OAKLAND, Calif. The Boston Celtics are very much in the market for a center and will certainly look to make a move prior to the trading deadline.
But if the C's fail to land a much-needed big man prior to tomorrow's 3 p.m. deadline, all is not lost in their quest to add size.
New Orleans center Chris Kaman has been on the trading block for a while, with the asking price seemingly dropping by the minute.
He's earning more than 14 million this season, which as you can imagine, has scared off a number of potential suitors.
If the Hornets can't move him via trade, you can anticipate talks about a buy-out to begin soon.
That would allow him to become a free agent and sign with any team of his choosing.
According to a league source, Boston would be on his short list of potential destinations.
"You look at what they need and what he brings to the game . . . it would be a great fit, it really would," the source said. "But a lot of things have to happen, and not happen, before that can come about."
In the meantime, Boston (22-19) will try to make due with a lineup that's significantly smaller than anticipated. Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) and Chris Wilcox (heart-related issues) are both out indefinitely, although Ainge said he hopes to have more answers on the futures of both players prior to tomorrow's deadline.
Short of adding Kaman or another big man that could be bought out after the trading deadline, Ainge has said he's willing to ride this season out with the guys he currently has on the roster.
"Of course we'd like to be healthier and have a few more wins," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "But . . . you can see we are getting better in a lot of areas."
In addition to Kaman, other big men that have been linked with the Celtics in recent weeks include the freakishly athletic Wizards big man JaVale McGee, Minnesota lefty Michael Beasley and Indiana's Tyler Hansbrough.
According to former Celtic great Larry Bird, who is currently Indiana's president of basketball operations, Hansbrough could be on Boston's roster if the Pacers were willing to also give up a first-round pick in return for Ray Allen.
Bird had no interest in such a deal.
"If that's the value Danny's putting on Ray, he ain't getting it," Bird told ESPN.com.