First, Mutombo has recently said his return was imminent, narrowing his options to San Antonio and Boston. However, if Boston is no longer in the running, one might assume that Mutombo is a Spur-in-waiting. This might be true, but I suspect not. Why?
The Bulpett report also includes this tidbit:
If it's true that OKC is nearing a buy-out of Joe Smith, then San Antonio is in no rush to sign Dikembe Mutombe. Joe Smith would be perfect for the Celtics, I have no doubt. But he would also fit very nicely in San Antonio. 48MH has often noted that the Spurs lack a frontcourt player who can guard the likes of Dirk Nowitzki and David West. Smith may not be a prototype in this regard, but he's certainly a help. His ability to score in a high pick and roll setting, rebounding, and veteran know-how would seem an ideal compliment to the Spurs current cast of bigs.
Alonzo Mourning’s name is still being floated, but an even more intriguing property could be available soon. There is talk Oklahoma City may buy out Joe Smith’s contract, and that the club is at least serious about trading him.
The Celtics can’t and won’t discuss him publicly, but at a lanky 6-foot-10, Smith would seem to fit the club’s need.
Said one NBA scout, “Are you kidding me? Joe Smith would be perfect for the Celtics.”
One of my objections to signing Dikembe Mutombo is that his presence would impede the growth of Ian Mahinmi and hamper the Spurs efforts in Austin. The Spurs should be willing, however, to bite those bullets in exchange for a player who is a decade younger than Deke. Smith is still a productive player and would constitute a major upgrade. The loss of Anthony Tolliver, Malik Hairston, or, improbably, Jacque Vaughn is easy to accept in exchange for Joe Smith.
Unfortunately, Joe Smith might find the prospect of becoming a member of the league-leading Celtics more alluring than San Antonio. Whatever the case, it seems likely that if Bulpett's report is accurate, San Antonio and Boston will be among a short list of teams that make eyes with Smith. Let's hope he bats an eyelash, blushes, and blows a kiss back Alamo-way.
(HT: Jeff Clark of Celtics Blog)