Ainge wastes no time in pursuit of Big Baby

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Ainge wastes no time in pursuit of Big Baby

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 CSNNE.com. "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."

Monday, March 27: Hall call for Habs' Markov?

Monday, March 27: Hall call for Habs' Markov?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, with crunch time coming in the NHL.

*Jack Todd says that the Hall of Fame needs to reserve a spot for Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov. Is he Hall of Fame material, or Hall of Very Good material?

*The playoff streak is coming to an end for Joe Louis Arena as the Detroit Red Wings finish out a lost season.

*Thanks to PHT writer James O’Brien for providing the kind of relaxing hockey moment that any dog lover could appreciate.

*Boston College standout Colin White has signed an amateur tryout deal with the Senators, but it remains to be seen if the entry level contract is coming.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mitch Melnick offers his hot takes about the Canadiens after a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

*The US men’s hockey team may join the women’s team in boycotting the world championships if there isn’t a resolution soon.

*A group of longtime Leafs writers share some of their best stories from the press box

*In the shameless interest of self-promotion, here’s my hit with Toucher and Rich this morning talking about riding the hot hand with Anton Khudobin.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Tracey Myers wonders if a lopsided loss will snap the Blackhawks out of their malaise.

*Sidney Crosby fires back at Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk after he called the NHL star a whiner recently.

*For something completely different: getting to know new CSNPhilly.com baseball analyst John Kruk, who we all should know pretty well at this point.

 

 

Jaylen Brown steps away from social media to prepare for playoffs

Jaylen Brown steps away from social media to prepare for playoffs

BOSTON –  Like most of the NBA’s Millennials, Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown is active on social media.

But if you holla at him on Twitter or Instagram these days, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back anytime soon.
 
That’s because Brown is stepping away from the social media game to better focus on his first postseason journey with the Celtics, which begins next month.
 
Brown said he isn’t the only player inside the Celtics locker room who has pledged to do things differently leading up to the playoffs.
 
More than anything, the changes Brown speaks of are symbolic to illustrate the need for everyone to make sacrifices critical for a team’s success.
 
“I’ve paid attention to that, how a lot of guys are making the sacrifices necessary to add to this team,” Brown said. “Some guys are only drinking water. Some guys are cutting out cursing or other aspects. Some guys have some personal stuff...Everybody is putting themselves in that mind frame to sacrifice for the betterment of the team.”
 
He added that taking a step back from social media was just one of a handful of changes he has made leading up to the playoffs.
 
“Some are personal, but some, just being a lot more focused and more locked in, eliminating distractions,” Brown told CSNNE.com. “This generation, we’re so social media dependent. So just eliminating that, filling that in with other stuff whether it’s gym time or film or just time to yourself instead of it being so predicated on the cell phone.”
 
Brown understands the battle Boston (48-26) is in for the top spot in the East heading into the playoffs and how important getting that would be to this team.


 
“It means a lot, especially being a rookie from my perspective, being on a team that’s number one seed in the East and being a contributor.” Brown said. “What more could you ask for, coming in to the league, coming into the NBA. It’s been great for me. It’s been a blessing.”
 
While Brown has had his share of ups and downs as a rookie, there’s no ignoring the fact that he’s progressing at a brisk rate.

“Offensively, I’m getting a little more comfortable scoring the ball; mid-range game, I’m developing,” he said. “Defensively, being in the right spot at the right time, stuff like that. I’ve come a long way and I still have a long way to go.”