Patriots took second look at LB Darius Fleming

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Patriots took second look at LB Darius Fleming

Highlight of the Combine for Notre Dame linebacker Darius Fleming? Getting a twice-over from the New England Patriots.

"It was a very cool experience," Fleming said in the Chicago Sun-Times. "Bill Belichick is a great guy. I really look up to him. I appreciate his coaching style. Thats somebody who I would love to play for."

To be expected. But the question is to New England's evaluation. Players meet informally with all teams upon arrival to Indianapolis' scouting event; secondary interviews must be requested. It's during this longer look when Fleming would have met Belichick and positional coaches.

Keep in mind, the Patriots don't always host every single guy they draft (Ex: Richard Seymour, Nate Solder). Sometimes the visit is simply to clarify questions or concerns regarding health or aptitude.

"It was pretty much the same stuff a lot of background questions," the 6-2, 245-pound Fleming said. "There were a couple of football questions at the end of his interview with the Patriots. But the biggest thing was character."

There, his record is impressive. Fleming promised he's "never had any big problems" on the personal and academic fronts. As for football, he ran a 4.77 in the Combine's 40 -- a drop from his target time, he said, due to calf cramping. Fleming did post top 10 linebacker numbers in the bench press (27 reps), three-cone drill (7.03 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.28 seconds).

NFL Draft Scout has him as a seventh round pick.

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum was all smiles after hearing his named called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number 3 pick by Boston in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

And as he made his way towards the commissioner and put on the customary Celtics hat, a bright future surely awaited him.

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But is it going to be in Boston?

CSNNE.com confirmed an earlier report by Yahoo Sports! the Vertical that the Celtics were indeed engaged in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is no stranger to taking chances that most GMs would not consider or take a pass on.

Trading for George, who informed the Pacers that he would not re-sign a long-term deal with them and would instead prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers when he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, is a huge risk.

While the particulars of the possible trade are still being discussed, Boston will likely have to include the number three pick – Jayson Tatum – in a deal for George.

Ainge appears willing to gamble that a season in Boston will be enough to convince George to re-sign a long-term deal in the summer of 2018 which would be a win-win in terms of bolstering their chances to compete with Cleveland for Eastern Conference supremacy, and keep him away from the Lakers.

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Celtics draft pick Jayson Tatum will go from one highly regarded coach to another, and he said shortly after being drafted that Mike Krzyzewski had nothing but good things to say about Brad Stevens. 

Tatum said Coach K’s praise for Stevens came after the Celtics traded the first overall pick, thus establishing they would not be selecting Markelle Fultz. 

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“He called me and talked about that Boston was wanting me to come up there for a workout. He was just ranting about how great of a person Brad Stevens is, and [that] Coach K would love the opportunity if they would pick me and he really wanted me to go up there and work out for them,” Tatum said. “I was all for it. It worked out. I had a great time up there on my visit and obviously they enjoyed me.”

Krzyzewski and Stevens coached against each other in the 2010 national championship, which Duke won by two points when Gordon Hayward’s potential game-winning half-court shot nearly went in, but hit the rim. Hayward and Stevens could be reunited this offseason given that the veteran forward will be a free agent.

Tatum spent one year at Duke, averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.