Doc Rivers pre-game in Golden State

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Doc Rivers pre-game in Golden State

By: Rich Levine
CSNNE.com

OAKLAND The Celtics are ready to kick off the second half of the season against the Warriors, but before they do, Doc Rivers met with the media to discuss injuries, trades and, of course, Carmelo Anthony.

Heres a quick look at what Doc had to say:

On Shaquille ONeal whos rehabbing his injured Achilles down in Florida:

Hes just doing rehab. We have our guy down there with him and hes just working out. Were not (in Boston), and we have our guy down there, so we dont care where hes at, as long as hes doing it.

On when they expect Shaq back:
Im hoping after we get back (to Boston), maybe even join us on the trip. So hes close. Weve had a couple conversations, and hes feeling a lot better; hes working out every day. He looks good. His weights down from when he got injured. So hes doing all the right stuff.

On Delonte West returning to the court:

Hes healthy, as far as his hand but Im sure theres got to be a little fear with his hand. The first day he came back, he hurt it, so you just hope he plays through and isnt tentative. Its something to watch.
On the new look Knicks:

Theyre pretty good. Its a heck of a trade. It was a good trade for both teams. I thought Denver got everything they could possibly get in the deal. And the Knicks did a good job as well. They got Carmelo and Corey Brewer and Chauncey Biillups. So that makes things more interesting.

On the lack of chemistry for the second unit:

Nothing you can do about it. We dont have it together yet. Well figure out how to try and get around that when we eventually do have them together. We need to get them together, though. Were losing time in that way, and thats my biggest concern.

On, if they were to make a trade, how hard it would be to integrate a new player into the second unit:

It wouldnt be that hard because the second unit doesnt have any chemistry. Obviously, Thursday is coming, and well be glad when its come and gone. Were not that involved with a lot of things. But were looking.

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson was named the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations after longtime Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and vice president of basketball ops Jim Buss were fired, the team announced.

"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights [late owner] Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss, Jerry Buss' daughter, Jim Buss' brother and Lakers president and co-owner, said in a statement. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”

Johnson, the Hall of Famer guard who led L.A. to five NBA titles, said in the same statement: “It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family. Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”

Johnson, part of a group that owns MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, returned to the organization as an adviser earlier this month. Johnson coached the Lakers briefly in the 1993-94 season, going 5-11. 

Johnson's new job with the Lakers won't change his role with the Dodgers, according to the L.A. Times.

The current Lakers have the third-worst record in the NBA at 19-39 after finishing with the second-worst mark in the league (17-65) last season. Kupchak was named an assistant GM under Jerry West in 1986 and in 2000 took over for West as GM.