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Freed-up Stoudamire an option for Celtics

Email|Print| Text size + By Marc J. Spears
Globe Staff / January 27, 2008

Soon-to-be free agent point guard Damon Stoudamire said yesterday that it would be "dumb" not to seriously consider the Celtics if they wanted him.

Stoudamire's agent, Aaron Goodwin, confirmed yesterday that his client has agreed in principle to a buyout with the Memphis Grizzlies, expected to become official tomorrow. While terms were not disclosed, Stoudamire was guaranteed $2.1 million this season and $2.3 million next season, excluding bonuses.

Stoudamire acknowledged yesterday that the Celtics, Suns, and Raptors are among the teams expected to have interest in him. The 5-foot-10-inch, 171-pounder could be an unrestricted free agent Wednesday after clearing waivers.

"The Boston situation speaks for itself," Stoudamire said. "Great record, three superstars, best record in NBA. If I would get into a situation like that, I would only hope to help and enhance it. Great coaching, great coaching staff . . .

"I'm comfortable with a situation where they are comfortable with me coming in. I'm not going to be a hindrance. There are places where guys fit and don't fit. I'm going to fit. No selfish motives. If Boston wants to speak to me, I'd be dumb not to look into the situation."

In the 2005-06 season, his first with the Grizzlies, Stoudamire suffered a season-ending knee injury (ruptured right patellar tendon) in December.

He returned in 2006-07, played in 62 games, started 51 and averaged 7.5 points and 4.8 assists per contest. This season, Stoudamire is averaging 7.3 points and 3.9 assists and is the Grizzlies' captain, but Memphis recently decided to give the playing time at point guard to rookies Mike Conley and Juan Carlos Navarro. Stoudemire has not played since Dec. 30.

Stoudamire's career averages are 13.8 points and 6.3 assists, with a 35.8 3-point shooting percentage. He has played in 46 playoff games but hasn't won a title.

"It's not about individual statistics and goals," Stoudamire said. "This is my 13th year. I want a chance to win the gold."

Stoudamire added that he would have no problems backing up Rajon Rondo in Boston. The Celtics have quietly been on the lookout for a veteran backup; team officials can't speak about Stoudamire until he officially becomes a free agent.

"I'm just happy and elated that the whole situation has been resolved," Stoudamire said. "Right now I'm going to sit back. I have my favorites and my pecking order. And hopefully, I will get the call I want to get."

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