Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Kansas star Joel Embiid – a possible No. 1 overall choice – has decided to enter the June NBA draft, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Embiid, a 20-year-old, 7-foot freshman, rapidly emerged as one of college basketball’s major talents and moved into competition with Jayhawks teammate Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabari Parker to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft.
A formal announcement on Embiid’s decision is expected soon. In the past week, Embiid has progressed in settling on agent representation, but no final decision has been made, sources said.
Embiid’s season ended prematurely with a stress fracture in his back, costing him the final two games of the regular season, the Big 12 tournament and Kansas’ two games in the NCAA tournament. Until the injury, Kansas was considered a serious national championship contender.
There’s a strong expectation Embiid will make a full recovery, but NBA teams will closely examine the long-term fitness of the injury.
Joel Embiid is the first of the highly-touted freshman to enter the lottery and we can only hope Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins follow suit.
If the Celtics are lucky enough to win the lottery, I think most of us assume Parker will be the guy. But let’s not forget Danny Ainge went on record saying rim protection is one of the needs the Celtics would like to address in the draft. Embiid = rim protection.
In a brand new mock draft, the Sporting News’ Sean Devaney has Embiid falling to the Celtics at no. 5. If you want a medical opinion of Embiid’s back injury, check out this Deadspin article from a few weeks back.
Related: Herald – Danny drafts NCAA plan
On Page 2, Rajon Rondo vows to be just like Tommy Heinsohn when he’s behind the mic.
“I’m practicing. I’m prepping,” Rondo said after tallying 9 points and 15 assists. “I’ll probably go home tonight and get my notes together.”
“I think it’s great,” coach Brad Stevens said. “Should be good insight; he knows he can’t give too much insight. We’ll go over all the rules on Monday in pretty good detail.”
Said Rondo: “Yeah, I’m not going to give up any of his secrets. I’m still working on that. I don’t want to get caught up in the moment. I should be pretty harsh on Chicago and other guys that are on the court with those guys.”
When asked if broadcasting was something he wanted to do after his career, Rondo said he wasn’t sure. And when asked if he wanted to do it to give the public a different side of him, he said the answer was no.
“I just thought it would be something fun to do,” he said. “I’ve [known] Mike and Tommy for every year, ever since I’ve been here, and those guys have always been generous to me. I’ll get a chance to do something different, have a little fun with Mike.”
Will he be tough on guys — and maybe the referees?
“I would think Rondo would probably be,” Stevens said, smiling.
“I don’t know that that would be taken as well for a current player to be so critical. Mike will, I’m sure, direct the conversation appropriately.”
Rondo smiled when asked the same question.
“I’m going to be just like Tommy,” he said.
Not in a million years would I have guessed Rondo initiated this.
Why would a media-hatin’, ornery prick like Rondo volunteer for this gig?
Because we really don’t know him, that’s why.
A snapshot of the moment of silence prior to last night’s game for the fallen firefighters in Boston.
I have no words…
The rest of the links:
Globe – Celtics rally falls short in loss to Raptors | ESPN Boston – No 9 takes 9 stitches | Loss cuts deeper than stitches | Sully shoots from hip | Herald – Celtics can’t capitalize | WEEI – Raptors claw Celtics | Double 07: Pierce, Rondo & Celtics captaincy | CSNNE – Stiff neck makes Green miserable | Sullinger on 3s: If I’m open, I’ll shoot | 9 stitches can’t knock Rondo out |