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Names bouncing around NBA
Names bouncing around
Ainge considers Barry, and others
By Peter May, Globe Staff | February 25, 2008
PORTLAND, Ore. - By this time next week, we should have a pretty good idea if there are going to be any more add-ons to the Celtics roster. A number of players on executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge's to-do list will become available, most notably Brent Barry tomorrow. Also possibilities: Sam Cassell (provided the Clippers buy him out and waive him by midnight Friday) and Chris Andersen (who would fit the need for an athletic big man, but who still is awaiting league and union approval on his reinstatement filings.)
"I really don't know where we stand," Ainge said yesterday before the Celtics' 112-102 victory over the Blazers. "I've had conversations with just about everyone. But I am not sitting around and holding my breath, waiting for something to happen."
Barry is an Ainge favorite from way back, but the former Spur/Sonic/Bull/Heat/Clipper is on a lot of teams' wish lists. He also can sit around San Antonio and chill (to borrow a phrase from Jerry Stackhouse) and re-sign with the Spurs in the third week of March. He is out anyway for now with a injury.
As for Cassell, he was quoted in yesterday's Los Angeles Times saying, "The question is, will they give me a buyout?" He was referring to the Clippers. He referred any other queries to his agent, David Falk.
The names of Flip Murray and Jamaal Magliore also have been bounced around. Asked about the unusually high number of available bodies after the trade deadline, Ainge said, "all it says is that there are a lot of different reasons why trades are made. It's not like in the olden days, when you traded a player for another player to help your team. There are a lot of other reasons, from teams trying to save money to teams looking ahead to next year to teams going for a championship."
The Celtics will close out their trip tonight against the Clippers. Los Angeles center Chris Kaman is doubtful with a sore lower back while Cassell (sore wrist) is questionable. Boston will be going for its first LA sweep against the Lakers and Clippers since the 2001-02 season. In an interesting bit of scheduling, the Celtics will be finished with the Lakers and Clippers before the Trail Blazers play either team. Portland meets the Lakers for the first time this season tomorrow night and then plays the Clippers for the first time Wednesday. Seven of the Trail Blazers' final 26 games are against either LA team . . . Brandon Roy played only 26 minutes - and none of the last 17:44 - after aggravating a right ankle injury. "You could see he was limping out there," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "He wasn't himself, and that clearly hurt Portland because he's their leader and their point guard."
Court out of session?
Ainge was lamenting the likely demise of McArthur Court, the venerable home floor of the University of Oregon's Ducks. The state legislature has approved funding a new arena for around $200 million, helped in part by a $100 million donation to the school's athletic program from Nike boss Phil Knight. Ainge, who grew up in Eugene, went to many a game in the building, now in its 79th year, and said, "That place is legendary. I watched games there my whole childhood. I played a lot in the summer there and had a few high school games there, too." Ainge said Celtics uberscout Leo Papile visited McArthur for the first time recently and came away raving about the place . . . Portland was missing James Jones, who is out with a left knee injury, for the 10th straight game. He may be back this week. The Blazers miss his outside shooting (49.3 percent from international waters), which is one reason they acquired Von Wafer from Denver. Overall, James has missed 21 games this season. Portland is 22-12 in the games in which he has played . . . Brian Scalabrine again was hors de combat with a strained right groin. He has yet to play on this trip and Rivers said Scalabrine "is out for the trip."
Peter May can be reached at email@example.com.
May the odds be ever in your favor.
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