Notes: Erden out, Bradley returns

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Notes: Erden out, Bradley returns

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Avery Bradley, sporting scruffy facial hair and a mini-afro, is back with the Boston Celtics.

It's good to have a day free of talking about injuries involving the Boston Celtics . . . oh wait . . . not another one!

Prior to Monday night's game against the Bobcats, the Celtics announced that center Semih Erden is the latest player to be shelved with an injury.

The 7-foot rookie, who has started seven games this season, has a right adductor strain.

Erden, who has been hampered by groin issues all season, has an injury similar to one that forced Shaquille O'Neal to miss some action earlier this season.

Speaking of O'Neal, he, too, was out Mionday night's game. Rivers is contemplating having O'Neal sit out until after the All-Star break.

Without Erden and O'Neal -- not to mention Jermaine O'Neal, who recently had surgery on his left knee and will be out until sometime in late March or early April -- the C's are becoming increasingly thin in the frontcourt.

That means the C's will lean heavily on starters Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and key sub Glen Davis, to contribute on the boards.

Boston's depth took another blow Sunday afternoon when Marquis Daniels suffered a bruised spinal cord injury that will sideline him for 1-2 months.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, said the plan now is to allow Daniels to simply rest his body.

"We'll have an update on Marquis in about a week or so," Ainge said.

To fill the roster spot left by Daniels, the Celtics brought Bradley back from the Development League.

The C's first-round pick from last June told CSNNE.com he had no idea what role, if any, he would play Monday night. And, in actuality, he had no role; he didn't play in the team's 94-89 loss.

Truth be told, he was just happy to make it to the arena on time.

Bradley flew from North Dakota, and arrived in the wee hours of Monday morning.

"It was tough," said Bradley, who appeared in nine games (six starts) with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League. "But it was a good experience down there. I felt I was getting better for my team. Not only that, but some of those guys down there, they were helping me to get better and I was helping them."

As far as playing, Bradley said his mantra is no different now than it was prior to his D-League stint.

"Whatever they need me to do, I'm ready to do my best," Bradley said. "I'm ready."

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

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

The Celtics didn’t know when they traded a late first-round pick and Marcus Thornton for Isaiah Thomas that they were getting their next star player, but that 2015 trade deadline move has proven to be a pleasant surprise. 

Appearing on Felger and Mazz Friday, Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said that he sees Thomas, who will be a free agent after next season, in the team’s longterm plans. 

“Every one of these seasons is different. It’s like a movie and you have a cast of characters and the cast changes a little bit every season,” Grousbeck said. “We’d love to have Isaiah here for a long, long time. He’s a phenomenal player and he loves being here.” 

The Celtics stand a strong chance of picking first overall in June’s draft since they own Brooklyn’s first-round pick. Asked whether Thomas’ status would prevent the team from taking a point guard (which the draft’s two prospects play), Grousbeck said the team doesn’t need to decide that now, but suggested it wouldn’t.

“Especially if it’s a very high pick in the draft, you’ve got to draft the best player,” Grousbeck said. “You probably wouldn’t draft for fit as much as just you see if there’s a transformational player that you can have for 10 or 15 years there. If you see a guy like that, you’ve got to make everything else work, I would think.” 

Grousbeck: C's two stars away, so giving up everything for one 'didn't make sense'

Grousbeck: C's two stars away, so giving up everything for one 'didn't make sense'

Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck joined Felger and Mazz Friday, defending Danny Ainge’s inactively at Thursday’s trade deadline. 

Grousbeck’s thinking was that the team is two major pieces away from being a  championship-caliber club, and that giving up assets without filling those spots completely might have been harmful.

“I think it takes some strength and courage not to do anything when everybody’s howling to do something,” Grousbeck said. 

The Celtics were rumored to have had talks with the Bulls about Jimmy Butler and the Pacers about Paul George. Neither player ended up being traded. 

“We’re very comfortable with what happened,” Grousbeck said. “We offered a lot for a couple of guys, and we offered all that we were going to offer and it just wasn’t going to happen. Those guys weren’t going to be traded and they weren’t. It’s not problem. 

“We figure we’re probably two guys away from being a really, really good team; probably two significant guys away, and if we put all the chips in yesterday on one guy, we’re getting rid of draft pick -- or picks -- and we’re getting rid of free agency this summer, so it’s sort of like one step forward, two steps back. It just didn’t make sense.”