"We're checking out a lot of possibilities - it's still very early in the process," Danny Ainge said today of what is certain to be a broad casting call for big men, including Shaquille O'Neal.
Ainge said he has not set up a meeting, to this point, with O'Neal.
"He lives pretty close to (the Orlando Summer League), so he's going to drive down to meet with Danny and Doc," said agent Mark Bartelstein. "They want to get to know him a little bit."
The Celtics' desire to meet with another of Bartelstein's clients - veteran center Brad Miller - is on hold while the rest of the market waits for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to make decisions.
"A lot with Brad will come into play when all of that happens," said Bartelstein, who confirmed that a team with a lot more money to spend than the Celtics - Houston - has significant interest in Miller.
Hey, for the vet minimum, I'd be on board for another experiment. Ainge has to hit paydirt one of these days, right?
Our own Jimmy Toscano had this to say about the situation:
I think I speak for most Celtics fans when I say that Kwame Brown isn't exactly what we had in mind when talking about filling out the roster. Shaquille O'Neal, however, is intriguing. There are pros and cons to having Shaq lace them up for the C's, but I would be all for it.
First of all, taking a look at the available free agent Centers this offseason could make you cringe. There just simply isn't a lot of talent available to the Celtics (Kwame Brown?). Shaq is a proven winner, and there's no doubt he wants another ring after watching Kobe Bryant win his fifth. While he is obviously not close to the dominating player he once was in this league, he can still get the job done and fill in nicely for Perkins at least while he is rehabbing and working his way back. For the most part, Shaq and Perkins have a similiar inside game. I don't see how Shaq would slow up the Celtics much more than Perkins would. And it would be a short term deal, something that would be necessary for the Celtics.
As far as Brown goes, I really hope the Celtics don't expect him to have a much bigger role than Shelden Williamsor Brian Scalabrine did last season. If that is the case, and Ainge can get Brown for cheap, then we really can't complain too much.