Former Celtic Eric Williams, journeymen big men Kelvin Cato and Linton Johnson, and Esteban Batista, the first Uruguayan to ever play in the NBA, all worked out for the Celtics yesterday.
All are expected to continue their workouts today, with coach Doc Rivers and his staff expected to invite at least one and quite possibly two to training camp.
A team source stressed last night that none of these players have been offered guaranteed contracts, though Batista is reportedly demanding exactly that in exchange for a training camp invitation.
Batista, a young power forward who played two uneventful seasons for Atlanta, opened a lot of eyes one month ago when he earned MVP honors in the Tournament of the Americans in Las Vegas. This bullish post player led the tournament in rebounding.
He has drawn interest from a number of teams.
Williams, who was traded from Toronto to San Antonio in the summer of 2006, was traded last February to Charlotte, which waived the defense-oriented swingman a month later.
Eric Williams was a tough defender and a great locker room guy when he was here before, but the question is, how much does he have left. He is 35 years old and has been bothered by injuries the past couple of years. Last season he averaged 2.6 points and .8 rebounds with the Spurs and the Bobcats.
Kelvin Cato is a 6'11" center who has played 10 seasons in the league with Portland, Houston, Orlando, Detroit and NY. Last season he averaged 1.2 points and 1.7 rebounds for the Knicks.
Linton Johnson is a 6'8 forward who has played 4 seasons in the league for Chicago, San Antonio, New Jersey, and New Orleans/OKC. Last season he averaged 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds for the Hornets.
It is interesting that they are working out power forwards along with centers. I don't see the team needing another 6'8 forward. But we could use another center, especially one with size. Batista would be a good signing but he may be asking too much. It will be interesting to see if they sign any of these guys. Cato and Batista seem like the most likely.