C's extend qualifying offer to Stiemsma

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Celtics rookie center Greg Stiemsma.The Boston Celtics formally extended a $1.05 million qualifying offer to rookie Greg Stiemsma, making him a restricted free agent this summer and starting the process by which Boston hopes to retain the young center.

The move was a bit perfunctory, but ensures that Boston will have the right of first refusal to bringing Stiemsma back after a rookie season in which he averaged 2.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in 55 appearances. By season's end, he was the first big off the bench in Doc Rivers' rotation.

Stiemsma can entertain offer sheets from opposing teams this summer, but the Celtics have the right to match any offer so long as the salary cap allows them to flexibility to do so.

The 26-year-old Stiemsma battled through a cocktail of maladies this season, including injuries to both feet that left him in a walking boot at times during the second half of the season and limited his ability to participate in basic activities like game-day shootarounds.

In an encouraging bit of news, his agent said Friday that Stiemsma will not require surgery on his foot, something he previously feared, and should heal with proper rest. Stiemsma is scheduled to work with the US Select team next month in Las Vegas, but that will be contingent on his health.