Rivers: Celtics 'close' with multiple free agents


Rivers: Celtics 'close' with multiple free agents

ATLANTA With each passing day, the Boston Celtics' need for another big man only grows.

Well there's help on the way. But here's the catch: The Celtics still don't know who it will be.

C's coach Doc Rivers told reporters following Monday morning's shoot-around that the C's were "close" with a couple of free agents.

In a later interview with CSNNE.com, he said Boston was hoping to have added a player "today," adding that the C's expect to have another big man on board no later than Friday, which is the waiver deadline for playoff eligibility.

Rivers also told CSNNE.com that the hold up right now is that there are a couple players that the C's have interest in that are buy-out candidates that could become available soon.

"You want to wait for that," Rivers said. "You don't want to sign a guy and then another guy (you're interested in) buys out. It's a game of chicken, but it's hurting us. We literally need a body. We just need, anybody."

Rivers would not say who the players were that the C's were waiting to see would become available, but the two buy-out candidates that are on the Celtics' radar are Chris Kaman of the New Orleans Hornets, and Dallas Mavericks forward Lamar Odom.

The Hornets have indicated that they have no plans on buying out Kaman, but they would not totally shut the door on the idea, either.

"Everything is always a possibility," Hornets general manager Dell Demps, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "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."

As for Odom, the Mavericks have repeatedly said they have no plans on buying out Odom, even as reports continue to surface about Odom seeking a buy-out.

If neither one of those players become available, Boston's pool of big man targets include former Celtic Chris Johnson and Ronny Turiaf who was recently waived by Denver when he was acquired as part of a trade from Washington.

Boston may tap into the D-League as well, which includes veterans such as Dan Gadzuric who is averaging 8.8 points and 10 rebounds for the Texas Legends who are coached by longtime NBA veteran coach Del Harris.

Regardless of who they acquire, the newest Celtic's arrival can't get here soon enough as Boston's frontcourt depth continues to take one hit after another.

Rookie center Greg Stiemsma is dealing with a right foot injury that kept him out of the team's morning shoot-around.

"I don't know how much he can give us," Rivers said. "But he's going to play."

And the same can be expected of whoever the Celtics add to their roster.

When it comes to fitting them into the C's system, Rivers isn't worried.

"No one has practice anyway" he said. "We have a chance to practice on Wednesday. We're going to take tomorrow off. Right now, we probably won't (practice Wednesday) because we don't have enough bodies. We'll see."

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.