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Timberwolves now frontrunner to land Greg Stiemsma

Greg Stiemsma, Rajon Rondo

Boston Celtics center Greg Stiemsma (54) reacts after a basket by the Atlanta Hawks as point guard Rajon Rondo, right, gathers the ball to inbound it during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, April 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


The Celtics wanted to keep restricted free agent center Greg Stiemsma, who gave the team quality minutes during the playoffs. But that play drove up his price tag high enough that the Celtics read the writing on the wall and decided to go another direction by bringing back Chris Wilcox.

So where will Stiemsma land?

His agent is saying Minnesota, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of However, that offer is on hold until the Blazers officially match the $46 million offer for Nicolas Batum that the T-Wolves already have out there.

“Until that’s worked out, a lot of players like Greg will just have to wait which is fine,” his agent Mike Naiditch, told on Tuesday. “We understand that this is a process and will take time. We’re not in any kind of rush.”

The Celtics cannot offer Stiemsma any more than their bi-annual exception, which is worth $1.95 million. The offer sheet from the Timberwolves is expected to be for at least $1 million more than that per season.

A team could come out of nowhere, and the Wolves could go after someone like Jordan Hill instead, but smart money says Stiemsma takes over the Darko role in Minny. At a better price.