Celtics notebook

Ainge is big fan of summer camp

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Julian Benbow
Globe Staff / July 5, 2008

Aside from the money he'll save by not taking the trip to Las Vegas for the summer league, what Celtics general manager Danny Ainge liked most about hosting the team's summer camp in Waltham was that he got a chance to see everyone from Glen Davis banging in the low post with free agent Randolph Morris to Gabe Pruitt running offensive sets with former Arizona point guard Mustafa Shakur shaking him down.

Ainge saw enough to get a clear idea of who the players are and how they play, something that's hard to do in the summer league.

"Sometimes you go to summer league you have five guys on a court at a time with 12-man rosters," he said. "With the combinations here, we get to see more of everybody, and I thought that was a big advantage."

Ainge is shopping for a point guard, a big man, and a wing player, but you probably won't hear from the Celtics until Sept. 30, when training camp starts. So this week was their summer league.

Ainge said he'll talk to the coaching staff about who did well, then keep an eye on how players perform in the summer leagues before sifting through the possibilities for training camp. But for the most part, what happens in Vegas this month will stay in Vegas.

"A lot of the players have opportunities and a lot of the players will go on now and play summer leagues with other teams," Ainge said. "So this evaluation for the players that are here will just continue throughout the summer and we'll just see what our needs are after free agency and we'll continue to evaluate these guys."

Morris, who played 23 games with the Knicks over the past two seasons, was one of 16 players who came to camp on a job hunt.

"The thing with this process, feedback's iffy," said Morris, who played with Rajon Rondo at Kentucky, "If you don't get any, you just keep playing on. It's not really about feedback, it's just going out and doing what you can do and being confident."

Ainge said the summer is huge for Davis and Pruitt.

"This is a step in the right direction," Davis said. "I can feel the game getting slower to me already just going through one year of playing at a competition level that high. You can see everything a little bit more."

Pruitt said, "I think it's probably a little bit better than the summer league just for the fact that we have our whole staff here watching us play. They give you a chance to play in their system. They get to break it down and stop things where they need to see things that they need to see."

Tall order

The Celtics continued their search for a big man by working out Patrick O'Bryant, Golden State's first-round pick (ninth overall) out of Bradley in 2006.

The 7-foot center showed decent range and solid footwork taking feeds in the post. But when he hit the low post against Wisconsin's Brian Butch and Detroit Mercy's Ryvon Covile, who had each been practicing since 9 in the morning, O'Bryant was tugging at his shorts not even 15 minutes into the drill, struggling to muster enough strength to defend either.

Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss pointed out that O'Bryant arrived in Boston at 1 a.m., although he tired quickly against players who had been on the court all morning. O'Bryant took the court at approximately 11 a.m.

Ainge, watching from the sideline, had already taken a look at Chris Andersen, David Harrison, and Kirk Snyder, and said, "We've had a lot of guys come in and work out. We're just continuing the process. We're just trying to find out who's available and find the best ones for us."

Retiring type?

Ainge figures P.J. Brown will retire, and after he talked with Brown Thursday, his hunch is stronger. "I just don't think he'll play again," Ainge said. "That's my gut. He's 39 years old. He's got a nice family and he finished it off in a nice way." . . . Ainge had no comment on James Posey's status. Ainge also deflected questions about a contract offer for Corey Maggette. "I'm not commenting on any names," he said . . . Paul Pierce's basketball camp for boys and girls ages 8-17 starts Monday at Basketball City and runs through Friday.

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