Celtics Director of Player Personnel Austin Ainge joins Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely on this week's episode of CSNNE.com's "Celtics Talk Podcast".
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Ainge touches on several topics including his recent trip to China and Croatia to watch two of their 1st Round picks in 2016 - Guerschon Yabusele (16th overall) and Ante Zizic (23rd overall). Both young bigs have really been impressive in their respective development, with Zizic just recently being signed to play in a higher league in Turkey under former Cavs coach (and Framingham native) David Blatt.
Ainge also mentioned that he expects both players to join the NBA next season.
Ainge also talked about what to expect at the NBA trade deadline, and his view of what is expected to be a very deep NBA Draft.
The depleted Celtics will sign guard Sean Kilpatrick to a 10-day contract, according to The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy.
Kilpatrick, 28, 6-4, 210 pounds, who played at the University of Cincinnati, most recently played for the Clippers this season and has spent time with the Bucks and Brooklyn Nets the past two seasons.
With their spate of injuries lately, including Kyrie Irving undergoing a procedure on his knee Saturday, the Celtics have been granted a "hardship roster exemption" by the NBA.
There's optimism that Kyrie Irving will be able to return to the Celtics sometime during the playoffs, according to multiple reports.
The Celtics said their All-Star guard should be able to return to "basketball activities in 3-6 weeks." That doesn't necessarily mean games. The NBA playoffs begin April 14 and the conference finals as early as May 13.
The team released the following statement:
Celtics guard Kyrie Irving today underwent a minimally-invasive procedure to remove a tension wire in his left knee. The wire was originally placed as part of the surgical repair of a fractured patella sustained during the 2015 NBA Finals. While removal of the wire should relieve irritation it was causing in Irving’s patellar tendon, the fractured patella has fully healed and Irving’s knee has been found to be completely structurally sound. Irving is expected to return to basketball activities in 3-6 weeks.
Irving underwent the procedure on his left knee to help alleviate the soreness that has kept the Celtics All-Star guard out the past five games. There was a fear that Irving could be lost for the rest of the season, including playoffs.
Dr. Christopher Chihlas from Southcoast Health had told NBC Sports Boston on Friday that Irving might be able to return in "three to four weeks" in the best-case scenario.
More to come...