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Celtics’ big man search: Ronny Turiaf

03.18.12 at 2:47 pm ET
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Ronny Turiaf (21) is a presence inside, and he's available after being released by the Nuggets following a trade with the Wizards. (AP)

The big man dominoes are starting to fall as the Nuggets waived Ronny Turiaf after acquiring him from the Wizards in a trade deadline deal. Turiaf is a 6-foot-10, 245-pound forward/center who has posted solid seasons with the Lakers, Warriors and Knicks in his seven-year career. He’s good rebounder and defender with good touch near the basket, averaging 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per 36 minutes.

The big question with Turiaf is his health. He played only four games for the Wizards due to a broken left hand this season. Turiaf suffered the injury against the Celtics back on Jan. 1 and it was the same hand that he injured over the summer playing for the French national team. He has not played since the injury, and he told The Washington Post in early March:

“If was just me, choosing to play, I would’ve been back a long time ago. They are putting the strain on myself, on me, because they know sometimes, I may not be the most rational guy when comes to help teammates and to do stuff.”

The other issue with Turiaf is his heart, and for a team that has lost two players to aortic surgery that is no small consideration. After Turiaf was drafted by the Lakers in 2005, doctors found an enlarged aortic root and he underwent open heat surgery. The Lakers voided his contract but re-signed him six months later and he was able to resume his career.

If healthy, Turiaf would be a perfect for the Celtics, who desperately need another big man behind Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Greg Stiemsma. Turiaf is versatile enough to play both the center and big forward positions and would provide some needed muscle and size on the interior. With several contending teams look to beef up their frontcourts, the Celtics would certainly have competition for his services.

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