Ainge: Allen is open to a return to Boston

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Ainge: Allen is open to a return to Boston

WALTHAM Ray Allen remains the lone question mark when it comes to whether or not the Celtics Big Three will be re-booted once again, now five editions in the books.

Whether there will be a version 6.0 hinges heavily on whether Allen returns.

Although Allen reportedly has "interest" in playing for the Miami Heat, he apparently has interest in returning to the only team he has won a title with, too.

Multiple league sources contacted this week indicated that Allen's "interest" in the Heat has been overblown.

"They will definitely be a player for him," one source said. "But you're talking about one of the greatest shooters to ever play the game who keeps himself in excellent shape. NBA execs all know he's only going to play for a team that can compete for a championship. So it makes sense for the champs (Heat) to have interest, and for him to have some interest in them as well."

Said another source, "He's too smart to commit to any team this early in the game. Ray's going to listen to what folks have to say, and go from there."

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, has had conversations with Allen since the Celtics' season ended.

In describing those conversations, Ainge said they were, "Just sort of what his hopes and future are, what he thinks of our team, would he like to come back, all those type of things."

Ainge, who said that the two have not had any contract-specific discussions, added, "I think Ray's open to coming back. I won't get into details . . . we've talked so I have a feel for where his head is."

Apparently Ainge must have been comfortable with what Allen had to say.

"On July 1, we'll talk more to Ray (about a possible return)," Ainge said.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers feels comfortable with Ainge doing whatever he deems necessary to make the C's a better team.

But Rivers has been steady in his preference that the Celtics bring back Allen in addition to the team's top priority, Kevin Garnett.

When asked about reports that indicated the NBA champion Miami Heat were interested in Allen, Rivers responded, "I think you'll hear that and probably 10 other teams. If they don't have interest in him, then they're crazy. But we have interest, too."

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Danny Ainge made no secret of being miffed when Kansas small forward Josh Jackson canceled his workout with the Celtics in Sacramento at the last minute. 

The Celtics, of course, passed on Jackson and selected Jayson Tatum of Duke with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough's comments at Jackson's introductory press conference lend some credence to the theory that the canceled workout was part of Phoenix's plan to keep the Celtics from selecting Jackson and leave him for the Suns at No. 4.

Check out this portion of Jackson's presser via a tweet from Mike McClune of KPHO-TV: 

"I think you guys who know me well know how competitive I am. Look, it is a competition," said McDonough, a former assistant GM to Ainge with the C's "The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean B.J. [Armstrong, Jackson's agent] and I and...other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.

"We played by the rules – I guess,” McDonough said to some laughter in the room.

Jackson will certainly get more playing time with the rebuilding Suns that the contending Celtics. Ainge called Jackson "a terrific kid and a good player” after the draft, and said the Celtics were set on Tatum all along, even if they hadn't traded the No. 1 pick.

Jackson said his decision to blow off Ainge coach Brad Stevens and assistant GM Mike Zarren after their cross-country flight was "last-minute" and his plans to work out "just didn't work out."
 

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is trading for Paul George worth the risk?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is trading for Paul George worth the risk?

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0:41 - Michael Holley, Kayce Smith and Tom Giles recap their thoughts on drafting Jayson Tatum and trade rumors involving the Celtics.

6:21 - Ian Thomsen joins BST to discuss if it would be worth trading for Paul George as a one-year rental and if there would be a chance he could still around long-term if traded to Boston.

11:13 - Evan Drellich joins BST to talk about Rick Porcello’s outing, the Red Sox offense coming to life, and Doug Fister being claimed by the Red Sox. 

15:10 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely look back at the Celtics/Nets trade, what the assets have turned into, and if Danny Ainge has done a good job turning those assets into players.