Nearly one year since Stephon Marbury last played in a regular-season game, signals are getting stronger that the New York Knicks' outcast will eventually make his comeback with the Boston Celtics.
That still depends largely on Marbury's ability to negotiate his release from the Knicks after weeks of fruitless and oft-contentious buyout talks, but sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com this week that Boston is Marbury's preferred destination if he manages to become a free agent and that the Celtics are indeed hopeful of signing him.
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge did not immediately respond to a request for comment on a New Year's Day holiday for the entire league and has generally refused to address the possibility of signing Marbury. Yet it's believed that the Celtics' concerns about their depth, after losing James Posey and P.J. Brown from last season's title team, have swelled noticeably since they followed up the best 29-game start in NBA history at 27-2 by losing three of the next four games on the road.