BOSTON The Boston Celtics came close to trading for Memphis' O.J. Mayo just before March's trading deadline, and it appears their interest remains just as strong now.
A league source said the C's continue to be enamored with the 6-foot-5 shooting guard, and are considering making another run at him.
The source said no deal is imminent, but it appears the Celtics are willing to offer up Brandon Bass via a sign and trade.
Bass, who opted out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, would have to agree to such a deal.
While he indicated that his first preference is to return to Boston with a multi-year deal, he will be looking for a significant bump in salary from the 4.25 million he made this past season.
It was initially believed that Bass would be seeking a similar deal to former Celtic Glen Davis' four-year, 26 million contract.
However, if he were seeking a deal worth significantly more than that, the C's might want to take a pass on him and instead focus that money more on Jeff Green who is one of the team's top free agent targets.
While the trading away of Bass might seem a bit lopsided at first, consider this.
By moving him for Mayo, the C's address the need for a scoring guard who can compliment Rajon Rondo's playmaking and Avery Bradley's prowess as a defender.
In addition, it frees up the Celtics to focus on adding a big man with one of their first round picks.
Although C's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that he has not made any promises to draft any particular player, Royce White - rumored to have received a promise from Ainge - may be on the board and too attractive a player for the C's to pass on.