Celtics: Corey Brewer
It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that Boston is pushing as hard for Brewer as anyone, given that the Celts tried to trade for Brewer before Minnesota sent him to New York as part of the three-way Carmelo Anthony deal. Celtics president Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers are said to be Brewer fans and personally lobbying him. Hard.
But Boston and San Antonio, in this case, can’t compete financially with the Dallas Mavericks, who have their full mid-level exception remaining -- worth just under $4 million as of Wednesday because the figure is reduced daily from its original $5.8 million at this juncture of the season -- to comfortably exceed any offer the Celtics or Spurs could make.
The Celts actually have the least to pitch financially of the three teams, sitting more than $5 million over the luxury-tax threshold and limited to offering a pro-rated share of the league minimum just as they gave Murphy. With the Spurs only about $1 million away from the tax line and likewise only possessing cap exceptions worth $1.5 and $1.2 million, respectively, Dallas would appear to have a clear bidding advantage over their neighbors from the NBA elite, fitting as it might be to see Brewer wind up with the Spurs given the frequent comparisons linking Brewer to Bruce Bowen.
Sources say Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, like Rivers, has been lobbying Brewer to try to seal a deal. There’s a decent chance that Sasha Pavlovic, who earlier this season completed two 10-day contracts with Dallas, will return to the Mavs if they don’t get Brewer ... and possibly land with Boston if the Mavs do.
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--BREWER NEARS BUYOUT WITH KNICKS--
The Knicks and Brewer are closing in on a buyout agreement that will make the former Minnesota swingman a free agent, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com.
Because Brewer will be officially released before March 1, he's eligible to play in the playoffs with another team.
Sources say Boston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Dallas are among the teams with the most interest in Brewer, who joined the Knicks only last week as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal.
The Celtics had previously tried to acquire Brewer from Minnesota before the Anthony trade went through.
--BIBBY AGREES TO BUYOUT, HEADED TO HEAT?--
Mike Bibby and the Washington Wizards have agreed to terms on a buyout.
In a stunning move, Bibby, whom the Wizards acquired from Atlanta last week in a trade for Kirk Hinrich, gave up his entire salary for next season. The 32-year-old point guard had one year and $6.2 million left on his deal.
"He sacrificed some money in order to win a championship," said David Falk, Bibby's agent. "Once you're past 10, 11 years in the league, you want to be in a situation where you can win. He's got some attractive options open to him."
Bibby is eager to sign with a title-contending team after clearing waivers, and sources say the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are interested in him.
--Forsberg's Analysis: Delonte West's latest ankle injury, however minor, will leave the Celtics considering whether they need to bring in someone who can handle the ball in emergency situations, but that doesn't necessarily mean Boston needs to chase someone like Bibby (who's still on the Garden naughty list for his fair-weather fans comments from 2008). Murphy is rumored to be leaning towards South Beach as well now, which shouldn't come as too much of a surprise given the fact that there's more opportunity in Miami's frontcourt.
Brewer is the one player that Celtics' fans should be crossing their fingers for. Yes, Boston just landed Jeff Green to help fill that backup swingman position, but Brewer is a legitimate defender who would ensure the words "Tony Allen" never got muttered during the 2011 postseason. While no player obtained via the buyout market is likely to factor too heavily in Boston's postseason plans, Brewer might be the most likely of the bunch to find a way into the playoff rotation given his defensive talents.
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