Celtics hold workouts for potential draftees

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Celtics hold workouts for potential draftees

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

The Boston Celtics continue to work out potential draft picks at the team's practice facility this week.

On Monday, the C's had a split group of big men as well as guards. Some of the more notable big men included a pair of 6-foot-9 forwards, Terrence Jennings and Vernon Macklin from Louisville and Florida, respectively. Boston's workout also included a pair of 7-footers in USC's Nikola Vucevic and UConn's Charles Okwandu.

Vucevic is expected to be a late first-round pick, while Jennings and Macklin are pegged as potential second-round selections. Okwandu, the starting center for the NCAA champion Huskies, is unlikely to get drafted.

Boston's workouts also included guards Kevin Anderson from Richmond and Demontez Stitt from Clemson. Both are trying to string together impressive workouts and work their way into being potential second-round selections

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, plans to cast as wide a net as possible when it comes to preparing for this year's draft. The Celtics have the No. 25 pick as well as the No. 55 pick in this month's draft which will be June 23.

"Because of where we are in the draft, it's not easy getting guys in for workouts, because players can only do so many workouts," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "But between the guys we have in, the guys we've seen during the year and during group workouts, we'll see more than a 100 players so we'll have all the bases covered."

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

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
 
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
 
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
 
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
 
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
 
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.