June 2, 2007
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Celtics finished the NBA's pre-draft camp with the fifth overall pick still in their possession, but with a stronger belief that they will have chances to trade the choice before the June 28 draft.
``I think there are going to be some options,'' coach Doc Rivers said yesterday. ``Whether we do something or not, I don't know. But if we don't make a deal, I'm confident that it's a very, very good draft and that we'll get someone who can help us. I'm even more sure of that now.''
There has been word that the Portland Trail Blazers would like to move Zach Randolph to the Celts for the pick and a contract, but one probably shouldn't put much stock in that talk. In addition to off-court issues, Randolph is too close to the far more reliable Al Jefferson in his skills set.
There is a stronger possibility the C's will talk to Seattle about one of its big men in exchange for No. 5, a contract and a younger player, but the SuperSonics are said to be sitting tight until they hire a new general manager. The Sonics' Rashard Lewis would make the most sense for the Celtics, but he opted out of his contract and would have to be obtained in a sign-and-trade deal.
``I just think teams are still way early in the process,'' director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. ``You have 30 teams trying to feel each other out and see if they have a chance to get what they want.''
Walking in Memphis
With Phoenix Suns No. 2 executive David Griffin apparently pulling himself out of the running for the top basketball job in the Memphis organization, Celtics GM Chris Wallace is now seen as the front-runner for the Grizzlies position.
If Wallace goes, he might not be alone. Word is assistant director of basketball operations Leo Papile could be moving on to the Grizzlies in the deal.
Wallace said he was uncertain where things stood, but sources said the matter could be decided by Tuesday. . . .
UMass' Stephane Lasme finished camp with 13 blocked shots in three games.
Pending some loose ends being tied up, it appears soon-to-be-former C's assistant coach Tony Brown will wind up on Larry Krystkowiak's Milwaukee Bucks staff. According to people involved in the process, ex-Celts assistant Lester Conner was prepared to move from Milwaukee to join former C's head coach Jim O'Brien in Indiana, thus opening a space for Brown, who couldn't reach agreement on a new contract with the Celtics. Brown's Celtics deal runs through the end of this month, but the club will let him walk early.
Rivers has been talking to potential candidates to fill Brown's vacancy, and the opening has been discussed with Dwane Casey.