By Jessica Camerato
As the Celtics dealt away Kendrick Perkins and Semih Erden on the trade deadline, another big man became available on the free-agent market.
Former Celtic Leon Powe was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, ending his two-year stint with the team. Powe appeared in just 34 games for the Cavs since signing with the team in 2009.
Now he is looking to help another organization win, just as he did with the Celtics in 2008. While Powe is exploring all of his options as a free agent, he would be open to returning to the C’s.
"I’ll be happy wherever I end up, but Boston is always holding a special place in my heart," Powe told CSNNE.com on Thursday evening. "The fans were so good to me, everybody up there was so nice, and it would be a great thing to return back to the Celtics if I could."
Powe, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward, is a player the Celtics may have interest in reaching out to as they fill out their roster, with two spots currently available.
The Celtics traded five players on Thursday and acquired Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic from the Oklahoma City Thunder. They also signed Chris Johnson (Dakota Wizards, NBA Development League) to a 10-day contract. The Celtics are still, however, without the injured Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal.
Powe believes he can be a contributor on any team looking to win it all.
"I love to play defense," he said. "I can get some scoring, rebounding, and some extra toughness. That’s my type of game. I think every team could use that, but we’ll see what happens from here on out."
In his three years with the C’s, he was known for his hustle, defensive-focus, and "do-whatever-it-takes-to-win" mentality. Even though Powe was part of a losing team this season, he has not lost his winning attitude. He stresses the importance of cherishing the moment and putting his best foot forward every game.
"I think I can help a team reach their goals and try to win a championship," he said. "I think that’d be a good fit for me because I don’t have to play 40, 45 minutes. If I needed to I could, but I don’t have to do that. I can come in, fill in some spots, and just be solid. I’m just looking for that opportunity to try to get that done."
As Powe awaits to see where the remainder of the season will take him, he is thankful for all of the encouragement and support he receives. He may have left Boston in 2009, but he is still very much on the minds of Celtics fans.
"They still support me and appreciate what I did back then, helping the team out, being a good sport, doing good community work, never complaining," he said. "I think they appreciate that and the hard work, and I really appreciate them too."
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jcameratoNBA