Celtics Could Be Getting Marquis Daniels
Daniels, who has played all three perimeter positions in his six-year career, would give the Celtics a reliable backup behind both small forward Paul Pierce and shooting guard Ray Allen. He also could serve as a third point guard.
Daniels is coming off his best season, one where he averaged 13.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the Pacers. But the team declined to exercise its option, which would have paid him $7.3 million next season.
"I'll be with a contender. That much I can say with certainty,'' Daniels said Friday at his Feed the Children charity event in Orlando, just a couple of miles from where he grew up. "There still are a few options, but I've pretty much got my mind made up. Just some small details have to be worked out.''
One of the names being discussed as part of the sign-and-trade is Celtics power forward Brian Scalabrine, who is going into the final year of his contract making $3.5 million.
The sign-and-trade would allow the Celtics to pay him more than the $1.9 million exception that they would have to use to sign him outright as an unrestricted free agent. Daniels had been asking teams for something closer to the mid-level exception.
Daniels, 28, said Friday his agent also has talked with Dallas (where he started his career), Orlando, Houston, New York and Charlotte. Daniels talked at length with Pacers general manager Larry Bird 10 days ago at the Orlando Summer League. Returning to the Pacers also remains a possibility.
Daniels lit up Friday when asked about the chance of playing for his home-town team. His charity giveaway was being done in a parking lot adjoining Amway Arena, where the Magic play.
"That would mean a lot. I grew up right down the street. I used to come watch them practice all the time,'' he said. "I'm just not sure what can be worked out.''
The Magic, who already will be venturing into the luxury-tax territory for the first time this season, have been trying to fill out their roster now with lower-priced players. They already traded veterans Tony Battie, Rafer Alston and second-year player Courtney Lee to get Vince Carter.