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NBA roundup: Celtics won't let Nets talk to Rivers

The SportsXchange

The Boston Celtics will not grant the Brooklyn Nets permission to speak to Doc Rivers about their vacant head coaching job.

ESPN Boston reported that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will not allow the Nets to speak to Rivers, who is under contract with the Celtics.

Ainge would not comment on the report and said he expects Rivers to return to the Celtics as coach next season.

"Doc has told me he's coming back," Ainge said. "I talk to him almost every day about our team and what we are going to do moving forward."

Phil Jackson and Lionel Hollins have been mentioned as candidates to coach the Nets, who fired P.J. Carlesimo after they were eliminated from the playoffs.

---The Toronto Raptors asked the Indiana Pacers for permission to interview general manager Kevin Pritchard for their head of basketball operations job, CBS Sports reported.

The Pacers have said they will not grant permission to others teams to interview their employees until after their season is over.

---The Cleveland Cavaliers are considering taking Georgetown forward Otto Porter with the No. 1 pick in next month's draft, according to the Washington Post.

Though there is no clear consensus as to which player should be the top choice in this year's draft, Kansas guard Ben McLemore and Kentucky center Nerlens Noel have received the most notice.

---Phil Jackson told Time magazine this week that if he were starting a team, his first pick would be Bill Russell.

Jackson, who is promoting his new book "Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success," chose Russell over Michael Jordan.

---New Orleans Pelicans points guard Greivis Vasquez will have offseason surgery on both ankles, the New Orleans Times Picayune reported.

The surgery is believed to be relatively minor, and the Times Picayune noted that El Universal, a newspaper based in Caracas, Venezuela, reported that the recovery time is expected to be 12 to 16 weeks.

--Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen was fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the NBA's rule that prohibits flopping.

The incident occurred in Tuesday's Game 2 of the series against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs' Manu Ginobili was called for a flagrant foul for grabbing Allen's arm and sending Allen to the ground while Allen was attempting a layup. After hitting the floor, Allen rolled over and held his hands to his head as if in extreme pain. Replays indicated Allen was not hit in the head by Ginobili and did not hit his head on the court.

---The Dallas Mavericks believe they have a better shot of landing center Dwight Howard in free agency this summer than point guard Chris Paul, according to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.

The newspaper cited a source who said Paul is likely to stay with the Clippers because of the firing of coach Vinnie Del Negro. That means the chances of getting the disgruntled Howard from the Lakers are better.

---Pacers guard George Hill said he would play in Friday's Game 2 against the Spurs despite a sprained left big toe.

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