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Davis opts out of national duty

Contract status is cited as reason

By Marc J. Spears
Globe Staff / July 17, 2009
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Not yet under NBA contract for next season, Celtics restricted free agent forward Glen Davis has turned down a chance to play for the red, white, and blue this summer.

Davis declined an opportunity to take part in USA Basketball’s national team minicamp July 22-25 in Las Vegas. There will be no Celtics represented at the camp, which culminates with an intrasquad scrimmage July 25. With Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins also declining invitations because of Perkins’s wedding July 25, no Celtic is expected to play for Team USA during the 2010 world championships in Turkey, and a participant from the team for the 2012 London Olympics is in serious doubt.

“He’s not going to go,’’ said Davis’s agent, John Hamilton. “We thought about it and thought about it. We need to err on the side of caution. He wants to participate, but the last thing he wants to do is be affected in a bad way where it can hurt a team’s interest in bringing him on.’’

USA Basketball announced late last month that 25 up-and-coming NBA players, including Davis, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Danny Granger, and Blake Griffin, had accepted invitations to participate in the minicamp. But Davis, Portland’s Brandon Roy, and New York’s David Lee are expected to miss the camp because of contract concerns, while New Orleans’s David West and the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum are also expected to sit out for unspecified reasons, according to sources. A source, however, said Golden State forward Anthony Randolph, who recently scored 42 points in a summer league game, has been invited to participate.

While Hamilton said the Celtics didn’t pressure Davis into not taking part in the minicamp, they are happy with his decision. Davis is still on Boston’s roster since the franchise made him a qualifying offer.

“We talked it over with the Celtics,’’ Hamilton said. “They support his decision. They want him to be ready for next season. They still have the rights to him. Until they give up his rights, they still own it.’’

The teams believed to have interest in Davis are Boston, Detroit, Utah, New Orleans, and Portland. Hamilton met with Celtics president Danny Ainge in Las Vegas yesterday, but Davis was not offered a contract. If he were to sign an offer sheet from another team, the Celtics would have seven days to match it.

According to sources, the Pistons have been trying to clear salary cap space to make an offer to Davis. Detroit and New Orleans might need to offer a sign-and-trade deal to make a run at the Baton Rouge, La., native. Although the Jazz announced last night they will match the $32 million offer sheet signed by forward Paul Millsap from the Trail Blazers, they are also expected to trade forward Carlos Boozer, which would keep the interest in Davis alive. If Millsap’s offer sheet is matched by Utah, Portland’s interest in Davis could grow.

“It’s going to happen when it happens,’’ Hamilton said. “We have to let things take their course, which is clearly happening.’’

Marc J. Spears can be reached at mspears@globe.com

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