Celtics notebook

Ainge gets his new wingman: Pavlovic

By Julian Benbow and Gary Washburn
Globe Staff / March 3, 2011

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After watching Corey Brewer choose the Mavericks rather than join the Celtics for their playoff run, Boston nabbed former Cavalier Sasha Pavlovic, according to an NBA source.

Celtics president Danny Ainge said before last night’s 115-103 win over the Suns he wanted to add an experienced wing to play behind Paul Pierce, and Pavlovic was a contributor on the Cleveland team that ran into the Celtics in the 2008 playoffs.

He was dealt to Phoenix in June 2009 in the trade that netted Shaquille O’Neal.

After playing last season with the Timberwolves, Pavlovic played with the Mavericks and Hornets this season on 10-day contracts. He was let go by the Hornets last month.

Ainge said he had interest in Brewer, a 24-year-old swingman who was the No. 7 pick in the 2007 draft, but didn’t have the money to lure him in. Brewer signed a three-year deal worth between $7 million and $8 million.

“We had interest in Corey,’’ Ainge said. “We had a conversation with him. Dallas is a good team, too.’’

In 466 games, Pavlovic has averaged 5.4 points and 1.8 rebounds. He is a career 35 percent 3-point shooter and canned 7 of 21 triples in 14 games this season.

Since the trade deadline, the Celtics have added Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic in a deal with Oklahoma City and Troy Murphy after he was bought out by the Warriors. Getting any more deals done quickly will help a team that’s tried to find practice time to get the new faces acclimated.

“Sooner than later is all I have to say,’’ said coach Doc Rivers. “Since we’re adding all these guys, the sooner we do it and put them all together, the better.

“We just have to try to figure this out on the fly. I told our coaching staff, we’ve got to do a lot of film watching with them, we’ve got to grab half-hours if we can grab them, whether it’s in a ballroom or on the floor, we’ve just got to do it and it’s going to take time.

“We’re in the building phase which we didn’t think we would be in at this point in the year, but we are. We have to get this done. We have to figure out how quickly we can do it.’’

Murphy activated Murphy made the drive from New York, and was immediately activated for last night’s win over the Suns, in which he scored a point and pulled down two rebounds in 14 minutes.

“It wasn’t bad, didn’t get a ticket on 95, it was good,’’ the 30-year-old power forward said.

“He saw how we used other 4s that can shoot, and he liked that,’’ Rivers said. “He likes the fact that we’re in it for one thing and that’s to win a title. We’re not trying to build.’’

After a strong 2009-10 season with the Pacers, Murphy was lost in the shuffle in New Jersey, where he played just 18 games, sitting since Jan. 7.

“They wanted to go with a younger team and develop some of their younger players and I can understand and respect that,’’ said Murphy.

Murphy dealt with trade rumors all season as the Nets tried to make a deal for Carmelo Anthony that never came together.

“Just with Carmelo, It was an everyday situation,’’ Murphy said. “Different guys were rumored right from the beginning of training camp. Guys were rumored to go and it dragged on all year and it kind of weighed on the guys on the Nets, and myself as well.’’

Though Murphy was high on their list, Rivers said he will have to earn his playing time.

“We were honest with him,’’ Rivers said. “There’s minutes, but there’s only earnable minutes.’’

Security center Not long after Kendrick Perkins inked a four-year, $34.8 million contract extension with the Thunder, his former coach put in a loan application.

“I don’t know if that’s a salary cap violation when a player gives a coach money,’’ Rivers said.

Perkins turned down the Celtics’ offer on an extension, telling management he’d test free agency this summer. After recovering from ACL surgery on his right knee last July, he played 12 games, spraining his left MCL in Golden State just before the deadline. The deal gives the 26-year-old center some security.

“You’ve got to think about Perk’s situation,’’ said Glen Davis. “Right before he got traded, his knee was hurt. I’m happy for Perk. He’s a great center and he’s going help them win a championship. If they ever get a chance to win a championship, Perk’s going to help, and everybody knows that.

“Last year in the Finals, if he doesn’t go down, we win that. So in Perk, Oklahoma City’s got a young center who’s going to be able to do some big things for them, give them that toughness that they need.’’

Davis set for MRI Davis will have an MRI today to determine the extent of a knee injury he suffered in the final minutes last night. Going up for a dunk that made it 113-100 with 49.3 seconds left, Davis said he felt a pain that was determined to be a strained left patella. After the game, the knee was iced and wrapped heavily. “I can’t tell, I think everything’s swollen on me,’’ said Davis, who’s played every game this season. He said the knee has been bothering him all season, but “I’m not concerned.’’ . . . Still nursing a sprained right ankle, Delonte West missed his second straight game last night and is doubtful for tomorrow’s game against the Warriors . . . Shaquille O’Neal, who had been working out in Orlando, Fla., during the team’s four-game West Coast trip, returned to Boston. He isn’t expected to return to the lineup until next week at the earliest.

Julian Benbow can be reached at

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