Danny Ainge: ‘We want Ray (Allen) back’
Danny Ainge says he’s serious about bringing Ray Allen back for a sixth season with the Celtics, and put his cell phone where his heart was at midnight yesterday, at the moment the guard’s contract expired.
“We want Ray back, and we’re approaching this as the first thing we have to get done,” Ainge said yesterday morning. “It’s our No. 1 priority.”
The Celtics general manager also understood that Allen, who unlike Kevin Garnett is committed to testing the market, was about to be consumed by a rush of calls. The Celtics, though, came in with the confidence they can pay Allen more than any other team — in this case a potential $12 million, two-year deal that would pay Allen $6 million each season.
The team’s willingness to sign Allen beyond one year meshes with the three-year deal agreed to with Garnett on Saturday — an agreement that reflects belief by both sides that the Celtics are still a serious contender. Garnett could consume as much as $12 million of the approximately $20 million in cap space the Celtics currently have for next season.