• After failing to move up in the lottery Boston has been in the center of speculation for several weeks, as the number three spot has become a pressure point in tomorrow night’s draft.  The Celtics will bring eight picks into the 2016 draft, and have made it abundantly obvious that they are looking to package some of them in exchange for current star. ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting, however, that the organization has been repeatedly “rebuffed” in their attempts to trade the No. 3 pick for an established veteran.

    The Celtics have been linked to a number of players across the association, most notable Jimmy Butler and Kevin Love.  Coming off a championship season it’s difficult to speculate on what Cleveland intends to do with Love.  He struggled in the Finals prior to Game 7, but was a key cog in the machine that ripped through the East during the regular season.  As recently as yesterday LeBron was quoted as saying he hopes to continue playing with Love in Cleveland, but it’s hard to put too much stock in public exclamations of affection.

    As for Butler, Stein explains: “The Bulls, sources say, continue to show little interest in dealing Butler to the Celtics, who previously tried to trade for him before the league’s annual deadline in February.”  Essentially, the Bulls have every reason to iron things out with Butler rather than cut bait this offseason.  He’s an all-star who is under contract and just now entering his prime.  In short, Butler already is the player that Boston can only dream the No. 3 pick may some day become.

    Boston has also approached Utah and Milwaukee in an effort to try and find a deal for Gordon Hayward, Jabari Parker or Khris Middleton only to be met with similar resistance.  Utah is insistent (both to Boston and to other suiters, including Phoenix) that Hayward is not available, and Stein writes, “The same, sources say, goes for Parker and Middleton in Milwaukee, since the Bucks regard both of those young cornerstones, as well as Giannis Antetokounmpo, as untouchables.”

    The Celtics have also been linked to Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, and apparently there have been initial talks between the Celtics and the Sixers, but nothing is imminent.

Fantasy News

  • Lou Williams - G - Los Angeles Clippers

    Lou Williams went off for 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting in a 129-121 win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.

    Williams went 1-of-2 from deep and 8-of-9 from the stripe. He also contributed four rebounds and 10 assists to the stat sheet. When the Clippers were down 118-117 with under two minutes left, Williams hit a 4-point play to go up three points. After that play, he made two more buckets to widen the gap to 125-118. Williams iced the game for the Clippers and he is one of the cogs that keeps the team successful when he is on his game.

  • Patrick Beverley - G - Los Angeles Clippers

    Patrick Beverley put up 17 points with 14 rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.

    He shot 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-11 from 3-point territory. His attitude and energy provide the young Clippers much-needed confidence. His defense and toughness have helped the Clippers push this series to six games and possibly further, which is something many people would have counted out before the playoffs started.

  • Danilo Gallinari - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    Danilo Gallinari put up 26 points on 9-of-22 shooting in a team-high 42 minutes as the Clippers beat the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday to avoid elimination.

    He did not shoot the ball well from beyond the arc as he went 3-of-11, but he did shoot 5-of-6 from the stripe. He also contributed seven rebounds, two assists and one steal to the box score. Gallinari has not been efficient during this series, and it is quite disappointing to see him taking a dip from his high level of production in the regular season. Gallinari will need to bring another performance like this one if the Clippers hope to force a Game 7.

  • Montrezl Harrell - F/C - Los Angeles Clippers

    Montrezl Harrell played well in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday as he had 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting in 27 minutes of action.

    He added five rebounds, two assists and one block while shooting a perfect 2-of-2 from the line. Harrell provided energy and paint dominance for the Clippers throughout this game, which lifted them to a win to force a Game 6. Harrell's only block came late in the fourth quarter on a Kevon Looney dunk attempt, which shifted momentum in the Clippers' favor.

  • JaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    JaMychal Green started in Game 5 and scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three triples in 27 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors on Wednesday.

    Green was guarding Kevin Durant for much of his court time during Game 4, and Game 5 was no different. Durant is unguardable, so the 45 points that he scored is not Green's fault. He has been playing well in the starting lineup and there is no reason to believe that his role will change for Game 6.

  • Stephen Curry - G - Golden State Warriors

    Steph Curry scored 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc in Game 5 as the Warriors lost to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    The Warriors are still up by one game in the series, but it would have been nice to end it on their home court. Curry added three rebounds, four assists, and one block to the box score while shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. Curry has had a phenomenal series thus far, which is seemingly inevitable with the Warriors' stars. The rest of the roster will need to step up in order to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.

  • Klay Thompson - G - Golden State Warriors

    Klay Thompson followed up his 32-point performance in Game 4 with a 22-point outing in Game 5 on 9-of-20 shooting in a loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    He made four triples while adding three rebounds and two assists to the box score. Thompson is having a solid series with averages of 18.3 points and 2.5 triples per game in the first four games, The Warriors will have another chance to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Kevin Durant put up 45 points on 14-of-26 shooting with six rebounds and six assists in a Game 5 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    The Warriors had a chance to end the series tonight but could not capitalize as they got absolutely torched by Lou Williams down the stretch. Durant added two steals, one block and five 3-pointers to the box score. He was their main scoring option down the stretch and really kept them in the game, but Williams got the best of him and pulled out the win.

  • Chris Paul - G - Houston Rockets

    Chris Paul got it done in Wednesday night's win over the Jazz, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and three turnovers.

    Paul finished this series scoring 17.4 points on 46 percent shooting, both above his regular season averages. He has a habit of increasing his production in the post season and should continue to be a linchpin for the Houston offense as long as he stays healthy.

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    Clint Capela looked healthy in Wednesday's 100-93 win over the Jazz, scoring 16 points to go with 10 rebounds, two assists and three blocks.

    Coach Mike D'Antoni indicated that Capela was feeling a lot better and it certainly looked it tonight. The lob-catching big man is essential to Houston's playoff success and could be in for a huge role in a potential showdown with the Warriors.