Ainge on Garnett: 'He's our number one option'

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Ainge on Garnett: 'He's our number one option'

BOSTON -- After selecting three young players in the 2012 NBA Draft, veteran Kevin Garnett was a topic of questioning for Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge following the conclusion of the second round.

The rookie trio of Jared Sullinger (21), Fab Melo (22), and Kris Joseph (51) could be on the 2012-13 roster, but what about Garnett? Free agency begins on Sunday, July 1 and he has yet to announce his decision for next season.

Ive been talking with Kevin and his people and dont really have any conclusions yet, Ainge said. Thats a big part of it (the Celtics plan for the start of free agency), absolutely. Its our number one option. One reason is because Kevins such a valuable player and the other reason is hes the only guy we can talk to until Sunday.

As for the three picks Garnett could potentially play with should he return to the Celtics, Ainge doesnt expect the big man was checking off a scouting report during Draft Night.

When asked what he believed Garnett thought of the Celtics selections, Ainge replied with a laugh, I dont know. Youd have to ask him. I bet you he didnt know who they are.

Dennis Schroder doubles down on claims Isaiah Thomas took family trash talk too far

Dennis Schroder doubles down on claims Isaiah Thomas took family trash talk too far

Dennis Schroder isn't backing down.

The Atlanta Hawks point guard again was asked about Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, and the budding rivalry between the two players that's turned into a rivalry between the two teams. Thomas, of course, was accused by Schroder of taking his trash talking a bit too far during the teams' last meeting, a 103-101 Celtics victory last month in which Thomas hit the game-winning shot with just seconds remaining.

Thomas' comments allegedly were about Schroder's family, per Schroder himself. Thomas has since repeatedly denied the claims. So does Schroder still deny Thomas' side of the story?

“I mean, yeah. Everybody heard it, too," Schroder said. "My family sat courtside too. And (Hawks teammate) Thabo (Sefolosha) heard some things, you know, and he was involved in it. But it is what it is. Like I said, we just try to compete. And you know, it’s getting heated in the game. It is what it is."

Schroder didn't dive much deeper than denying Thomas' claims of innocence. But is there something about Thomas inparticular that gets under Schroder's skin or runs him the wrong way?

Nah, I mean he’s a great player, he’s showing it this year," Schroder said. "I mean, what he did in the playoffs last year was just not, you know, professional. And I think nobody wants to see that but it’s fine. We just try to compete and try to help our team win the basketball game."

Schroder was referring to the back-and-forth physical play between himself and Thomas that resulted in flagrant fouls for both during the first-round playoff matchup betweein the clubs, a series Atlanta eventually won four games to two. Thomas' status was in doubt for Game 4 of the series after a hit to Schroder's head in Game 3, but the now two-time All-Star ultimately was allowed to play.

"Everybody’s competitive. Everybody tries to get out, get after it," Schroder explained when asked if his feud with Thomas fuels his team any extra. "I think it’s a big game tonight and the team knows it. I’m pretty sure the Celtics know it too. It’s getting close to the playoffs and every game counts."

Boston and Atlanta tip off from TD Garden at 7:30 p.m.

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