Mickael Pietrus "Heavily Leaning" Towards Celtics

Update: David Aldridge reports that the Celtics are still expected to sign Pietrus, but...

NBA.com | Hang Time Blog

But agent Bill McCandless said Friday morning that he thought there was a “15 percent” chance that a team would claim Pietrus off of waivers before he clears. But that team would have to pay Pietrus the $4.2 million on his original contract (that is pro-rated for the 66-game regular season this year; Pietrus originally was to make $5.3 million this season). Pietrus and the Suns worked out a buyout that will pay him $3 million of the $4.2 million once he clears waivers; after that he’d be free to negotiate a new contract with the team that signs him.

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Pietrus leaning 'heavily' towards signing with Celtics

Mickael Pietrus, recently released by the Phoenix Suns, is leaning "heavily" towards signing with the Boston Celtics, according to a league source.

Great news if true. He's a plus defender that can knock down shots.

In addition, Pietrus is a player who one league executive said would be "a great fit" for the Celtics.

"Without Jeff Green, they really don't have an athletic wing player," said an NBA scout. "Sasha (Pavlovic) has some athleticism, but he's not in the same class as Pietrus. And Marquis (Daniels), he's a solid player, but you wouldn't consider him as an athletic wing guy."

Works for me. Of course there's always a catch.

Pietrus was supposed to be traded to the Toronto Raptors, but a swollen knee resulted in the Raptors rescinding the trade. The knee appears to be not an issue at this time.

Hopefully it doesn't become a concern again, but it is another health issue to keep an eye one.

Still, for those of us that just were not sold on Mr. Pavlovic at the backup wing, this is good news if true.

Here's a brief scouting report from Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston.

Should C's pursue Pietrus?

The 6-foot-6 Pietrus will turn 30 in October near the (expected) start of the 2011-12 season. His offensive game is pretty simple: Stand in the corner and shoot 3's. Pietrus has chucked better than four 3-pointers per game over the past three seasons and is a 35.9 percent shooter from beyond the arc for his career. That's not too shabby, but he ranked 80th in the NBA in 3-point percentage this past season. He doesn't shoot particularly well from the mid-range and the other half of his offense typically comes at the rim (though he doesn't get to the line with any sort of frequency). According to Synergy Sports stats from last season with Phoenix, 41.3 percent of his offense comes from spot-up shooting and he graded out as merely average, making only 39 of the 114 shots he took (34.2 percent) in that situation. Pietrus thrived off screens, which is intriguing for a Boston squad that generates much of Ray Allen's offense that way (though only 21 of Pietrus' total 250 shot attempts in Phoenix came off screens).

Also of note: It doesn't sound like Mickael left on very good terms in Phoenix

azcentral.com blogs - Coro's Orange Slices - PaulCoro - Suns buy out Mickael Pietrus

"Both Mickael and us realized it'd be beneficial for both parties to party ways," Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said. "There's an expression that, 'All's well that ends well.' In this case, all's well that ends."

"He was really our kind of player -- a big guy who can shoot," Suns Coach Alvin Gentry said. "In order for it to be a good fit, you've got to want to be here and I'm not sure he was every fully engaged about being here."

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