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Celtics notebook

Rivers is free to start thinking about Hill

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By Marc J. Spears and Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / July 9, 2009
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ORLANDO, Fla. - The next free agent on the Celtics’ list is Phoenix’s Grant Hill, who played for Doc Rivers while with the Orlando Magic and is a neighbor of the Celtics coach in Winter Park, Fla.

“I can tell you that Grant and I meet a lot,’’ Rivers said before the Celtics lost to Oklahoma City, 94-82, in a Summer Pro League game last night. “We go out to dinner a lot. I didn’t see him play a whole bunch. I was with him the wrong time, but I just know the character and I know who he is. And I think he would be a good fit for any team that’s trying to win the title right now - Grant is going to help them.’’

The 36-year-old Hill could receive part of a midlevel-exception contract from the Knicks, about double the Celtics’ offer of a $1.9 million biannual-exception contract.

Baby talk
Restricted free agent forward Glen Davis probably will have to continue to be patient before he learns where he will play next season. San Antonio had expressed interest, according to an NBA source, but backed off after agreeing to a contract with Pistons free agent forward Antonio McDyess yesterday.

The Pistons are expected to take a serious look at Davis and have the financial ability to offer most of their midlevel exception. Boston is still very interested, as are New Orleans, Cleveland, and Charlotte.

The Hornets, however, would only be able to acquire Davis via a sign-and-trade, and the Cavaliers and Bobcats are limited financially. If the Pistons are serious about Davis, they would likely have to come up with a lucrative, creative, and possibly lengthy deal to keep the Celtics from matching the offer sheet, which they would have seven days to do.

Chiming in
Rivers on Kevin Garnett, who is recovering from right knee surgery: “He looks great. Good to see him walk normal again and talk more, definitely louder and happier. So, Kevin is back.’’ And on the Celtics’ chances of winning the championship next season: “I’m not in the prediction business. I’ll let [Muhammad ] Ali, [Floyd ] Mayweather, and Patrick Ewing make those predictions. [The favorites are], I think, the team that won it, the Lakers, and in the East, the Magic, until somebody proves differently.’’

Tough break
Rookie guard Lester Hudson sustained a broken left index finger in the first half of the Celtics’ loss to the Thunder and will return to Boston for treatment today.

J.R. Giddens’s left ring finger was dislocated during the game, but he may play against Indiana today. Giddens scored 16 points and Chris Lofton added 15 for the Celtics, who are 1-2 in the Summer Pro League. Russell Westbrook scored 26 points for Oklahoma City.

“[Hudson] did well,’’ said assistant coach Mike Longabardi. “These were his first five days in the NBA and we have to make some corrections in his game. But I love his energy and toughness.’’

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