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Mighty Mouse Near Buyout

ESPN's Chris Sheridan is reporting that Damon Stoudamire is close to being bought out by the Griz and that the Celtics are a front runner to sign him.

Damon Stoudamire is close to reaching a buyout agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies that would allow the 34-year-old point guard to sign as a free agent with either the Boston Celtics or the Phoenix Suns, a source told on Saturday.

There remained a possibility, however, that the Grizzlies would decide against a buyout if one of several teams seeking Stoudamire upped its offer in trade talks.

Either way, a resolution was expected within the next several days.

The Celtics, Suns, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets have all discussed trade possibilities with the Grizzlies to acquire Stoudamire, the 1996 Rookie of the Year and a 12-year veteran. Stoudamire was the Grizzlies' starting point guard over the first two months of the season before rookie Mike Conley was promoted. Stoudamire has not played since Dec. 30.

A source with knowledge of the trade talks said the situation also was being impacted by the possibility of Sam Cassell being traded or bought out by the Los Angeles Clippers.

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