2011 NBA Draft: First Round

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2011 NBA Draft: First Round

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn BOSTON Like most NBA drafts, much of the smoke leading up to the draft provided few sparks once the picks were made.

As expected, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Duke's Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 overall pick. Kyrie, whose father Drederick was a standout basketball player at Boston University, was followed by Arizona's Derrick Williams who was taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 2 pick.

At that point, things started to get kind of tricky.

The Utah Jazz had the No. 3 pick, and seemed torn between taking Kentucky's Brandon Knight or Enes Kanter from Kentucky. The Jazz, who also had some interest in trading down to select BYU star Jimmer Fredette, stood pat and selected Kanter.

Kanter's selection triggered a run on international talent, with three of the next four being from outside the United States.

That run opened the door for the Detroit Pistons to select Knight, a 6-foot-3 point guard projected by most to be among the top four or five players selected.

Kemba Walker, who led UConn to a national championship this past spring, was selected with the ninth overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Walker's stiffest competition for National Player of the Year honors this past season was Jimmer Fredette, who was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks (but will be sent to Sacramento as part of a three-team deal involving the Bucks, Kings and Charlotte Bobcats).

Rounding out the lottery (top-14 picks) were Golden State selecting Washington State's Klay Thompson at No. 11; Utah took Colorado guard Alec Burks at No. 12; Kansas' Markieff Morris was chosen by Phoenix at No. 13 while the Houston Rockets rounded out the lottery, selecting his twin brother, Marcus, with the No. 14 pick.

In addition to the draft being dominated by international players early on, the first round will also featured a handful of trades involving solid NBA players - but no superstar talent.

Milwaukee, Sacramento and Charlotte were involved in a three-team trade in which the Bucks acquired Beno Udrih (from Sacramento), Shaun Livingston (from Charlotte) and Stephen Jackson from Charlotte. The Kings acquired John Salmons (from Milwaukee) and the No. 10 pick in Thursday night's draft, Jimmer Fredette. The Bobcats, one of the more active trading partners on Thursday, received Corey Maggette (from Milwaukee) and the No. 7 pick (Bismack Biyombo) from the Kings.

Charlotte would later draft Jeremy Tyler, who was soon traded to Golden State.

The San Antonio Spurs traded George Hill to Indiana for the rights to the Pacer's No. 15 pick, Kawhi Leonard.

The Houston Rockets are reportedly set to ship Brad Miller and the No. 23 pick (Nikola Mirotic) plus future considerations, to Minnesota for Jonny Flynn and the Timberwolves' No. 20 pick (Donatas Motiejunas).

A draft wouldn't be complete if the Celtics' Danny Ainge didn't make a move. The C's used their No. 25 pick on Providence's Marshon Brooks, and traded him to New Jersey for the No. 27 pick (Jajuan Johnson) and a 2014 second round pick.

"I like it a lot," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of adding Johnson to the roster. "We didn't think he'd be there, and he was."

In addition to Johnson, the C's were also interested in Boston College's Reggie Jackson and Marquette's Jimmy Butler who were selected No. 24 and No. 30, respectively.

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

A Pierce-Doc-Garnett reunion with Clippers - if only for a day

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A Pierce-Doc-Garnett reunion with Clippers - if only for a day

Less than a week after announcing his retirement on Instagram, Kevin Garnett was back in the gym with old friends Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers.

Cue the comeback rumors? "Anything is possible!"

The tweet from the Clippers called Garnett a “special guest” at the team’s practice on Thursday. 

Rivers, the current Clippers and ex-Celtics coach, told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan last week he was willing to bring Garnett, who has a home in Malibu, to Los Angeles for one last season but KG, 40, chose to retire. So, apparently, the reunion Thursday with Doc, Pierce and Garnett was only temporary.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, a former Celtics assistant under Rivers, wants Garnett to join his staff. 

 

 

Gerald Green's injury may give others a shot a Celtics camp

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Gerald Green's injury may give others a shot a Celtics camp

WALTHAM, Mass. – Gerald Green’s hip flexor injury isn’t anything he or the Celtics are overly concerned about.

They know Green as well as any player on this roster, so him missing a couple days will have no effect on his status in their eyes.

But in shutting him down for a couple days, his absence affords a number of players an opportunity to stand up in what is an absolutely pivotal, potentially career-altering season.

James Young is in his third training camp with the Celtics and no one has a real feel for where he fits into the pantheon of NBA players.

He hasn’t played enough to call him a bust, but hasn’t done enough to feel as though he has a bright future in this league either.

And then there’s R.J. Hunter, who came into the NBA with the reputation of being a spot-on shooter.

As a rookie last season, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard struggled knocking down shots when he got playing which for most of the season, was limited.

So, what does that have to do with Green’s injury?

His absence means those two players will get more reps on the floor, providing each with potentially more chances to impress the coaching staff.

It means Young will get a few more shots at showing the added strength, weight and improved skills will enhance his chances to not just make the 15-man roster but also compete for potential minutes.

As for Hunter, he has to make shots.

It’s that simple.

While he showed potential as a rookie to do a number of things on the floor, the easiest way for him to solidify a spot on the roster is to do what he does best which is make baskets.

At the end of the day, one of these guys will not be in a Celtics uniform this season. Between now and then, every opportunity they get to impress the coaches has to be taken advantage of which is exactly what they each will get courtesy of Green’s short-term injury.