Celtics

NBA sources deny report that deal is done

584608.jpg

NBA sources deny report that deal is done

NEW YORK Several league sources shot down the comments made by former NBA executive Dave Checketts that the NBA and the NBA Players Association have agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

"The rumblings coming out of both the players side and the owners side, are suggesting there is a deal," Checketts told ESPN 700-AM in Salt Lake City. "There're trying to finish everything up."

However, CSNNE.com spoke with two league sources that indicated Checkett's report was "not true."

"I wish he was right; hell, all of us wish he was right," said one source. "But the deal isn't done yet."

Both sides are still negotiating more than seven hours after they started.

But as the interview continued, it became clear that Checketts' announcement wasn't quite as firm as initially thought.

"This certainly could, and has already in this negotiation over time, crashed into a wall," Checketts said. "I get a different feeling about this. Both sides have come together and are trying really hard to iron out the details and come out unified."

From there, he began to go into full Deion Sanders circa 1990-mode, with some pretty sweet back-pedal skills.

"I guess I have to soften a little bit," Checketts said. "And say I'm not as clear as I was, but good things are happening."

Moving to power forward 'presents a different challenge' for Horford

celtics_al_horford_101617.jpg

Moving to power forward 'presents a different challenge' for Horford

PHILADELPHIA – For the third time in as many games, the Boston Celtics will field a different lineup.

It will have a domino effect on Boston’s usual starters, but no one more than Al Horford who will slide over to power forward with Aron Baynes inserted into the starting lineup where he’ll be charged with trying to defend Sixers 7-footer Joel Embiid.

Meanwhile, Horford will be assigned to defend Robert Covington who is one of Philadelphia’s better perimeter scorers.

MORE:

“I feel like one of my strengths is being able to play multiple positions,” Horford told NBC Sports Boston. “It presents a different challenge for me, which is making sure I do a good job of covering him out on the perimeter, staying between him and the basket.”

In Philadelphia’s 120-115 season-opening loss to Washington, Covington led all Sixers with 29 points which included him going 7-for-11 from 3-point range in addition to grabbing seven rebounds.

While Covington will be Horford’s first defensive assignment, he knows he will also be called upon at times to defend Embiid who ranks among the best centers in the NBA despite having played just 32 games over the course of three NBA seasons.

In the loss to the Wizards, Embiid had a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Horford’s defense will be critical for Boston (0-2) to get its first win of the season, but the Celtics will also need him to take advantage of scoring opportunities as well.

“We have some guys down, but that creates opportunities for other guys to step up and contribute,” Horford said. “It’s going to all of us, the veterans, the young players, all of us to get that first win.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens agreed.

“I think that’s how we have to look at it,” Stevens said. “We’re going to have to make a few tweaks on how we do things, obviously. Hey, it’s gonna be something that we’re going to have to do really, really well on the fly.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE