Much to the delight of most Celtics fans, Danny Ainge is firmly in “win now or forever hold your peace” mode. That was confirmed Saturday when it was reported that Kevin Garnett would take the hometown discount of $11.3 million per year for three more years.
Now the question jumps to how do the Celtics best maximize this new, creaky, three-year window? Do they supplement the backcourt with a young talent like Memphis free agent OJ Mayo? Or do they re-examine the Ray Allen situation?
As of Sunday evening, it sounded like both ideas were very much on the table for Ainge.
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The Heat, considered the front-runners for Allen’s services during the past week, can only offer the shooting guard $3 million. But the Celtics, who hold Allen’s Bird rights, can offer him a contract of around two-years for $6 million per and now seem intent on doing so (Memphis, Atlanta, Dallas and the Clippers are also reportedly interested in signing Allen).
Avery Bradley is now considered the starting 2-guard on the Celtics and it remains to be seen if Allen is interested in a reduced role going forward. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix also reported in June that there was a significant amount of friction between Allen and point guard Rajon Rondo throughout the 2011-12 season.
The revised NBA collective bargaining agreement goes out of its way to help teams re-sign their own players to cap-friendly deals. Therefore, there are scenarios where the Celtics could re-sign Garnett and Allen and still have money left over to offer another free agent the full mid-level exception of $5 million per year for four years.