By Tom E. Curran
Patriots OTAs are ongoing and despite dissatisfaction with the slow (or "no") progress on getting a long-term extension done, Wes Welker is in the house.
In a move he called a "leap of faith," Welker signed his franchise tag earlier this month.
Tom Brady is happy to have him around despite the contractual discord.
"I love having him out there, it's been great having him there at camp he's one of my best friends," Brady said by phone on Tuesday. "He's a phenomenal player, a phenomenal person, incredible teammate and hopefully everything works out. It's not up to me."
As for forecasting where things might go, Brady said, "I've been around long enough where all these contract situations ending up sorting themselves out. I try to just do my job and Wes can handle it himself."
Often times reporting something can shake something loose from another source. That might have been the case Thursday morning.
Just eight minutes after Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Celtics and Pacers were not in advanced discussions on Paul George because of Boston’s unwillingness to deal the Nets’ 2017 first-round pick, he sent a follow-up saying sources had indicated that the pick was indeed in play.
George, 26, will be a free agent after the 2017-18 season.
It seems the Celtics can throw yet another piece onto their treasure trove of assets.
The Celtics stashed two of their first-round picks from the 2016 draft overseas and in the process have seen 23rd overall pick Ante Zizic establish himself as a very promising NBA prospect.
The Croatian center, currently playing in the Turkish League, has boosted his stock with a strong season in what’s expected to be his last before joining the Celtics. Appearing on Toucher and Rich Thursday morning, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor said that Zizic has improved to the point that he would be a top-10 pick in the 2017 draft. “He looks really good,” O’Connor said. “I liked him last year when I first watched him. I thought, ‘Good energy big man. He’ll have a solid career,’ but then the more you watch him, the more you see.
“This year, he’s really taken a step forward. All his strengths look better. All the things he was already good at like screening, rebounding and rim-protection, he looks better. But he’s also starting to flash a little bit of a mid-range jumper, and he’s never had bad mechanics, but now that shot’s starting to fall. So maybe he can be more than that energy big man. Maybe he’s a little bit more dynamic than that.
“If I’m the Celtics, I value him as you’re getting a top-10 pick this yea. I think he’d go around nine or 10 in this draft.”