterated that the C's will not make a deal simply for the sake of hogging up a line on the transactions wire.

"I want to only do good deals," quipped Ainge. "We won't do a deal out of panic. That's not going to happen. There's a lot of good NBA players. We'll be OK."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Ainge: Isaiah Thomas visiting hip specialists, no decision yet on surgery

Ainge: Isaiah Thomas visiting hip specialists, no decision yet on surgery

BOSTON – The last 2 1/2 games for the Celtics have come without Isaiah Thomas (right hip) and it has certainly been a factor in Boston trailing Cleveland 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals heading into tonight’s must-win for the Celtics to keep their season alive.
 
There have been rumors that if the series with Cleveland were closer, maybe that would lead to a return to the floor for Thomas.
 
“No. No way. He’s done [this season],” Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations, said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s "Toucher & Rich" show this morning.
 
Ainge said there’s still swelling in the hip, and it probably won’t go down enough for doctors to make a determination whether surgery is needed for another couple weeks.

Thomas was in New York City earlier this week visiting a hip specialist. He's expected to consult with at least two more before making a decision as to what's the best course of treatment.
 
“Everybody agrees if there’s anything that needs to be done to it surgically, it helps...if the inflammation goes down,” Ainge said. “The recovery [time] would be quicker.”
 
The injury initially occurred on March 15 against Minnesota.
 
Ainge said he didn’t become too concerned about it until after Thomas re-aggravated it in Game 6 of the second-round series against Washington and was questionable to play in Game 7.
 
“I was worried going into the Cleveland series that he was nowhere near himself in Game 1 or 2,” Ainge said. “And Game 2 in the second quarter it was clear he was in a lot of pain. No way we could go out and allow him to play the second half.”
 
Boston was blown out 130-86 in Game 2. In the first half, Thomas had two points and six assists, while missing all six of his shots from the field.
 
Ainge said there was “a lot” of irritation and inflammation around the affected joint in Thomas' right hip.
 
“It had gotten worse from the MRIs he had before,” said Ainge, who added that it would have been “irresponsible to allow him to play anymore.”
 

Danny Ainge says Lonzo Ball has declined pre-draft workout with Celtics

Danny Ainge says Lonzo Ball has declined pre-draft workout with Celtics

BOSTON -- Like most NBA executives, Danny Ainge loves to get as much intel on players before picking them as he can.  
 
And with the No. 1 overall pick, Ainge knows he has to do all he can to absolutely get this one right.
 
That’s why any thoughts he had of drafting Lonzo Ball are likely out the window after the talented UCLA guard refused to work out for the Celtics.
 
“We tried to get him in for a workout and he politely said no,” Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show.
 
Lonzo Ball’s desire (or his dad Lavar Ball’s desire; hard to say who in the Ball camp wants him in L.A. the most) to play for the Los Angeles Lakers is one of the worst-kept secrets leading up to next month’s NBA draft.
 
And with the Lakers holding the No. 2 pick in the draft, turning down the Celtics only increases the likelihood of  Boston passing on him and instead drafting University of Washington star Markelle Fultz.
 
“It’s not ideal,” Ainge said of Ball's decision to decline working out for Boston. “Listen, we’ve drafted guys that wouldn’t come in for workouts before. It’s not the end of the world. We’ve watched them play a ton. We have a lot of information on them. Sometimes players don’t want to come in, not because they don’t like you, they see our roster. They think they would prefer to go to another team.”
 
The Celtics, like most teams, have been mum publicly as to who they would take in the draft. But all indications at this point in the process are pointing towards them selecting Fultz with the top overall selection.
 
And the fact that Ball, the projected number two pick even before the draft lottery order was established, refuses to work out for Boston will only increase the likelihood that Fultz will be a Celtic and Ball and his camp will get their wish which has always been to don a Los Angeles Lakers jersey.