Rondo talks lockout at Malcolm X Park

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Rondo talks lockout at Malcolm X Park

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
ROXBURY Rajon Rondo has always been considered a student of the game.

With the NBA lockout showing no signs of ending anytime soon, Rondo is giving serious thought to just being a student.

Rondo, who left the University of Kentucky after his sophomore season, said hes considering a return to his alma mater to finish up work towards an undergraduate degree.

I got 60 hours right now, Rondo said. I got 40 left.

Rondo was at Malcolm X Park on Tuesday (Glen Davis made an unexpected visit as well) as part of the Bostons Got Wings program, sponsored by Red Bull, in which five parks had courts that were refurbished.

The parks received 500 for every steal Rondo had during the 2010-2011 season. He finished with 153 steals, which netted the parks 76,500.

It definitely means a lot, a kid like myself, growing up in the inner cities, Rondo said. Having a place to play is very big. Anything for kids, Im all with, and for.

Surrounding Rondo at Malcolm X Park were kids -- donning different color t-shirts, shorts and shoes -- taking shots at various courts.

Seeing Rondo on a court surrounded by shot-takers is a sight we may not see anytime soon.

The NBA owners and players remain in a labor stalemate since the owners locked out the players on July 1 when a new collective bargaining agreement could not be reached. Both sides have had a handful of meetings since then, but no meaningful progress has been made towards a new CBA.

And while players have been reluctant to address it, there is a growing concern that this season may be lost completely.

I dont know whats going to happen, Rondo said. I obviously cant speak too much on it. Its quiet right now. So I dont know.

What he does know is the left elbow injury he suffered in the second round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat is continuing to progress well.

I had a check-up today (Tuesday), Rondo said. Its getting there. Its still a little swollen, but other than that, no problem. Ill continue to work on it.

Rondo added that hes able to fully extend the arm now, so right now Im fine. He added, I can play a little bit. Not too much contact. I did three push-ups today. Im starting back to working out.

It remains to be seen if the work Rondo, or any of his Celtics teammates, put in this summer will be in vain if there is no season to be played. If thats indeed the case, or the season is significantly delayed, that would make it more likely that Rondo returns to the University of Kentucky and finish up his schooling.

He's wise enough to know that hes not going to be able to play forever.

Both he and Celtics coach Doc Rivers have joked about Rondo being a head coach one day. Rondo would most likely coach at the college level, which wont happen if he doesnt have his college degree.

Im close, Rondo said.

If only the same could be said about the labor situation between the owners and the players union.

Im ready to get back, lock in and focus, Rondo said.

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

Draper: Better financial option for Durant to stay in OKC one more year

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Draper: Better financial option for Durant to stay in OKC one more year

A. Sherrod Blakely and Kyle Draper discuss the chances the Boston Celtics land Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler or DeMarcus Cousins.

Celtics begin working out draft prospects Wednesday

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Celtics begin working out draft prospects Wednesday

BOSTON – The Celtics’ practice facility will become a basketball port-of-call in the coming weeks as some of the best young talent passes through, all with the goal of doing their best to impress the Celtics’ brass.

Austin Ainge, the Celtics’ director of player personnel, said Boston will begin working out players on Wednesday with the first group consisting of six players - two guards, two forwards and two big men.
 
“We’ll put them through a lot of different situations,” Ainge, who declined to identify the six players working out on Wednesday, told CSNNE.com. “We’ll see how bigs are at guarding guards, and guards defending bigger players, some of the roles they would have to play if they were Celtics…We’ll get a good look at what they can do in a lot of different scenarios.”
 
With eight draft picks [three in the first round and five in the second], the list of players making the rounds will likely be longer than usual.
 
Ainge said he anticipated the Celtics will work out 80-100 players, which is slightly more than they usually do.
 
“With trades, you just never really know,” Ainge said. “So we try to work out players all the way through 60.”
 
Speaking of trades, Ainge anticipates the Celtics will be on the phone more than past years because they have so many picks and, by all indications, do not plan to use them all.
 
If Boston can’t package some of their picks to acquire more talent, the Celtics will look even closer than usual at drafting players from overseas with the intent that they don’t join Boston’s roster for a couple of years.
 
Because Boston has so many picks, you would think they would be in position to be more selective than past years when it came to who they brought in for workouts.
 
“With our picks, it is in a player’s best interest to work out for us,” Ainge acknowledged. “But for us, we want to see as many players as possible so that we can draft the best fit, the best player that’s available.”
 
The draft lottery later on May 17 will determine exactly where the Celtics will be selecting with the pick they acquired as part of the Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade with Brooklyn in 2013.
 
Boston acquired three picks as part of the trade. They used the first one to draft James Young two years ago.
 
This past season, Brooklyn (21-61) finished with the third-worst record, which gives Boston a 15.6 percent chance that the Nets pick it receives will be the No. 1 overall selection. 
 
If Boston lands one of the top-two picks, a workout with LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram – the consensus top-two players in this year’s draft – is likely. And if the Celtics wind up with the No. 2 pick, they might work out Dragan Bender who is the top overseas prospect in this year’s draft.
 
In addition to the Brooklyn pick, which will be no worse than the sixth overall selection, Boston has another pair of first-round picks (16th and 23rd overall), along with five second-round picks (31st, 35th, 45th, 51st and 58th), at their disposal.

 

History of third-best odds in NBA draft lottery

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History of third-best odds in NBA draft lottery

The NBA draft lottery is two weeks away, which means only two more weeks of hitting the “sim lottery” button on our computers while we should be doing work.

Since the weighted lottery system was modified before 1994 giving the team with the worst record a 25-percent chance at the No. 1 pick, the worst team has ended up with the No. 1 pick just three times, most recently the 2015 lottery to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The 25-percent chance, in short, means that out of 1,000 ping pong ball combinations, the worst team going into the lottery has 250 of those combinations. If one of those 250 combinations is pulled, the No. 1 pick goes to that team.

The number of combinations drops per team from worst team in lottery down to the best at No. 14. Since 2005, there are 16 playoff teams and 14 lottery teams. Where the lottery teams rank in record determines how many chances they have at a winning combination. The No. 14 team in the lottery has five chances.

The Boston Celtics go into the lottery holding the Brooklyn Nets’ pick. The Nets finished with the third-worst record this season, giving them 156 combinations, or a 15.6-percent chance at the No. 1 pick.

Combinations are pulled for the top three picks. After that, teams fall into place based on record.

The Celtics have a 46.9-percent chance at landing a Top 3 pick. Picks 1-3 break down virtually equal, at 15.6-percent for the No. 1 seed, 15.6-percent for the No. 2 seed, and 14.7-percent for the No. 3 seed.

Because three teams could leapfrog them (remember, combinations are chosen for just the top three picks), they could fall to as low as the No. 6 seed, but no further. Boston’s chances to land the No. 4 or No. 5 seed actually increase from the first three picks, as they have a 22.6-percent chance at No. 4 and a 26.5-percent chance at No. 5. A No. 6 seed would be extremely unlucky, as there’s just a 4-percent chance at that.

So the question you want to know: How many No. 3 seeds have ended up with the top pick? Since 1994, it’s happened five times, though based on teams with the same record that season, ping pong ball combinations varied. (Example: in 1994, the Bucks were tied with two other teams for the second-worst record, giving them 163 combinations. I included them as one of the five “No. 3 seeds” previously mentioned even though technically they weren’t - it’s close enough.)

The No. 3 seed has never gotten the second pick. It’s gotten the third pick three times, the fourth pick four times, the fifth pick nine times, and the sixth pick once.

Since 2005, the No. 3 lottery team has won the lottery twice (2009, 2013). Let’s take a look at every third-seeded lottery team since then, where there they ended up picking, and who ended up going third in that draft.

Click here for the complete breakdown of each lottery since 2005.