Here’s a look at some of the many rumors that are out there in the basketball world, most of which concerning the reigning champion Boston Celtics.
Dikembe Mutombo to return to the NBA after Christmas, possibly to Boston:
Once Dikembe Mutombo passes out his gifts, he hopes to return to the NBA for a final season, possibly with the Celtics.
The 7-foot-2-inch, 260-pound center said last week he hopes to sign with a team after spending Christmas with his family in Atlanta. The four-time Defensive Player of the Year said among the teams that have shown interest are Boston, San Antonio, and Miami. The former Rocket also said Houston has “not answered me.” The 42-year-old, who has blocked 3,278 shots during his 17-year career, said he is in “good shape” from working out three hours a day with spinning classes, yoga, and weightlifting.
“You’ll see me in the next two weeks,” Mutombo said. “I will be somewhere. I really need to go back to playing. I’ve just got to make sure that I go to a place where I can be happy. There are about four to five teams that I’ve been looking at and about seven teams that have shown interest. It’s up to me to make my decision.”
The Celtics have the maximum 15 players and would have to waive one to make room for Mutombo. While Boston’s starting center spot is solidified with Kendrick Perkins, his backups include seldom-used Patrick O’Bryant and undersized Leon Powe and Glen Davis. The Celtics have not replaced the veteran experience and length that free agent P.J. Brown brought late last season and have interest in Mutombo, but have not offered him a contract.
“The way Boston is playing right now with [Kevin Garnett], Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, the team is heading in a direction toward winning another championship,” Mutombo said. “It will be interesting if I made the decision to go there. It would be very good. I’ve been to the Finals twice [with Philadelphia and New Jersey]. I got close, but I walked away empty-handed. Maybe going to Boston would give me a chance to win.
“I would love to play until July and then retire after this season,” added the eight-time All-Star. “My plan is to play this season. If my mind is set to play basketball, why not?”
Ainge, Celtics seriously interested in Marbury?
The Boston Celtics are one of a handful of teams, according to sources close to the situation, who have expressed interest in embattled Stephon Marbury if the embattled point guard is bought out by the New York Knicks.
Marbury, who was told by the Knicks earlier this month to stay away from the team until a resolution is arranged, has also fielded interest from Miami, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers, according to league sources.
Celtics boss Danny Ainge, according to the source, is legitimately interested in bringing Marbury on board because of his ability to handle pressure defenses – an area where backup Eddie House has struggled.
Ainge believes the locker room is strong enough – with veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen – to handle the addition of the enigmatic Marbury.
Antoine Walker expecting a buyout.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Antoine Walker found himself in a familiar stance Sunday, offering farewells while surrounded by Heat players.
Dealt 14 months ago by the Heat to the Timberwolves, and then traded in the offseason by Minnesota to Memphis, Walker said Sunday he expects to receive a buyout today from the Grizzlies.
“Hopefully, with this buyout, the opportunity is going to be there for me,” Walker said before Sunday’s game against the Heat. “Maybe I can go and talk to a few teams and hopefully move on to a better situation very soon.”
After being caught in youth movements on his last two teams, Walker said showing, at 32, that he still can be a contributor is his goal.
“I just want to play,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to make a lot of money in this league, but I want to play the games.”
Celtics shopping Giddens for future first-round pick.
The Celtics have offered their first-round pick, J.R. Giddens, around the league for a future first-round pick. So far, there are no takers. Giddens is playing for the Utah Flash of the NBA Developmental League.