Doc Rivers Thinks Ray Allen Will Return to Boston, Says Celtics Will Lock Up Jeff Green

by abournenesn

July 2, 2012

Doc Rivers Thinks Ray Allen Will Return to Boston, Says Celtics Will Lock Up Jeff GreenAmong the uncertainties surrounding whether the Celtics will re-sign Ray Allen and Jeff Green, at least one thing isn't in question — the coach's opinion.

Doc Rivers said Sunday that he wants the C's to bring back both Allen and Green, who are free agents this offseason.

He seemed to think Boston would have a pretty good chance getting both players to stay.

"We really want [Allen] back, and I really think at the end of the day that he will be back, because this is such a good fit for him," Rivers told ESPN. "We need him back, and we're trying to get him back. We can offer him more money. … He already lives here. He knows his role and everything else. It's a stretch for me to see him go somewhere else."

The Celtics could offer Allen up to $12 million over two years, well beyond the Memphis Grizzlies' two-year, $5 million allotment or the Miami Heat's one-year, $3 million offering. All salary numbers are locked in due to NBA free agent rules, which favor teams looking to keep key players.

Rivers said Allen has given "no indication" on where he wants to land, and he hadn't heard whether Kevin Garnett — who just reaffirmed that he'll be back with the Celtics for up to three more years — was doing any persuading on his end.

"Kevin came back because he wants to win," Rivers said, according to ESPN. "He likes our team. He saw how close we were. Now we're going to try and add some pieces, and he understands that. But we've got a high-caliber guy who wants to stay in one place, and that's really neat."

Rivers said the Celtics' plans extend beyond those who have been with the team. Boston is also looking into some new free agents, although Rivers wouldn't hint who they may be.

But one guy high on Boston's radar — Green — has already been with the team. He just hasn't had much of a chance to show his worth.

Green was sidelined with heart issues last season, but the C's are still optimistic he can fit in with the team if given another go. Rivers thinks that will happen.

"We're going after Jeff," Rivers said. "We're going to get Jeff. I believe that, yes. Obviously, you never know, until it's signed, but Jeff has a great relationship with the team, the players, and he really wants to play here. So, I think, if we get the numbers right, he'll definitely come to us. … He loves the crowds. He wants to play here, and that gives us an advantage."

The Celtics may have plenty of other uphill battles coming their way, but in terms of these free agents, the C's may not be underdogs.

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