Report: Celtics in Position to Sign Mickael Pietrus If Swingman Can Clear Waivers

The Celtics will open their season on Sunday afternoon in New York against the Knicks, but they're trying to finish up a little last-minute Christmas shopping before getting going.

One player the C's could add as soon as Saturday is swingman Mickael Pietrus of the Phoenix Suns, who was placed on waivers on Thursday. NBA.com's David Aldridge reports that Pietrus' agent says that there are four teams interested in the 29-year-old. Aldridge also cites league sources who say that Boston is the favorite to sign the veteran swingman.

Before that can happen, however, Pietrus must clear waivers. His agent told Aldridge he believes there is a "15 percent" chance that will happen, but if a team were to claim Pietrus, it would be on the hook for the $4.2 million owed to him. The Suns negotiated a buyout of $3 million with Pietrus before waiving him.

"I think Mike likes the Celtics very much and likes that option very much," Pietrus' agent, Bill McCandless, told The Boston Globe. "I guess we'll open up the present [Saturday] at 6:30.[p.m.]. There's one team that was interested in trading for him and it did come down to the wire."

Pietrus appeared to be headed to Toronto in a trade, but a swollen knee at a workout with the Toronto Raptors effectively killed the deal.

"He loves Doc [Rivers]" McCandless told the Globe. "They know each other. They speak when they see each other. It's not like he doesn't know the head coach."

Pietrus, a small forward, would likely serve as a backup to Paul Pierce should he come to Boston. Given Pierce's recent injury problems, he could present even more value to the C's. In 57 games last season with the Magic and Suns, Pietrus averaged 7.4 points per game playing just under 20 minutes a night. He is also known as a strong defender.

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