- Marc Stein, ESPN Senior Writer
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Add Houston's Shane Battier to the list of perimeter players that possess the ideal combination -- veteran know-how with an expiring contract -- to interest the Boston Celtics.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has publicly acknowledged the need for backcourt reinforcements thanks to the Marquis Daniels' bruised spinal cord and Delonte West's spotty health all season.
After the name of Cleveland's Anthony Parker surfaced Friday as a player that Boston has joined conference rival Chicago in pursuing, sources said Monday that the Celtics and Rockets have likewise discussed the prospect of Battier moving East.
Yet it's too soon to say whether the teams can reach an agreement on a deal to send Battier to the Celtics, given that Boston's trade chips are limited and since Houston is regarded as one of the most aggressive teams in a conservative market and might need Battier's expiring $7.4 million salary for a bigger move.
As for Parker, Cleveland continues to tell teams that it doesn't want to surrender a player it likes as much as the former Maccabi Tel-Aviv star for a mere draft pick -- even a first-rounder -- when the deep-pocketed Cavs can simply buy draft picks. So it's conceivable, if that's more than posturing, that Parker won't be dealt before Thursday's 3 p.m. trading deadline.
Chicago's well-chronicled interest in Houston's Courtney Lee persists as well, and discussions between the teams continues. Yet it's not clear there, either, if the teams can come to terms on a trade that works with the Bulls obviously (and justifiably) unwilling to part with Taj Gibson and reluctant to surrender the developing Omer Asik to import the shooting guard everyone knows the Bulls covet.
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