OFFSEASON

Friday Free Throws: KG on lockout, Davis fishes

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Friday Free Throws: KG on lockout, Davis fishes

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
Welcome back for the second edition of Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that have not made the headlines.

Lets start off in New York City, where Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were among a group of NBA players who met on Thursday for a gathering of the National Basketball Players Association. A few quotes from Garnett on the subject of a possible lockout following the meeting:

There needs to be common ground. Thats what were trying to establish." - New York Times

"It's unfortunate, to be honest, because we have great momentum right now. I think the league is, as far as anticipation and the leading stories and the careers that you can follow, you know Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas finally winning a championship, I mean there's multiple stories that are intriguing right now and it's just unfortunate that we're all going through this right now to sort of slow that down." - USA Today

This is a situation where you set the precedent now for later. We have so many young guys, three or four years into the game . . . The deal thats going to be set in now is going to ffect not only those players but the players coming in behind them. Its more imperative now for us to be on the same page. - NBA.com

At the end of the day, its about control. Its the domination of the game. - Bloomberg

Just Kickin Around
The crew at CounterKicks has previews of two Celtics-inspired sneakers. First, the Air Jordan 13, an exclusive Ray Allen sneaker. Check out the word Ray on the shoes the letter R is created with a silhouette of Allen shooting. Then there is the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2011, which Rajon Rondo is expected to wear. The shoes are bright green with a black number nine on the tongue.

Sam Knows Best
Sam Cassell came to Boston in 2008 to add veteran leadership in the Celtics backcourt. Three years (and three championships) later, he is an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards and continues to offer his proven know-how. Twenty-first pick (Portland Trail Blazers) Nolan Smith told GoDuke.com, "I know I have a lot to work on, but I can talk to Sam Cassell about that later hes somebody from my area." Following his predraft workouts with the Wizards, Georgtown's Chris Wright told the Washington Examiner, "First thing about Sam Cassell is that anything he says, you should listen. He got three rings.

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@iambigbaby11: "I have a different respect . For catching lobster. It was hard . Plus I didn't know Maine was so pretty. I love Maine !!! Ayo baby"

Birthdays of the Week
Celtics training camp invitee and former Maine Red Claw Mario West turned 27 on Sunday. West was signed by the New Jersey Nets after spending the majority of the season with the Red Claws . . . Patrick OBryant turned 25 on Monday. OBryant averaged 1.5 points and 1.3 rebounds for the Celtics during the 2009 season. He was drafted by the Golden State Warriors 12 picks ahead of Rajon Rondo in the 2006 draft . . . Rodney Rogers, who played 27 games for the Celtics during the 2002 season, turned 40 on the same day . . . The Celtics' 1993 first-round draft pick, Acie Earl, celebrated his 41st birthday on June 23. Earl appeared in 104 games for the C's and averaged 4.6 points and 2.8 rebounds . . . Hall of Famer Sam Jones, who won 10 championships during his 12-year career with the Celtics, turned 78 on Friday . . . Alaa Abdelnaby, the only Egyptian-born player in the NBA, turned 43 on the same day.

This Week in NBA History
On June 24, 1992, the Orlando Magic drafted Shaquille O'Neal with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. Check out Shaq's draft night interview.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA

OFFSEASON

Kevin Durant solidifying invitations for free agent meetings, including Celtics

Kevin Durant solidifying invitations for free agent meetings, including Celtics

The wheels of the Kevin Durant free agent train have been set in motion.

"Durant’s representatives at Roc Nation are working to solidify invitations" for meetings with a list of five teams, which includes the Boston Celtics, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. The other teams listed are the Warriors, Clippers, Heat, Spurs and Thunder. The Nuggets, Knicks, Lakers, Rockets, and Wizards could "could still find audiences with him," but they are considered outsiders.

Wojnarowski says the Thunder remain the frontrunners, but "the Warriors have Durant's attention."

If Durant chooses the Warriors it could happen very quickly. Warriors restricted free agent Harrison Barnes could sign an offer sheet for a contract on July 1, which would mean the Warriors would have only have three days to match the deal. They'd likely need a decision from Durant before then, or they'd risk losing one of their valuable pieces without being able to fill his role.

Durant plans on making his decision before July 9 anyway, according to Wojnarowski, because that's when he's leaving for a publicity tour in the Far East.

The fact the Celtics are even on Durant's primary list shouldn't come as a surprise considering his actions after his game in Boston against the Celtics earlier this year. They do have tough competition though. Both the Warriors and Heat have the cap space to absorb Durant's likely max contract worth about $26.4 million, and the Spurs can easily create the space if necessary.

The Clippers are interesting though, because they'd have to deal one of their stars (Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, or Blake Griffin) to free the cap space to sign Durant. If he does choose the Clippers, maybe Danny Ainge could help Doc Rivers swing a deal. How about something involving Blake Griffin and Jae Crowder?

But the Celtics have an edge. Their the only team listed that can sign two max contract free agents. If Durant wants to play with his buddy Al Horford, or anyone else for that matter, the Celtics can make it happen easily. How about a 2007 draft class reunion with Durant, Horford, and Jared Dudley? It's an odd trio, but Dudley has already expressed interest in joining the Celtics.

No matter what happens, though, the Celtics are in the race. Celtics fans might be disappointed after Thursday night. But we're just getting started, folks.

Kevin O’Connor can be followed on Twitter: @KevinOConnorNBA