Boston Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo is inching closer and closer to a return from an ACL injury, and he hasn't ruled out the possibility of first making a stop in the D-League, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens broached the idea of a D-League stint with the Maine Red Claws for Rondo earlier in the week, and the point guard finally addressed it on Thursday:
"That's an idea definitely," he said. "That's more game-like speed with our schedule, the Celtics, we don't a chance to play a lot of pickup, so that might be a possibility. You just never know, I might just pop up and play. You guys won't get the memo. You just have to catch me on YouTube or something. Each week I'm getting better so I just want to give it a test when I have a chance."
Rondo was pressed on the issue and reiterated he wouldn't rule it out. Playing in the D-League would seem to make some sense for players trying to get a rhythm back after major injuries, but nobody has really ever used it to their advantage.
If Rondo does play with Maine, it would likely be on the road. After Sunday, the Red Claws are away until Jan. 18.
McCollum likely to debut next week
McCollum, the No. 10 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, broke his left foot during training camp. McCollum was assigned to the Idaho Stampede of the D-League this week, and Blazers head coach Terry Stotts told Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge the 22-year-old could be ready to roll if the two-game stint goes well:
"The plan is for him to play in Friday and Saturday night's games in Boise and then come back here, we've got a practice on Monday. We'll see how he is, we'll see how this weekend goes, we'll see how practice goes, and then we'll make decisions after that."
Stotts revealed the plan is for McCollum to play mostly off the ball in Idaho. There won't be much opportunity to play the point with the big club, so the Blazers want to simulate the role he'll have in Portland.
J.R. Smith 'over' release of brother
The Knicks waived Chris earlier this week in order to free up a spot for big man Jeremy Tyler. J.R. was noticeably peeved based on this Instagram post:
Chris' roster spot on the Knicks was a bit of controversy to begin with. He received a guaranteed contract despite no prior NBA success and a disastrous Summer League, leading many to believe there was a package deal with Chris and J.R.
Chris played just two minutes before his release. While J.R. was mad, he realized he couldn't do anything about the situation and is ready to welcome Tyler with open arms.