boston.com Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe
NBA NOTEBOOK

Workouts could signal willingness to move down

The following players are scheduled for predraft workouts today at the Celtics' practice facility in Waltham: Southern Cal guard Nick Young, Fresno State guard/forward Quinton Hosley, Portuguese professional forward Joao Gomes, and Loyola-Chicago guard Blake Schilb.

It is an interesting mix for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that three are shooting guards. Young, in fact, is rated among the top two shooting guards in the draft and is projected to go anywhere from No. 11 to No. 22 in tomorrow night's draft.

With Danny Ainge traveling to Phoenix yesterday to watch Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, and Jeff Green work out (again), and Young coming to Waltham today, there seems a possibility of a deal in the works involving Phoenix and Boston and/or a third team.

According to league sources, Phoenix forward Shawn Marion has long interested Boston, though one sticking point could be the $33.6 million remaining on his deal, with a player option worth $17.2 million for 2008-09. It wouldn't make sense for the Celtics to unload young assets like Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Delonte West, or Tony Allen without any guarantee that Marion would be around longer-term. It is also worth noting that league and team sources have said Ainge is extremely reluctant to trade Jefferson.

Still, with the Suns looking to dump salary and picks, they could be the perfect trading partner for the Celtics, who have tried to trade the No. 5 pick since the lottery May 22. Phoenix has the No. 24, No. 29, and No. 59 picks.

James commits to US
Cavaliers star LeBron James ended uncertainty about his status with the US national team by saying he will play in next month's FIBA Americas Tournament, where the Americans will try to qualify for the 2008 Olympics. "I've had enough time off, and knowing my body more than anybody, I'm ready to play," said James, who is coming off Cleveland's first NBA Finals appearance. "I don't know how much I'm going to play or how extensively, but I'll be ready." James played on the US team at the 2004 Athens Games and for the US squad that won a bronze medal at last summer's World Championships . . . Sebastian Telfair attended a procedural meeting yesterday at Yonkers (N.Y.) City Court, according to his attorney, Ed Hayes. The Celtics point guard was charged with felony second-degree possession of a weapon when a loaded handgun was found in his car when he was stopped for speeding on the Bronx River Parkway in April. Telfair also faces a misdemeanor charge of second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. The next court date in the matter will be Aug. 8.

Wallace testing waters
The Bobcats' leading scorer, forward Gerald Wallace, will become an unrestricted free agent Sunday after deciding not to extend his contract with Charlotte for another season. Wallace made just over $5.5 million last season and will likely command at least $10 million a season under a new contract that could run as long as six years. Bobcats vice president of basketball operations Bernie Bickerstaff is expected to fly to Los Angeles to meet with Wallace's agent, Rob Pelinka, shortly after the negotiation period begins Sunday . . . Bucks guard Earl Boykins also will become a free agent, forgoing the $3 million player option on his contract . . . The Sonics have put their coaching search on hold this week to focus their attention on the draft, in which Seattle has the No. 2 pick and two early second-round selections. "We've got to the point now where we've had to take a window of time to focus solely on the draft," said GM Sam Presti . . . Lakers center Kwame Brown, who underwent reconstructive surgery on his left ankle last month, is scheduled for an operation on his right shoulder today . . . Kings forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim underwent cleanup surgery on his right knee but is expected to be ready for training camp in October . . . Pacers players Jamaal Tinsley and Marquis Daniels will stand trial starting Sept. 10 on charges related to a bar fight Feb. 6.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES