By A. Sherrod Blakely
The Boston Celtics will have to continue their search for another big man without Kwame Brown in the mix.
His agent told CSNNE.com on Sunday that he anticipates having a new deal for his client within the next few days, and it will in all likelihood not be with the Celtics.
"We're probably going in another direction," said his agent, Mark Bartelstein.
Money, of course.
The Celtics have nothing more than the veteran's minimum to offer Brown.
There are a number of teams that can not only offer more money but, like the Celtics, are also built for a deep playoff run.
"Kwame has some very interesting options to weigh," Bartelstein said. "Like I said, I think we'll have something done within the next couple of days. You never say never, because things can change quickly. But I just don't think it's going to work out with Boston."
As much abuse as the former No. 1 overall pick has taken for not living up to the lofty expectations that come with his draft status, Brown has done enough in the league to establish himself as a solid man-to-man defender.
Last week, Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, worked out Brown while the summer league team was in Orlando -- not too far from where Brown lives during the offseason.
Rivers told CSNNE.com he came away from the workout with Brown very impressed.
"He's a better athlete than I thought," Rivers said. "I wouldn't mind having him on our team, I can tell you that. He could help us."
Bartelstein would not reveal the teams that have expressed the most interest in his client, but the C's were fighting an uphill battle the minute they came to terms on a two-year deal with Jermaine O'Neal for the full mid-level exception.
That left Boston with nothing more to offer than the veteran's minimum while several teams would be more than happy to give Brown, who made $4 million last year in Detroit, a portion of the mid-level exception that's worth $5.765 million this season.
Boston big man Rasheed Wallace is expected to retire with two years remaining on his contract, with this upcoming season worth approximately $6.3 million.
The Celtics have a number of positions they can fill by trading Wallace prior to him retiring, but it's clear that finding frontcourt depth - especially at the center position - is one of the C's more pressing matters.
In addition to Wallace's expected retirement, Boston's starting center Kendrick Perkins suffered torn ligaments in his right knee in Game Six of the NBA Finals. He is scheduled to have surgery on the knee on Monday, with several months of rehabilitation to follow.
And it is unclear if the Celtics plan to re-sign backup center Shelden Williams, who played sparingly in his lone season in Boston.
Although the C's did not draft a center, they did sign 2008 second-round pick Semih Erden, a 7-foot center from Turkey. He was part of Boston's summer-league squad in Orlando, Fla. And like most summer-league players, he had his up-and-down moments. But in Boston's lone win, 92-71 over Charlotte, Erden has his best game with eight points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sherrodbcsn.
, doc rivers
, A. Sherrod Blakely
, Danny Ainge
, Kwame Brown