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Cassell offers little new on buyout negotiations

Times Staff Writer

Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers played it coy.

“Who?” he slyly said, when asked about Sam Cassell possibly joining his Celtics, before they thoroughly beat the Clippers on Monday. “Never heard of him.”

Rivers can’t talk about it, but the Celtics are a favorite destination for Cassell if his contract is bought out by March 1.

This possibility of the Clippers and Cassell parting ways has been lingering over the team the last few days. Cassell, who has played in 115 NBA playoff games in his 15-year career, is looking for more with another team.

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But for now he remains in limbo, waiting as David Falk, his agent, attempts to reach a deal with Clippers President Andy Roeser, before the deadline.

If the two parties reach an agreement, in which Cassell forfeits some of the $6.1 million he is due this season in the final year of his contract, he will be waived and free to sign with another franchise.

The normally talkative and vibrant Cassell was seemingly at a loss for words at practice Tuesday. “I don’t know. It’s getting to a point . . . ,” he said, his voice trailing off.

“I’m being a professional about it. I’ve been a professional my whole career. I was taught that way early in my career with Clyde Drexler, Kenny Smith how to be professional in any situation or any crises.

“Our season has been depleted with injuries and injuries and injuries. Nothing is impossible, but if we won 15 straight games, we still wouldn’t be in the playoffs.”

Cassell said the sprained right wrist that has sidelined him for three games is still lingering and he is questionable tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers.

He is averaging 12.8 points and 4.7 assists in 38 games this season.

The Clippers haven’t had a low-post presence the last two games and that could extend for a couple more.

Center Chris Kaman received an epidural shot Tuesday to calm nerve inflammation in his back. Kaman has sat out seven of the last 15 games because of the back ailment and, before that, flu.

“They said I would be out a minimum of three weeks if I didn’t get a shot,” Kaman said. “So, hopefully, it won’t be more than a week.”

Coach Mike Dunleavy said Kaman’s absence is tough to overcome.

“It’s just huge for us,” Dunleavy said. “There’s not a center in the league he can’t go against.”

To help in the short term, the Clippers will probably sign 6-foot-11 forward Nick Fazekas to a 10-day contract.

TONIGHT

vs. Portland, 7:30, FSN Prime

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 710.

Records -- Clippers 19-35, Trail Blazers 29-28.

Record vs. Trail Blazers (2006-07) -- 3-1.

Update -- The Trail Blazers are the only team the Clippers have yet to play this season. The Clippers took three of their four meetings last season. Portland’s All-Star guard Brandon Roy (right ankle) may not play after being injured Sunday.

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jonathan.abrams@latimes.com


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