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Boston Celtic Cedric Maxwell ended his holdout Thursday, signing...

By FREDERICK WATERMAN, UPI Sports Writer

BOSTON -- Boston Celtic Cedric Maxwell ended his holdout Thursday, signing a four-year contract one day before the team opens its regular season in Detroit.

Maxwell, the senior Celtic with seven years experience playing for the Green, had been seeking a contract in the $800,000-a-year range. The 6-foot-8 forward was believed to have agreed with the team several weeks ago on salary, but the amounts of money to be deferred and guaranteed were still disputed. Terms of the contract were not released,

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Maxwell's agent, Ron Grinker, met with team president Red Auerbach in Washington D.C. on Wednesday then flew to Boston that night and met with general manager Jan Volk and the team's coaching staff.

Maxwell flew into Boston Thursday morning and he and Grinker met with Volk for three hours Thursday afternoon to iron out contract terms. The pact was signed at approximately 4 p.m.

Maxwell said, 'It's good to have this all done and over with.' The forward who has never been fond of training camp, joked, 'I'm really sorry to have missed all the pre-season.'

He said he was 9 to 10 pounds overweight 'but I'll play 30 minutes in Detroit if K.C. (Jones, the Celtics coach) wants me to.'

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To make room for Maxwell, first-round pick Michael Young from the University of Houston was waived. Second-round pick Ronnie Williams of Florida left camp voluntarily on Thursday and was believed to be pursuing playing opportunities in Europe.

Third-round pick Rick Carlisle of Virginia, a guard, made the final 12-man squad, taking the spot left open by the trade of Gerald Henderson.

Kevin McHale has been starting in place of Maxwell, opposite forward Larry Bird, but is expected to return to his sixth-man spot. Bird, who suffered a neck injury during the pre-season, is expected to start Friday against the Detroit Pistons.

Maxwell, MVP in the 1981 championship series, attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In the 1984 playoffs, Maxwell successfully continued his role as defender against the opposition's top-scoring forward, containing Bernard King of the New York Knicks and James Worthy of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Maxwell and Henderson were the two holdouts from the Celtics' 1984 World Championship team. Henderson signed on Oct. 12 with the Celtics, but was traded Oct. 16 to the Seattle SuperSonics for a draft choice.

By trading Henderson, the Celtics made his salary of approximately $375,000 a year available for use in negotiations with Maxwell.

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During his holdout, Maxwell had stayed at his home in North Carolina, missing training camp and the nine-game exhibition schedule.

Maxwell has a career 14-point game average with the Celtics, on career .561 field goal shooting. His NBA record is 14.4 points per game. He led the NBA in field-goal percentage in 1979 and 1980.

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