By A. Sherrod Blakely
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Boston Celtics' rise to basketball royalty has been in part because of their ability to sign or trade for former high draft picks with many years of experience.
Most have had the kind of NBA career that, to a large degree, validated their draft status.
And then there's Kwame Brown, a former No. 1 overall pick who is now a possible free-agent target for the Boston Celtics.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers confirmed to CSNNE.com that he will meet with Brown as early as Wednesday to discuss the possibility of him becoming a Celtic.
While many see Brown as one of the biggest busts in NBA history, Rivers is convinced that the 28-year-old still has plenty to offer a championship-caliber team like the Celtics.
"Size. He's got size and potential," Rivers said. "He hasn't realized that yet. But it's there. We want to see if we can get it out of him."
At 6-foot-11, 270 pounds, Brown has the kind of size and strength Boston is looking for in the frontcourt.
While his offensive game has been a work in progress throughout his career, Brown has shown the ability to be a solid, man-to-man defender - the kind of defender the C's will need if they face Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in the playoffs.
And compared to some of the other big men Boston has interest in, Brown will likely come at the most reasonable cost.
One of the reasons the C's have turned their attention more to Brown is the fact that their top big man target, Brad Miller, will likely command more money than the mid-level exception, which is the most the C's can offer.
Meanwhile Brown, who is represented by the same agent as Miller, is more likely to receive a contract that only takes up a portion of the mid-level exception which would give the Celtics the flexibility to add another player using the remainder.
While many have focused on what Brown has not been able to accomplish during his NBA career, Rivers believes the things that Brown has proven he can do well in the NBA - defend - would allow him to fit in.
"We know who we are," Rivers said. "We're not disguising that. Big offensive numbers, yeah, that would be great. But we use that as a disguise so we can defend you. That's what he would be."