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NBA Rumors: Latest News Ahead of Free-Agent Deadline

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 19:  Ryan Hollins #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during warm up against the New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center on March 19, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
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Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterMarch 22, 2012

It's time to make one final push toward the playoffs. Friday looms as the last chance a team has to add a waived player that will also be eligible for the postseason. 

There are some fine players still available on the open market ready to lend a hand to a contender in need. 

These are not some game-changing studs, but that is hardly the point. Playoff teams a re already stacked with the talent that makes them winning ball clubs. 

These are the crucial players that will add that last modicum of depth that very well could push them over the top. The postseason is more of a marathon than you think, and these are the deals in the works to make it manageable. 

 

Rasheed Wallace

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Rasheed Wallace #30 of the Boston Celtics warms up before Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledge
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

This may be the last we hear of Wallace, who very well could stay retired, but we will not know until after Friday.

Fox Sports' Chris Tomasson reports via Twitter:

Rasheed Wallace will wait until after Friday's deadline of players waived eligible for playoffs before decision on coming out of retirement.

— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 20, 2012

 

As a non-waived player, Wallace can assess which team is willing to take a chance on him after the slots are filled Friday. 

 

Boston Celtics

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 19:  (L-R) Ryan Hollins #5 and Luke Walton #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers talk during warm up against the New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center on March 19, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
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The Celtics need a big man in a bad way. They lost Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Wilcox for the season and now have eyes on Ryan Hollins. 

The Cavaliers waived the center, and Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports the next stop for him is the Celtics.

Center Ryan Hollins expected to clear waivers and is waiting to sign with Celtics, agent Todd Ramasar said. Hollins close with KG & Pierce.

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) March 22, 2012

Brian Cook 

DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 25:  Head coach Vinny Del Negro and Brian Cook #34 of the Los Angeles Clippers at American Airlines Center on January 25, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using t
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Lastly, we come to a big that can give a team depth with his mid-range jumper. Brian Cook was expected to seek a buyout after his trade, but that seems unlikely now. 

The Washington Post's Michael Lee reports Cook is happy with the Washington Wizards and is now willing to see out his time there. 

Before Brian Cook joined the Wizards in Memphis, the veteran big man considered seeking a buyout in order to join a playoff team. The Wizards were even willing to accommodate his desires...

But Cook’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said this week that his client doesn’t plan to actively pursue a buyout by Friday’s deadline for the rest of his $1.3 million salary

Friday looms as the next deadline for teams to solidify their postseason teams. While it will be far more quiet than the trade deadline, it is no less important for teams looking for value at the most important time of the season. 

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