Celtics' Ainge determined to keep 'Big Three' together

Associated Press
7/2/2012 2:15:36 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

BOSTON -- Celtics president Danny Ainge is determined to keep the team's Big Three in Boston next season.

Ainge said Monday he is hoping to keep intact the aging trio of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, who brought the Celtics their first NBA championship in 22 years in 2008.

Pierce is already under contract and Garnett has reportedly agreed to a new three-year deal that can't be finalized until July 11 -- the first day free agents can officially sign.

What's left for Ainge is to convince Allen, a free agent, to stay. The veteran shooting guard, who just had ankle surgery, is reportedly being courted by Miami and Memphis, but the Celtics are in position to offer Allen more money than either the Heat or Grizzlies.

"I'm not sure if there's progress or no progress, there's just conversation going on," Ainge said of the team's talks with Allen. "We really want Ray to come back. Time will tell."

Ainge added the he also wants to re-sign free agent forwards Brandon Bass and Jeff Green, who missed all of this past season with a heart problem that required surgery. Big man Chris Wilcox, who also missed time with a heart condition, is also on Ainge's radar.

But Ainge says the Big Three remain the key to the Celtics again contending in the Eastern Conference.

"I think we all can look at our Big Three and say if they went to play for some of the top teams in the league how good they would be and how much they would help those teams," said Ainge. "The only question in Boston is can they carry a team, so we need help."

Meanwhile, Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo, the 21st and 22nd players taken in the draft, and second-round pick Kris Joseph were introduced to the media.

Ainge said Sullinger, a power forward and likely a top pick if he would have left Ohio State last year instead of returning and slipping in the first round because of back problems, will also see time at centre.

Sullinger said he's ready for whatever coach Doc Rivers wants him to do and that his injury problems are behind him.

"Honestly, I don't have any back problems. It is what it is -- it's just playing basketball now," said Sullinger, who called slipping to No. 21 in the draft a "blessing in disguise."

Ainge said Melo, a 7-foot Brazilian out of Syracuse, will be a project but has a huge upside.

"One of the few guys in all of college basketball who blocks shots and takes a charge. He guards the paint real well."

Melo said he heard from Garnett after the draft.

"He just said he's excited to teach me, and I'm excited to learn ... I'm a very coachable guy."

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen (Photo: Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images)


(Photo: Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.

1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets

2014 NBA Draft Tracker

Social Media
twitter icon

Follow the Raptors and Raptor play-by-play man Matt Devlin on Twitter! Check out the latest Tweets!


TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - August 31st 2014

After drubbing Finland; is Team USA too confident? Will & Duane examine this, the Raptors at FIBA World Cup, Durant's Nike deal, WNBA Playoffs & more

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - August 24th 2014

Love for Wiggins is official! Is the future bright for Minny? DeMar DeRozan makes USMNT, Tim Leiweke steps down from Raptors & what's next for Kobe?

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - Aug 10th 2014

Love-Wiggins done deal? KD: The Real Reasons, what's next for USA Basketball, Becky Hammon breaks barriers & Naismith 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees

More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television