WALTHAM — All summer, Glen "Big Baby" Davis waited for a new deal from the Celtics. When training camp grew near and he was still unsigned, he figured it might never come.
"There was a point I thought I wasn't going to be back. I was telling my girlfriend, 'We've got to pack,"' he said yesterday. "I hate packing."
Davis can put the suitcases away, because the Celtics finally rescued him from restricted free agency with a two-year deal worth about $6 million that keeps him on the team that he helped win an NBA championship in his rookie season, two years ago.
The Celtics also signed free agent Shelden Williams yesterday, adding a second young forward to a frontcourt that broke down last season in the playoffs. Davis, who's 23, and Williams, who will be 26 by opening night, give Boston some youth at a position that has shown its age.
"We've got a lot of veterans and we also have a lot of young guys," general manager Danny Ainge said. "I don't think we needed to add a bunch of older, aging guys."
Kevin Garnett missed the entire playoffs last spring, Leon Powe went down early in the postseason with a knee injury and Brian Scalabrine was coming off multiple concussions as the Celtics bowed out in the conference semifinals. Davis was pressed into the starting lineup and went from 21 minutes per game to 36 while bumping his scoring average from 7 points to 15.8 a game.
"Glen really came into his own last season in the second half when he got a chance to play," Ainge said. "He wants to play. Just like all young players, he wants a more significant role."
This offseason, Ainge made forward Rasheed Wallace his top target, signing him to a three-year deal. And now the frontcourt is complete, with Davis and Williams ready to come off the bench.