Danny Ainge spoke to the media today, and had some very interesting things to say about Tony Allen, the free agent market, and the Miami Heat.
Danny Ainge, via Celtics official Twitter account:”We had a good six years with Tony. It wasn’t a financial decision. You’d have to ask Tony (why he didn’t return).”
Hmmm, this quote really confuses me. David Aldridge reported that the Ainge’s final offer to Allen was 2 years, $5.2 million. The deal Allen signed with the Memphis Grizzlies was 3 years, $9.7 million. Sure seems like it WAS a financial decision.
If I ask Tony why he didn’t return, I’m sure he’d agree it was financial. Not only did he get an extra year in Memphis, he banked about $4.5 million more.
As for the Celtics, I’ll bet Ainge wanted to go with a more reliable option for a backup swingman. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen need rest and, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston, T. Allen missed 156 games over the past six seasons–an average of 26 games per season. Also, Boston will be re-tooling in two years when both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett’s contracts come off the cap. Ainge didn’t want to give Tony Allen a third year because he is hoping to have as much financial flexibility in 2012-2013 as possible.
Ainge on potential free agents: “There’s a long list and (Josh Howard) is on that list.”
For analysis of Josh Howard, click here. It explains cap reasons why Howard is an unlikely candidate to land in Boston.
Ainge on Heat: “It’s pretty impressive. With the three guys and Mike Miller and Haslem, that’s a pretty impressive team.”
I’m still not sold on Miami waltzing to the Eastern Conference Finals, and through the Celtics to the NBA Finals. Haslem and Miller are very good role players, but neither one of them fills the gaping holes Miami has at both the center position and the point guard position. I’m with Ray Allen, I still feel we’re the better team. And I can’t wait to find out.