By GREG CAMERON
To paraphrase from a certain restaurant chain’s commercial campaign, the Boston Celtics got their baby back.
The Celtics announced that the club has re-signed forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis. Terms of the deal were not announced by the club, but WEEI.com and FoxSports.com’s Jeff Goodman reports that the two-year deal is worth approximately $6.3 million.
Davis provided the Celtics with much-needed front-court help in the wake of Kevin Garnett’s season-ending knee injury last year. As a starter for all of the 2009 postseason the Louisiana native averaged 15.8 points per game and 5.6 rebounds.
Davis told reporters that he was frustrated a few times this summer with how free agency had been going for him, despite interest from a handful of teams. However as evidenced by yesterday’s press conference, both Ainge and Davis are elated to have the 6’9” forward back in the fold with the Celtics.
“Glen has been a big part of our team’s success over the last two years, and we are very excited to have him back,” Ainge told reporters. “He’s young and energetic and we want him to be a part of our team for years to come.”
“I’ll be ready to go out and play, do whatever it takes,” Davis said to reporters.
From looking at Celtics GM Danny Ainge’s other moves this offseason, the lack of bench depth behind Garnett and center Kendrick Perkins was clearly the top priority of the club. To start the team’s search for quality front-court depth, the Celtics signed All-Star forward Rasheed Wallace last month a two-year deal using the team’s mid-level exception.
In addition to announcing that Davis will be back with the Celtics for the 2009-10 season, the Celtics officially announced the signing of forward Shelden Williams to a veteran minimum one-year deal worth close to $1.3 million. Williams was a star collegiate player during a sucessful four-year career at storied Duke University.
After graduating in 2006, Williams made his mark on the illustrious program’s record books as Duke’s leading rebounder and shot-blocker. That collegiate success led Williams to be drafted fifth overall in that June’s draft by the Atlanta Hawks.
Since draft night, Williams has bounced around the league considerably playing for Atlanta, Sacramento, and Minnesota before signing with the Celtics this summer. However, the former collegiate phenom has not seen the same success in the professional ranks that he did playing for Hall-Of-Fame coach Mike Kryzyzewski.
“Shelden has proven he can defend and rebound,” Ainge said to reporters. “Offensively he hasn’t come around as well, but it’s about getting an opportunity in this league.”
Williams has averaged 4.7 points per game for his career thus far in addition to 4.2 rebounds per game. Those numbers pale in comparison from the 18.8 points and 10.7 rebounds a night he averaged as a Duke senior during the 2005-2006 campaign.
With this summer’s signings, Danny Ainge is very excited about how the shape his team is taking. The Celtic GM even recalled a very formidable front-court lineup from the Celtics’ rich and illustrious history
“We feel we have a really good front court, maybe the best we’ve had since Bird, Parish, McHale, Wegman and Walton,” Ainge said to reporters. “Probably since that era, it’s the best front line we’ve had.”
It was sort of fitting that both Davis and Williams shared the stage at today’s press conference, after just over three years since both players squared off at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. Williams was a powerhouse for the Blue Devils that night as he put up 23 points and 13 rebounds.
However, Davis’s LSU Tigers got the best of their top-seeded opponents in a low scoring affair on March 23, 2006. LSU defeated Duke that night 62-64, earning them a berth to the tournament’s Elite Eight. Davis and his LSU cohorts also reached the Final Four that March.