NEWS OF THE MORNING:
- Boston thinking bigger
- Rose wants to stick with Knicks
- The party never ends
- Fultz says he’ll be on Ball
No. 1: Sixer deal could be first step for Celtics -- While most of the intrigue Friday revolved around the potential deal of trading the No. 1 pick in the draft to the Sixers, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald says that Celtics GM Danny Ainge could actually make several moves that allows his team to become a real force next season:
While Danny Ainge may like some more than others, sources now and over the latter half of the college season say he’s been looking hardest into guards Fultz and Lonzo Ball and forwards Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum.
The Celts would certainly benefit from adding any one of those players, but the key to this transaction may be the additional asset gained. It might be helpful to view this potential move for what it could also bring.
It would be a fair certainty that Philadelphia will be conveying either their own first-rounder in 2018 or the one in the same draft they acquired from the Lakers. The Celtics already have Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick, as well as their own.
And at this point, Ainge has to be looking even harder at turning these stock futures into present day value. With Al Horford having turned 31 earlier this month and Isaiah Thomas about to enter the final year of his contract, it would behoove the Celtics to see what they can accomplish now instead of just playing the long game. And they’ve already been hoarding potential cap space to make a run at a major free agent this summer.
In other words, there could be more shoes to drop if this deal goes through, and the Celts will at least be in position to offer a fair bundle of picks and younger players of value to a team that may be nearing the wall with a present star.
No. 2: Rose would take pay cut to stay in New York -- Don’t be too quick to put Derrick Rose on the first train out of New York. His agent B.J. Armstrong told Bleacher Report that his client likes being with the Knicks and would be willing to take a cut in pay to remain with the team:
Rose is coming off another season that ended with knee surgery. Also, while he seemed to regain some of his once-prolific bounce, his weak and often inattentive defense and lack of a consistent outside jumper make him a tough player to build a winning team around.
The player, however, wants to remain in New York.
"Derrick loves New York and wants to be there," Rose's agent, B.J. Armstrong, told Bleacher Report recently. "We've expressed that to them and been very consistent about it. Whether it happens is on them; all we can do is be clear.”
Armstrong said Rose, who underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee in April, is healthy and working out. He also insinuated that Rose would be willing to take a pay cut (he made $21.3 million last year).
"In the end, we want to explore everything — if you're going to compete, you clearly need a number of [top] players, so let's figure that out," Armstrong said. "We want the best team possible. That's it. All the other stuff, if the team wins, everyone wins.”
No. 3: The Warriors party has moved to Las Vegas -- The champagne may have dried up and the confetti swept up inside Oracle Arena, but that doesn’t mean the Warriors have stopped celebrating their 2017 NBA championship. Arash Markazi of ESPN.com says the scene has just shifted to the Las Vegas strip, where the newly crowned champs will take in Andre Ward’s heavyweight title fight on Saturday night:
After the Warriors celebrated their second NBA championship in three years in Oakland, team owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber boarded one of MGM Resorts' private jets along with Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and other players and flew to Las Vegas. The team was greeted by MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren as they got off the plane, and the group conducted a champagne toast before boarding buses for the ARIA Resort & Casino.
When the Warriors arrived at the ARIA, they were greeted by the UNLV men's basketball team, cheerleaders and school president Len Jessup.
The Warriors will be in Las Vegas through the weekend, as they will also attend Andre Ward's light heavyweight championship fight against Sergey Kovalev on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Ward, an Oakland native, recorded hype videos for the Warriors that were played at Oracle Arena during the playoffs. Ward and Durant are both represented by Roc Nation, and Durant has visited Ward's training camp in Oakland.
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No. 4: Fultz says the rivalry with Ball is on -- The presumptive No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the draft haven’t even been chosen yet and there is now speculation about where they’ll even end up. But following his workout for the Lakers on Friday, point guard Markelle Fultz said that he’s got Lonzo Ball in his sights, according to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
Between Fultz and Ball, a rivalry has started to develop.
“I’m a competitor,” Fultz said. “Anybody that’s in front of me I’m going to try to take them out. Lonzo’s a great guard so we’ll compete for the same position. Just stepping on the court, I’m going to try to beat him in everything I do. Just tie my shoes faster and everything.”
Fultz’s mother attended the workout, as did his agent and his trainer. After he finished speaking to reporters, they all went upstairs into the Lakers offices. This is the second time Fultz has met with the Lakers’ executives — they were one of a handful of teams he met with at the NBA draft combine.
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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Jordan Clarkson says he'll adjust to any new situation with the Lakers roster ... The convicted killer of Michael Jordan's father is seeking a new trial ... LeBron James says only Shaquille O'Neal and Jesus could take him down in the low post ... Lonzo Ball writes a Father's Day letter to his high-profile dad ... Dwyane Wade chimes in with his opinion of LeBron's new bald look ... Markelle Fultz signs a deal with Nike.