Rivers: Celtics 'close' with multiple free agents

Rivers: Celtics 'close' with multiple free agents
March 19, 2012, 5:36 pm
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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."