Former Celtic Tony Battie Interested in Return to Boston

Before the Celtics had their Big Three, Tony Battie played center and forward for the Celtics. Since leaving Boston in 2003, he has bounced around the league. Now he may bounce right back to Boston.

Battie recently expressed an interest in rejoining the Celtics should he be bought out by the New Jersey Nets. According to WEEI.com, the 34-year-old "considers himself to be in the twilight of his career and a serviceable big man who could rebound, play tough defense and give timely fouls."

The deadline for the Nets to buy out Battie, who has played in just 15 games for the team this season, is Monday night. If he is bought out, he will then be free to sign with any team.

Battie played 5 1/2 seasons in Celtics green from 1998 to 2003. He was originally a draft pick of the Denver Nuggets, making his debut in the 1997-98 season. He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers after the year, with the Lakers then turning around and swapping him to the Celtics.

Battie was traded to the Cavaliers in December of 2003 along with Kedrick Brown and Eric Williams for Ricky Davis, Chris Mihm, Michael Stewart and a draft pick (Ryan Gomes).

Battie has spent time with the Orlando Magic as well, and his eventual trades from the Cavaliers and Magic have influenced the current makeup of those playoff-contending rosters.

Following the 2003-04 season, Cleveland sent Battie and two draft picks to the Orlando Magic for Drew Gooden, Steven Hunter and Anderson Varejao. Varejao remains a Cavalier and is now their starting center with the recent injury to Shaquille O'Neal. The later trade of Gooden brought Delonte West and O'Neal to Cleveland.

After Battie and the Magic vanquished the Celtics in the 2009-10 NBA Eastern Conference finals, he was sent to New Jersey along with Rafer Alston and Courtney Lee for a package including Vince Carter. He averaged 4.8 points and 3.6 rebounds last season in Orlando, but he has been a non-entity with the Nets, posting 2.4 points and 1.5 boards a night in the 15 games he's played.

Boston is interested in adding a big man to its bench for the postseason push and has also been linked to Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who is currently a free agent and is expected to return to the Cavaliers after being traded for Antawn Jamison at the trading deadline.

Another former Celtic reportedly on the market is soon-to-be former Minnesota Timberwolves big man Mark Blount, who is expected to be waived Monday night. Should Battie not end up in Boston, the C's may instead explore acquiring Blount.

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