In an extended interview about his free-agency process, All-Star forward and new Celtic Gordon Hayward visted with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski to discuss the courtships of Boston, Utah and Miami in a wide-ranging visit on The Woj Pod, released on Monday afternoon.
On leaving the Western Conference for the East:
“When we’re going through this process and you keep seeing some of the big-name guys and it’s like, the West is loading up more and more and more, it’s not something where, like, I’m going to go East just so I don’t have to play them, ’cause you don’t want to run from competition at all. That’s not how I am. But there is a sense that it’s probably a smarter thing as far as you’re not going to have to battle it out with all these teams just to make it to the second round, make it to the third round, giving yourself a better chance against a Golden State. So it definitely crosses your mind, 100 percent.
Jimmy Butler (Knee) Sits Out T-Wolves Win Over Raptors
Jimmy Butler sat out Minnesota’s 115-109 victory Saturday night against Toronto with a sore right knee.
Butler is averaging 21.7 points per game for the revamped Timberwolves, who entered with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. Minnesota had lost two straight before hosting the Raptors. Nemanja Bjelica started in Butler’s place.
Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Set to Return From Shoulder Injury
Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving went through the team’s entire off-day practice Saturday and expects to return to game action Sunday against the Orlando Magic after missing one game due to a sore shoulder.
Irving sat out Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers after undergoing tests on a shoulder that had been bothering him recently. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but Irving will continue getting treatment even as he returns to game action.
Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN
LeBron After Loss to OKC: We Can Get Bounced Early in Playoffs
Following one of the most inept defensive performances in Cavaliers history, LeBron James said his team looked primed for a short postseason appearance, barring any changes.
The Cavs fell 148-124 to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, tying a franchise record for most points allowed in regulation. They are 3-9 since Christmas Day. “Playoffs? We can’t even start thinking about that, not the way we’re playing right now,” James said. “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven’t even began thinking about the postseason.”
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN