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Thursday, December 20, 2007
Updated: December 21, 5:13 AM ET
Source: Webber considering return to play for Pistons

By J.A. Adande
ESPN.com

Fourteen-year veteran Chris Webber is close to returning to the NBA, with the Pistons his likely destination, a source close to Webber told ESPN.com.

"Look for him to be back the first week of January," the source said.

The Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers had also inquired about Webber's services, with the Heat intensifying their efforts after backup center Alonzo Mourning suffered an apparent season-ending injury to his patellar tendon in a game at Atlanta Wednesday night. But for Webber, a Michigan native, his familiarity with the Pistons players and coach Flip Saunders' system after playing there last season appears to make them the most desirable team.

Webber signed with the Pistons on Jan. 16, 2007, after being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers. In 43 games with Detroit, Webber averaged 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds.

The Pistons currently have the maximum 15 players on their roster after trading Nazr Mohammed to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Primoz Brezec and Walter Herrmann last week, so they would have to make another move to free a spot for Webber.

J.A. Adande is the author of "The Best Los Angeles Sports Arguments." He joined ESPN.com as an NBA columnist in August 2007 after 10 years with the Los Angeles Times. Click here to e-mail J.A.