Horton still not close to return

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Horton still not close to return

KANATA, ON Those banking on a Nathan Horton return to the Bruins during the playoffs may be waiting for a while.

While there was a hubbub of excitement over the news that he skated for more than 30 minutes on his own Wednesday prior to Bruins practice, the truth is that Horton is no closer to a return than he was last week. Claude Julien was asked after practice how Horton responded to Wednesdays twirl on the ice, and he immediately slammed on the brakes.

"Don't read into the fact that he skated, cautioned Julien. He's not even close to situation where you guys might think he is for a return."

The Bs power forward has missed 34 games and six weeks of action since suffering a concussion at the hands of a blindside Tom Sestito hit on Jan. 22 and a source close to Horton indicated toCSNNE.comthat the right winger wasnt likely to return during this postseason.

Heres a couple of reasons why: Horton is still weeks away from potentially practicing withhis teammates and even if he didnt have a single setback wouldnt be ready to go until the final few rounds of the playoffs. It would be unrealistic to think that a tentative, healthy Horton would be a better option than battle-hardened Bruins wingers that made it through the first few postseason rounds.

To put it in further perspective: the year Patrice Bergeron suffered his serious concussion and harbored hopes of returning for the playoffs, he had been skating hard since the beginning of March. He might have been ready for the second round.

Horton has taken one leisurely-paced skate to see how his nagging post-concussion symptoms would respond.

Theres also this startling fact: if Horton were to return in this springs playoffs for the Bruins and suffer another concussion as the nastiness increases with each postseason round, it would be the third major head injury for the 26-year-old in less than a full year.

Thats the kind of risk that can put a players entire future at risk and its the kind of mistake the Bruins made in rushing Marc Savard along for the postseason two years ago against the Flyers.

The Bruins would be making the same kind of error in rushing Horton back because hed had a few good weeks. So the notion that Horton is giving it a crack to come back for the playoffs isnt entirely accurate.

Horton is giving it a crack at returning to full health, and the hope is that the right winger will be back to smiling, scoring goals and giving Boston a power forward capable of potting 25 goals on the right side of Milan Lucic and David Krejci.

Jimmy Butler reportedly headed to Timberwolves in trade

Jimmy Butler reportedly headed to Timberwolves in trade

Regardless of whether Celtics fans wanted to see Jimmy Butler come to Boston, they don’t have to worry about it anymore. 

ESPN’s Marc Stein was the first to report Chicago was nearing a deal with Minnesota, with the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson following up saying that a deal was agreed upon in principle.

The 30th pick in the 2011 draft, Butler had been linked to the Celtics in trade rumors in recent seasons. That can be put to bed for now. 

Celtics take Jayson Tatum at 3, could be closing in on Paul George trade

Celtics take Jayson Tatum at 3, could be closing in on Paul George trade

When all was said and done, the Celtics kept the third overall pick and selected Duke small forward Jayson Tatum. 

Tatum, who stands at 6-foot-8 and 204 pounds, averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in his lone college season. 

Whether Tatum actually stays in Boston may not yet be certain, as Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported as the C’s were making the pick that the team has entered “serious talks” with the Pacers for Paul George. The veteran small forward can become a free agent after next season and is believed to be targeting the Lakers in free agency.

Wojnarowski clarified shortly after that an agreement had not yet been reached. 

As expected, the 76ers took Washington point guard Markelle Fultz at No. 1 and the Lakers took UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball second. The 76ers received the pick in a deal with Boston that was made official on Monday.