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Erden interested in potential return to Boston

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Erden interested in potential return to Boston

BOSTON As Semih Erden walked the streets of Boston on Saturday, he was pleasantly surprised to know that folks around town still remembered him.

Having played just 37 games for the C's last season, Erden, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, has fond memories of his time with the Green Team.

Being a free agent this summer, Erden tells CSNNE.com that the Celtics will be on his short list of teams he'll consider playing for.

"Why not?" Erden said. "We will see what happens. I was in the street yesterday, everybody know me; that was exciting, they did not forget me. I was like, 'oh, that's nice!' To be here, this was my first (NBA) experience. I'm happy."

While there will likely be a few teams also interested in Erden, the Cavaliers are not expected to be one of them.

Erden comes into tonight's game having not played (coaches decision) in Cleveland's last three games. For the season, he's averaging 3.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Cleveland coach Byron Scott doesn't mince words in describing why he has elected to not play Erden.

"I was a little disappointed (in Erden)," Scott said. "This stint of three games that he hasn't played, what I'm hoping is that gets through his head, and when he gets another opportunity, he'll take advantage of it.

Scott added, "the same thing I told Semih. If he plays hard every night, he has a chance to be a good player."

Prior to the season, Scott even gave some thought to Erden as the team's starting center.

"He has to play a lot harder," Scott said.

While Erden certainly had his flaws and shortcomings with the Celtics, he often showed the kind of toughness that a number of his teammates lacked.

For the bulk of his stint with the C's, he played with a shoulder injury that he put off having surgery for until the offseason.

And there were times seven actually when Erden had to play with the starters due to injuries.

To his credit, Erden made the most of those games, one of which being a 102-101 win over Philadelphia on Dec. 9, 2010.

In that game, Erden had eight points and three rebounds, a strong performance considering he had a handful of not-so-impressive performances leading up to that game.

Kevin Garnett was among those to praise Erden following that game.

"I think he (Erden) plays better with the first group," Garnett said at the time. "I think he knows what to expect. We know what to expect out of him."

Because of that comfort level by both, a return to Boston wouldn't be that big a stretch for the 7-footer from Turkey.

Prior to tonight's game, Erden spent some time in the C's locker room chatting up Garnett, Paul Pierce and others.

"I miss Boston," Erden said. "It's good to be here."

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

The Washington Nationals will ask to speak to Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora after the ALCS, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported, which could throw a wrench into the Red Sox' plans to name Cora their manager.

The Sox appeared close to naming Cora to replace John Farrell after the Astros season is finished, NBC Sports Boston Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich reported earlier this week. Then the Nats decided to part ways with manager Dusty Baker after consecutive N.L. East titles but Division Series flameouts.

Cora, 41, as Cafardo points out, was once offered a player development job with the Nats, who were the last team he played for (2011) in his 14-plus years as a major league infielder, including 2005-08 with the Red Sox. 

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo obviously has a fondness for Cora, telling MLB.com in 2011:

"I think it comes natural to him to be a teacher. Alex still has a lot left in his tank as a player. But he has my number, and when he’s done playing, he can make a call. It will be well-received."

After interviewing Cora, ex-Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Ron Gardenhire, who took the Tigers job this week, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told WEEI.com that he was still "undecided" if he'll interview anyone else.