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Celtics Prefer Cassell

samiam.jpgSteve Bulpett reports:

The Celtics appear to be taking their time on Damon Stoudamire. At their current rate, the Celts may run out of time.

Having been bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies, the veteran point guard will clear waivers on Wednesday, which is a formality, as he has no contract to pick up.

According to league sources, the Celts are checking out other possibilities and it’s believed they may have interest in another player, thought to be Sam Cassell of the Los Angeles Clippers. That matter would require time to work out, but the C’s will have to move quickly on Stoudamire if they want him.

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"We want to have him to be able to join his new team and be ready to go the following day," Goodwin said. "This isn’t about money or anything. Damon knows he’s going to be getting the veteran minimum. He just wants a chance to play and an opportunity to go for a championship. That’s all that’s important to him at this point. The clubs we’re talking about all afford him that opportunity, so we’re confident he’ll be in a good situation by Thursday."

The Boston Globe quotes Danny and Rondo:

Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he doesn't comment on free agents. "I understand the [veteran point guard] speculation," Ainge said. "We're going to be in the playoffs. We have a young point guard [Rajon Rondo]. But I don't want to just have a veteran point guard. We need the right veteran point guard. I'm happy with our roster."

Stoudamire said yesterday he plans on working out in Houston. Rondo said it would benefit him to have a veteran backup to turn to for advice. Stoudamire has said he'd have no problem backing up Rondo.

"I know his capabilities from playing against him the last two years," Rondo said. "He's a smart point guard, he's been around the league a long time, and he knows a lot about the game. He can shoot the ball and he knows how to run an offense. So [it would] be another bonus for me as an individual learning more about the game."

Speculation persists that the Celtics also have interest in Clippers point guard Sam Cassell, a former teammate of Garnett's. The only way the Celtics likely could acquire Cassell is if the veteran is bought out of his contract, since Boston doesn't appear to have the right pieces to make a trade.

An NBA source said the Clippers would consider buying out Cassell if he worked out a reasonable agreement, but nothing is imminent.

Cassell is making $6.1 million this season.

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