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Celtics notebook

Hopefuls stage a talent show for Ainge

By Julian Benbow
Globe Staff / September 16, 2010

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With training camp less than two weeks away, a handful of players were at the Celtics practice facility yesterday working out for team president Danny Ainge.

Adam Morrison, Rashad McCants, Trenton Hassell, and Cuttino Mobley were a few of the names that rung out.

“Just taking a look before training camp,’’ Ainge said. “Those guys are all good NBA players. I thought all four guys looked very good, actually.’’

The Celtics have 15 players under contract, but Ainge is still keeping an eye out for shooters. Training camp starts Sept. 28 in Waltham.

“We’re looking to bring the best 15 guys in, and probably some more,’’ Ainge said. “We’ll probably have some younger guys to evaluate in the camp process. We’re trying to give the veterans an idea where they’re at.’’

Morrison, 26, has won two titles with the Lakers, although he has played just 39 regular-season games the past two seasons.

McCants, a former teammate of Kevin Garnett’s in Minnesota, popped up on the Celtics’ radar several times during free agency. He signed a deal with the Rockets at the start of last season but it was rescinded because of an abdominal injury.

Hassell, a nine-year veteran, played 52 games with the Nets last season.

Mobley’s last stop in an 11-year NBA career was with the Clippers during the 2008-09 season. He had retired because of a heart condition.

“McCants looked really good,’’ Ainge said. “He shot the ball well, he competed at a high level. I’m really surprised that he’s not in the NBA right now.

“Same with Adam Morrison, making shots, making passes. The guys looked hungry, they looked fit. And that’s with Hassell and Mobley, too. Mobley, for being out of basketball the last couple years, the guy really knows how to play.’’

Ainge also confirmed that he was considering former Nets assistant Roy Rogers to replace big man coach Clifford Ray. Rogers would reunite with former Nets coach Lawrence Frank, who was hired by the Celtics to replace Tom Thibodeau after being fired by New Jersey midway through last season.

“Nothing’s finalized but we’ve had conversations,’’ Ainge said.

O’Neal sued
A former employee of Shaquille O’Neal has accused the Celtics’ new center of computer hacking, destroying evidence, and attempting to frame the employee by planting child pornography. Shawn Darling, a former computer technician for O’Neal, is suing the 38-year-old star in Florida for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and civil racketeering. Darling alleges that O’Neal hacked into the e-mails and voicemails of one mistress, Vanessa Lopez, and used his law enforcement connections to gain sensitive information about another, Alexis Miller. Darling also claimed that O’Neal threw a personal computer of his into a lake behind his house. Efforts to reach O’Neal’s agent, Perry Rogers, were unsuccessful.

Julian Benbow can be reached at jbenbow@globe.com.

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