Boston guard Javonte Green, back from knee surgery, could step in and get some significant playing time after getting some good experience in his rookie year. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

With Kemba Walker out until January on a knee strengthening program, and Tristan Thompson on track to miss the majority of training camp with a strained hamstring, there’s a lot of short-term opportunity in Boston.

But now that team workouts have barely begun, with the first exhibition game on Tuesday in Philadelphia, Coach Brad Stevens has only begun to determine who will get that crack at extra minutes, let alone who is in the starting lineup.

“We are very much in evaluation phase,” Stevens said. “I know it’s a question you have to ask and I know it’s something that everybody talks about, but starting is so often inconsequential to what happens throughout the whole game. I think starting the second half has an even bigger impact. It’s such a big talking point and it’s been made into such a big deal by everyone where I think what we are trying to do is just find how it best fits together. Obviously, the guys that are most impactful to winning will play the most. Whether that means they are starting or not, I don’t know.”

Despite having surgery on his left knee, Javonte Green recovered on time to be in the early training camp mix for increased minutes.

“It’s a bummer last year with the timing that it happened, when it happened. But, you know, it was a great, great experience, the bubble is a great experience,” he said. “Making it to the Eastern Conference finals and everything, that was a great experience. For me, as a teammate, my teammates, I feel it in as a jumping board to this year.

“I feel great. Coming into training camp last year versus coming to training camp this year is a huge difference,” added Green. “Last year, I didn’t know what to expect, like how to carry anything. I was just here just to work, you know, here, now I know what I have to do and and places that I have to be in. I know the defensive schemes and all kinds of plays and stuff like that. So I feel like I have an advantage this year, just going out there and at the end of the day, just keep playing hard.”

CLIPPERS: Paul George wants to retire with the Los Angeles Clippers, and he took a step in that direction by signing a multiyear contract extension Thursday.

The six-time All-Star could have become a free agent after the upcoming season. Instead, the team locked down George.

“I want to retire a Clipper,” George said last week. “This is where my heart is and I’m happy.”

George was already guaranteed $35.4 million for the 2020-21 season and had a player option. He averaged 21.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and shot a career-high 41% from 3-point range in his first season with the Clippers.

NETS: The NBA fined Kyrie Irving and the Nets $25,000 apiece because he has refused to speak to the media during preseason.

The NBA said Irving has refused on several occasions this week to participate in team media availability. Irving has not spoken during any of the Nets’ press sessions and released a statement last Friday to address his media silence.

“I am committed to show up to work everyday, ready to have fun, compete, perform, and win championships alongside my teammates and colleagues in the Nets organization. My goal this season is to let my work on and off the court speak for itself,” Irving said.

“Life hit differently this year and it requires us, it requires me, to move differently. So, this is the beginning of that change.”

MAVERICKS: Dallas released J.J. Barea, turning loose the last piece of the franchise’s 2011 championship team to give the veteran guard a chance to continue his playing career.

Barea said he had heard from other organizations since news of his release broke, but declined to be specific.

“I want to make sure everybody knows I want to play,” Barea said. “Anything could happen this year, with the COVID, injuries. I might be back here in Dallas playing. I’ve seen it all in the NBA. I’ve seen some crazy stuff.”

PACERS: Indiana could open the season without T.J. Warren, its top scorer from last season, who is out with has plantar fascitis.

Indiana also will be without backup guard Brian Bowen II for 6-8 weeks because of a partially torn groin muscle. Warren’s injury could be more detrimental.

Last season, he scored 19.8 points, shooting 53.6% from the field. In the bubble, Warren averaged 31 points in six games with a 53-point game to tie the team’s single-game scoring record.


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