Hornets Enter Mix as One of Four Teams Being Considered by Leon Powe
Powe's agent, Aaron Goodwin, confirmed in an interview with FanHouse on Sunday the Hornets have entered the mix to land Powe, waived Thursday by Cleveland. In addition to the Hornets, Goodwin said he's also had preliminary conversations with Boston, New York and Memphis, teams previously identified as candidates.
"New Orleans is a good young team that has a good chance to go to the playoffs,'' Goodwin said of why the Hornets appeal to Powe. "He would have a chance to play there.''
Goodwin said Powe doesn't have a leading candidate to possibly sign with although he said Boston does provide "familiarity.'' Powe played with the Celtics from 2006-09, his first three NBA seasons, including being on the title-winning 2008 outfit.
The 6-foot-8 Powe had played sparingly for the Cavaliers, averaging 5.0 points in 14 games before his request to be waived was granted.
"We'd been trying to get Cleveland to let him go for over two months,'' Goodwin said. "For whatever reason, he just didn't fit in to (coach) Byron Scott's system.''
Asked why it took so long, Goodwin said his belief was the Cavaliers wanted to hold on to Powe through Thursday's trade deadline to use as a possible piece in a trade. After Powe wasn't dealt, he was waived. He will end up collecting his full $915,852 salary for the season.
Powe averaged 6.6 points in his first three seasons with the Celtics before suffering a torn left ACL in the first round of the 2009 playoffs. Powe signed a two-year, $1.8 million contract with Cleveland before last season and didn't return to action until Feb. 25, 2010. Powe hasn't played this season since having surgery Jan. 7 to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee, but Goodwin said he's now healthy.
"He's a proven winner,'' Goodwin said. "I think he can fit into a playoff team and give them some good minutes.''
Goodwin expects Powe will sign with a team for the prorated minimum in his classification, which is $947,907. He hopes Powe won't be claimed by waivers before Tuesday.
"He would rather choose his team,'' said Goodwin, who expects Powe to make his decision Tuesday if he clears waivers.
There are four teams in the mix now, and all are playoff candidates. Goodwin, though, won't be surprised if some other teams come into play Monday.