Cornbread Leaving the Celtics?

July 23, 1980

Cedric Maxwell is no longer a Celtic.

Maxwell, through his player agent, Ron Grinker, announced today from New York that he will sign a multi-year contract with an NBA team other than the Celtics.

Grinker declined to identify Maxwell's new team, However, informed sources said that the Indiana Pacers will probably be Maxwell's choice.

Grinker said the formal contractual signing "could take place sometime today or tomorrow." He explained that the delay in announcing the team of Maxwell's choice came about because Maxwell is in the process of returning from Bermuda where he cut short a vacation after spending five days there.

Celtic general manager Red Auerbach, apparently taken by surprise at Maxwell's decision, said he "would have liked to have had Maxwell as a member of the Celtics, but we can't prostitute the ball club in order to keep him."

Many regard Maxwell, a 6-foot-8 forward, as one of the most productive scorers from under the basket despite being confronted by opposing players who towered over him. Last season Maxwell averaged 16.9 points in 80 games, and led all NBA players with a 60.9 field-goal percentage (457 baskets in 750 attempts). In the playoffs, he averaged 18.2 per game, and grabbed 90 rebounds in nine games.

Thus, Maxwell parts company with the Celtics after a three-year partnership. He was the Celtics' first-round draft choice in 1977 after he became the greatest scorer in the history of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has been a Celtic regular for the last two years.

Among Maxwell's deficencies were his inability to shoot from outside and his lack of defensive skills. It was also believed by some that he neglected to work hard on the weak facets of his game during the off-seasons.

"We're extremely disappointed that Maxwell isn't returning to the Celtics," said Grinker in a phone interview from New York, "but we were oceans apart with them on a new contract. I last met with Auerbach last Friday here."

Asked if Maxwell was going to receive everything from his new team that the Celtics rejected, Grinker simply said, "He (Maxwell) will be signing a multi-year contact that will give him substantially more."

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