The Celtics crossed their number one priority of the offseason checklist this weekend by re-singing Kevin Garnett.
Now, the focus shifts to Ray Allen and the rest of the free agents on their radar. Many teams are interested in singing Allen, but Boston, Miami, and even Memphis emerged as the front runners.
It seemed he would switch to the dark side and sign with the newly crowed champion Heat, but the Celtics are back in the running, at least according to Doc Rivers.
“We really want [Allen] back, and I really think that at the end of the day that he will be back, because this is such a good fit for him,” Rivers told ESPN. “We need him back, and we’re trying to get him back. We can offer him more money…He already lives here. He knows his role and everything else. It’s a stretch for me to see him go somewhere else.”
The Heat can only offer Allen $3 million for one-year and Memphis $5 million for two-years, while the Celtics are willing to give him $12 million for two years.
Danny Ainge is also reaching out to Allen in hopes of bringing him back. According to Boston.com:
“We want Ray back in the worst way,” Ainge said. “I think Ray knows we’re interested in him. I don’t know, but he very well could [have suitors]. But we really want Ray back.”
“It was amazing that Ray was even able to play at all throughout the playoffs,” Ainge said. “We feel like he will fully recover shortly. I think he’ll be playing basketball within the next few weeks.”
And hopefully he is wearing green when he picks up that basketball.
Another free agent important to Boston is Jeff Green, who joined the team in the Kendrick Perkins trade but missed last season after undergoing heart surgery. Rivers also made it clear the team intends to bring him back.
According to WEEI.com:
“We’re going after Jeff. We’re going to get Jeff. I believe that, yes,” the coach said. “Obviously, you never know, until it’s signed, but Jeff has a great relationship with the team, the players, and he really wants to play here. So I think if we get the numbers right, he’ll definitely come to us. And if we don’t, if somebody comes in and blows him away, then it’s a business thing because I really think he wants to play in Boston. He loves the crowds. He wants to play here and that gives us an advantage.”
With the Celtics actively pursuing these two guys, a decision should hopefully come soon.