Ainge unsure whether Pierce will return to Celts

Ainge unsure whether Pierce will return to Celts
May 9, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Kevin Garnett? He thinks he'll be back. Doc Rivers? Ditto.

Paul Pierce? Well . . .

Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on WEEI Radio yesterday -- his final appearance of the 2012-13 season -- and gave his opinions on the three big questions regarding the Celtics: Will Pierce, Garnett and Rivers return?

Ainge said that, in his heart, he thinks Doc and KG will be in Boston next year.

"Doc is always unsure [about his future]," he said. "Coaching is very very draining. Every year with Doc, he’s had to go home and sort of recharge and ask himself that question, ‘Is this something that I’m passionate about and want to continue doing?’ I understand that. And we . . . give him time to unwind and relax, and after a couple of 92s on the golf course, he usually comes back . . . I think Doc will be coaching the Boston Celtics [next season]."

As for Garnett . . .

"I do the same thing as I do with Doc: I give him some time away and I’ll touch base with KG probably some time next week. He’s put so much into the game, he invests as much as any player I’ve ever seen. And he just needs time to chill and contemplate his life and then we’ll talk at some future time. But I do anticipate that KG will play. Just like I did last year, I feel the same this year. I don’t know for sure, but we’ll know more in the next couple weeks."

He was less positive, however, talking about Pierce.

"Conversation with my coach, conversation with Paul and his representatives [will play into the decision to bring Pierce back]," said Ainge. "Opportunities that may present themselves. There’s a lot that will go into it, but it hasn’t even started yet, we have until June 30 to make any decision.

"Listen, Paul’s been one of the greatest Celtics of all time and that will play part in it. We love what he’s done for us, but ultimately we have to do what we think is the best for us from this point forward. And I think that Paul still has a lot of basketball left in him."