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Brown building his case

Celtics assistant eyed by Indiana

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Considered a dark-horse candidate for the Indiana Pacers head coaching job, the stock of Celtics assistant Tony Brown appears to be rising, according to talk around the NBA predraft camp this week. Early front-runners Sam Mitchell (re-signed with Toronto) and Stan Van Gundy (declined the job last week) are out of the picture.

Like most NBA executives, Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh and president of basketball operations Larry Bird are here for the camp, during which teams scout potential late-first- and second-round picks, as well as conduct other business.

With 10 years as an NBA assistant, Brown has been long considered a head-coach-in-waiting, despite the Celtics' struggles. Brown, 46, has spent the last three seasons with Boston after stints in Detroit and Toronto. A job with the Pacers would mark a return to familiar territory for Brown, who played for Indiana his rookie season of a seven-year career and grew up a three-hour drive away in Chicago.

In other coaching news, the Memphis Grizzlies are expected to announce the hiring of Phoenix Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni as their new head coach today.

Ainge not sold
While the camp offers the opportunity to pack a lot of player evaluation into a few days, some top decision makers don't find the event particularly useful.

"I don't put a lot of stock into this camp and how guys play," said the Celtics' Danny Ainge. "I don't ignore it, but it's a very small piece of the whole puzzle. There's a lot of agents and players who think that this is not an advantageous environment for some players. I find it hard to disagree with that."

Ainge sat front and center for last night's scrimmages at the Milk House Gym at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. And Jon "the Brain Doctor" Niednagel was beside him. The pair saw strong performances by Texas A&M forward Antanas Kavaliauskas (14 points, 6 rebounds) and San Diego State forward Mohamed Abukar (16 points, 6 rebounds) in the first game. Florida junior Taurean Green (11 points, 3 assists) also had some good moments. In the second game, San Diego State guard Brandon Heath (17 points, 6 for 9) and Oral Roberts forward Caleb Green (14 points, 8 rebounds) had strong showings.

Game plan
Ainge and other members of the Celtics' staff plan to stay until Wednesday conducting workouts. Boston has joined forces with a handful of teams to put players projected as second-round picks through drills and scrimmages. The Celtics plan to work out players destined for the top picks in the draft at their Waltham practice facility . . . A league source confirmed that coach Doc Rivers will receive between $1 million to $2 million guaranteed with benchmarks for the 2008-09 season when his extension goes into effect. Rivers can potentially earn $5 million, the amount he will receive for next season if he finishes his extension year.

Shira Springer can be reached at