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Friday, July 13, 2012
Chris Wilcox returning to Celtics

By Chris Forsberg
ESPNBoston.com

Free agent center Chris Wilcox, who spent part of the 2011-12 season with the Boston Celtics before a heart ailment cut his year short, will re-sign with the team, according to a league source.

Barring an unexpected use of the biannual exception, Wilcox will return on a minimum deal of $1.35 million for a 10-year veteran (though the league picks up a large portion of that move, putting Boston on the hook for merely $854,389 next season). Last year he played for the taxpayers' mini-midlevel exception of $3 million.

Wilcox appeared in 28 games last season, averaging 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds over 17.2 minutes per game before a routine screening in March detected an aortic irregularity. He underwent heart surgery later that month at the Cleveland Clinic.

Wilcox only this past week resumed basketball activities, but once he completes his rehab he will add much-needed frontcourt depth to the Celtics.

Boston moved quick to sign Wilcox to the taxpayers' mid-level exception after the lockout lifted last season. He started slow -- hindered by minor injuries -- but came on strong and proved to be both a force on the glass and someone that could run with Rajon Rondo in transition.

Wilcox never has been to the postseason, but the Celtics kept him a part of the team even after he was waived to make room for center Ryan Hollins. Wilcox was spotted in the locker room during the playoffs. He came to Boston for a couple of playoff games and watched from the baseline opposite the Celtics bench.

Wilcox wasn't the only Celtics player to have his season ended by a heart ailment; teammate Jeff Green did as well. Both will be back with the Celtics next season.