The agent for Atlanta Hawks free forward-center Esteban Batista said late tonight that his client has declined an offer to sign with the Celtics. Agent Marc Cornstien said this afternoon that the Celtics, Charlotte, Phoenix and Indiana had made contract offers to the 6-foot-10, 270-pounder. While Cornstien said via text message Wednesday night that Batista had turned down Boston, he didn't say why and wouldn't say where his client was leaning now.
"Boston could be a good fit, but there are teams expressing more serious interest," Cornstien said.
The Uruguay native played sparingly for Atlanta last season, but averaged a tournament-best 12.4 rebounds and 20.8 points during the recent FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas. Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge couldn't be reached for comment, but the inquiry on Batista gives the impression that his club is interested in bringing another big man to camp. The Celtics are currently expected to bring 15 players to camp.