Agent: Celtics Top Pietrus’ Wish List

The agent for swingman Mickael Pietrus, placed on waivers by the Suns on Thursday, said four teams are most interested in picking him up once he clears waivers Saturday, with league sources strongly believing the 29-year-old will sign with the Celtics.

The Celtics are desperately hoping that Pietrus will clear waivers. Boston’s need for a defensive wing player is profound, and the Celtics know Pietrus well from his days with the Magic. Pietrus killed the Celtics off the bench in the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinal series, averaging 12 points in 25 minutes. He scored 17 points in three games of the series, including going six of seven from the floor, making all three of his 3-point attempts, in Orlando’s Game 7 win at Boston.

But agent Bill McCandless said Friday morning that he thought there was a “15 percent” chance that a team would claim Pietrus off of waivers before he clears. But that team would have to pay Pietrus the $4.2 million on his original contract (that is pro-rated for the 66-game regular season this year; Pietrus originally was to make $5.3 million this season). Pietrus and the Suns worked out a buyout that will pay him $3 million of the $4.2 million once he clears waivers; after that he’d be free to negotiate a new contract with the team that signs him.

Currently the most teams are offering Pietrus is the “mini” mid-level exception for teams that are more than $4 million above the luxury tax threshold of $70 million. The mini mid-level can run as many as three years and a little more than $9 million total. Pietrus, who was a key contributor during the Magic’s run to The Finals in 2009, wants to play for a contending team and is willing to take a little less than may be available to do so.

“In this case, cap space is a little less relevant,” McCandless said. “If you’re on a team that’s successful, then you’re successful.”

McCandless said that Pietrus got a clean bill of health from an independent medical examination on his right knee on Wednesday. The Suns had originally dealt Pietrus to Toronto earlier this month for a protected second-round pick, but the deal was voided when Pietrus’s knee swelled up after working out in Toronto. The Raptors then signed veteran Rasual Butler and got forward Gary Forbes from Denver via offer sheet. The independent physician “said he’s fine and ready to go,” McCandless said.

The Suns were still trying to work out a trade for Pietrus when they reached the buyout with him, and were not happy with his comportment while in Phoenix. Pietrus came there last season as part of the trade that sent center Marcin Gortat to Phoenix in exchange for Hedo Turkoglu going back to Orlando. Pietrus played in 38 games last season for Phoenix, averaging 7.4 points in a little more than 18 minutes a game, almost all of those as a reserve.

“You know the old saying, ‘all’s well that ends well?’,” Suns GM Lon Babby said. “In this case, it’s ‘all’s well that ends.’ “

23 Comments

  1. Celtics Man says:

    I’m tired of everyone calling the Celtics old. The only aging players are the big 3. Everyone else on that team is young.

  2. mattman says:

    Pietrus still has a lot left in the tank and I think this would be an extremely beneficial move for the C’s…a nice three point three coming off the bench would do dividends for the team and give them another offensive option who can also guard a few different positions mindofmattman.blogspot.com

  3. Frenchie CsForLIfe says:

    As a Celtics Fan and french i think this is a great move for Boston…Mike was the one raining 3s at the finals in 09. i wouldn’t sleep on him…

  4. Lakres R Us says:

    Just when everyone has written off a team, they come up with their best season! Look at San Antonio last year! If not for injuries who knows shat would have happened! The point is, never count out a team! Or Steve Nash! I’m a Laker fan and I don’t like the Suns, but I wouldn’t count em out just yet!

  5. Ghost says:

    Who cares about Pietrus??? Steve Nash to the Lakers!!

  6. js says:

    pretty perfect fit for any contending team. hes willing to take less money and you already know he thrives off the bench and in limited minutes. celtics could badly use him after losing jeff green for the season. the biggest problem here is he IS injury prone, but they just need him for this season so hopefully he can get it together for at least 66 games

  7. Law064 says:

    I think it’ll be good for Boston to get him, they need help with Green gone for the season. Boston can only benifit from grabbing him, pietrus will be a good fit

  8. mike says:

    The Celtics will make the playoffs. The Suns have no chance. Thanks again Danny!

  9. nathan says:

    yehh boiii!!!!
    another great player to the celtics!!!
    BOOM! :D

  10. airphilippines says:

    come to indana and to david west!!…not to the old geriatric ray allen & boston celtics

  11. Choker says:

    yeah….. anyways bad moves for the suns, they traded Dragic who was a perfect fit to the suns, let go of Amare who was some kind of a leader, traded Jrich who provided a spark to the Suns, let go of Barbosa who was a role player, now they release carter…………………. Suns used to be my favorite, who knows they just might trade or let go of Nash

  12. Rob says:

    I hope the Celtics go after Pietrus or Stevenson.

  13. Choker says:

    Suns really need to rebuild as well as the Magic……………. who knows Howard can leave Magic after this season and maybe even Nash would leave the Suns

    • BelizeBoy says:

      I don’t know if it’s bad coaching, management or luck but the Suns had all the talent needed to win and just couldn’t do it. Look at what they had from 2007-2009 and these guys were stacked. Nash, Shaq, Amare, Barbosa, Diaw, Bell, Richardson, Barnes, Hill(08), Lopez (08). Ten solid players (well nine since Shaq’s injuries but he still played). Then you had Dragic and Dudley to complete the bench. Now they have to rebuild and they might not see a lineup like that for decades. Makes me wonder if some teams are just destined to win and others to lose.

  14. michael says:

    best free-agent forward left in an absolutely horrible free-agent market. i’d drop him too, good move by the Suns. the Celtics are in horrible shape with an aging roster and now add an injury-prone forward. great job danny ainge.

    • jackson mark says:

      caron butler, nene, arron afflalo, david west, tyson & wilson chandler, … all terrible players. they can get pietrus for cheap. i’d do the same.

  15. yesss!!!!!!!!!! I knew the celtics were gonna try to sign him after the loss of jeff green this is a great move for the celtics

  16. dukedaboi1da says:

    hope the celtics get him, as a boston fan, he killed us in the 2009 semi finals. I remember that pretty well lol. Looking forward to this season and glad they are playing.

  17. Olyer says:

    Which are the other 3 teams interested?

    • js says:

      ill bet the spurs are one after going for caron butler and failing. Id imagin the heat are always looking, and probably even the lakers

  18. swed420 says:

    Suns will never get over the hump. Its down hill from here for a while. They clearly have no plan for after Nash. They dont even look like they are setting anything up.

  19. Rene says:

    I knew they would go after him and even sent an email to them about it!!! Best free agent forward left!

  20. NBA fan says:

    Apparently, the Suns need some work on their relationship skills, if a player like Pietrus was having comportment issues. No such issues occurred while he was in Orlando, at least none made public.