Wilcox (thumb) rehabbing, set to see doctors Tuesday

953735.jpg

Wilcox (thumb) rehabbing, set to see doctors Tuesday

BOSTON Chris Wilcox was probably in grade school the last time he tried to pick up a basketball and couldn't palm it.

But that's exactly what he's dealing with now as he tries to recover from a right thumb injury suffered during a spill against Chicago on Dec. 18.

Wilcox got a bit of good news recently when he learned that the injury won't require surgery and that a more definitive timeline for his return will likely be made when he visits with doctors on Tuesday.

"I thought I just jammed it (against Chicago), so I just taped it up and stuff," Wilcox said.

But he soon discovered that the injury was more serious, as it limited him from doing some of the most basic things - like palm a basketball.

"I went to grab the ball, and I couldn't even palm it," Wilcox said. "I couldn't grab it or nothing; it was killing me."

He soon consulted with team doctors who informed him that he would have to take some time off and let the injury heal.

Since the injury, Wilcox has been working out while wearing a protective sleeve around the thumb area.

Although it was initially believed he would be out until the end of January, the prognosis on his return may change depending on how things go when he meets with doctors next week.

Wilcox has had an injury-plagued career since signing with the Celtics last season, so this is indeed par for the course for him. He also had season-ending heart surgery last spring.

This injury, much like previous ones, came at a time when the 10-year veteran was starting to find his niche with this team. He was Kevin Garnett's primary backup in addition to being one of Rajon Rondo's favorite players to pass the ball to in transition for easy dunks.

This season, Wilcox is averaging 4.7 points per game along with 2.3 rebounds. He's also leading the Celtics with 20 dunks.

And like most of his injuries, this one also falls into the fluky-but-true category.

"You don't really know how much you need your thumb," Wilcox said. "If it had been like any other finger, you could just tape it together. But you can't really tape your thumb or nothing."

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Zach Lowe’s most recent podcast is worth a listen, as it features plenty of talk about what the Celtics may or may not due ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. 

Lowe brought up the possibility of the Celtics top-1 or top-2-protecting Brooklyn’s first-round pick and including it in a deal for Butler. He surmises that the inclusion of the Brooklyn pick -- protected or not -- might not come until the final minutes. 

“Look, if Butler gets traded or if Paul George gets traded, that’s when it’s going to happen,” Marc Stein responded. “It’s going to happen in the last five to 10 minutes, so Boston has to make a decision, and let's see if they’re doing the math that they’ve had these assets for a while and it is time to do something bold and the time is now. Really, I think Boston will do it. The question is what will Chicago or Indiana do? And those are two hard reads.” 

Stein spoke to the Celtics’ lack of activity at certain points, but he said that if the C’s do fail to come away with a star player Thursday, it won’t be for lack of aggressiveness. 

MORE TRADE TALK

“I think the Celtics are taking criticism for waiting, and they’ve had all these assets they haven’t moved yet, but I think the record shows that Danny Ainge in general, in total, is very aggressive, not afraid to roll the dice, not afraid to make the aggressive move,” Stein said. “So I have less doubt about Boston saying, ‘Let’s just do it.’ I have far more questions about what Chicago and/or Indiana would do.” 

Lowe said that he imagines the Bulls would “think about” trading the C's Butler if Boston threw in the Nets’ pick unprotected, but added that Chicago would demand to also take two players out of Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. 

“I think that will be the offer and they’ll get there and Chicago will either have a moment where they say, ‘We walk away or we’ll do it.’ And Boston’s not going to throw in the other Nets pick,” Lowe said. “That’s just not going to happen.”

Rating the aforementioned foursome in terms of trade value, Lowe said that Crowder is the best piece because of his “ridiculously good” contract, followed by Brown, Smart and Bradley. 

Lowe added that he considers Bradley one of the “sneaky interesting pieces at this trade deadline” because his contract is up after next season, which is the same time that Isaiah Thomas’ contract expires. Lowe says that given the uncertainty of his future in Boston, he wouldn’t be overly surprised if Bradley is moved at the deadline. 

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game.