Ainge wastes no time in pursuit of Big Baby

Ainge wastes no time in pursuit of Big Baby
December 5, 2011, 11:24 pm
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WALTHAM On the first day of free agency in which team officials can speak directly with players, one of the first calls Danny Ainge made was to unrestricted free agent Glen Davis.

With limited resources at their disposal and a shortened NBA season, the C's may very well adopt a get-the-band-back-together approach to assembling their team for the 2011-2012 season.

The fact that Ainge reached out to Davis so early was well received by Davis' camp.

"It's very important," John Hamilton, Davis' agent, told "It shows Danny and the Celtics appreciate the contributions he has made to the club, and are open to seeing if they can continue to relationship that started four years ago."

Ainge is not alone.

Two league sources on Monday said that a number of Davis' teammates, including Paul Pierce, have reached out to Davis in an effort to convince him to return to Boston.

But re-signing Davis won't be easy.

For starters, Davis is an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team he wants to. One of Boston's biggest challengers for Davis will be Detroit, a team that has coveted Davis for a number of years.

And the Pistons may be willing to offer Davis the full mid-level exception which is worth 5 million in the yet-to-be-ratified new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Celtics have Davis' Bird Rights which would allow them to exceed the salary cap to re-sign him.

But with the C's expected to bring back restricted free agent Jeff Green, they may very well be targeting Davis with their "mini" mid-level exception which is worth 3 million for tax-paying teams like the C's.

Money will certainly be a consideration for Davis, who made just over 3 million - 3,000,004 to be exact - last season.

The goal is to get Davis signed and in camp as soon as possible, with camp and the signing of free agents both beginning on Friday.

"But so much has to happen in such a short period of time, we know that (getting him in camp by Friday) just might not be possible," said Hamilton, who added that he is in the process of lining up visits for Davis. "The main thing is to find the best place, the best fit, for Glen."

According to Hamilton, the best fit would be a team that has the potential to make a deep playoff run - you know, a team like the one he's played for in Boston.

"That's very important to him," said Hamilton, who added that Davis was in Bradenton, Fla. at the IMG Academy working out.

Well aware of the Celtics' limitations financially, the team's run of success is a major factor in why Davis' camp hasn't ruled out a return to Boston.

The mutual interest is somewhat surprising when you consider how things ended for both sides last spring.

Davis had his worst stretch of play last season during the playoffs, which was among the many factors that contributed to the Miami Heat sending the Celtics home for the summer in five games.

"He feels there's some unfinished business there," Hamilton said. "He thinks this team can make another run at a championship, and he feels he can help them."