Stop me when you've heard this before. Oh, you read the title and you've already stopped me, never mind. Keep reading because otherwise how would I justify my existence in this space? Forgive my punchiness, I'm a little sleep depraved right now. At the risk of repeating things you've already learned about here and elsewhere, here's the rundown on the Celtics center situation. ...crickets. Oh that's right, we don't have many.
The news that came out yesterday was that Doc doesn't think O'Neal is coming back.
See, I told you. Blogging! Wait, he said more.
"There's nothing clear and nothing final, but I don't see him playing. I just think it's the end to his season. I don't see him playing, but I haven't talked to him."
Danny is going to talk to O'Neal and Wilcox today (or soon enough) to figure out if either one wants to be bought out, or more likely outright released. There were some rumblings yesterday that Jermaine O'Neal wanted a buy out to go play with his former team the Heat. He took to twitter (presumably) to refute such claims.
Now the team's only option is to seek out free agents. The D-League is a possibility, but more likely the team will wait and see who becomes available via buyout - as they have done every year of the Big 3 era (with moderate results at best). I like to think of this as the annual tribute to P.J. Brown. And speaking of familiar names of old, a number of former Celtics could factor in as options.
The Portland Trail Blazers waived former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden Thursday afternoon to make room for their deadline acquisitions, but the more noteworthy aspect for the Boston Celtics might be that young center Chris Johnson was also released by the team.
(Celtics head coach) Doc (Rivers) and the team have confidence in Greg," Ainge said. "But we still need more." Among the potential targets is Chris Kaman, whom the Hornets tried to deal yesterday and may now be bought out of the final year of his $12 million annual salary. Former Celtic Leon Powe left his team in Puerto Rico on Wednesday at about the same time the Celtics announced Wilcox’s surgery for what his coach there described as "an opportunity in the NBA." Another former Celtic — Rasheed Wallace — continues to explore a comeback at age 37. He had recent workouts with the Lakers and Heat, but remains unsigned.
Obviously Kaman would be the best option, but he'll also reportedly have the Heat and Spurs after him as well. So the C's will have competition for him. UPDATE: He might not even get bought out. Who even knows what the league is thinking with that team anymore?
When the New Orleans Hornets failed to negotiate a trade for center Chris Kaman, even though they began that process the last week of January, there was speculation that other NBA clubs would be lining up to bid for Kaman if the Hornets opted to buy out the remainder of his expiring $14 million contract. They'll have to wait, according to Hornets General Manager Dell Demps. "Everything is always a possibility," Demps said. "I mean there's no reason to say I'm certain, 100 percent sure. There's always a possibility. I never want to say never. But our intention is to keep Chris."
Beyond that it is difficult to rank the rest of the names without having seen them play in months or years, but I'd like to kick the tires on Johnson and Powe. Leon may not be a center, but when healthy he can gobble up more rebounds than many 7 footers and that's really what we could use right now. Wallace, if he's in shape, would be an interesting option to say the least. And hey, there's always Antoine Walker! Sorry, couldn't resist.