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Marbury believes Celtics days are over

Posted by Marc J. Spears, Globe Staff  July 3, 2009 04:11 AM

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Celtics free agent guard Stephon Marbury said to The Globe early Friday morning that he doesn't expect to be returning to Boston after receiving a disappointing one-year contract offer paying $1.3 million using the veteran's minimum.

Marbury said his representative, National Basketball Players Association deputy counsel Hal Biagas, called to tell him about the Celtics offer on Thursday night. The 32-year-old said three other teams, which he would not disclose, are currently interested. The two-time All-Star signed with the Celtics on Feb. 27 for the rest of the season after working out a buyout of his contract with the Knicks that paid $21.8 million after dealing with a soap opera-like situation that kept him sidelined over a year. Marbury averaged 3.8 points and 3.3 assists in 18 minutes per game during 23 contests last season with Boston.

Despite the disappointment for Marbury, he was thankful the Celtics gave him a chance after his Knicks situation ended.

"Thank you Boston for allowing the world to see me play again after all that went on in N.Y.," said Marbury, via e-mail to The Globe. "The fans treated me with open arms and that's all anyone can ask for."

The Celtics have also made a contract offer to Detroit free agent forward-center Rasheed Wallace using the mid-level exception (expected to be at least $5.6 million) and are in luxury tax territory. Boston has three other point guards on the roster in Rajon Rondo, Eddie House and Gabe Pruitt, who has a team option for next season that must be decided upon by Aug. 1. The Celtics have also inquired about Orlando free agent point guard Tyronn Lue.

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