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Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  May 12, 2011 02:03 PM

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...That's the Celtics biggest need for next season. It would have been regardless of the Kendrick Perkins trade because he was going to command big money as a free agent. Here are some possible options for the Green:

1. DeAndre Jordan -- The Clippers big-man is a restricted free agent. He is raw, but a great athlete (10th in the NBA in blocks). Celtics fans remember him from his 21-point, 9-rebound abusing of the Green.

2. Tyson Chandler -- His willingness to do the dirty work is a big reason why Dallas is in the Western Conference Finals. He is an unrestricted free agent, but made $12.75 million this year and will command more in a new deal.

3. Marc Gasol -- Currently dominating Perkins in the Western Conference semifinals, Gasol is a lot more rugged than his brother and nearly as skilled in the post. He is an RFA, but Memphis has said resigning him is a priority.

4. Jason Thompson -- A former lottery pick by Sacramento, Celtics GM Danny Ainge has always liked Thompson, who can become an RFA after next season. With the Maloofs' money problems and the presence of DeMarcus Cousins and Hassan Whiteside, Thompson might not require a Kings' ransom in a trade.

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The word

Christopher L. Gasper riffs on the news


...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.

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