Celtics continue to recruit Wallace

Here’s how badly the Boston Celtics believe Rasheed Wallace(notes) can be the difference in winning an 18th NBA championship next season: Coach Doc Rivers and the Big Three have made a recruiting trip to woo him, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Celtics are targeting Wallace with the midlevel exception and sources say the team – which could be willing to pay a steep luxury tax – is also pursuing Phoenix’s Grant Hill(notes). The Celtics sent Rivers, Kevin Garnett(notes), Paul Pierce(notes) and Ray Allen(notes) to encourage Wallace to sign with them. Garnett and Wallace have a close relationship.

Boston officials are convinced that these next 24 to 48 hours are critical in overtaking the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference, and eventually, the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Wallace, who turns 35 in September, is the free agent power forward that most of the contenders covet, including Cleveland, Orlando, San Antonio and Dallas.